We’ve seen what happens lately when Catholic schools enforce a morality code on teachers and administrators who don’t agree with it. Recently, a Catholic school in Seattle fired an assistant principal after discovering that he is gay — with the school’s president even telling him he could keep his job if he just got divorced. The students staged a massive protest that made headlines nationwide.
Molly Shumate, a life-long Catholic, has taught first grade under the Cincinnati Archdiocese for 14 years. But after seeing next year’s contract, explicitly forbidding “public support of or homosexual lifestyle,” she decided not to sign it.
She couldn’t sign a document that got in the way of her love for her openly-gay son Zach:
“In my eyes there is nothing wrong with my son. This is what God gave me and what God created and someone I should never be asked to not support,” she said from her Butler County home.
“If my son were to say to me, ‘will you go somewhere with me that is supported or run by gays and lesbians,’ I would have to tell him no, according to that contract”…
“For me to sign this (contract), I feel like I would be telling my son I’ve changed my mind, that I don’t support him as I did. And I won’t do that,” she said.
The Catholic Church — as it always does — has no empathy for Shumate. Their stance is basically, “We’re the Catholic Church. We don’t support gay people in any way, shape, or form. We believe they’re an abomination. What else were you expecting?”
But the issue here isn’t her resignation. The issue is how much longer a sinking ship can stay afloat. Shumate may be the first in her area to resign over the homosexuality clause, but she won’t be the last. And when parents finally get their act together and realize they shouldn’t be supporting such an awful organization with their tuition dollars, the Church will be left to scramble for the few kids of bigots that are still left.
Every time a Catholic school official tries to explain that they really love gay people, they come off sounding like insincere hypocrites:
“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,” said [Catholic School Superintendent Jim] Rigg.
But that is exactly what teachers are being asked to do, complains Tim Garry Jr., a local attorney who opposes the contract language.
Suppose Shumate’s son were to get married (in another state, anyway, since Ohio still bans same-sex marriage). If Shumate were to publicly post pictures of herself at the wedding, the contract says she could be fired.
Go to her son’s wedding… or keep her job. That’s the choice Rigg believes isn’t really a big deal at all. That’s his definition of “love.”
Shumate’s decision is a tough one, but it’s also a very courageous one. Let’s see if other teachers are brave enough to follow in her footsteps.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)