We are living in interesting times. Very interesting times. It used to be that people could agree to disagree with each other and that's all there was to it. If you didn't like the cut of a man's jib you simply avoided him, or didn't patronize his business. You could speak out about it at your favorite hang out or watering hole. You could even write a spirited letter to the editor (something my mother did many, many times!)
But you can't do that today without facing severe and sometimes devastating consequences. If you are a pro-life nurse who refuses to help with an abortion, you can lose your job. The same holds true for a pharmacist who refuses to dispense abortifacients. But while some on the other side of the argument might argue that these are health care issues, it's hard to see how a baker could lose her business for refusing to bake a cake! Yet that too has happened.
The latest person to express her Catholic Christian views and get slammed for it was Patricia Jannuzzi, a teacher at Immaculata High School in New Jersey. She was disciplined for merely expressing her opinion on Facebook!
In early March this article appeared on the Young Conservative web site regarding the comments of potential presidential candidate and respected physician Dr. Ben Carson, on the age old question, "Is homosexuality a choice or not?"
Many have labeled Carson’s opinion controversial. For the record, anything one says about homosexuality that doesn’t involve overt acceptance and celebration is considered “controversial” by today’s upside down standards of “tolerance” and “diversity.”Dan Savage tweeted a vulgarity towards Dr. Carson that was disrespectful and did nothing to further discussion - but in my experience, when liberals melt down it usually goes in that direction.
Though Carson’s statement was unparsed and his point was undermined by the word “absolutely,” I don’t think Carson was that far off. Many people who’re gay didn’t choose it, but some have. Prisons are but one example. Remember Cynthia Nixon’s “controversial” statement about her choosing to be gay? And Sally Kohn has also argued twice (here and here) that being gay can and should be a choice for people that’s every bit as legitimate as heterosexuality. In her most recent column, Kohn says-
I agree [with Ben Carson], kind of. Last week I wrote an essay for The Washington Post in which I talked about wanting my daughter to be gay—implicitly and explicitly challenging the idea long advanced by gay rights advocates that being gay is not a choice. I’m not saying being gay necessarily is a conscious choice for many queer folks today, but I am saying it should be able to be a choice—and one that is “equally desirable to being straight.”But Carson is denounced as the bad guy who must now do penance- which he’s already done, unfortunately. Now, enter Dan Savage.
Dan Savage is a far-Left gay activist. But he’s more than that. He’s a mascot- representative of everything wrong with the “gay rights” crowd. He’s vulgar and he likes to intimidate, bully and slander people who disagree with his perverse views on sexuality- apart from simply being gay.
Mrs. Januzzi's comment on the matter was much more thoughtful.
and for that her employer, Immaculata High School in New Jersey, decided to discipline her.
You can read their letter to their alumni on the matter here. The reasoning of the Monsignor Seamus Brennan and Principal Jean G. Kline?
These postings which, were quickly removed at our request, were inconsistent with our policy and position as a Catholic Christian Community, and as a result the teacher was put on administrative leave, effective immediately.
I'm a little fuzzy on what part was inconsistent with the position of Catholic Christianity. Is it arguing whether or not homosexuality is chosen or not? The Catechism doesn't really say. It does seem to indicate that acting on homosexual inclinations is sinful.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
This seems to me as if the church is erring on the side of choice over biology, or at the very least that the actions can be chosen or controlled.
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
The catechism also says that civil authorities should support traditional marriage:
|2210 The importance of the family for the life and well-being of society entails a particular responsibility for society to support and strengthen marriage and the family. Civil authority should consider it a grave duty "to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote domestic prosperity."|
So although the Catechism clearly says civil authorities are supposed to protect and foster the true nature of marriage, I couldn't find any reference in the catechism that Catholic Schools are supposed to as well, so maybe that's the loophole for the folks at Immaculata.
Mrs. Jannuzzi did use the expletive "bologna!" Did she say write on a Friday during Lent? I don't know. But that seems to be what they found so intolerant? (I searched for the word "tolerance" in the catechism and didn't find it.) The good monsignor and principal didn't seem to have a problem with Dan Savage challenging Dr. Carson to engage in an oral sex act with him. Maybe since he's not an employee, he's off the hook. I hope it seemed that way to the young Catholic minds these two are supposed to be protecting and molding.
But I did find this:
|1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:- by participating directly and voluntarily in them;|
- by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
- by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
- by protecting evil-doers.
As a teacher, isn't it Mrs. Jannuzzi's responsibility to stand up for the moral teachings of the church by not approving, advising or praising sins that go against that teaching?
But frankly, I'm not surprised that this is happening in a Catholic High School. I have had more than my share of go rounds with alumni of a particular local Catholic High school ( cough, cough, sputter, sputter, splechoban, blech!) on Catholic Moral teaching. The same with Alumni of my own Catholic High School.
I've written on this before. There might be little tricks that those in
the wedding industry can use to avoid getting sued, or at least alleviate their consciences. I guess the best way to avoid conflict in the medical field is to focus on the elderly, although end -of-life issues will probably be the next big battlefield. For the rest of us, we might need to start posting anonymously only, or at the very least trim that Facebook Friend's list to the bare minimum of trusted like-minded friends, because the next step in this persecution isn't going to be only financial, it may be criminal.