The H-Word From Harrisburg

More from the Pope Benedict School of Public Relations, Harrisburg PA bishop Joseph McFadden:

In totalitarian governments, they would love our system. This is what Hitler and Mussolini and all those tried to establish: a monolith so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things.

Some words are way overused when public people sputter and grasp for a metaphor. I think it would be a good thing for bishops and others to just put away the H-word, the M-word, and the S-word.

If they have to get across a point about something they really dislike, let me suggest other names, perhaps from the world of sports: Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys, George Steinbrenner and the Yankees. Guys like that. Who knows? It might inspire a more manly church.

Meanwhile, when at a loss for words, maybe there’s something to keeping them lost.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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11 Responses to The H-Word From Harrisburg

  1. John Drake says:

    So you are suggesting that Pope Benedict uses such inflammatory language? Care to cite an example?

  2. Todd says:

    “Such,” no. Similar blunders with the press, certainly.

    Are you suggesting that Bishop McFadden misspoke here?

  3. David D. says:

    This whole issue is actually a softball for the bishops since the HHS reg is so obviously indefensible.

    Can’t figure out BO’s angle on this one. It’s not as if he needed to bolster his bona fides with PP, NARAL and others of that ilk. If anything, it seems that BO is putting the middle of the road and even left leaning Christian voter in a very uncomfortable position. It’s one thing to indulge the fiction that abortion can only be limited by the individual conscience and quite another to accept the notion that a religious institution can be compelled/coerced to subsidize/perform abortions.

    • Jimmy Mac says:

      This reg is only indefensible in the eyes of a very few. Come November this issues will have absolutely no cachet except with those voters who wouldn’t vote for the President (he’s that, you know, not “BO”) if he were the only candidate.

      In the general milieu outside of a few blogsites, this has been a total non-issue. 98% of Catholic women use or have used contraceptives of some kind. Who knows how many men do, including the permanency of vacectomy?

      The argument has been made that some bishops will drop health insurance rather than live up to this mandate. If they do so they will need to raise salaries and wages accordingly. That increased money will most likely go to purchase the things that bishops don’t want purchased with “their check.”

      Go figure.

    • Todd says:

      Agreed, in large part. I suspect the courts will weigh in and solve the whole thing, not unlike the GOP burnishing their bona fides with so-called partial birth abortion legislation which has also had a hard time emerging from the judiciary intact.

      The president’s position on Gitmo, eternal detention, and the like are also mystifying to me. Though there, if he’s spooked by something he knows that the public doesn’t know, maybe I could appreciate his stance, even if I would still likely disagree with it.

      Regarding school vouchers, though, it’s a tough issue. The feds subsidize college studies at religious schools through grants and loans. I think a good case can be made on either side of the issue of pre-college assistance. Unfortunately for Bishop McFadden, he chose possibly the worst way to make his case.

      • M.Z. says:

        I’m doubtful on a court intervention. The case law with regard to Social Security suggests that religion exemptions on benefits are to be interpreted narrowly.

      • Liam says:

        The president’s stance on executive authority is appalling, and demonstrates how deeply entrenched the theories of executive power and privilege have become. I am not a libertarian, but I’ve been glad to have Ron Paul’s voice in the mix on those matters.

    • Liam says:

      Except that these regs are not premised on getting government money.

      I fully expect Catholic agencies will not comply, and that hospitals will be shuttered if the Administration tries to call their bluff.

  4. Todd says:

    To be clear, all, Bishop McFadden is not talking about HHS, but public schools. Nice how far the rhetoric has gone …

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