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Sunday, June 19, 2011
MRC: Requiring Catholic Colleges To Follow Labor Law = 'Attack'
Topic: Media Research Center

The federal government is attacking Catholic colleges! The Media Research Center says it, so it must be true!

Paul Wilson provides the shocking details ina June 15 MRC Culture & Media Institute article headlined "Media Ignore Labor Attacks on Catholic Colleges," asserting that the federal government is leading an "assault on religious freedom."

And how are the feds conducting this dastardly attack, you ask? Is it oppression? Arrests? Enhanced interrogation?

Um, not exactly. The NLRB is merely ruling that professors at Catholic schools have the right to form labor unions.

That, of course, is not the way Wilson portrays it. Rather, he asserts that the NLRB ruled that the two Catholic schools in question "lacked enough of a religious character to be exempt from provisions of federal labor law," meaning that the schools were "forced by the NLRB to recognize an adjunct faculty union."

What Wilson doesn't tell you, however, is the reasoning behind the NLRB's rulings. For instance, in the case of Manhattan College, the NLRB noted that the school receives no significant financial assistance from the Catholic Church or the Catholic sect it's affiliated with, that the school has declared itself to be "strikingly different from that of parochial schools and Catholic high schools where indoctrination in the faith and insistence on religious observance is seen as part of their mission," and that it asserts that its has "no intention" of imposing "Church affiliation and religious observance as a condition for hiring or admission, to set quotas based on religious affiliation, to require loyalty oaths, attendance at religious services, or courses in Catholic theology."

Similarly, in the case of Wilson's other example, Xavier University, the NLRB noted that the school's articles of incorporation "does not contain any reference to religion, God, Catholicism, Sisters of Mercy, or CMHE; instead it speaks only to the purpose of education," that the school "does not investigate the religious beliefs of its students, faculty, or trustees," and that it "has no requirement for faculty, including adjuncts, to espouse or emphasize Catholicism in their teachings or imbue students with the tenets of the Catholic faith."

The real question here is why these institutions are trying to hide behind their religious affiliations to apparently mistreat their faculty members  to the point that they feel they must form a union. Instead, Wilson tries to portray this as a religious freedom issue. How is mistreating your employees an issue of religious freedom? It's almost as silly as that nutrition "ministry" WorldNetDaily loves so much that's crying religious discrimination when the feds want it to prove its claims that its nutritional supplements cure cancer.

So, no, the NLRB is not attacking Catholic colleges; it's merely ordering them to recognize faculty unions. Wilson never explains why that's a bad thing.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 PM EDT

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