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"Catholic University" bans pro-abortion speakers, Bishops to Catholic Politicians: Vote Pro Life
Catholic News Agency ^ | Oct. 06, 2004

Posted on 10/07/2004 10:00:11 PM PDT by Coleus

Catholic University bans pro-abortion speakers, protesters claim "too Catholic"

WASHINGTON DC, USA, Oct. 06, 2004 (CNA) - Catholic University authorities have decided to enforce the U.S. bishops' request to deny pro-abortion public figures a platform at Catholic campuses, but some faculty members as well as a group of students are considering this stand "too Catholic."

Three weeks ago, authorities at CU decided to block an invitation to actor Stanley Tucci to speak at a forum on Italian film because of his involvement with abortion rights organizations.

In a memo to faculty members, the university's president, Fr. David M. O'Connell, explained that Tucci, who has lent his support to Planned Parenthood events, carried "moral baggage . . . [that] stands in direct contradiction to the values and principles upon which this institution was founded."

Economics professor Ernest M. Zampelli told the Washington Post that the university's policy is a "watershed event" for a college community that is generally comfortable with the strong influence of the Church.

"This is something that people think goes beyond," he said, "and this is where it should stop."

Some students agreed. Sarah McGrath, a senior and president of the Undergraduate Student Government, told the Washington Post that the university “is digging itself into a hole right now," she said. "My concern is that once things like this start happening and become publicized to this magnitude that our degrees won't be worth as much."

But university officials have said the policy is nothing new. The university always has maintained the right to prohibit speakers whose views run counter to those of the Church, said school spokesman Victor Nakas. He noted that a set of directives issued in July by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops strengthened that existing policy.

In their statement, the bishops prohibited Catholic institutions from giving "awards, honors and platforms" to those who oppose the Church's fundamental positions, particularly that against abortion.

Last week, a group of professors circulated a protest letter, saying that a person should be able to speak based on their artistic competence and accomplishments, regardless of their political positions. They also argued that since "few persons in public life agree wholly with Catholic positions," the bishops' directives could not be applied consistently.

Last year, CU cancelled a bookstore appearance by Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's non-voting delegate in Congress, after some students complained about her pro-abortion stance.

In April, CU rejected a request to sponsor and fund a campus chapter of the NAACP because of the civil rights group's support of abortion.

U.S. Catholics must vote as ‘faithful followers of Christ,’ says Bishop Olmsted


PHOENIX, USA, Oct. 07, 2004 (CNA) - Catholics are called to practice their faith in their everyday lives, including in the political sphere, said Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix in his latest column in the diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Sun.

“Lay people have a particular calling to engage in the political process as a means of promoting the common good,” said the bishop, however adding that this should always be done in a manner consistent with the teachings of the Church.

Referring to last year the Vatican document, titled “Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding Participation of Catholics in Political Life,” the bishop said Catholics can never legitimately support any law that attacks human life.

Many Catholics misunderstand the role of conscience in these life issues and they think conscience means “believing in whatever one wants, without regard to objective truth,” said the bishop.

“They fail to recognize the need to form one’s conscience accurately through prayer and a genuine search for what is right and true, on the basis of objective standards beyond oneself,” he explained.

“While abortion, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide are always evil and never justifiable choices,” the bishop said, other “intrinsically evil attacks on human life” such as cloning and embryonic stem-cell research must not be forgotten.

With regard to same-sex marriage, Bishop Olmsted said: “Government and public officials have an obligation to promote and protect marriage and family life according to the laws of nature and of nature’s Creator.”

“In exercising our political freedoms and responsibilities, let us weigh all the issues, pray for discernment and prepare to vote as loyal American citizens and as faithful followers of Christ,” he concluded.

For Bishop Olmsted’s full text, go to

Amarillo bishop says no Communion to pro-abortion politicians

AMARILLO, USA, Sep. 27, 2004 (CNA) - A Texas bishop has asked Catholics in his diocese to inform him if they know pro-abortion Catholic politicians so that they can be offered pastoral counseling. If, after pastoral counseling, these politicians still support abortion, they would be denied Communion.

"The word Communion means 'in union with,"' said Bishop John W. Yanta of Amarillo said in his column in the diocesan paper, The West Texas Catholic. "And if they've already separated themselves from Jesus and his teachings, then they have no business receiving Communion. It's a travesty. It's a mockery. It's a sacrilege.

“This is a Catholic Church stand,” he continued. “It's a Jesus stand. You can read about it in the Gospel and in I Corinthians."

