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By Mark Azzara

Dear Friend,

This will be a very brief note. I recently got an email from Yahoo offering readers 50 one-line jokes to brighten their day. I laughed at several of them and appreciated the effort.

Then I got an email from The New York Times alerting me to the stories that were to be included in its latest magazine. Among them: “How to have sex in a canoe.”

That elicited the biggest laugh of all from me – until I clicked on the article and discovered that it was just as billed, a guide on how to do it.

When a newspaper of The Times’ stature publishes stuff like this it’s small wonder that its value in the eyes of readers declines. Of all the things The New York Times should be writing about with all due seriousness, this should be the absolute last thing on its list.

Ah, lighten up, Azzara! How I wish I could.

If this was just a one-off mistake, lapse or example of bad news judgment I would be happy to laugh and turn the page. But it’s not. It’s part of a trend, there and elsewhere (whether intentional or not, I don’t know) that slowly, innocuously undermines our moral standards by treating them as if they no longer apply. And at some point you have to say, “Enough!”

So I’ll say it. ENOUGH!

All God’s blessings – Mark

Mark Azzara

About Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara spent 45 years in print journalism, most of them with the Waterbury Republican in Connecticut, where he was a features writer with a special focus on religion at the time of his retirement. He also worked for newspapers in New Haven and Danbury, Conn. At the latter paper, while sports editor, he won a national first-place writing award on college baseball. Azzara also has served as the only admissions recruiter for a small Catholic college in Connecticut and wrote a self-published book on spirituality, "And So Are You." He is active in his church and facilitates two Christian study groups for men. Azzara grew up in southern California, graduating from Cal State Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.

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