Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Colorado school thing (Part I)

This isn’t going to make me popular in the Catholic blogsphere.

By now you’ve likely heard about a Catholic school in Boulder CO that has not allowed the children of lesbian parents to enroll there next school year. The main reason is that the children will be exposed to Catholic teaching that homosexual relationships are immoral and this will put undue stress on the children, teachers, and others.

This is because the parents are “public and vocal” about their homosexual lifestyle. If someone were a public and vocal advocate for divorce, for example, their children would also not be welcome.

This seems inconsistent to me. First, why are only “public and vocal” dissidents from Catholic teaching treated this way? If the lesbian parents claimed to be “friends” or “roommates” would everything be ok? If the kid knows what his parents are doing, and is taught that they are wrong, what difference does it make if the parents are publicly vocal or publicly in the closet? In both cases the kid will see the disparity that the school is trying to avoid. (more on this in Part II)

What about other forms of “lifestyle dissent”? If my wife and I use “the pill” privately, but we are honest with our child and she knows we use it, won’t our child be in the same predicament when her Catholic education tells her artificial birth control is immoral? Why can a child be torn by learning mom and dad are living immorally because they use the pill but we can’t tell a kid mom and mom are living immorally because they’re active homosexuals?

If protecting children from this situation is the goal; why are children of parents who are remarried without an annulment or who use artificial birth control allowed to attend Catholic schools? How about children of parents who skip Sunday Mass or any number of other Catholic requirements?

Finally, if we are concerned with the spiritual health of the children (and the parents) is the correct response to force them out of Catholic education? Confronting immorality is awkward; that’s a fact. Is it better to avoid the awkward situation and send the tough cases down the road? Is it fair or consistent to say we’ll accept sinners; just not all of them? Is it fair to re-write Jesus to say “let the children come to me… unless their parents are gay”?

Well, but what if the parents only enrolled their child to make the school conform to their homosexual ideology? Does it change things if the lesbian parents are trying to prevent the school from teaching homosexual relationships are immoral?

We’ll deal with this question in Part II

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