Catholic schools say gays and Nazis can go to hell - Macleans.ca
 

Catholic schools say gays and Nazis can go to hell

Spokesperson says remarks were taken out of context.


 

Last week, the blogosphere lit up with news that the Halton Catholic district school board in Ontario had banned Gay and Lesbian groups from its schools. Alice Anne LeMay, Board Chair threw gasoline on the fire when she defended the decision, in part, on the grounds that there are all sorts of groups the Catholic board bans. “We don’t have Nazi groups, either,” she was reported to have said.

Well, it turns out even school board officials know a public-relations disaster when they see one, and the board quickly issued an official statement. In it, LeMay claims to have been taken out of context:

It is unfortunate that the comments I made were taken out of context, and I apologize for the words that I used and the offense that was caused. It was not my intent to make any type of comparison between gay straight alliances and Nazi groups. Rather, I was providing a number of examples of groups that are not endorsed and permitted in Halton Catholic schools, for example, groups in favour of abortion or hate groups of any nature. I did not make a direct comparison between gay straight alliances and any of these groups, nor was that my intent.

Where to begin? Well, let’s see. If the remarks were taken out of context in such a way as their meaning was misconstrued, why apologize for them? Is LeMay sure she knows what “out of context” means? Apparently not, because her apology essentially restates the original inflammatory remark. Her point (in context) seems to be that there are many groups not allowed in Catholic schools because they promote what is immoral. Like Nazis. And gays. Apparently, Ms LeMay doesn’t know what “comparison” means either.

To be fair, I think what she is trying to say is that she does not think being gay is as bad as being a Nazi. But both are intolerable in schools.

Bizarrely, after quoting LeMay’s clumsy clarification of her disastrous gaffe, the board goes on to say that none of that matters anyway. The real reason they don’t allow gay and lesbian groups is that “The Catholic Church recognizes the dignity of all persons and neither defines nor catalogues them according to their sexual orientation.”

Oh, well, that’s a relief! It’s because they are so tolerant, they don’t even want to make sexuality an issue! You know, that’s funny, because I was under the impression that the Catholic Church believed things like this:

There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law.

Now, where did I get a crazy notion that Catholics believed that? Oh, that’s right: The Vatican. In the Vatican’s official statement on gay marriage, the word “homosexual” is used to denounce gay people 52 times. The Catholic Church doesn’t categorize people by sexual orientation? Are you sure you’re talking about the Catholic Church? The one with the Pope and everything? This obvious lie would be funny if the lives of real kids weren’t at stake, but they are and the Church knows it. From the same official document:

Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation’s perception and evaluation of forms of behaviour.

Now, all of this is bad enough. Gay kids — many already isolated, confused, and bullied — are not only deprived the opportunity of supporting each other at school — a place where they are likely to get picked on the most — but are implicitly told by their school and their church that what they are is “contrary to natural moral law.” Can they convince their teachers and principals to relent? No, because it is the Church. It is doctrine. I say the Halton Board can wrap it in the language of modern tolerance all they want, but it is what it is: bigotry and discrimination directed against those who are different. It’s the old story of religious homophobia, plain and simple.  And we still think that religion and education are a good combination?

All this is bad enough, except that in Ontario’s atavistic system of education, Catholic schools are funded by the government.  These are taxpayer-funded schools telling kids that being gay is unnatural, immoral, contrary to God’s law, and on a moral spectrum somewhere to the left of Nazis (with whom the Catholic Church at the time did not have a big problem).

The Catholic Church needs to come out of the middle ages once and for all, but I don’t expect that to happen any time soon. Meanwhile, how about publicly-funded schools stop bullying gay kids and lying about it to cover their asses?


 

Catholic schools say gays and Nazis can go to hell

  1. Reductio ad Hitlerum: the moment you compare your opponent’s position to Nazism, you have lost the argument.

    I didn’t know that Ontario’s Catholic schools are publicly funded. It seems like a terrific reason to live somewhere else.

