Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Roman Catholic Purge continues

In today's news, we learn that the latest victim of the purge is a director of a food pantry of a Roman Catholic church.
On Wednesday, [Colleen Simon] managed a delivery of 2,000 pounds of food for the pantry at St. Francis Xavier Church. It’s work she sees as fulfilling God’s will, his call to serve....

But apparently, that is not the way the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph sees her role. Not anymore. Not after it was publicized that Simon is gay and married to another woman.
 She had told the parish priest she was married but was careful to live don't ask-don't tell, until a story about the food pantry inadvertantly outed her. And next thing that happens, is she's out of a job. In a nice irony, her wife is a Lutheran pastor. And Colleen is a Lutheran.

Meanwhile, there is a growing backlash against the new drive of some dioceses to make it explicit that supporting gay rights is a fireable offense, even outside the classroom.
Consider the language of the contract: Teachers are forbidden from showing "public support of ... the homosexual lifestyle." What does that mean, precisely? Pretty obviously, it is directed at the Mike Moroski situation [in which a principal was fired for expressing support for civil marriage equality on FB]. Catholic school teachers will have to be much more circumspect in their politics if they want to remain employed. And they had better be careful where their gay friends and relatives are concerned. Show up to your gay son's or daughter's wedding and you could face termination.
One teacher, who has a gay son, has already resigned. How can she be supportive of her son's civil rights if she signs such a contract? The Diocese is spinning.
Archdiocese officials defend the contract, saying it doesn’t mean that teachers have to sever relationships with gay family members, just that they can’t publicly act or speak against the church’s teachings.

“Our culture is changing rapidly in this area, and many of our school employees, including me, have family members who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” Catholic School Superintendent Jim Rigg has said. “As Christians, we are called to love and serve all people. … While the church’s stance on homosexual marriage is well-known, this does not mean that our teachers will be asked to cast away loved family members.”
That argument doesn't work. People are being fired for getting married, or expressing support for marriage.  If your gay son gets married and you celebrate the fact on your facebook page, you are expressing support for his actions. Just like Mike Moroski. So you should be fired.  QED.

Now, I actually think the Roman Catholic church is completely entitled to have these rules.  They are a private employer and they can decide whom they want to employ.  What they CAN'T do is play the victim if people react with horror at their actions.  So if the broader culture looks askance at their hypocrisy, in which they shriek against those who have a same sex marriage, but ignore those who may be remarried after divorce, using birth control, or having sex outside of marriage, well, that's the cost of doing business.  Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from criticism.

Our previous discussions of the purges here.

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