Friday, July 22, 2005


Not mine, but someone else's.

Even though I don't exactly consider myself Catholic anymore (I think), I still read the Pittsburgh Catholic, mainly because I sometimes see people I know in it. I also read the columns, because sometimes they really are interesting.

Today I read a column by Robert Lockwood, who is the general manager of the paper. Now, I've heard him speak before, and I know he tends to see anti-Catholic consipiricies (did I spell that right?) around every corner, and in every piece of legislation to wind it's way through Congress. But this is ridiculous.

In this article, he is comparing oranges to bananas - they aren't even the same shape! Funding and assistance to non-public schools has nothing to do with the display of religious symbols on government owned property.

To be honest, I don't think the government should provide aid to non-public schools. In the vast majority of cases, non-public schools are little more than a status symbol to the parents who send their children there. It's an excuse to turn a blind eye to the fact that our public schools are failing. When the people with money and power don't have to care whether or not their children will receive a quality eduction in a public school, they don't care whether any child does. It isn't just.

Now, I don't have issue with the public school district using their buses for non-public school students, as long as it is done across the board (in Louisiana, only Catholic schools can use public school buses, none of the others can). And I don't have a problem with non-public school students receiving remedial aid from something like an intermediate unit (as they do in Pennsylvania). But funding for actual instruction? Tuition vouchers? Not so much.

And again, I don't understand the big deal with displaying the Ten Commandments on the grounds of county courthouses. These were not only religious law to the ancient Hebrews, but civil law as well. In addition, they frankly form the basis for much of the civil law in the western world. It isn't a big deal for them to be there.

But to suggest that the court orders that they be removed are anti-Catholic are ridiculous. In fact, the vast majority of people arguing against their removal are not Catholic, but are fundamentalists and memebers of the religious right. I bet if you interviewed the average "Catholic-on-the-street," the majority wouldn't have an opinion one way or another.

Sorry about the rant. I don't do it often, but I had to get it off my chest.

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