The bishop said this is a moral stand, not a political one.

People must learn about their faith in church, he said, but they must learn to live their faith outside of it.

Bishop Gracida explains why pro-abortion Catholics must be excommunicated


TEXAS, USA, Oct. 05, 2004 (CNA) - Bishop Rene Henry Gracida,  Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas, in an article sent to Catholic News Agency, has followed up on his recent essay "Denying Holy Communion, A Case Study" responding to criticisms that the procedure he followed to issue an interdiction against a pro-abortion Catholic politician receiving Communion is “outdated,” and he has drawn up a “12-step program” to help bishops discern a course of action.

“Now we have candidates for the Presidency and Congress publicly professing to be practicing Catholics who, although supportive of many of the Church's teachings on social issues, on the most important issue - the inalienable right to life - are diametrically opposed to our Holy Catholic Faith,” writes Bishop Gracida.

“The most important issue facing the world today is the assault on the sanctity of human life,” he says and points out that the Magisterium, especially during this pontificate, “have taught repeatedly that the right to life is the foundation of all other rights in civil society.  The denial of this basic right leads eventually to the denial of all others rights.”

“All other grave social issues,” he points out, “such as war, poverty, health, economic justice, immigration, etc. are of secondary importance and indeed pale in comparison to innocent human life under systematic annihilation.”

Bishop Gracida issued the interdiction in 1994 forbidding a politician from receiving Communion, yet he “felt that limiting Interdiction in the internal forum was important not only for the spiritual well being of the person being interdicted, but also for the spiritual good of the community.”

But, he says  “in 1995 Pope John Paul II concluded that it was urgent to promulgate the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae.  Some 12,000,000 abortions later, it has become crystal clear that the politician who actively engages his political skills to maintain abortion-on-demand and who protects the ongoing genocide by voting for legislation in favor of abortion formally cooperates in the evil of abortion itself.” 

“In reality,” says the bishop, “the distinction between the abortionist and the politician is almost nominal:  One, a murderer, is guilty of directly procuring abortions; the politician, makes it legally possible for the genocide to continue unabated.”

Recognizing the complexity of the situation in the Church and in our society at the present time I should like to help my brother bishops find their way through the thicket of conflicting opinions and proposals for action.  After substantial reflection, I propose a twelve-step program for my brother bishops to help them decisively deal with the grave crisis facing our Church and our Nation.

He recommends twelve steps to help bishops to deal with the complex and grave crisis facing the Church and Nation and to “effectively remedy the crisis in all transparency yet resolute firmness.

The program outlines a specific course of action to be taken by bishops in dealing with publicly pro-abortion Catholics and includes recourse to fraternal and canonical correction and ultimately, if the individual obstinately refuses to recant, excommunication. 

Read Bishop Rene Gracida’s complete article and 12 step program at

Archbishop Burke: voting for pro-abortion candidates cannot be justified


ST. LOUIS, USA, Oct. 04, 2004 (CNA) - Catholics must vote in accordance with the moral teachings of the Church, said Archbishop Raymond Burke in a pastoral letter published last week in the archdiocesan newspaper, the St. Louis Review.

In his letter, Archbishop Burke outlined Church teaching on one’s civic responsibility to choose government leaders “who will best serve the common good."

In "On Our Civic Responsibility for the Common Good," he affirmed his earlier statements about the sinfulness of a Catholic, voting for a politician who advocates abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, cloning and same-sex marriage.

"These elements are so fundamental to the common good that they cannot be subordinated to any other cause, no matter how good," the archbishop wrote.

"There is no element of the common good, no morally good practice, that a candidate may promote and to which a voter may be dedicated, which could justify voting for a candidate who also endorses and supports the deliberate killing of the innocent,” he continued.

Archbishop Burke said he recognizes that often no candidate upholds the moral law in its entirety. In that case, he said, Church teaching says the Catholic voter must choose the candidate who would most limit "the evil of abortion or other intrinsically evil practices."

While voters may be discouraged by the quality of the candidates running in an election, a Catholic has an obligation to vote in order to safeguard the welfare of the community.

A Catholic who does not vote "fails to fulfill his or her moral duty, at least, in the limitation of a grave evil in society," he wrote.

Someone who disregards the teaching of the Church in voting commits a "grave sin" and the matter cannot be taken lightly if the person wants to continue receiving Communion, the archbishop added in an interview with the St. Louis Review Sept. 26.

He said he has heard people say that one can vote for one’s preferred candidate and then go to confession.

“That’s not the case,” he told the newspaper. “We confess sin with sincere repentance. It’s a question of having a change of heart.”

