Catalyst October Issue 2008
Score one for Catholic autonomy and common sense. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten recently ruled that a Catholic school from Wichita, Kansas had the right to require all its students to speak English. The rule was instituted to protect students from being harassed by those who were selectively speaking Spanish; many of the teachers were at a loss to understand what was happening.
Just before the ruling came down, Bill Donohue discussed this issue with CNN’s Lou Dobbs on TV. Both were uniformly opposed to having the courts interfere with the right of a Catholic school to decide its own strictures.
Donohue took it further. Two days earlier, he told Dobbs, he had witnessed a hit-and-run accident on Long Island. Donohue got the license plate number of the guilty woman driver and made sure the police and an ambulance got to the crime scene immediately. He said he was facilitated in this process because the Latino woman who was hit could speak English. Had she not been able to do so, her own condition would have been jeopardized.
The larger issue, of course, is the right of Catholic institutions to determine their own rules and regulations without government sitting in judgment. So not only did English-only prevail, so did justice.