Monday, August 12, 2013

Roman Catholic church purge: more don't ask don't tell

First, it was the musicians. Gay organist Nick Johns was fired in Georgia for his pro-gay facebook page. In Missouri, music teacher Al Fischer was let go for being "too open"
The reason given by the priest, according to Robin, was that Fischer's firing and pending marriage had become "too public of an issue."
Music Director Steav Bates-Congdon was fired from his job in North Carolina after going to New York to marry his partner --not because he was gay, but again, because he got married.

Then, it was the teachers. Ohio teacher Carla Hale was fired from her job in Catholic school for being in a relationship:
The physical education teacher took time off from school in February in the wake of her mother’s death. Her mother’s obituary mentioned Hale and her female partner as survivors, which attracted the attention of an “appalled” parent....
That parent wrote an anonymous letter to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus, and administrators responded by firing Hale later in March for violating a morality clause.
Then in Southern California, when teacher Ken Bencomo was fired from his job, not because he was gay (because they knew that) but ..
after photos of his wedding to partner Christopher ....were published in a local newspaper last month....Bencomo had worked at St. Lucy’s for 17 years and school administrators knew of his sexual orientation for most of that time, his attorney, Patrick McGarrigle, said.
In a statement released through an attorney earlier this month, the school said ....
"While the school does not discriminate against teachers or other school employees based on their private lifestyle choices, public displays of behavior that are directly contrary to church teachings are inconsistent with these values," the statement reads. "These values are incorporated into the contractual obligations of each of our instructors and other employees."
Finally, in Rhode Island, a married gay couple has been told they aren't welcome to take communion--UNLESS they get divorced.
Pryor said the priest told him he would give him communion if he ended his marriage to Laveilee.
What do all these have in common?  It's not that they were gay.  They were known to be gay, in most cases, and known to have a partner.

No, the sin of these people was having it become public.  Where "appalled parents" can find out that there are GAY people here!  So, just to get this straight, so to speak--as long as it's on the "down low" and no one "outside" knows, it's cool.  Even if "living in sin".  But make a public commitment to one another, till death do us part civil marriage, and it's "Shocked!  Shocked!  There are gay people here!"

Of course, it's also a great example of hypocrisy.  As one commentator writes,
I want to separate the question whether Catholic institutions have the right to do this sort of thing from the question whether they should, on either moral or prudential grounds. I am not aware of divorced and remarried teachers getting fired. The axe always seems to fall on those who are somewhat more easily marginalized: unmarried pregnant teachers, gay teachers, etc. 
Yeah, no kidding.  And if you are a married female who is never pregnant, don't you think they ought to be suspicious that you are not upholding the Church doctrine of fecundity?

Years ago, over on our parent blog Fr Jake Stops the World, there was a debate between an anti-gay conservative priest and a pro-gay commenter.  As I recall, the anti-gay priest basically said it was better for a gay man to have promiscuous anonymous sex, because he could repent each time, rather than be married and live in a state of constant sin.

I thought that was a twisted logic then and I still think it's twisted.  And this Roman Catholic purge of gay people isn't going so well either.  For the teacher in San Bernardino Cty, there have been rallies of support.  And while I am sure that  there are some parents who are pleased he was fired, many more are dismayed.  

See, gay people don't live in a vaccuum.  We have families, co-workers, and friends who see in us and our relationships something worth supporting.  And as the Roman Catholics keep purging, they might find they purge all those friendly straight Catholics, too.

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