Best Promo for Catholic Education This Year

This photo, courtesy of The New York Post, of Justice Sotomayor at the parish school in the Bronx where she was a student.

"After speaking, she danced on stage with the choir of her alma mater, Cardinal Spellman HS. Sotomayor also visited her nearby elementary school, Blessed Sacrament, where children cheered as she entered an assembly to present an award to student David Abreu. 'I think I have a lot more responsibility now,' said the surprised seventh-grader."

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James Martin, SJ

 

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7 years 6 months ago
''Black was from Alabama, not Louisiana!''
 
I stand corrected.  Thank you for the information.
 
I believe Clinton vetoed a bill at the behest of the Teacher's Unions that would have granted vouchers to the children in DC.  It was sponsored by Democrats and blacks in the district and backed by the Republican Congress but failed the smell test of the Teacher's Unions.  It might have worked and they could not have that.  This was an instance to show you the cynicism of the Democrat Party and their eternal quest for social justice.
Beth Cioffoletti
7 years 6 months ago
Danced?  Oh gosh, I just love it when people let loose to the joy of being :-)
Beth Cioffoletti
7 years 6 months ago
Danced?  Oh gosh, I just love it when people let loose to the joy of being :-)
Beth Cioffoletti
7 years 6 months ago
Dunno, Walter.  I went to Catholic schools for 16 years (grade school, high school, college).  It was much more affordable to middle class Catholics back then, and I appreciate the grounding I got in a Catholic way of knowing and living.
 
There are also aspects of this Catholic-only education that strike me as a little strange.  For example, I never knew an Orthodox Jew until I was 23 years old.  I was both suspicious and terribly curious about "other" religions.  Once, at Spring Hill College (Jesuit school in Mobile Alabama), my roommate and I snuck into a storefront revival in downtown Mobile.  The people were speaking in tongues!  I ended up writing a paper about the experience.
 
What concerns me about school vouchers is the murky mixing of religion and state.  Tax dollars go for public education, which means all of us.  And we come from a lot of different religious persuasions (which is a good thing, imo).  What if all the different religions started their own schools and the state gave vouchers to anyone who wanted to attend them?  Vouchers for Jewish schools, vouchers for born agains, vouchers for Muslims, etc.  Who would be left to go to the public schools but the atheists?  And would we end up with a lot of religious tribes, all educated by the State?
7 years 6 months ago
"From everything I know, Judge Sotomayor is an outstanding choice - fair and aware, open and judicious," said Evan Wolfson, head of the national Freedom to Marry organization. "I believe she has the demonstrated commitment to principles of equal protection and inclusion that defines a good nominee to the Supreme Court. In choosing Judge Sotomayor, the first Latino candidate for the Supreme Court, President Obama has made a strong and appealing nomination that should and will receive the supportof those committed to equality for lesbians and gay men.

No surprise.

Vince Killoran
7 years 6 months ago
I, too, have a problem with vouchers.  I'm a product of Catholic schools and love them dearly but our public schools are one of the few remaining civic institutions in which we as citizens invest.  Then there's the issue of separation of Church & State. . .
7 years 6 months ago
"Then there's the issue of separation of Church & State. . ."
 
Please show me 2 things: 1) where these words can be found in the Constitution; and 2) why Government funding cannot be said to encourage the "Free Exercise" of religion.
 
As to the issue of everyone segregating into religious camps for education, please show me how that has happened in Catholic schools, particularly inner-city Catholic schools?
 
It saddens me to see so many sacrifice the common good at the altar of ideological nonsense.  Vouchers work.  If care for the poor is at our heart, no matter our political identification, we should clamor for more and more vouchers!
Beth Cioffoletti
7 years 6 months ago
 "If care for the poor is at our heart, no matter our political identification, we should clamor for more and more vouchers!"
 
How about a LIVING WAGE as well?  (Then maybe vouchers wouldn't be necessary.)
7 years 6 months ago
The separation of church and state was a product of Hugo Black and his hatred for the Catholic Church.  Black was an ex KKK clansman from Louisiana and Catholics were just as much the target of their policies as were blacks. The decision was in 1947 and involved bus transportation for Catholic school children. The decision was written to approve bus transportation but essentially eliminate everything else. This was one way to get back at Catholics who Black believed were getting too much power. This is the origin of Separation of Church and State.
 
It erroneously thought to go back to Jefferson who used the phrase once in a letter but Jefferson had nothing to do with the Constitution and continued to support government financing of religion during his presidency.
 
The whole idea of Separation of Church and State is bad law.  And to show the hypocrisy of the voucher mantra which is an essential part of the secularist anti Christian Democrat Party, look no further than the GI Bill after WWII which let you choose where you wanted to spend the money the government gave you for education based on your military service.  And some spent it to become ministers and rabbis.  Tell me the difference between that and giving vouchers to children to go to a non-atheistic school.  Today you can still get money for any college of your choice by signing up for military service.  And Christmas is a national holiday.
 
Yes, the hypocrisy of it all.

 
7 years 6 months ago
"Black was an ex KKK clansman from Louisiana and Catholics were just as much the target of their policies as were blacks."
 
