People of means were allowed to see President George Bush when he visited an Indian Hill estate last week. The cost of admission was a $2,100 donation to the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine. Persons who raised $10,000 were allowed to be photographed with the president.
Lesser personages were permitted to stand on street corners a few miles away, on the chance that the president would pass by and glance at their protest signs. A closer vantage point, even if permitted by the Secret Service, was out of the question because, as Kathy Helmbock of the National Organization for Women pointed out, Indian Hill has no sidewalks. Small crowds of protesters, organized by Democracy for Cincinnati, gathered at Montgomery and Cooper roads and outside the public library in Madeira.
While the president's visit was off limits to the vast majority of people, those stuck in traffic for the hour necessary to turn the interstate expressway into a private carriage road for his motorcade doubtlessly felt honored to know they'd soon be traversing the very same blacktop he did.
The circus is coming to town — and that's no cause for celebration, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Objecting to allegedly cruel treatment of elephants and other animal performers in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, PETA positioned a vinyl-clad dominatrix at Sixth and Vine streets Feb. 27. The message was, "Whips and Chains Belong in the Bedroom, Not in the Circus."
PETA activist Amandah Povilitus gave a fellow PETA activist a sound thrashing about his bum while passersby gawked and received animal-rights literature. The performance seemed to confuse at least one person, who incongruously yelled, "Stop that homosexual shit!"
The Roman Catholic Church no longer uses whips and chains to maintain ecclesiastical discipline. But if it did, Bishop Patricia Fresen would sure be in for it. That's because women can't be priests, let alone bishops, in the Catholic Church. Fresen will speak at Cincinnati Museum Center later this month to mark the World Day of Prayer for Women's Ordination.
A former Dominican nun and theologian in South Africa, Fresen participated in a renegade Catholic service in 2003 that made her a female priest; she later accepted consecration as a bishop. Her lecture in Cincinnati is on the theme "One Woman's Call to Priesthood." The program, from 1-5 p.m. March 25, includes music, discussion and — this will really upset the faithful — liturgy.
Tickets are $20 at the door or $15 in advance. Send checks to Greater Cincinnati Women Church c/o Ruth Steinert-Foote, 985 Forest Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45246.
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