Archbishop Burke told the St. Louis Review that he did not write the letter to try to influence the upcoming vote. “What I’m presenting here is Catholic moral teaching. People should use this to make up their minds, but I’m not telling them for whom to vote."

Read Archbishop Burke's full letter at: 

Canon Law expert says bishops should deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians


WASHINGTON DC, USA, Sep. 29, 2004 (CNA) - Giving a pro-abortion Catholic politician Communion contravenes Canon Law and creates a source of scandal for all believers, said canon law expert Fr. John J. Coughlin, OFM, at a scholarly conference Sept. 16.

The conference, called “Public Witness/Public Scandal: Faith, Politics, and Life Issues in the Catholic Church,” was sponsored by Our Sunday Visitor Foundation and Ave Maria School of Law at the Washington National Press Club.

Fr. Coughlin said according to Canon Law, bishops should deny Communion to pro-abortion politicians or any other Catholic who engages in “manifest grave sin.”

The professor of law at University of Notre Dame Law School and a doctor of law from both the Gregorian University and Harvard Law School addressed the controversy over Catholic politicians who consistently advocate and vote against pro-life positions.

His address, entitled “Canon Law and the Refusal of Holy Communion to Catholic Political Officials,” was recently made public by the Ave Maria School of Law.

Fr. Coughlin provided an analysis of Canon 915 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which states: “Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

He referred to several recent Church documents to explain what constitutes grave sin, since, he admitted, this question “has been answered differently throughout the Church’s history.”

He referred to the 2002 Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, which states that the minister of Holy Communion must refuse the sacrament to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, who have not obtained an annulment.

He cited Pope John Paul II’s clear declaration in Evangelium Vitae that abortion and euthanasia are gravely immoral. Based on this document, Fr. Coughlin said, there is no question that the Church considers abortion and euthanasia to be gravely sinful.

As well, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s Statement of Six Principles “state that abortion and euthanasia have a greater moral weight than other serious moral issues, including ones that involve the taking of human life such as the death penalty and the application of just war theory,” he summarized.

The cardinal also affirms that Communion must be refused to a politician who continues to support abortion or euthanasia, even after being warned by his or her pastor.

“One can not logically profess to believe on a personal level that abortion or euthanasia is the killing of innocent human life, while speaking and acting in public as if the crime constituted some kind of good,” he stated.

Fr. Coughlin addressed the argument that a consequence of refusing Communion to Democratic public officials, whose positions on social justice are closer to the teaching of the Catholic Church, “could have an overall detrimental effect with regard to issues of social justice.”

“Although this kind of overall effect must be given its due in the application of Canon 915,” he said,  “no political or financial reality no matter how pressing can alleviate the duty of a Church official to address the evil of taking innocent human life.”

Canon law serves to protect individuals and the entire ecclesial community, he stated.

“As with any rule of canon law, there can be exceptions,” but they “should not eviscerate the law from its deeper theological meaning,” he said.

Fr. Coughlin wondered “if the rule of Canon 915 is being taken seriously by the bishops in the United States.”

“During the last four decades in the United States, the rule of canon law was often not respected in the handling of sexual abuse cases,” he observed, “and the consequences of the failure are now all too painfully evident.”

Fr. Coughlin’s full remarks can be read at:

Pro-abortion politicians who receive Communion ‘offend’ other Catholics, says bishop


GREENSBURG, USA, Sep. 07, 2004 (CNA) - Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should not receive Communion, but that decision should be left to the politician to make, not to the bishop or priest, said Bishop Lawrence Brandt of Greensburg in a pastoral letter this week.

The recently appointed bishop of this small Pennsylvania diocese wrote the letter, he said, “in an effort to clarify the Catholic Church's teaching as it relates to certain issues which have emerged as a result of this year's election campaigns.”

In the letter, titled “Integrity and the Political Arena,” the bishop wrote that a Catholic politician who has “an established pattern of voting in favor of abortion legislation and an established pattern of public rejection of a core teaching of the Church” is “engaged in public cooperation with a grave moral evil.”

“A pattern of public cooperation in grave evil inevitably calls into extreme question one's worthiness to receive Holy Communion,” he said. “A pattern of public rejection of a core doctrinal holding of the Catholic Church separates one in a fundamental way from the communion of faith, which is the Catholic Church.

“What sense then does receiving the effective sign of that oneness in a communion of faith, which is the Eucharist, have in such a situation? None, because it is a contradiction in terms,” the bishop said frankly.

