“Tolerance goes both ways, Boulder”

We have been following the controversy in Boulder, CO where a homosexual activst lesbian "couple" attempted to force a child (sadly) in their care into a Catholic school knowing that the Archdiocese had a policy not to accept such children.

The purpose of the Archdiocesan policy was, of course, to protect the children.

Those protesting against the Archdiocese, school and priest have been parroting the usual canards are being "tolerant".

From the daily camera of Boulder, CO, comes this editorial.  My emphases and comments.

Danaher: Tolerance goes both ways, Boulder
By Charlie Danaher

If one didn`t know better you could easily conclude that there is a heartless bunch running Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish School in Boulder.

Outrage erupted after the school gave notice to a lesbian couple that their two children would not be allowed to attend school the year after next. Many were shocked by the fact that school administrators thought it a bad idea to subject children to religious teaching that unambiguously states that the lifestyle of their parents is not good or healthy. What should not be shocking, or a secret to any, is the fact that the Catholic faith finds unacceptable sexual relations outside of marriage, and defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

As Father Bill Breslin, pastor of SHJ, stated in his blog of March 5 "If a child of gay parents comes to our school, and we teach that gay marriage is against the will of God, then the child will think that we are saying their parents are bad. We don`t want to put any child in that tough position — nor do we want to put the parents, or the teachers, at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church."

He`s right. It`s easy to see why school officials concluded that having children in such a setting is likely to result in a philosophical conflict, where the children are certain to be confused and uncomfortable. [Exactly.  What is so reprehensible about what the lesbian couple did to that child is make her a pawn in their own game.  Getting her into that school was not going to be the end of the manipulation.]

Denver archbishop Charles Chaput writes in the March 10 issue of the Denver Catholic Register, "These students are always welcome so long as their parents support the Catholic mission of the school and do not offer a serious counter-witness to that mission in their actions." As Christians, we are called to be a witness to our faith. And if we engage in a lifestyle that, publicly, runs counter to our faith, or as Chaput stated, is a counter-witness, then it serves as a vocal rejection of the faith. And the church has every right to find such behavior intolerable. [YES.]

Some have wondered why children born out-of-wedlock or of divorced parents aren`t also denied enrollment. A fair question. It comes down to whether the parents are currently, on an on-going basis, deliberately living a lifestyle that displays public opposition to church teaching. For instance, in the past, a parent may have had a child out-of-wedlock or gotten divorced. Because it`s in the past, such an action, in and of itself, is not a public display of a philosophy in discord with church policy.  [And let’s not forget that homosexual activity is against the nature God wrote into human beings.]

For all we know, these single parents or divorcees may have repented for their past actions and would not choose to repeat them. Therefore their current status does not directly oppose church teaching. But unmarried couples (gay or straight) living together, because of their actions, are deliberately living a lifestyle that serves as a counter-witness to the faith. [Though what they are doing isn’t against nature it is still against even natural law and God’s law.] I think it`s reasonable for the church to expect that members not live in a manner that publicly displays disagreement to the church`s tenets.

Some say this action by the parish shows insensitivity toward children and hatred toward the gay parents. Actually, I think neither is true. The school administrators may very well be acting out of compassion for the children, and I take Fr. Bill at his word that this was a very difficult thing to do. As far as hating gays, I think the saying Love the sinner, hate the sin applies here.

To be sure some do hate gays, even some so-called Christians. But that certainly is not the position of the church. [Nor is that the situation in Boulder.] The church recognizes that we are all sinners, and that we are all loved by God. The church simply expects us to resolve to amend our lives.

[NB] Some people will not be satisfied until the church is either run out of business, is silenced or abandons all principle. [I think that that is what lies at the root of this controversy.] We may never all agree but hopefully we can be tolerant of the church`s position and respect their dedication to the faith.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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30 Responses to “Tolerance goes both ways, Boulder”

  1. Jacob says:

    A good column by that author. I am interested in what kind of exposure it will have in Boulder. Anyone know?

  2. Mary Ann says:

    Well thought out, nuanced article from the secular press…how often does that occur?