  2. Ontario should no longer publicly fund religious schools…

  3. Todd,

    Thank you for linking back to change.org and our petition. It’s much appreciated.

    Brandon Miller

  4. Scott and ThatGuy, it should be made clear that the funding of separate schools (the technical name for religious schools) is a very complicated issue. It not limited to Ontario and is not even a provincial responsibility. The BNA act enshrined separate schools primarily to protect the rights of the French and Irish Catholics that feared encroachment from the English who controlled the public schools (which were at the time officially Protestant). Although there non-catholic separate schools as well, including one Protestant one in Ontario. If anyone remembers Charlottetown or Meech Lake you know trying to change the constitution is a very troublesome process. If it’s opened for one issue every interest group in the country will lobby for their own issue to be tacked onto it.

  5. Time again for progressive people to reflect on why it is time to remove public funding from the Separate School Board in Ontario. It is both an anachronistic and bigoted system. JH

  6. Todd Pettigrew says, “The Catholic Church needs to come out of the middle ages once and for all, but I don’t expect that to happen any time soon. ”

    Judging by the tone, brashness, one can kind of assume he lacks humility and speaks out of arrogance and ignorance unfortunately. He obviously has no idea whe the True Faith represents, he’s either a heretic or a non-Catholic. First I’m going to say that I am a Traditional Catholic, I adhere to a lot of doctrines of the Church before Vatican II, which modernized the Church completely destroyed a lot of its foundation. Most Catholic churches and schools unfortunately these days rarely resemble much of what’s taught for centuries on the Church, most have heretically deviated from the Church truth. But that’s a whole other story.

    The problem with Todd Pettigrew is that he follows a doctrine of “I believe whatever is convenient for me, I’ll follow the times, tradition is outdated, I’m so smart and mighty, everyone else is inferior because they don’t follow the times.” He’s a bandwagon jumper on societies “progressive” direction. He talks about the Catholic faith as if he knows it’s doctrines, I bet he can’t quote any scripture passages, papal decrees, dogmatic councils, so he speaks with dishonesty.

    Here’s the thing the Church has always believed against much like we are against things like sex before marriage, divorce. The thing is that we follow the Church teachings with humility, WE ARE THE CHURCH… and if we stray on one foundation, then what’s the point of being Catholic then. We’d be liars and bad willed people who just pick and choose what’s convenient for us to believe.

    I’m a convert, by biggest problem is sins of the flesh, fornication (I’m not gay but homosexuality fits into this) and such things being strong and avoiding because my God instructed us IN THE CHURCH to avoid it. I understand now, look at all the divorces, affairs, bad parenting people don’t give a crap anymore, people have lost their humility. It’s unfortunate that homosexuality fits into what’s condemned in the Church, hey it’s inconvenient but it’s what we perceive as true.

    What’s funny is how the Catholic Church is the easiest target these days for this, people forget that others like Muslims, Buddhists condemn homosexuality yet they get a free ride.

    Unfortunately Todd Pettigrew you appear arrogant and ignorant of the faith. The fact that you know nothing about the real Catholic Church (not the faux church modernized vatican II pedoephaelia church)its doctrines and you speaking in generalities shows your bad will. In my humility I will take 5 minutes of MY OWN time and pray for you.

  7. The taxes that “publically” fund it do not come from every family. they come from the people who choose to divert their taxes into it.
    It’s interesting that she did that, as the Ministry of Education supports having such groups and says to have these groups, as they provide openess and support.
    If the Bible said to hate people who are half-black and half-white, those people would follow it. They’re taking morals from a book written by rather prejudiced people.
    And please, people, spare us the NO TRUE SCOTSMAN.
    You are also rather silly,Dallas, in assuming that Buddhists and Muslims are never scolded for their homophobia. However, it’s the opposite. There’s a difference though. Many Lamas, such as the Dalai Lama himself, have apologized for those outdated rules not rooted in reason.
    Apparently you’ve never seen anti-religionists attack Buddhism. They do.

