Oddly, President Obama chose to analogize education by Catholics and Protestants to segregation during his trip to Northern Ireland:
"Because issues like segregated schools and housing, lack of jobs and opportunity--symbols of history that are a source of pride for some and pain for others--these are not tangential to peace; they’re essential to it. If towns remain divided--if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs--if we can’t see ourselves in one another, if fear or resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division. It discourages cooperation."
Of course, it's ironic that the most divisive President in American history should go to Ireland and condemn division. But it also raises questions: Does this signal hostility to Catholic education in America -- or hostility to religious education in general?
It's clear -- from his ObamaCare abortifacient/contraceptive mandate to his efforts to cut charitable deductions -- that the President sees government as the only really legitimate actor in civil society. But his willingness to characterize education by religious orders as enabling division and discord is an unpleasant reminder of his hostility to any social force with potential to check the power of Big Government.