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Move On Michigan

MoveOn.org, net neutrality, and the Michigan Catholic Conference: an exchange. Plus: Saddam's final act. And more.

1.3.07

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MOVE ON MICHIGAN
Re: The Washington Prowler's "Holy Neutrality" item in Blue Republicans:

Your January 2 piece "Holy Neutrality" concerning the Michigan Catholic Conference's interest in net neutrality legislation could not have been more erroneous. How bizarre that you report the Conference became interested in the legislation after a quid pro quo arrangement with MoveOn.org, an organization with which the Michigan Catholic Conference has never collaborated in its 44-year history. Why MoveOn.org was even cited as a source for the piece is puzzling, considering the group had no relevance in recent attempts to enact neutrality provisions in Michigan.

Let your readers know the truth: net neutrality is an important piece of legislation that helps to ensure media conglomerates are prohibited from stifling Internet-based religious speech for the sake of profit. We all agree, businesses should exist to make a profit; but in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, distortion occurs "when the media industry becomes self-serving or solely profit driven, losing the sense of accountability to the common good."

This common good is attainable when policies that promote the dignity of the human person are achieved, not when it fits a particular ideological classification. Citing the Conference as "one of the more liberal conferences in the nation" exhibits a lack of journalistic research as our organization is well known in this state for shunning the simplistic labels that are too often applied in today's political climate.

Indeed, first amendment rights to Internet-based speech, which are guaranteed by net neutrality measures, apply not only to national political publications, but also to the small Catholic parish community in Copper Harbor, the Dominican Sisters of Mary Motherhouse in Ann Arbor, and the Seminary on Chicago Boulevard.
-- Dave Maluchnik
Communications Director
Michigan Catholic Conference
Lansing, Michigan

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