Things You Hear on NPR: Laymen ‘Civilians’

January 24, 2013

On NPR’s Talk of the Nation yesterday:  The host, NPR’s Neal Conan, interviewed Father Jeff Kirby, a Catholic priest, about the scandals that broke ten years ago.  Conan:

Is it simply the question of how could their fellow priests or their future fellow priests do such a thing, how could the church protect them, but also—how they might come to be regarded, uh, by, uh—(pause)—I guess you’ll excuse the expression, civilians?

military chaplain

NZZZT.  Ooh, sorry, “civilians” is incorrect.  The answer we were looking for was “laymen”.  We also would have accepted “non-clergy”, “parishioners”, “the people in the pews”, “ordinary churchgoers”, or any number of other circumlocutions.

It’s like when President Obama called a navy corpsman a “navy corpseman”.  The conspicuous void in his vocabulary, while funny, doesn’t make him dumb; it does suggest that that whole world (the military for Obama, the church for NPR) is totally alien to him.

If you are for whatever reason still laboring under the illusion that NPR is not left of center, this will presumably be one more piece of useful evidence for you to consider.  The religion that a third of the world identify with to NPR perhaps might as well be some rare exotic animal in a nature documentary.

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2 Responses to “Things You Hear on NPR: Laymen ‘Civilians’”


  1. As I sit here reading this, I’m listening to NPR, which is running a fund drive today. A supporter offered a testimonial about its value, saying: They can go in-depth in a subject in ten minutes and they don’t have to deal with sponsors and you know they aren’t being influenced by any political position or anything.


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