I'd rather be right than President; Will Rogers

Friday, February 17, 2012

The great American humorist, Will Rogers, is quoted because of answers to our question of the week below.

Did the president fix it?

This column is about what some folks have called one of the first things they turn to when they get their Tribune. Surprised me. Obituaries are frequently called one of the best-read columns in any paper. People supposedly look to see if they're listed there.

More on that later.

Two Fridays ago, while I was walking to the cash register at Mildred's restaurant, there was this fellow dressed in black. Father Bill Kelly's resemblance to Johnny Cash ends there. Asked what's new at the Catholic Church, the priest replied that there would be a great deal of news the next week on a subject that's a matter of conscience.

Boy was he right.

He'd been asked by Nashville Bishop David Choby to read a letter to the congregation. It said the Catholic Church would not comply with a Health and Human Services directive to include birth control in health insurance for church employees or those working for church operated institutions like hospitals and schools.

That made headlines.

Marshall County Republican Party Chairman Mike Sherrell and one of the best-known Democrats in Marshall County, Grover Collins, agreed on something like this. Of course the topic and conclusion seemed so obvious, so why was the directive issued?

Beats me.

Some have suggested it was thought out, planned, an idea parented in the darkest smoke-filled political cave. Others saw it as a mistake by mid-level staffers who couldn't get their question to the top - the question being: should we do this?


So, as many of you already know, President Obama went into the Press Briefing Room a week ago today and explained that there would be accommodations. Ultimately, the church won't have to pay for insurance coverage for birth control, abortion or sterilization.

Did the president fix it?

Apparently not, according to our respondents who were kind enough to listen to an introduction to the question of the week. Sometimes the question is simple, like: Who do you admire other than Jesus? We say that because we're looking for variety and we know we're at the Buckle of the Bible Belt. Then some respondents get an idea and reply: "My boss. He's such an inspiration." Then it's clear they're looking for a pay raise, and we'd be glad to help. Who's your boss?

Some said Jesus.

Simple questions get simple answers. A friend suggested more serious questions. One day the question of the week was: What question would you ask this week? Three or four of those questions were used. On Friday, a visitor to our office on the square was asked to come up with a question. He's not called back.

What's your question?

Please write your question with an indelible marker on a new desk top computer tower, or the electronic brain box that's compatible with our system at the Tribune, or on the bottom of the keyboard (but not across the screen) and mail it to Newsroom, Marshall County Tribune, Lewisburg Public Square.

Or mail a letter, send an e-mail or call me. Contact information is on page 2.

These views are the author's and not necessarily reflective of the Tribune's views.