Obama Catholic Schools Flap: Did He Really Call for End of Religious Schools?

By Trumbull, Mark | The Christian Science Monitor, June 22, 2013 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Obama Catholic Schools Flap: Did He Really Call for End of Religious Schools?


Trumbull, Mark, The Christian Science Monitor


Did President Obama just step into political trouble on a new issue, or didn't he?

Some critics say that remarks made by Mr. Obama on a visit to Northern Ireland this week amount to an assault on schools run by religious sects - including the Catholic schools that are prominent in the US as well as in Northern Ireland.

But, at a time when the president is under fire on multiple fronts, he also has defenders on this one - including some within the Roman Catholic Church.

Here's what Obama said in remarks about building and maintaining peace across sectarian lines:

"There are still wounds [in Northern Ireland] that haven't healed, and communities where tensions and mistrust hangs in the air." A little later he added: "If towns remain divided - if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs - if we can't see ourselves in one another, if fear or resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division. It discourages cooperation."

Since he uttered those words in Belfast on June 17, they've spawned resentment and opposition in some quarters - including among some US conservatives and Catholics.

"Catholic education is not the source of 'division' in Northern Ireland, nor are they a source of division anywhere in the world," wrote Brian Burch, president of the group Catholic Vote. "Catholic schools educate children without regard for race, class, sex, origin, or even religious faith. The work of Catholic education is a response to the Gospel call to serve, not divide."

view_extra

The tiff over Obama's words comes as the president has been struggling in public-opinion polls lately against a succession of problems, from controversies involving the Internal Revenue Service and citizen privacy to questions about his leadership on issues like health care reform and the conflict in Syria.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Obama Catholic Schools Flap: Did He Really Call for End of Religious Schools?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?