By now you’ve heard about the girl in the care of a same-sex couple being denied enrollment in a Catholic school. (If not, see http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_14631492)
One of the standard retorts has been, “What about other sinners?” That is, why are we not kicking out the kids of parents who are adulterers, in invalid marriages, or even tax cheaters? Zippy made the point that while it’s a fair point, objective reality isn’t fair about it. I’m knicking that idea and will attempt to expand on it.
Many of our schools also accept students of other faiths and no faith, and from single parent and divorced parent families. These students are always welcome so long as their parents support the Catholic mission of the school and do not offer a serious counter-witness to that mission in their actions.
So show me adulterers offering serious counter-witness, and yeah, I’ll support booting their children in addition to any canonical remedies for the parents if they are Catholic. The problem is as Zippy pointed out–objective reality isn’t fair about these things. Same-sex couples are manifest in way that adulterers or tax cheats usually are not. Add the usual public vocal defiance that comes from this quarter, and there is your serious counter-witness present in the one case and not present in the other.
Another argument that comes up is why punish the child? I submit the punishment is coming entirely from the “parents”. As I mentioned elsewhere, they might as well have strapped high-explosives to the child and sent her to school. One unforgettable moment from the book Black Hawk Down (it’s not in the movie) was a description of a Somali who had his children cling to him as he fired on the Rangers; the thought being that our soldiers would not be able to overcome moral qualms about firing back.
Other people ask, why are we so hung up on homosexuality when there are other issues? It is because we are at an unprecedented time in which the media, academia, and judiciary are engaged in a project to normalize homosexuality. The Church, as one of the few remaining holdouts, is going to come under direct assault because of this. I saw related another story about a homosexual who applied for a job at a Catholic Church for the express purpose of suing when he didn’t get it. This is how the assault is going to happen–kamikaze style in a manner of speaking. And as the Denver case shows, the enemy isn’t above using innocent children as human shields to prey upon Catholics’ good but often misguided sense of fair play, and their general lack of clarity on this issue which thankfully, bishops like Chaput are providing a corrective remedy.
P.S. Kevin Jones at W4 gave a great response as well:
The argument about divorced parents is just a way to make past corruption justify further corruption. At some point it may be necessary to again sanction such accepted behavior, but at this point simply digging in one’s heels at further decline is rare enough.
The American Catholic Church’s permissive attitude towards annullments derives power from the laity’s misunderstanding and rejection of true marriage. Since poor Catholic schooling, and the normalization of lesbianism only worsens that problem, bringing up divorce is mainly a distraction.