News - Should Ted Turner be fitted with a muzzle?

No. He pumps millions into making the world better for women but gets no credit

Poor Ted.

He spends billions to alleviate Third World suffering, and cultural theorists whine that he’s a Western imperialist because he syndicated “Captain Planet” overseas. He starts the first international program to eradicate clitorodectomies, and Mirabella magazine compares him to Andrew Dice Clay because he jokes about Robert Murdoch “clitorizing” him.

He pumps millions into programs to make Atlanta a better place to live, and Colin Campbell frets that a billboard bearing his face will ruin downtown’s famed aesthetic integrity.

Now he’s accused of anti-Catholic bigotry and of failing to be sincere in his apology.

When it comes to tepid apologies, the Catholic Church isn’t exactly on solid ground: They just recently got around to apologizing for the Inquisition. Those who think Turner wasn’t adequately sincere should check out some of the apologies issued by the Pope. For example, he acknowledged that the Church has sinned against women for centuries by discriminating against them — but it will continue sinning this way because it’s established tradition. There’s less moral relativism in Britney Spears’ song lyrics.

The real motive behind excoriating Turner is to promote the laughable notion that American Christians are victims of oppression, a strategy that’s worked well in recent years for several wealthy, non-tax-paying, politically powerful religious fundamentalists. So far, evidence of this wave of hate has been limited to a few comments by the Ted and that lion thing around A.D. 64, but you can’t be too vigilant.

I worship at the Church of Ted because, unlike the State Department or the Vatican, his notion of fighting evil includes recognizing the human rights of females. Cutting off little girls’ vaginas is evil. Ted does something about it; the Pope doesn’t. Telling starving prostitutes in South Africa not to use condoms — despite the threat of AIDS — is evil, a policy eagerly embraced by the Church and many “compassionate” fundamentalists.

This year, Turner’s helping women and children in war-torn regions, funding AIDS prevention programs in Botswana, and providing resources so women in impoverished nations can plan their pregnancies for times when they’re not, like, starving.

The State Department ducks these issues. Pat Schroeder got laughed off Capitol Hill for suggesting we withhold arms from nations that refuse to treat women at least as well as livestock. Academic feminists natter that they can’t take a position on torturing women without imposing their elitist subjectivity, so they don’t do squat. Such sensibilities don’t save lives.

Ted Turner does. Atlanta’s lucky to have him.??

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