“The Eucharist is aptly called Holy Communion because, of its nature, it reflects a communion or unity of belief on the part of those receiving it,” he continued.

Bishop Brandt said pro-abortion politicians who receive Communion bear “false witness to the Catholic faith” and offend other “informed Catholics” who know that their actions in support of abortion legislation are contrary to the Church’s 2,000-year-old teaching on the sanctity of human life.

“To receive Holy Communion under these circumstances is not only offensive to committed Catholics, but it is also offensive to pro-life Catholic public officials who often risk their public careers to fight for the pro-life cause,” he said. “It is also offensive to those Catholic public officials who voluntarily refrain from receiving the Eucharist because of their recognition of their compromised status.”

However, the bishop said the decision about whether a pro-abortion politician can receive Communion should be left up to the politician to make, based on his or her conscience.

“I think the decision about the reception of Holy Communion should be put where it belongs – on the person contemplating receiving Holy Communion. It should not be imposed on the bishop, on the priest, on the deacon, nor on the Eucharistic minister. That is ‘passing the buck!’” he stated.

While the decision is ultimately up to the individual, the bishop urged that pro-abortion Catholic politicians who continue to receive Communion “should be challenged to take ownership of the consequences of a lack of integrity by publicly acknowledging that what they do contradicts who they say they are,” he said.

The bishop also spoke in favor of the U.S. bishops’ June decision that discourages Catholic organizations and institutions from honoring those Catholics whose public actions are in defiance of the fundamental tenets of Catholic faith by giving them awards or honors.

The bishop added that these public officials should also refrain from presenting themselves as candidates for lector, extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, as godparents at baptism or sponsors at confirmation.

Read the full Pastoral Letter at:

Denying Holy Communion - A Case History

Catholics in Political Life

Vatican Cardinal says promoters of abortion have no place in the Church

Abortion is only proportionate to itself, Ratzinger Priests for Life director clarifies Ratzinger memo

Pro-abortion Giuliani honored by Catholic hospital group, gets trauma center named after him

Man criticizes bishop for stance on Communion for pro-abortion politicians

American Life League greets Southern bishops for denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians

Newark archbishop gives guidelines to Catholic voters

Marriage is only between a man and a woman, Pope says to Canadians

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abortionlist; academialist; bernardin; bishopgracida; catholiccolleges; catholiclist; catholicpoliticians; catholicuniversities; catholicvote; henrygracida; prolife; votecatholic
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1 posted on 10/07/2004 10:00:11 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: Coleus

Universities banning that with which one disagrees is the road to intellectual mediocrity. One gets toughened by facing one's interlocutor. Absent that, one gets rather lazy and flaccid. JMO.

2 posted on 10/07/2004 10:17:16 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Torie
That's what the liberal catholic professors and colleges say, this university is finally following what the Pope dictates.

Ex Corde Ecclesiae

Ex Corde EcclesiaeThe Application to the United States

(Executive Summary)  Culture of Death on Catholic Campuses: A Five-Year Review

(Full Report)  Culture of Death on Catholic Campuses: A Five-Year Review

Who Is Catholic? New conservative colleges

Veritatis Splendor

116. Bishops are never relieved of their own personal obligations. It falls to them, in communion with the Holy See, both to grant the title "Catholic" to Church-related schools, universities, health-care facilities and counseling services, and, in cases of a serious failure to live up to that title, to take it away.

3 posted on 10/07/2004 10:31:52 PM PDT by Coleus ( Pres. Bush will win!)
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To: Coleus
I chose a university that never banned anybody from speaking, and as to those that tried to disrupt, they were bounced, aeo instante. The idea of protecting students from anything was deemed repulsive, except through an attempt to train them to rigorously inquire, reason and parse, and not get deflected by cant and spin. I would find your shining city on a hill an intellectual strait jacket I suspect.
4 posted on 10/07/2004 10:37:00 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Coleus; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

5 posted on 10/07/2004 10:44:01 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Torie

But Tucci wasn't coming to debate abortion. He was coming to talk about films. The purpose of banning him is NOT to make sure the students don't know what the pro-abortion people think; it is to prevent the scandal of acting as though pro-abortion people are respectable citizens. When a liberal university gives an honorary degree to David Duke, I will consider whether a Catholic university should give an honorary degree to Ted Kennedy. (Although Kennedy is immeasurably more evil.)

6 posted on 10/07/2004 10:57:39 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan
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To: Arthur McGowan

Good point, and it makes it even more execrable. Is the place going to ban the best and brightest speaking in say the field of physics or foreign policy because of their views on abortion? Crazy.

