Why I Read the Register

Four items in the June 5 edition of National Catholic Register that you won't find anywhere else.

1. Continuing coverage of the abortion-breast cancer link, in the form of a profile of Dr. Joel Brind's continuing efforts to expose the cover-up of this linkage (More than a decade ago, RC2 worked for the group that helped Dr. Brind first publicize this story. She feels happy to see an old friend in the paper, but more than a little sad that people still aren't paying much attention).

2. Coverage of a bold proposal from pro-life Democrats taking advantage of recent comments from Sen. Clinton and Howard Dean to challenge them to put their money where their mouths are. (This isn't the place for the lecture on why you can't really be a pro-life Dem. It's still an important political story. Who else covered it?)

3. A great story --part of an investigative series on catechetical teaching in large dioceses-- from the Archdiocese of New Orleans. You know what the number one key to a great school is? A principal who roams the building and actually knows what is going on in the school. Similarly, a great bishop roams his diocese. In New Orleans the chancery office didn't just pass along guidelines for appropriate catechesis and lists of appropriate texts; the bishop is systematically visiting the schools to see what's happening. (Cheers to Archbishop Alfred Hughes).

4. An absolutely splendid column from Maggie Gallagher defending abstinence --done in the form of a letter to her teenage son. She begins not with a moral argument, but with a logical one. "Every time you make love, you could be making your first-born child." Because of contraceptive failure, according to the National Survey of Family Growth, "the typical woman who uses reversible methods of contraception continuously from her 15th to her 45th birthday will experience 1.8 contraceptive failures."

Inarguably, therefore, she tells her son: "The fate of your first child will lie in the hands of this woman to whom you give the perhaps unwelcome gift of your seed. Afterwards, our society gives you no say in what happens next: whether she kills your baby, or bears it away from you, or asks for your help raising it in a quasi-family, one where love, money, sexual attachments, and parenting are split up among multiple people and households. If you are lucky perhaps she will secretly long for you to propose marriage. But you lose control. "

Great stuff, but alas for you, you have to subscribe to get it and all the other things that are cool about the Register.