High School Cancels Event with Catholic Chastity Speaker Because He Can’t Be Trusted to Keep Faith Out of His Talk October 4, 2014

High School Cancels Event with Catholic Chastity Speaker Because He Can’t Be Trusted to Keep Faith Out of His Talk

If you were to visit the website of the Catholic-based Chastity Project website (and I’m not sure why anyone would), here’s the explanation you would find for why gay marriage isn’t really marriage:

Because members of the same sex have bodies that are not created to receive one another, they physically cannot express the vows of marriage. This inability of the bodies to become one expresses the deeper reality that they were not meant to give themselves to each other in marriage. Therefore, the Church has no authority to marry a couple who cannot speak their wedding vows through their bodies. A nonmarital relationship cannot be declared a marriage.

According to the Church, these would not be real marriages, even if the couples had legal marriage certificates. Similarly, if two people cannot have the kind of sexual relations that are designed to give life, they are incapable of marriage.

… realize that the Church is not singling out same-sex couples. In fact, the Church also believes that heterosexual couples are incapable of marriage if they are impotent. Not to be confused with sterility (a condition in which a couple is able to have intercourse but unable to have children), impotency means that a person is incapable of having intercourse.

There’s a lot of this faith-based bullshit all throughout the website and other resources, which is why it’s especially disturbing to learn that founders Jason and Crystalina Evert give presentations at public schools:

Chastity Project exists to promote the virtue of chastity so that individuals can see God, and be free to love (Matt. 5:8).

Next week, Jason Evert was scheduled to speak at Olean High School in New York. The program was sponsored by the “Office of Lifelong Faith Formation of the Diocese of Buffalo” (as if they needed an even bigger hint at the faith component).

But after school officials couldn’t get a promise from Evert that he would keep his faith out of the presentation, they canceled the event:

After first advocating for Mr. Evert’s discussion, Olean High Principal Barb Lias made the final call to withdraw. Asked why, she referenced the First Amendment. In just over five minutes, Mrs. Lias cited the “separation of church and state” 11 times, but she and Superintendent Dr. Colleen Taggerty are still urging interested students with parental permission to attend and hear the positive message.

While Mr. Evert does both faith-based and secular programs for private and public schools, Mrs. Lias said she eventually grew unsure the talk would refrain from religious dialogue.

“You’d like to be able to say you can guarantee something, but when you can’t really guarantee it, then you have to sit and think about it a long time,” Mrs. Lias said. “Even though I spoke directly with the man, I couldn’t guarantee that he wouldn’t. I couldn’t take that chance.”

OCSD reached out to Chastity Project for reassurance, Dr. Taggerty said.

“But in order for us to see that, we had to buy a video,” the superintendent added. “At that point, maybe this wasn’t what we should be doing.”

It’s good to see administrators make the right move here, but I can’t get over how they could have possibly said yes to this in the first place. It’s not like Evert hides his faith on the website, and despite his claim that he can do a secular presentation, we know all too well you can’t trust abstinence speakers to give students honest, objective information. They’ve broken that trust far too many times.

The presentation may still continue at a local Catholic school, and buses may transport public school students who have permission slips signed by their parents — which may be another church/state separation problem on its own — but it could be much worse.

Just to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with promoting chastity as an option for students, provided that it’s mentioned in a secular context and that options for safe sex are also included in the presentation. But to say that anything beyond chastity means there’s something wrong with you, which is how religious speakers tend to present the information, has no business in a public school where facts ought to trump religious dogma.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

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