In a lead editorial on Monday, August 2, the Washington Post called Catholic League criticism of Dr. Joycelyn Elders “right.”
The editorial dismissed opposition to Elders because of her stands on “sex education, abortion and contraception.” But when it came to the League’s criticism of Elders as anti-Catholic, the Post acknowledged there was a problem:
Over the years, Dr. Elders, as a state official, has given as well as got in controversies about her positions and her manner of advocacy. But she has a different charge as the nation’s highest ranking public health official. The federal post can be used to spur a national response to critical public health problems. It is not, however, a stage from which a surgeon general is free to put down, put off or trash segments of the American public with whom he or she disagrees. We have in mind the broadside that Dr. Elders leveled against the Catholic Church during a pro-choice rally in Little Rock last year. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights said it smacked of ignorance or malice and that it was “a rank distortion of history to say that the Catholic Church was ‘silent’ or did ‘nothing’ about past instances of societal injustice.” The League was right. With all her professional accomplishments, that aspect of Dr. Elders‘ approach to public discourse is troubling.