By Senior producer
msnbc.com
updated 4/7/2005 11:34:20 AM ET 2005-04-07T15:34:20

5 p.m. ET

The issue of birth control in the Catholic Church has long been a source of blue humor, from the stereotypical family with ten kids to Monty Python's anthem "Every Sperm Is Sacred."

The traditional teaching held up with few valid opposing arguments for centuries.  Sex is for married couples and marriage is for procreation, so why would you need birth control?  It isn't much fun, but you can't really argue with that.

But in this time of AIDS and overpopulation, the teachings on birth control not only seem like a bore, they might be dangerous. Today, we take on this issue in true Connected style.

And also this afternoon, Florida lawmakers have voted 94-20 in favor of a bill that would allow citizens to kill someone they felt was threatening their lives.  Basically, if a sketchy looking fellow started to mess with you, fire away.  Seems like an odd law to come out of the state that just a week ago endured the struggle for Terri Schiavo's life.  What does this law mean for average citizens, and is it consistent with views on the sanctity of life?  Self defense is one thing.  We'll discuss whether or not this goes too far.

Send us your thoughts, and of course you can email at maciulis@msnbc.com.

12 p.m. ET

I have a brand new e-mail address that was set up for the purpose of garnering your fabulous responses to my blog, and it wasn't up for three minutes when my first e-mail arrived.  It was an ad for Cialis.

Shortly after I received a second e-mail.  Apparently I had been approved for a low fixed rate mortgage on a home I don't own.

Please explain to me how it's possible that a spam ad has defiled a perfectly virginal email address.  Now, if I had gone Internet shopping or searching for porn it would make sense.  I get how these marketing companies find your address.  But it has never been used.  Interesting, isn't it?

I also think it is interesting that Bob Barr and the ACLU are on the same side of the Patriot Act debate.  It's like Freaky Friday in Washington.  Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Rick Santorum partnered on a television decency initiative, former justice department hawk Bruce Fein opposed Congressional intervention in the Schiavo case, and now we've got the NRA saying the Bush administration has gone too far.  These are true signs of the Apocalypse.

We'll debate the Patriot Act today.  If the country stays safe from terror, does it matter that a few rights get trampled?  Many people feel it does, on both sides of the aisle.

Also today, a look at gays in the Catholic Church.  The priest abuse scandals that rocked the American church over the last couple of years have raised issues about sexuality in the clergy and frank conversations about celibacy and homosexuality.  We'll be joined by a nun who was censured by the Vatican for her views on gays and lesbians as well as a priest who thinks that gays should remain chaste and celibate.

And, introducing my new e-mail address.  You can send your thoughts to maciulis@msnbc.com.

We're keeping you connected.

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