View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


I went into the school today to finish up the latest newsletter (a principal's work is never done!), and then on the way home stopped at a Wegmans supermarket.

Wegmans is a chain with a good reputation for quality and for how it treats its employees. It was founded by Bob Wegman, a Catholic. The late Mr. Wegman had a reputation for his charitable and civic activities, a reputation the company shared and continues to share. Our diocese and Catholic schools have been among the beneficiaries (to the tune of millions of dollars).

As I was looking for something in the store, I spotted a sign in an aisle: "Women's Health." Fearing the worst, I looked at what was beneath the sign. Sure enough, birth control and other related item.

Mind you, this is a chain that stopped selling cigarettes on ethical grounds. But calling birth control "Women's Health" is okay?

Putting aside the issue of Church teachings, condoms, for example, might be considered "health" related if you are talking about preventing the spread of disease. But why just "Women's Health"? Don't condoms prevent men from getting diseases also? Why not "sexual activity health"? Or "sex partners' health"? (After all, some of the items are used by men, and in some cases, by homosexuals.) Or just "sex aids" - okay, they might want to avoid the last word.

Are the folks at this particular store (I don't know if other stores in the chain have similar signs) suggesting that this is only a concern of women? Are they saying the burden for "responsibility" is only on the women? Or are they just trying to find a politically correct way to avoid saying "Sex Supplies"?

I know, some might say I'm reading a lot into a simple sign. My mind works that way. I'm a hack writer and poet.

Anyway, I made my purchases - none from that aisle - and left.

On the expressway I noticed a semi with the name "Covenant Transport" on the back. I wondered if it might be Christian given the name. As I got closer to the truck, I saw sign on the back: "It's not a choice, it's a baby."

Sure sounded Christian to me.

As I passed the truck, I saw on the side of it an outline of of the U.S. with a scroll on it. Another suggestion of faith. So when I got home, I checked the name online and found the company's website. Sure enough, "Covenant Transport, Inc. is a faith-based, truckload carrier ...." they declare.

I don't know anything about the company, but I appreciate the service they provide, using their name and the signs on their trucks to project messages of faith and the sanctity of life.


Blogger Laura said...

"Women's Health" very intersting.
I will be thinking on this.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Barb, sfo said...

That is kind of disappointing. They could use the politically-correct "Family Planning" for those items and save "Women's Health" for monthly necessities and menopause remedies. Birth control has nothing to do with health.

I do shop at Wegmans occasionally, so I will make it my business to contact them about this.

Thanks for pointing this out, Lee.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Barb, sfo said...

Forgot to add, Covenant Transport has had those signs on their trucks for YEARS. Isn't that fabulous?

I should make it my business to contact them and thank them for that, too.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

I went to another store in the chain. There the items were in an aisle marked "Feminine Hygiene."

6:02 AM  

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