Would Jesus Defend Marriage?
That’s the question Colleen Carroll Campbell asks. in reference to the recent story about a Catholic school in Colorado that denied readmission to the child of a lesbian couple. As she put it:
Boulder’s vociferous gay-rights activists mobilized to protest the priest, the parish and the Archdiocese of Denver, brandishing signs outside the church that plaintively asked: “What would Jesus do?”
For the reporters breathlessly covering the story and many Catholics, the answer was obvious. Jesus would allow the children to stay in the school. He would tell the teachers not to worry about the conflict between their duty to teach Catholic doctrine on marriage and their desire to protect the feelings of students being raised by a couple that flouted that doctrine in a particularly obvious way.
But Colleen noted a detail that seems to have been overlooked in all the breathless hoopla:
A lesbian couple in the liberal bastion of Boulder, Colo., had enrolled their children in a Catholic parish school, only to see those children denied re-enrollment once the parish priest learned of their home situation.
In other words, the children had been in the school, placed there by their legal parents, who evidently didn’t think it worth mentioning that they were living a lifestyle contrary to the very public teaching of the church. Why did they enroll their children in the school operated by a religion that very publically disapproves of homosexual practice? Have they been living in a cave? Do they really believe it is in their children’s best interests to send them to this particular school, all things considered? Here is what Archbishop Chaput has to say:
The policies of our Catholic school system exist to protect all parties involved, including the children of homosexual couples and the couples themselves. Our schools are meant to be “partners in faith” with parents. If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible. It also places unfair stress on the children, who find themselves caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church.
Most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced. That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents. That isn’t fair to anyone—including the wider school community. Persons who have an understanding of marriage and family life sharply different from Catholic belief are often people of sincerity and good will. They have other, excellent options for education and should see in them the better course for their children.
He is assuming goodwill on the part of these two women. I hope he is correct. It is entirely possible, however, that they fully intended to create this kind of controversy. If so, they are in effect, using their children to advance a political point of view, by placing their children in a compromised situation, and daring somebody to do something about it.