I love your comments, JR, BUT Black was from Alabama, not Louisiana!  He wouldn't last long in Louisiana!
 
Beth - Vouchers can ensure a good education, THE single most effective means to improving a person's change of earning a wage far in excess of minimum wage.  My point is that we should focus on areas of agreement and effectiveness - vouchers WORK.
7 years 6 months ago
:I believe the separation of Church and State goes back much further than 1947. I read a great book by Sarah Vowell called ''The Wordy Shipmates,'' about the founding of Massachusetts Bay Colony by the Puritans. In it, she describes how Roger Williams (who was eventually expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded Rhode Island) railed against the civil magistrates' ability to punish colonists who did not attend church services or otherwise committed various ''sins.''  Williams was aghast-he believed that such punishment was God's purview, not the civil courts'."
 
Yes, the Constitution prohibits laws PUNISHING people for NOT practicing a religion, BUT is also allows laws encouraging the "Free Exercise" of religion.
 
"Separation of Church & State" is taken from ONE part of a sentence in a letter by James Madison.
Vince Killoran
7 years 6 months ago
 
Do vouchers "work"?  I have never seen any compelling evidence of this.  In any case, what do you mean by "work"? The voucher systems I've studied mostly serve to "top off" the bank accounts of middle class parents making tution payments.
 
Carolyn's right-the history of separation of Church & State originates in Colonial America. It's a great principle, and one that Catholics-given the long history of anti-Catholicism in this country-should celebrate.  As for Jeff's point that "it also allows laws encouraging the 'Free Exercise' of religion," that doesn't mean that tax payer dollars should be used for church-funded educational institutions.
 
"[T]he altar of ideological nonsense" indeed. 
 
 
 
7 years 6 months ago
In New Orleans they WORK by giving low-income African-American kids a chance to succeed and a way OUT of a failed school system set up primarily to entrench the bureaucrats and politicians that pander to them.  I have statistics on my side; you apparently have anecdotes.
 
Again, nothing in the constitution (OR colonial America) supports the bland assertion that "separation" requires no tax dollars to go to low-income families to use as THEY see fit!  I'm happy that Pres. Obama has bucked folks like Mr. Killoran and shown an openness to these types of programs.  He has my respect & support for that.
 
Catholics also SUPPORTED the right and freedom to practice their faith openly.  
7 years 6 months ago
My point about the Hugo Black decision was that this is where the legal precedent on the separation of Church and State started.  My comments about the GI Bill and that Christmas is a national holiday was to show that as a legal precedent, separation of Church and State is bogus.
 
Someone once said ''Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.'' so I believe the idea of differences between Church and State precede Colonial times.
 
Also the comment about taxpayer dollars is a red herring.  Often people are being taxed at extremely high rates and they are paying the taxes so I do not see where a tax refund or a tax credit against one's property taxes or local income taxes is nothing but using one's own taxes for a good purpose and allowing them a choice which current economics has made it prohibitive.  Where I live the per cost for student in the public schools exceeds $20,000 per year and average property taxes are about $10,000 per family and I do not live in a rich community.  It is definitely middle class and one where a high percentage of the people make their living by their hands.  So such situations are tantamount to excluding a Catholic education for those who want it but especially those with lower or moderate incomes.  The local parish closed its school last year and we are in the archdiocese of New York where the above photo was taken.
 
And for an anecdote on the value of their CCD instruction, my wife sang in the choir for Confirmation on Saturday and the Bishop asked the two confirmation groups what were the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  No one could name one and they were printed on the front of the program.
 
Vince Killoran
7 years 6 months ago
Jeff writes that "Catholics also SUPPORTED the right and freedom to practice their faith openly."  Of course they did-but what on earth does this have to do with vouchers?
 
 
The way to deal with a "failed public school system" is to fix it.  They work for most people in this country but I know from my state (PA) that there is a tremendous inequality from district-to-district.  Color-blind conservatives reply with vouchers but they are not the answer.
 
BTW, the promise of charter schools and vouchers has not materialized (the Wolf et al. study is ten years old and has been roundly criticized). It's amazing how "true believers" of an experimental public policy will accept either no evidence of success or very dubious evidence just to keep their scheme going.
 
 
 
Actually, I think Walter identifies an important, fundamental difference of opinion on this blog when he asserts that "The money is their money to begin with. They are individually the public."  I would argue that this is what is tearing this country apart, i.e., the loss of commitment to civic space and the idea that we, as citizens, participate in a republic through community.  I reject Walter's libertarian views.
 
Since my posts are starting to approach Walter's in length, I'll take a break from this and look forward to reading others' views.
 
 
7 years 6 months ago
"The way to deal with a "failed public school system" is to fix it."
 
How many Administrations have "vowed" to fix public education?  What's so wrong with it that it manages to stay broken despite every "fix"?
7 years 6 months ago
I wanted to add that I do not understand how a Roman Catholic, particular one who is a product of Catholic schools, and one who claims to be a Democrat because they stand for poor people, can be opposed to giving modest help to low-income students to seek better schooling and to escape the failed politics and policies that has prevented reforms needed to "fix" public education in this country.  To me, that shouldn;t be a liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, left or right issue.
 

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