  3. TundraMN says:

    I agree with the two previous comments, Mary Ann and Jacob. This is a great piece that really takes the issue to heart. There is not much question in my mind either that this “couple” were and are trying to use the child in their care as a pawn in an irresponsible game of chess. Although we cannot judge them for we don’t know all the circumstances, from what we know about this action of theirs is quite sad. AMDG!

  4. frdgss says:

    I wonder whether this little vignette sheds any light on the matter: I remember the late Card. Hume of Westminster in 1994 speaking to a large group of would-be convert clergy. He was addressing the matter of homosexually-inclined Anglican Clergy and any boyfriends they might want to bring with them across the Tiber.
    The Eminence noted that morally (and, indeed, politically) there was all the difference in world between a homosexual temperament and any active, semi-permanent expression of it in terms of a physical, quasi-matrimonial relationship.
    Some of you may be temperamentally homosexual, he said, but please “do not institutionalise a weakness”.
    Isn’t that what this Boulder spat is really about?

  5. RichardT says:

    A very good article. Is that quality typical of local newpapers in America? I would only expect a decent national paper to manage that level of analysis here in England.

    I agree with Fr Z – at the root of this is people who believe that homosexual acts are perfectly right and proper, and want to stop the Church from saying (or even believing) anything different.

  6. RichardT says:

    At least in America Fr Breslin’s actions will only lead to protests. Here in England it would be illegal.

  7. RichardT says:

    Sorry, that was ambiguous; I mean that it would be illegal for Fr Breslin to exclude that child from the school. The police would be coming round to that school and prosecuting the governors.

  8. Heather says:

    I recall a few years ago, a child was removed from Catholic school because the child’s mother was working as a stripper.

  9. beez says:

    A good article, but I signed up to the site to post a response to some (almost all) of the negative comments, to try and inject a little logic into the vitriol, but somehow my comment wasn’t approved. I think because I defend the Church while conceding the need for the Church to be held to a higher moral standard. I pointed out that homosexual priests were 21 times more likely to commit abuse than their heterosexual counterparts (based on the rates of abuse reported by the Vatican and using the homosexual communities own alleged statistic of 10% of the people in the world being homosexual) and I pointed out that rates of abuse in public schools in the US are 10 times that in Catholic churches. Apparently those two facts were enough to invalidate my comment.

  10. RichardT says:

    beez, your figure assumes that the proportion of homosexuals in the clergy is the same as for the general population. That may not be true; some estimates claim that about a third of American priests are homosexual; some estimates are lower, but others say as much as half.

    As I said elsewhere, sexual abuse of minors in the Church is predominantly homosexual, whereas in society generally it is predominantly heterosexual. That suggests that priests’ sexual tendencies do not on average reflect those of wider society.

    No-one really knows, but it does seem that some seminaries were very lax at times over the last 50 years, so the proportion could be well above the standard 10%.

  11. QMJ says:

    Amen.

  12. doanli says:

    Everything that doesn’t agree with your opinion is “hatred”.

    Sounds like a spoiled child having a tantrum “You just hate me!!!”

    Please.

    I feel sorry for those poor kids but as you Father have said, they are being USED by their “parents” to further the parent’s agenda. God bless them.

  13. PostCatholic says:

    Clearly this couple was itching for a fight. No couple in their right mind would send their child to an institution which insists on contradicting their familial love. I think the church’s position on homosexuality is ignorant and hidebound and non-scriptural, do not mistake me–but why a couple would put a child under the age of reason that they love in the path of hateful opposition is beyond me. I think the school is within its rights to divert the child, and in fact would do a lot of harm to the child if it didn’t.

  14. It’s possible that they actually were clueless about the school possibly having objections.

    1. Parent was raised Catholic, but didn’t realize that moral teachings were involved. (Very possible if from a very lax parish/family.)

