Letters: Bishops, Jobs, Clancy
MICHELE NORRIS, host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.
ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
I'm Robert Siegel.
And it's time now for your letters. Last week, we brought you a story about the political influence of American bishops who were selected by the previous pope, John Paul II. As NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reported, several bishops have been urging legislators to take positions on issues like health care and abortion that are in line with the Catholic Church.
NORRIS: Well, we received a lot of letters about that story. Gary St. Lawrence(ph) of Peoria, Arizona summed up much of what we heard. He writes this: I was disappointed that Barbara Bradley Hagerty chose to portray only one side of the political implications of Catholic bishops' moral outrage regarding abortion in the health care bill.
Apparently the Catholic Church has forgotten that the exempt part of their tax-exempt status is a two-way street: exempt from taxation, but also exempt from say in the government's operations. The church is charged with governing spiritual and moral behavior through God's law. Congress is charged with governing legal behavior, man's law. And as Thomas Jefferson insisted in 1802, a wall of separation is not only prudent, but necessary.
SIEGEL: On Thursday's program, we also spoke with NPR's Scott Horsley about President Obama's job summit. In describing who was attending the summit, Scott referred to union leaders as union bosses.
NORRIS: Well, that term irked John Greenbaum(ph) of Rochester, New York. He writes: I don't understand why Scott Horsley can't refer to labor leaders as labor leaders, rather than using the derogatory term, union bosses. They aren't bosses. They are democratically elected leaders. On the other hand, Horsley uses the phrase CEOs from big companies in referring to the, well, corporate bosses. Wouldn't the journalistic principle be to use the term preferred by the person you are talking about? It's a common courtesy that shows respect.
SIEGEL: And finally, we received several thank-you notes for our remembrance of Irish folk musician Liam Clancy. He died on Friday at a hospital in County Cork in Ireland.
Dan Siroca(ph) of Greensboro, North Carolina, writes this: I feared when your story began that you would say a few words, play a snippet and move on. Instead, you provided a thoughtful farewell, satisfying to us Irish-Americans who grew up with the Clancy Brothers perpetually singing from our turntables and hopefully intriguing to those who are unfamiliar with the force and joy of the Clancy Brothers.
(Soundbite of song, "Parting Glass")
THE CLANCY BROTHERS (Musicians): (Singing) Good night and joy be with you all.
NORRIS: Thank you for writing to us. And please continue to send us your thoughts. Visit npr.org and click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.
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