SmackDown: Should a Lesbian's Child be Kicked Out of Catholic School?
Filed under: Opinions
Catholic School is No Place for Kids With Gay Parents.
by Rachel Campos-Duffy
The decision by the Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Boulder, Colo. and the Archdiocese of Denver not to re-enroll the preschool child of two lesbian mothers is one that protects the rights of private schools and the families they serve.
As a Catholic school parent myself, I expect my school to stand up for the right to an authentic alternative to secular, public education. After all, that's why we're making financial and personal sacrifices to send our kids to Catholic school.
A private school, especially a religious private school, has a very different mission than a public school. In addition to academic excellence, the staff and faculty of a Catholic school is also charged with the religious and doctrinal formation of its students. Its job is to make seamless the values and moral teachings taught at church, home and school; its reputation and marketability, in this case, to Catholic families, depends on its "Catholic identity" or as some call it, its "Catholic culture."
The Archdiocese of Denver's position when it comes to the children of openly homosexual couples is that, "to allow children in these circumstances to continue in our school would be a cause of confusion for the student in that what they are being taught in school conflicts with what they experience in the home."
From a Catholic perspective, that seems perfectly fair. A Catholic school that bends the rules or makes exceptions to long-established moral teachings puts its financial viability and its very existence in jeopardy. Why would parents set aside hard-earned after-tax dollars to get the same secular and morally-relativistic culture and curriculum offered at public schools?
Catholic "lite" just won't cut it and when Catholic schools give in to pressure from outside groups like the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and others who don't have a vested interest in the full mission of Catholic schools, parents figure that they might as well save the cash and send their kids to public school.
The Archdiocese says that it is not the school that has chosen to disqualify the child from enrollment, but rather the parents who are "living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith."
GLAAD calls this discriminatory and makes emotional and specious arguments for why a private institution should be forced to "accept" their worldview. They claim the school, and, by extension, the Catholic Church, are emotionally harming the child and singling him/her out for the actions of the parents.
However, when it comes to certain moral teachings -- particularly homosexuality -- the position of the Catholic Church is hardly a secret. There's no way these moms could not have known about it.
The question in my mind, then, is why did they enroll their child in Catholic preschool? What was their motivation? Given the Church's very public position on the matter how could they have expected a different outcome?
The Catholic school was doing its job. If the goal in enrolling their child was to make a political point, then maybe these moms weren't doing theirs.
Tom and I want to know where you stand. So, tell us, whose side are you on? Is the Archdiocese of Denver doing the right thing, or not?
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