Editor O'Rourke's lengthy attempt to justify publishing Thursday's cartoon illustrates two points:
1) Never get into a debate with someone who buys ink by the barrel.
2) He still doesn't get it. The Catholic Church as an institution is not above reproach by the media. However, it is still wrong to print a clearly erroneous cartoon.
O'Rourke admits his decision was contrary to the other Dispatch staff that saw the cartoon. He should have listened. An apology takes less ink than a long attempt to explain.
A hateful cartoon
I appreciated Associate Editor O'Rourke's admission that pedophilia is not a Catholic Church problem. One would think it was given the extraordinary media coverage devoted to covering every pedophile priest ad nauseum before, during and after their trials (sometimes for years).
Perhaps this is one of the reasons that good and faithful Catholics are touchy about the subject, particularly when it is coupled with a backhanded slap that insinuates that the Church treats women as
second-class citizens and with less mercy than they treat pedophile priests. As for the Church being "strong enough" to take these types of attacks, I have no doubt that it is. Just don't expect Catholics to swallow that hateful cartoons like the one that appeared in Thursday's paper are anything more than plain, old-fashioned Catholic baiting. The fact that Mr. O'Rourke is an "ex-Catholic" does not give him any more right to engage in such despicable behavior than if he were a cradle atheist. I hope he will consider that when he is making future editorial decisions.
A student's view
As a student of the Brainerd public schools for the last 13 years I highly encourage voters to accept the $59.9 million Bond Referendum for Brainerd schools. I have attended four Brainerd schools and I find it very easy to understand why the school board is taking the action it has. I have experienced cramped lunchrooms, outdated technology including snail speed Internet access, and I have dodged buckets that catch water from a leaky roof in the hallways. There is clearly a need for change in these buildings. It is amazing that they have lasted as long as they have. From what I have read in various sources, the increase in taxes is very minimal. The school board and many other people have been working for three years to get this plan for the schools into action. They have taken into careful consideration the needs and views of many citizens. My hope is that voters today will be able to sacrifice some extra money in the coming years in order to keep the future voters in good hands.
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