First, a necessary prefatory remark: I
have 18 years of Catholic education, my working-class parents had 12 years of
Catholic education, and my son attended parochial schools before going to a
Now I can proceed to criticize the
Catholic establishment without being accused of being anti-Catholic.
Let’s start with Georgetown University
and the controversy regarding law student Sandra Fluke and her silly, vacuous,
socialist demand for free contraceptives. A personal anecdote is very germane
to the issue.
When our son was in high school and
trying to decide on what university he would attend, my wife and I accompanied
him on a family trip to the East Coast to visit two universities, one of which
orientation for prospective students and their parents was memorable--and
The presenters and the other parents and
students in attendance reeked of East Coast preppy pretentiousness and
left-liberalism. Not only did they wear J. Crew apparel and drive Land Rovers,
they sat in the audience with that special look that wealthy left-liberals wear
with pride--a look of smugness, sanctimony and staged sensitivity. They
beamed and nodded in agreement as the presenters from Georgetown’s admissions department droned on
about diversity, social justice and other causes du jour instead of curriculum
and academics. As my eyes rolled around in their sockets, and as I sighed,
groaned and mumbled my displeasure, my wife poked me in the ribs with her elbow
and said, “If you say anything out loud, I’ll rip off your lips.”
Later, a Georgetown student ambassador took the group
on a tour of the campus. She was completely clueless about the possibility
that someone in the group might be of a different political persuasion. She
proudly pointed out the townhouse across the street where catsup baron John
Kerry had lived, she drooled with effusiveness as she recited the names of
Democrats who graduated from Georgetown and risen to the top of government,
such as Madeline Albright, and of course she repeated the party line about
diversity and social justice.
Halfway through the tour, our son turned
to us and said, “Let’s get out of here. This isn’t for me.” I was one proud
Moral of the story: Georgetown deserved what it got in Ms. Fluke.
We later attended an almost identical
orientation at another Jesuit university, Santa
Clara, which is on the left coast. We observed the
same pretentiousness, smugness, sanctimony, staged sensitivity, and obsession
with diversity and social justice. Accordingly, our son came to the same smart
conclusion that he had reached at Georgetown.
He now attends a public university that, in spite of the standard leftward tilt
of public universities, has more diversity, especially the socioeconomic and
political varieties of diversity, than the two Jesuit schools.
Also getting what they deserve are
Catholic hospitals, many of which love to accept Medicare and Medicaid money
and are supporters of nationalized medical care/insurance. Instead of lobbying
for enabling legislation to make it easier for them to fulfill their Biblical
mission of helping the poor and healing the sick through charitable giving,
they transferred the mission to the government and are now bristling that the
government is telling them what to do. Shortsighted, they could not see how
the problem of the uninsured could have been solved if churches, charities,
fraternal organizations and other voluntary associations had the regulatory
means to offer group medical plans to their members.
Catholic Charities has an even worse pact
with the devil. According to some estimates, it gets over half of its funding
from the government. As a result, it has made a hard left turn, as I know from
having read insider correspondence that a mole within the organization used to
provide to me. It was like reading correspondence from the Communist Party.
To repent for its sins, the Catholic establishment should go to confession and then say three rosaries as a penance.
Mencken’s Ghost is the nom de plume of an Arizona writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.