MARTHA THOMASES: Doonesbury, Courage, and Limbaugh

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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8 Responses

  1. John Ostrander says:

    Thank you, Martha. I read the Detroit Free Press and they’re running Doonesbury this week — just not this run of strips. I was unaware i was reading either reprints or alternate strips (if such exist) until I read your column. No explanation from the Free Press or any indication they WEREN’T running the correct strips, so far as I know. I’ve now read the current strips online (thank you Internet) and they’re great, powerful strips. Of course, this is the same paper that DROPPED Doonesbury for a few weeks and replaced with some really awful crap that I couldn’t bear reading. maybe it’s time to send them a teensy letter.

  2. Mindy Newell says:

    Limbaugh is a moronic asshole. That said, he is dangerous.

    Incredibly dangerous.

    • Mike Gold says:

      It’s starting to look like Rush might be taking his network down — he’s up against Mike Huckabee (no winner there) and Huckabee’s network started promoting the show HARD. However, Rush has two years left on his contract, so they’re pretty much screwed anyway.

      Which doesn’t bother me one bit. What bothers me is that all this will only add another nail in the coffin of non-sports AM radio.

  3. mightycleric says:

    While it may have been true of earlier in his career (I’m not sure, since I wasn’t alive at that point), I don’t think it that Trudeau is acting with courage with these strips, and that has nothing to do with whether or not he is correct. It is the fact that it takes courage to go against the accepted ideas, not to go along with them. For him, he is getting more recognition out of this, and is supporting an idea that many support.

    Rush would actually be the person who is acting with more courage, as he knew he would get a lot of negative flack for his comments (though with stepping back from them, he isn’t showing as much). Again, that has nothing to do with whether he is correct or not, but how popular the opinion he is presenting is.

    To illustrate that I’m only basing it on popularity, I’ll put it this way. If somebody in Germany speaks out against the Nazi regime of WWII now, they aren’t showing much courage, but if they speak out for it, they are showing more courage. However, in 1942 if somebody in Germany spoke for the Nazi regime, that wouldn’t be courageous, but to speak out against it would be. (I suppose you could also be stating whether or not the newspapers were acting with courage, but I never expect the comics section to be a place to find courage in the newspaper, if it has any courage at all in it.)

    As for the issue with Rush, I must say that I don’t have a problem with contraceptives and such, and I don’t mind companies covering those with insurance policies, whether they pay for it or the insurance company does, but I don’t think that is the bigger issue.

    I believe that the bigger issue is protecting the Catholic Church on something that is a big issue for them. I believe that since it is a religious matter, that they shouldn’t be forced by the government to have to pay, and that if they self-insure they still don’t have to pay, because of religious freedom. I don’t have a problem with a woman still using birth control on her own or through some other insurance, but I don’t think the Catholic Church should be forced to violate religious principles at the hands of the government.

    That being said, while I don’t agree with the law (as I don’t believe there have been any laws that state that women aren’t allowed to use preventative birth control, and I wouldn’t agree with those), I am in full support of the Catholic Church not having to cover the cost of vasectomies as well. I don’t believe that they should have to pay for that, since that should also be a matter of religious conviction, and if the government said that employers had to cover vasectomies, I’d still support the Catholic Church’s right to object to that.

  4. Martha Thomases says:

    @mightycleric: I look forward to a similar defense of businesses run by Jehovah’s Witnesses (that won’t pay for blood transfusions) and businesses run by Christian Scientists (won’t pay for medical treatment of any kind).

    My employer should not be able to determine what my health issues are, nor what my medical needs might be. That’s between me, my doctor, and my conscience. Not yours.

    • mightycleric says:

      I’m not saying that they should be able to determine that. However, I am saying that the government shouldn’t be able to determine what is and isn’t important to their faith. I believe that there should be something that allows for supplemental coverage, perhaps, but not paid for by them.

      Your medical needs are yours, and I don’t deny that. Their requirements of conscience are theirs, though. You say that you don’t want them stepping in on your freedom, but you want the government stepping in on their freedom. What is the difference? I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to get those things covered; I’m just saying they shouldn’t be paid for by the Catholic Church if that goes against their beliefs.

      As for the other two examples you stated, I’m fine with saying they shouldn’t have to pay for those, either. If somebody chooses to work in one of those places, they need to take that into consideration when applying for the job.

      • Martha Thomases says:

        I don’t know where you live, or what kind of work you do, but for most of us, getting a job is hard enough, without our employers determining our moral lives. If the Catholic Church only wants to hire Catholics, then they can demand obedience to their tenets. If they want a larger (and therefore, better, because it allows them to be more selective) pool of candidates for their businesses, then they can abide by the laws of the land or they can give up their tax-free status.

        I see no difference between this and sharia law.

        The way various churches are lobbying for specific politicians is shameful, and reason enough to tax them. But that’s another rant, for another forum.

        • mightycleric says:

          Again, it isn’t the employers determining moral lives, but just not paying something that goes against their morals. As for the jobs thing, that doesn’t really come into play. Jobs have plenty of conditions they put upon employees, and applicants have to choose when applying to a job whether these are things they are willing to accept these or apply somewhere else. Just because there aren’t as many jobs available doesn’t make that less true. In fact, in many ways it makes it more true (based on supply and demand principles).

          It isn’t that if you work at a Catholic Church run organization that you can’t get birth control, it is just that they shouldn’t have to pay for it (which is what I’ve stated from the beginning).

          As for the difference between this a sharia law, that is pretty simple. This simply states that the Catholic Church doesn’t have to pay for something that goes against their conscience, but does not in any way restrict those employed by them from acting in any way outside of work, or paying for it on their own or through some other coverage; sharia law seeks to dictate how one lives their entire lives. That is a very clear difference.