The bishops are right about free speech – this time
Regarding the Dec. 21 Metro article “Metro’s Christmas bus-ad ban is upheld,” about the Archdiocese of Washington’s failed court appeal to stop the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority from blocking Christmas ads:
I found the bishops’ newfound defense of free speech fascinating, considering that 16 years ago the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops tried to censor our organization, Catholics for Choice, from running WMATA ads against the bishops’ ban on condoms.
At the time, WMATA defended running our ads, arguing they were simply allowing free speech. Ironically, today the same bishops who tried to censor us are now asking WMATA to guarantee their right to free speech. And we agree that the Archdiocese of Washington should be allowed to run its ads. It is ironic that we now find ourselves reaching the same conclusion: Freedom of speech, including freedom of religious expression, is the cornerstone of our democracy and should be guaranteed for all regardless of political persuasion, creed or belief.
I wholeheartedly support the bishops’ newfound interest in defending a real issue of religious freedom, as opposed to their bogus attempts to misuse religious freedom as a pretext to deny women birth-control coverage and ban condoms.
This letter was originally published in The Washington Post.