  8. I live in Halton, I was raised Catholic and I am gay.

    I have chosen to assign my tax dollars to the public school system. As a Catholic I have the choice to support either each year.

    It is crap like this that simply re-affirms my decision to NOT support the catholic schools.

  9. There will always be good people doing good things, and there will always be bad people doing bad things. But for good people to do bad things it takes catholicism! And for that matter, an openly gay 22 year old trustee in the Halton Seperate School Board? WTF? How can he look in the mirror everyday and feel good about promoting discrimination and hatred? Enough of this … it’s time for a change in our system, eliminate the religious content entirely and teach our children to value, accept and embrace the differences in society as opposed to praying for the salvation of those that do not fit your dogma. The double standard in the Catholic heiarchy is outrageous! Cover up and exonerate the pedophiles and homo preists, now numbering over 5,000 incidents over the world – yet banish the gays and nazis to hell. It’s much like politics … people continue to blindly follow without rational thought …

  10. Hey, Dallas Greenberg. First you take Dr. Pettigrew to task for ignorance of Catholic dogma, and then you claim that Buddhists roundly condemn homosexuality? I challenge you to find ONE Buddhist who supports that claim.

    Homosexuality is not an activity, and is therefore not a “sin of the flesh.” Your repeated claims to humility seem awfully hypocritical as you rush to judge EVERYONE who doesn’t adhere to a set of laws that even the Vatican has rejected.

  11. The vulnerable are supposed to be protected under the Ontario Human Rights code. We are talking about children. These children are being emotionally, psychologically and morally abused at publically funded schools. I encourage every gay student in a Halton Catholic School to report their abuse to the CAS. I encourage every Halton Catholic school student to file a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. Stop child abuse in every form.

  12. Lets see here, its okay to have a pro-gay association to lobby against an institution but not legal for this institution to have an association to defend itself from the gay onslaught. Some of us are more entitled than others, this is not what we stand for. Christians choose to invest in institutions that aid and abbet their philosophies, if the gays think they are so entitled let them set up their own infrastructures to promote their own idiology and leave the other 35.5 million of us alone.

  13. It’s unfortunate that all tall people are committing a sin of the flesh! it inconvenient that their “bad parents” forced them to be tall, and its inconvenient that we perceive the truth of their tallness to be a sin. For none of us were born tall, the tall people merely made a choice along the way.

  14. Astonishing isn’t it? Yes, Catholic schools in Ontario are publicly funded — theirs and no other faith’s.

    Section 19 of the Ontario Human Rights Code effectively gives Catholic school boards a pass so that their non-fundamental denominational “rights” can trump fundamental equality rights whenever the two come into conflict. It states that “This Act shall not be construed to adversely affect any right or privilege respecting separate schools enjoyed by separate school boards or their supporters under the Constitution Act, 1867 and the Education Act. R.S.O. 1990.” In other words, Catholic school boards need not concern themselves with the human rights norms that apply to the rest of the civilized world – they are in a class all by themselves.

    Homosexuals are just the latest in a long string of victims of this “special” status. Catholic school boards have an absolute and unfettered right to discriminate against non-Catholic students in admissions until grade 9, when “open access” is supposed to apply. Their right to discriminate against non-Catholic teachers in hiring and promotion applies at all grade levels. One third of the permanent, publicly funded teaching positions in Ontario are effectively closed to two-thirds of the population — the non-Catholics. Catholic school boards have also been successful in dismissing Catholic teachers who became pregnant out of wedlock, who are gay or transgendered, or who married in a non-Catholic ceremony – all serious departures from denominational standards.

    Democratic governments should be religiously neutral, but ours effectively sanctions a particular faith. It is time for Ontario to follow the lead of the provinces that have rescinded denominational school rights and moved to a single school system equally accessible to all.

    Want to fight this BS? Check out http://www.OneSchoolSystem.org.