7 posted on 10/07/2004 11:04:58 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Torie
"My concern is that once things like this start happening and become publicized to this magnitude that our degrees won't be worth as much."

So young lady, that justifies selling your soul to the Devil?

8 posted on 10/07/2004 11:34:20 PM PDT by pray4liberty (Pray for Our Nation
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To: Torie
I chose a university

An agnostic university, or a Catholic University?

9 posted on 10/07/2004 11:40:13 PM PDT by Kryptonite
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To: Coleus
"My concern is that once things like this start happening and become publicized to this magnitude that our degrees won't be worth as much."

Where to begin?

Satan has already declared war against the unborn. 40 million babies have been slaughtered in their mothers' wombs since 1973. It's time we started acting like there's a war on.

10 posted on 10/08/2004 4:15:23 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Torie
The idea of protecting students from anything was deemed repulsive

You miss the point entirely. It is immoral for a Catholic (or any) institution to provide aid and comfort to those who advocate murder. There is no reasoning with evil. There is no common ground. There is only the fight against it.

11 posted on 10/08/2004 4:17:50 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Coleus

Good for them. I teach at a Catholic U. and they are having a major pro-homosexual speaker sometime this year. It's outrageous. From the standpoint of truth, it's like inviting a pro-flat-earth speaker just to have "diversity."

12 posted on 10/08/2004 4:24:20 AM PDT by LS
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To: Torie

Disagree. Christian Universities did just fine---were the leading lights in the Middle Ages---following Christian doctrines. Encouraging Satanism speakers and pro-homosexual speakers is utterly ridiculous at a Christian school.

13 posted on 10/08/2004 4:25:31 AM PDT by LS
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To: Torie

By the way, many of the degrees aren't worth much anyway. I place little stock in merely having a "college degree." I know far too many graduates!

14 posted on 10/08/2004 4:26:38 AM PDT by LS
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To: LS
I place little stock in merely having a "college degree." I know far too many graduates!

This frustrates me to no end.

I say to people, "You went to college. Were you impressed?"

"No, but you have to have a degree today to get a job."

This is the near-universal response. So how is this employment system based on credentialism perpetuated?

15 posted on 10/08/2004 4:46:32 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Torie
Unfortunately, most colleges and universities share your view of welcoming anyone and anybody as long as they're not conservative and not religious. They wouldn't want to offset those thoughts they have ingrained in thee moldable skulls.

An unfortunate example of this is Notre Dame...which hasn't been a Catholic school for ages; rather it has become an institution that welcomes all just so long as they spew the abortion or anti-religious propaganda.

As in public schools, the homosexuals have a willing stage from which to express their agenda and actually recruit new members.

Your shining city on a hill doesn't shine and conservative students must wear your suspected intellectual strait jacket.

16 posted on 10/08/2004 5:12:12 AM PDT by JesseHousman (Execute Mumia Abu-Jamal)
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To: Coleus needs your help.
Stop in. Read us. Join us. Now is the time to step up and support what you know is right.

17 posted on 10/08/2004 5:16:53 AM PDT by jmaroneps37 ( Kerry's not "one of us": needs your help.)
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To: Torie

There are two parts to this response.

First, one who wishes to learn the opposition's viewpoint need only read CNNABCNBCCBS, or step across the campus boundaries to visit Planned Parenthood's offices. FWIW, Thomas Aquinas always used the arguments of the Church's opponents, and then dismantled them. It's not hard to learn what the opponents have to say.

Secondly, it's one thing to allow a forum for discussion; it's another thing entirely to PAY someone to show up and slap the Faith around.

18 posted on 10/08/2004 5:19:16 AM PDT by ninenot (Minister of Membership, TomasTorquemadaGentlemen'sClub)
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To: Aquinasfan

It is a lie, too. You DON'T need a college degree to "get a job," especially if you create your own. The largest class of millionaires in this country are self-employed who started their own companies. Something like 25% of all millionaires never went to college---10% never went to high school.

19 posted on 10/08/2004 5:38:11 AM PDT by LS
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To: LS
It is a lie, too. You DON'T need a college degree to "get a job," especially if you create your own. The largest class of millionaires in this country are self-employed who started their own companies. Something like 25% of all millionaires never went to college---10% never went to high school.

Great point. Dell, Gates and Jobs are prime examples. But some professions are impossible to enter without credentials, unfortunately.

Most college degrees are worth at least the price of the paper they're printed on.

20 posted on 10/08/2004 5:43:19 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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