ESPN TMQ Oct. 10 2002


Joke Left at the Altar:

Here is the script used by the Columbia marching band during the
Columbia-Fordham game; Catholic Church officials and many attending the
game have called the script insulting. If you want to know what was said,
scan for "altar boy" -- TMQ won't reproduce the joke, because it was in
bad taste. Priests forcing themselves on underage boys caused genuine
trauma to the victims; it's a dicey thing to jest about, and the Columbia
band joke just did not work. [Here the Band begs to differ. -ed.] 
(Priests having consensual sex with adults, on the other hand, might be
hypocritical, but is nobody's business but that of the parties and God;
splashy headlines about priest sex with consenting adults is media
sensationalism.)

TMQ does sympathize with the script's undergrad author, who refused to
apologize on the grounds that the Catholic Church was to blame for this
problem, not him. The Church should be relentlessly criticized for its
systematic cover-up of abusive priests. Catholic officials who responded
to the Columbia marching band episode with statements that boil down to
"How dare they criticize us" still don't get it, do they?

The band itself, which rivals Stanford and a few others for jokey
behavior, posts its wares here. TMQ likes the Columbia Marching Band
motto: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the Band."

Headline TMQ actually saw, over a story about a poll showing American
Catholics were not satisfied by their bishops' new sex-abuse policy:
CATHOLICS SAY SEX POLICY DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH.