Congress Bows to Catholics

by Lorna Salzman

American Roman Catholics celebrated today after the U.S. Congress, by a wide majority, passed a bill confirming that life begins at conception and that at birth each baby will now be considered legally nine months old.

Because of the need for conformity and the considerable changes that will have to be made on legal documents such as birth certificates, driving licenses, passports, etc, all Americans alive today will also be considered nine months older than their present birth certificates state.

Some groups celebrated this, most notably liquor stores and high school juniors and seniors in states where the legal drinking age is 18, and some college students in states where the legal age is 21. Beer overflowed at many fraternity houses and one junior, who had been below legal drinking age just one day earlier, said: "I always knew those Catholics were on to a good idea". Another one shouted: Jesus saved us!".

Not everyone was happy at this unexpected turn of events. If the draft returns, millions of teenagers could be called up. Even worse, this will bring millions of people presently not eligible into the social security system and possibly cause it to run short of funds in a matter of months.

Public school teachers and principals were also concerned that they might be getting young children who are not yet completely toilet trained and that serious sanitation problems might arise in the classroom. However, many parents of unruly and difficult children welcomed the news which will take their children off their hands months earlier than they had planned and save them money on babysitters and nannies.

However, the impact will not be felt equally in all states, especially in states requiring hunting licenses. While some states might be getting new hunters that are a bit younger than before, states like Alaska, where teen-agers are often given rifles and shotguns at their communion or bar mitzvah, will not notice the difference.

© 2002 Lorna Salzman. All rights reserved. Material may be quoted with permission.