Have you been following the controversy in Columbus?
Your readers should stand up to support Bp. Campbell.
Friends, this is going to happen more and more often. We are going to see myriad harassment cases in the courts, relentlessly attacking every entity of the Church on the basis of “discrimination” of “civil” rights.
The proponents of the unnatural have so far successfully pushed the rhetorical line that homosexual “marriage” equality (under the twisted word “gay”) are civil rights, in the same way that racial equality was a matter of civil rights.
They are dead wrong, of course. Homosexual marriage is NOT a civil rights issue. But that doesn’t make any difference. With the help of the mainstream media, most people – especially liberals and the low-information populace – have swallowed that line.
The Church can’t win this rhetorical war. The forces allied with the unnatural are too pervasive, too effective in the public square through the MSM. We don’t have either a large enough megaphone nor a message that can pierce through the fog of emotion or of ignorance or of lust-saturated self-centeredness that wreathes the debate.
In any event, we can do our best to stick to what is true and beautiful, even as they sharpen their knives.
It may be that dioceses will be able to fight off these attacks in the courts… for a while. Eventually, the resources will be gone.
Here is a piece in the National Catholic Register.
Columbus Diocese Takes Heat for Firing Lesbian Teacher
The lawyer for the fired gym teacher has filed an anti-discrimination complaint with the city’s Community Relations Commission, and might also file a lawsuit.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Bishop Frederick Campbell and other school officials in the Diocese of Columbus could face criminal charges under the city of Columbus’ anti-discrimination laws for upholding the Church’s moral teachings on sexuality by firing a lesbian gym teacher.
The diocese has come under fire for terminating the contract of Carla Hale, 57, a physical education teacher employed for 19 years at Bishop Watterson High School, after learning of Hale’s “spousal relationship” with another woman. The diocese fired Hale after an unnamed Bishop Watterson parent forwarded to diocesan officials a local obituary for Hale’s mother Jeanne Roe, which listed Hale’s lesbian companion Julie as one of her survivors.
At a news conference Wednesday morning, Hale’s attorney, Thomas Tootle, told reporters that he would be filing a complaint with Columbus’ Community Relations Commission arguing the diocese violated the city’s anti-discrimination law by firing Hale over her sexual orientation.
Tootle told the Register that he wants Hale reinstated at her job and might also file a lawsuit.
“There are many things that the Catholic Church considers immoral, but why is this treated any differently than adultery, divorce or birth control?” Tootle said. [He makes the appeal to the average person here. The premise is “everybody does these things… so why is this thing wrong?”] Although he declined to provide evidence of the diocese applying a double standard, he said, “It does seem to be a situation where the Church picks and chooses like they are at the buffet.”
Columbus’ anti-discrimination ordinance criminalizes discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” and has no exemptions for religious employers. Violators face prosecution for a first-degree misdemeanor, a criminal charge that carries up to six months jail time and a $1,000 fine.
“The Catholic diocese is facing a situation where simply living according to its long-held, very open and very public religious beliefs, could somehow be a crime in the city of Columbus. That’s very disconcerting,” Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told the Register. The Becket Fund is a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that specializes in cases involving religious liberty, but is not representing the Columbus Diocese at this time.
Blomberg said the Columbus anti-discrimination ordinance goes far beyond standard federal and state non-discrimination laws by imposing criminal penalties on employers, especially religious employers who “might require a statement of belief regarding marriage and family that some might find offensive.” [God forbid anyone should ever be offended.]
Blomberg said the law was “unclear” as to whether Bishop Campbell and other diocesan personnel would be liable for jail time or fines.
“It seems likely it would fall on the responsible decision makers,” he said. “But who those would be, in this context, I am not aware.”
First Amendment Issues
Blomberg believed the law looks like a clear case of violating First Amendment protections of religious liberty. Taken at face value, he said, the city’s ordinance forbids any employer from making any policy regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.
“That means you can’t choose your priest based on their adherence to Roman Catholic teaching about sexual ethics,” Blomberg added.
He said one case that would be considered, if the ordinance’s constitutionality were challenged, is the U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC. The court recognized the “interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith, and carry out their mission” when it ruled government entities could not use employment anti-discrimination laws to force religious groups to retain employees with a ministerial function.
The case could be relevant as Hale and all teachers employed by the diocese were required to have “Introductory Catechist Certification” by fall 2012, as specified by their contracts with the diocese. Ultimately a court would have to take a closer look to see if the Hosanna-Tabor decision applies in this case, Blomberg said.
[Bottom line…] “It does look like the Catholic Church can’t be the Catholic Church in Columbus without violating this ordinance,” Blomberg said. “I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case, but the language is so broad it does seem hard to see how those employment contracts can be enforced in certain circumstances.”
Read the rest there.
Say a prayer for Bp. Campbell. Maybe drop him a note of support.
Most Rev. Frederick Campbell
Bishop of Columbus
198 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215