Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,232 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Georgetown, Sebelius, and the LA Times: who's stifling debate now?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | May 18, 2012

Are the editors of the Los Angeles Times misinforming their readers intentionally? Or are they really too stupid to make simple distinctions?

In an editorial with the grossly misleading title “Silencing Kathleen Sebelius,” the Times criticizes the Washington archdiocese for finding fault with the school’s decision to honor the HHS Secretary. The editorial makes the preposterous assertion that the archdiocese suggested “students at the Jesuit-affiliated university shouldn't be able to hear her speak at an awards ceremony for its Public Policy Institute.”

Of course Sebelius was not “silenced,” Georgetown students were not required to wear ear plugs, and the archdiocese never made either absurd suggestion. This was never a case of “censorship,” as the Times editorial asserts. A commencement speaker is not brought onto a college campus to enter into debate. The question was whether a woman who has led the drive against religious freedom should be honored by a Catholic institution.

The Los Angeles Times opens this noxious column with the claim that the archdiocese issued its statement in response to pressure from “ultraconservative” Catholics. The use of that pejorative adjective--applied to Catholics who simply believe what the Catholic Church teaches--is a cheap rhetorical trick.

But then the entire editorial is a cheap rhetorical display; the editors completely distort (or is it possible that they completely misunderstand?) the protests against the Sebelius appearance. While claiming to champion open and honest debate, the Times does its editorial utmost to ensure that readers won’t understand the terms of this debate.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($116,671 to go):
$150,000.00 $33,328.98
78% 22%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 19, 2012 3:42 AM ET USA

    It has been a while since I last used the Jerome Biblical Commentary (JBC) and the NJBC, but I recall a very liberal use of the term "ultraconservative" in one (NJBC?) or both of these Catholic publications. I have always wondered why a political term would be so often thrown about in a scholarly Catholic scripture resource.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 18, 2012 11:02 PM ET USA

    This "humor" gets worse and worse! "...in response to pressure from “ultraconservative” Catholics.." Does THAT mean US??? My... I "feel" guilty! Maybe I shouldn't write in anymore?! JP

  • Posted by: Defender - May. 18, 2012 5:37 PM ET USA

    "...misinforming or too stupid. ...misinforming or too stupid." Ah, there's the rub!

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Contentious Spirits, Beware! 21 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6