Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Pope Would Like to Land!

Down in Harris County, TX (home to Houston, and next door to my own Galveston County), one of the commissioners, Steve Radack, has been getting a bit of flak lately from the ACLU for deciding to name a park "John Paul's Landing". Since he himself is Catholic, they feel that he is using his position to promote his own religion. In the Sunday edition of the Houston Chronicle, he gave a pretty good response (Unfortunately, I am unable to link to the source, so just trust the Eagle Scout turned Jesuit, and all will be well):
I have named two other parks for local Catholic leaders. There was no controversy then. There was no controversy when I named a park for the Steins, a local Jewish family that has contributed to our community. In 1996, when we placed a plaque along the Brays Bayou hike and bike trail honoring slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, there was no outcry.

If the test being used by critics in this situation were applied on a proader scale, there would be no streets, parks, or schools named for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

There are cities and streets named for saints. Should we change them?

The legacy of Pope John Paul II should be remembered. There's nothing wrong with doing that at a public park. His name is going there not because he was a great Catholic, though he was. It will be there because he was a great man and he stood for great things.

And even though political correctness would have us forget such giants or belittle their faith, we must not forget them. Our leaders shoudn't let us cast aside their legacies.

Before the end of my term, I anticipate it will be necessary for me to change the name of the park to Saint John Paul's Landing.
My question: why can't more Catholic politicians make promises like that?

+Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam+

"It is a very sad thing that nowadays, there is so little useless information."
-Oscar Wilde


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