• RSS Queering the Church

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Getting Into the Holiday Spirit December 15, 2017
      Recently I and other members of the Spiritual Care Department at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis decorated a window for the holiday season. A number of other departments also got into the holiday spirit and creatively and colorfully decorated a window in one of the hospital's ground floor hallways.Above: Fellow Spiritual Care colleagues (fro […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quote of the Day December 13, 2017
      It's so refreshing seeing Doug Jones on stage with his supporters tonight, looking like America – brown and white, young and old, male and female, professional and blue collar – in stark contrast to those standing with Roy Moore – the Old South, nothing but pinched-faced, elderly white men, with that pasty look of Scots-Irish backwoodsmen gone to pot in […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

  • RSS Enlightened Catholicism

  • RSS Far From Rome

    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • Christmas at Litmanova December 29, 2016
      The Marian Shrine of Litmanova, Slovakia.Christmas 2017A forest chapel at the Slovakian Marian shrine of Litmanova.Stunning painting of the Sacred Heart inside the forest chapel.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • Goodbye net neutrality December 14, 2017
      Another gift from the Trump administration ... F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality RulesFor those who don't understand how truly awful this decision is, watch this past episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver ...
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Boulder School Exclusion: Other Parents’ Reaction

Following the exclusion from a Boulder Catholic school of the children of a lesbian couple, NCR carried a useful post which gave the two women an opportunity to present their point of view.  Following this post, in which I thought the women came across as courteous, reasonable and thoughtful, NCR carried a follow-up in which they interviewed the local priest concerned. ( I shall bite my tongue here, and withhold comment on what I thought of him.) On publication of this interview, NCR promised us some follow-ups with other parents from the same school.  The first of these has appeared today – an interview with Andy Bush and his wife, Anna,who  have three children at Sacred Heart School,  and make it clear that they disagree with the decision.

Sacred Heart of Jesus School, Boulder

The first point here is that this has become for them a matter of conscience against faith –  they have found their own belief and value system in conflict with the public stance of the church.

Well, I think it’s been hard because for the first time our faith has run head-on with our consciences. We don’t support the decision and at the same time we’ve been part of this wonderful community for our kids for the last six years. It’s given us pause and a lot of concern, a lot of sorrow, like everybody else.

But also important, is the observation that technically, at least, they are also living in clear contravention of church teaching – but have not been sanctioned themselves. This is thus a clear example of the double standards so often applied by the church against same sex couples, as compared to the standards applied to opposite couples who are  also living outside of Church rules.

BushMy wife grew up in Catholic schools; I didn’t. I’m not a Catholic, so we’re in discord with the church at some level. Fr. Bill knows this. You see, I’m not a practicing Catholic.

NCR: Were you married in the Catholic church?

Bush: No, we weren’t. In the eyes of doctrine, we’re sinners and we’re living out of discord in the church.

NCR: So you would be in the same …

Bush: In a theoretical sense, I’m the same as the lesbian couple. And at the same time, we are treated differently than this couple in that we were asked to baptize our children in the Catholic faith, which we did, and raise them in the Catholic faith, which we have, not so different than this couple.
I’ve also been asked to be on the school advisory council, which I was. I’ve been asked to be on the school grounds committee, which I was. I was part of the selection committee for our new principal and had many conversations with Fr. Bill, specifically about the fact that I wasn’t Catholic, but that I could uphold a fair and kind of open view and, thereby, representing a part of the school that isn’t Catholic.

NCR: Did Fr. Breslin ever suggest that you get married in the Catholic church?

Bush: He didn’t, nor did he suggest that my kids wouldn’t be allowed to go to school beyond kindergarten. It’s a little disappointing and people, including our family, are a little concerned about speaking up because maybe I’ll be the next person who’s asked to leave. They know that I’m not Catholic. Fr. Bill and I have had discussions about this.

There are a significant number of people in Sacred Heart who I would imagine have been part of the experience of divorce. I don’t know how many have annulled their marriages. There have been some children born out of wedlock. And there is an amazingly small family size for the Catholic church, in case any one has noticed.

(Read the full interview here)

If you are straight, as we know already, it is accepted that you can practice contraception with impunity on the basis of dissent in conscience; if divorced, you can be treated with sensitivity and compassion; if married outside of the church, you can have a blind eye turned.  You can even be invited to participate in the selection of a school principal.  But if you’re gay or lesbian – none of this compassion or sensitivity applies. Your orientation overrides all other considerations.

Yet the Church claims that it is not homophobic, and opposes “unjust” discrimination.

The school website proclaims:

At the heart of our Catholic faith is a sense of joy and hope for the future, love and respect for others, and the knowledge that God is with us in everything we do. At every grade level, the religious curriculum instructs students in our Catholic faith and provides opportunities to practice that faith in an atmosphere of love rooted in Christ.

I kid you not.

At his own, personal blog, Fr Breslin describes this as the most difficult decision of this life.  Starting with a reflection on Moses and the burning bush,he muses on the difficulties that the Lord sometimes demands of us.  But then he gives the game away. This is how he puts it:

This past week we implemented a policy that has been the most difficult decision of my life.  The choice could have been made to do nothing and allow a lesbian couple to enroll their child in our Kindergarten.  But that choice would have been against Archdiocesan policy; and when a priest is ordained he promises obedience to his bishop; and I cannot violate that vow; and I will not.

Although he starts by talking about obedience to God, when he gets down to the decision, it has nothing to do with the Lord – it’s all about obedience to the bishop. It is this idea of a church which demands blind obedience which is destroying it, and must be resolutely opposed.


3 Responses

  1. I’m very glad you’ve posted this, Terry–and glad that NCR did the interview.

    I’m particularly struck by Mr. Bush’s statement,

    “In a theoretical sense, I’m the same as the lesbian couple. And at the same time, we are treated differently than this couple . . . .”

    There’s the heart of the story, and a concise statement of what’s profoundly unjust in the way the same-sex couple were treated by the Boulder school.

    As Mr. Bush notes, there are many parents sending their children to Catholic schools who should be excluded, if Fr. Breslin and Archbishop Chaput were sincere about their intention to uphold Catholic sexual teaching when they admit children to Catholic schools.

    This is a decision that fell exclusively on the shoulders of a same-sex couple and its children, while Catholic schools are full of children whose heterosexual parents do not adhere to Catholic standards about sex and marriage. But who are not excluded . . . .

    This is a story about ongoing, gross, public, unashamed prejudice against those who are gay and lesbian, on the part of the Catholic institution.

    I’m glad people like Mr. Bush get it, and are waking up to the reality of this ongoing discrimination–and about how silence in the face of such discrimination is not an adequate response, since those who remain silent may be the next targets.

    I wish more of the centrist Catholic power brokers in this country, who keep writing about how admirable the bishops are even in the midst of all the revelations about the abuse cover-up, would wake up and see what has been going on for quite some time now, when it comes to their LGBT brothers and sisters.

    • What impresses me about NCR here, Bill, is that they are not just providing three sides to the story – they have promised more feedback from other parents also. I am looking forward to it.

  2. We know the agenda, and it’s political social engineering masquerading as morality. It’s abortion, birth control and gays. The question is who benefits from over population and restricting homosexual sex. It’s not God that’s for sure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: