unoriginal errors

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 17, 2006

When pro-life activists in Boston picketed a fundraiser at which Catholic Charities honored pro-abortion Mayor Tom Menino, Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara was scornful of the "zealots" involved. She said:

These folks do not just miss the Latin Mass; they miss Cardinal Bernard Law.
Do they really? At first glance you might wonder why the demonstrators' views regarding the Latin Mass and the former archbishop have any relevance at all here. But then you realize that McNamara is painting with a very broad brush. She continues:
There's Bill Cotter, pining for the good old days when Law would allow Operation Rescue to use Catholic churches as staging areas for illegal blockades of abortion clinics.
Now that really is interesting. You see, Cardinal Law forbade Operation Rescue to use Catholic churches as staging areas for blockades.

Here McNamara is guilty of an elementary logical error. She assumes that since she doesn't like Operation Rescue, and she doesn't like Cardinal Law, it must therefore follow that Operation Rescue and Cardinal Law were close allies. Not so. Readers of the Boston Globe might recall that Cardinal Law eventually came out against prayers outside abortion clinics, to say nothing of blockades.

Evidently Eileen McNamara doesn't read her own newspaper too carefully. But some people do. In his own regulary propaganda column, Father Richard McBrien also wrote about the demonstration in Boston. His effort included this paragraph:

These ultra-conservative activists, for whom abortion is the only moral and political issue that counts, not only miss the Latin Mass but also the former archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, who allowed Operation Rescue, a militant anti-abortion organization, to use Catholic churches as staging areas of illegal blockades of abortion clinics.

Sounds more than a bit familiar, doesn't it? Striking how Father McBrien picks up not only McNamara's language, but even her errors, and makes them his own.

(Tip to Dom for being the first to blog the similarities between the 2 columns.)

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