    2. Parent was not raised Catholic, and didn’t realize moral teachings were involved.

    3. Parent assumed that since it was a private school, it was all about money.

  15. cato_the_younger says:

    PostCatholic “I think the church’s position on homosexuality is ignorant and hidebound and non-scriptural”

    May I ask your evidence for this assertion? Non-scriptural? Really? I guess my response would be post-post-Catholic…

  16. Maltese says:

    I really admire the prelates in Boulder, and especially Archbishop Chaput of the Denver diocese (a true luminary among prelates these days.) But, when you think of it, what is the difference, really, between gay sex and sex with a condom? Both are selfish ways to gratify oneself, and nix any chance of procreation.

    So those 95% of procreative-age Catholics, using condoms, who are on a soap box about gays better also look to themselves, because what they are doing is exactly the same thing. And it is a mortal sin…

  17. robtbrown says:

    Clearly this couple was itching for a fight. No couple in their right mind would send their child to an institution which insists on contradicting their familial love. I think the church’s position on homosexuality is ignorant and hidebound and non-scriptural, do not mistake me—but why a couple would put a child under the age of reason that they love in the path of hateful opposition is beyond me. I think the school is within its rights to divert the child, and in fact would do a lot of harm to the child if it didn’t.
    Comment by PostCatholic

    Your comments indicate that you do not think there is any such thing as objective sexual morality.

  18. Lori says:

    PostCatholic: St. Paul writes in Romans 1:24-28, 32: God gave them up to the desires of their heart unto uncleanness; to dishonor their own bodies among themselves who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause, God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into what use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the woman, have burned in their lusts toward one another; men with men, working that which is filthy and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their heir. And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient. …. Who, having known the justice of God did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death: and not only that they do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.

  19. rinkevichjm says:

    I suppose in the UK, they just issue a trespassing notice to the “parents”, stating that their current lifestyle precludes the parish from allowing them on the grounds. Then when the “parents” appear at the school, they get arrested and someone calls the local government sponsored child kidnapping ring (i.e. a child welfare or social service agency) to take the child into “care”. Now that’s really mean.

  20. isabella says:

    Maybe I’m naive, but is there any chance the “couple” may have originally enrolled the girl so she could get a good education? I don’t know what the public school system is like there, but there are non-Catholics in many Catholic schools in the US for that reason alone. Horrible public schools.

    I think the school did what it had to do once the so called parents became known as openly lesbian. Couldn’t they just be platonic roommates for the child’s sake? Still, the real loser is the girl, who will probably be taught to blame this on an “uncharitable” Church, instead of seeing the beauties of being Catholic.

  21. PostCatholic says:

    Yeah, I apologize. Usually I’m more respectful of your beliefs, folks, and I might have been a bit less strident in the way I objected to them.

    You’re right, by the way, robtbrown: I don’t think there’s such a thing as objective morality, sexual or otherwise.

  22. robtbrown says:

    You’re right, by the way, robtbrown: I don’t think there’s such a thing as objective morality, sexual or otherwise.
    Comment by PostCatholic

    Thus, according to you it is possible that the Nazi and Communist concentration (and death) camps could in other circumstances be just.

  23. robtbrown says:

    And we could add Bernie Madoff’s little enterprise to the above.

  24. cato_the_younger says:

    robtbrown: You’re forgetting rape and slavery ;)

  25. Scott W. says:

    Must be Lent. All kinds of things are crawling out from under the rotten logs.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Must be Lent. All kinds of things are crawling out from under the rotten logs.
    Comment by Scott W.

    I’m trying to show him that his position is absurd, and you’re jumping to insult him.

    Why?

  27. Scott W. says:

    I’m trying to show him that his position is absurd, and you’re jumping to insult him.

    You are reading more than what I wrote.

  28. robtbrown says:

    I’m trying to show him that his position is absurd, and you’re jumping to insult him.
    You are reading more than what I wrote.
    Comment by Scott W.

    Maybe, but what benefit is there to what you wrote?

  29. Scott W. says:

    Maybe, but what benefit is there to what you wrote?

    I’ll leave it to the readers to decide.

  30. PostCatholic says:

    robtbrown, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the concept of “Godwin’s law”, also known as [i]argumentum ad Hitlerum[/i]. It is often taken as a method recognizing that an internet argument has grown too heated to continue in a logical fashion.