*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Ignorant and hateful: Catholic fundamentalists are like any other.

Some fundamentalists in the Halton School Board (where I went to elementary in Ontario, Canada) tried to disrupt a civilized integration of gay and straight high school students: they lost.  Thank god for the idealism of youth.  This sort of thing has been tried more than a few times, and a little publicity lifts the stone from these vermin.  Students have been banned from taking a same-sex partner to high school dances, among other bigoted actions. No surprise that the most odious justifications came from quotations from the Old Testament, since the dude in the New Testament was all about tolerance and reflection.  Halton, if you don't know, is outer suburbia to Toronto, where white people move to stay away from 'other' people who live in the areas closer to the city.  It's a place where real estate agents sell streets as white: I have stories.

It's one of the reasons I won't teach in high school, though I was fool enough to start my career in a Catholic board: I would have to risk my career and speak out, though little more would happen than being sidelined, which is already the position of all the teachers with a personality.  A close friend and colleague, and bisexual if you need a label, quit her job in a Catholic board because she refused to live a double life: quite proud of her.  I have raised the hackles of a few parents and administrators on this issue, by pointing out to students that more than 5% of the people they know are gay so it is not a big deal, and by adhering to the Catechism of the Catholic Church by teaching tolerance.  Shoving the latter in their face shuts up most, and the rest I tell them take it up with the bishop if they think I am wrong... Wonder if he's gay?

Yes, the Catholic Church teaches tolerance.  A %$#@ed-up form of tolerance, but more tolerance than the vermin in the Halton Board have in them.
Chastity and homosexuality
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
In short, the Catholic Church says homosexuals are damaged-goods who may not %$#@, but should be treated decently.  I disagree with half of that attitude of course, but it does show that intolerant 'Catholics' would be better off in a more hateful denomination.

In addition to ignorance, fundamentalists are unable to process logic.  One of the poorer arguments for not allowing same-sex partners at high school dances is that it promotes sexual relations between homosexuals.  Sounds sensible from a Catholic point of view, except in that case dances also promote premarital sex between heterosexual minors.  Be careful what cans of worms you open.  Guess there should be no high school dances at all!  I don't think that the Ontario Catholic Schools should be getting public money unless they stop the bigotry.  As it is you cannot defend publicly funded parochial schools.  We have a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and I do not accept religious or cultural exemptions.  Sure, I'd like to keep my job: roll our schools into the public board if the Catholic Schools won't shape up.


  1. Wow. Thanks for that.
    I just wrote something too. Wonder what you think...

  2. Thank you too. The only thought I'd add to your posting is that presenting faith and learning in the same environment (I went to RC school) has taught me how to spot a hypocrite in instants. Funny that dude in the Gospels has too: that stuff about "the log in your own eye."

    I get around my issues with the religion by being smarter than the bigots, which is little challenge, and using the Gospels as a fine moral document, which they are, regardless of any belief in them. Though one might notice that the same bigots who quote the old testament (because they are authoritarians, not Christians) would take exception to a `socialist' reading of the Gospels... though there can't be any other.