Robert Knight

Patterson, who was appointed policy adviser in October, came under fire in mid-January from the Philadelphia Inquirer, which “began asking about Patterson’s side job as editor of The Family in America, published by an Illinois-based research center that advocates for the ‘natural human family … established by the Creator.” You know, the Creator that America’s founding fathers cited in the Declaration of Independence, which the Continental Congress adopted in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

However, The Family in America is not a faith-based journal but a scholarly compilation of articles and research summaries published by the Howard Center, whose president is Allan C. Carlson, arguably the nation’s leading social historian. To the Philly hit team, the journal is immediately suspect because it isn’t aggressively secular.

Here’s a snippet from a Philadelphia Daily News editorial:

“Religion is at the center of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, where Patterson works as an editor. It’s fair to wonder how right it is for his extreme views to help shape a policy – in Patterson’s case, welfare policy – that will affect so many in need. And we can’t help but be disturbed by the contempt Patterson must have held, given his beliefs, for many of the clients served by the department.”

Add mind-reading to the amazing powers of the Philly scribes, along with shockingly casual religious bigotry. They KNOW that Mr. Patterson harbors bad motives. After all, he promotes marriage between one man and one woman.

The Inquirer and its cousin Daily News zeroed in on an article in the New Research section of the Family in America that summarized a scientist’s findings that semen had some positive effects on women. Here’s how a Daily News blog describes Patterson’s most colorful crime: “he wrote stories about semen as a mental elixir for women.”

An Inquirer article on January 26 attacked Patterson again, giving a cartoonish version of his views and noting his “musings on how condom use could rob women of reported mood-enhancing benefits of chemicals.”

Unmentioned was the fact that Mr. Patterson had digested a Sept. 22, 2010 blog article in Scientific American summarizing several scientists’ research on the topic. If you want to provoke a liberal wolf pack, try introducing scientific evidence for male-female complementarities.

At the same time the papers were hammering Patterson, the Inquirer ran stories about the Corbett administration’s attempt to reform Medicaid. The January 18 headline screams: “Since August, 88,000 Pennsylvania children have lost Medicaid benefits.”

The article includes unanswered volleys such as “They have chosen to send a signal, and it is very callous,” by a senior fellow from the hard-left Center for American Progress, identified as “a Washington think tank.”

Think of this as a microcosm of what the national press will do when House Republicans this year renew their common sense plan to reform Medicaid in similar fashion to the 1996 welfare reform that replaced open-ended federal matching funds with finite block grants.

Finally, there was this gem:

“Sen. Vincent J. Hughes (D-Phil.) said he believed the reviews were part of a pattern ... of the Corbett administration’s ‘putting their foot on the neck of poor people.’”

Is that all? From the tone of the articles and editorials, one would think Corbett had commissioned a traveling guillotine squad, perhaps with Patterson in a black hood.

But only one head fell in the flurry of liberal righteous indignation, and that was Bob Patterson’s. He resigned from the DPW and will continue to edit the Family in America.

It’s bad news for Pennsylvania, but good news for the rest of the nation.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.