Catholic Students Protest on Behalf of Gay Assistant Principal Who Was Fired for Getting Married

In case you needed more evidence that Catholic school students are often kinder, more decent people than Church officials, just look at what happened at Eastside Catholic High School (in Seattle, Washington) today.

On Tuesday, Assistant Principal Mark Zmuda was forced to resign from his position after school officials confronted him about his sexual orientation and summer wedding. Tomorrow will be his last day at school thanks to the “loving,” “grace-filled” nature of the Catholic Church.

Mark Zmuda (right) and husband Dana Jergens

But the students at the school weren’t taking that decision lightly. Today, 300 of them staged protests online, on Twitter, in the cafeteria, and outside the school:

Students protest on behalf of Mr. Zmuda (Steve Ringman – The Seattle Times)

One student at Eastside Catholic said the entire student body was protesting; students either walked out of class or never went. Many were crying along with their teachers.

Students said they were told the decision to fire Zmuda was made by the Archdiocese of Seattle. They said they and students from other Catholic schools within the diocese planned to collect and submit signatures hoping to win Zmuda his job back.

Zmuda won’t get his job back. He broke the rules he agreed to in his contract and the Church isn’t known for compassion when it comes to gay people in loving relationships.

Still, the online petition (currently at 4,400 supporters) shows how large the gap is between children who care about love and the adults who prioritize ancient rules that forbid it in certain circumstances:

Sign seen inside Eastside Catholic High School

The student body is outraged that an incredible administrator, coach, and human being was fired solely because of his love and marriage for another human being. We are uniting in order to change the Catholic Church’s opposition of gay marriage. It is time to revisit the policy and act as Jesus would have, loving and supporting every person regardless of their marital status. United, we want this policy changed so that the Catholic Church can achieve its mission of acting with unconditional love in every situation.

Well, good luck with that one…

Back to the positive, though. It’s really amazing how other students, even those at other Catholic schools, joined forces with the Eastside students today.

And Zmuda, closing in on his final day at the school tomorrow, still found a way to give the students valuable advice:

While students were protesting on the street, [freshman Sophia Cerino] said, Zmuda came out to talk to them about what had happened. “He told us he had gotten fired because he is gay and married. He told us to grow up, get a job and find true love. He was crying and told us what we were doing meant a lot to him.”

Think about the message Church officials have sent these students: Love doesn’t matter. Your dedication to our schools doesn’t matter. If you’re gay, you better stay single and celibate if you want to be part of our club.

The students who protested today showed the Catholic Church precisely why its in so much trouble. The kids may not have a choice about the school they attend now. But once they are able to make the choice for themselves, how many of them will raise their kids in the Church? How many will even attend Church? How many will leave the faith altogether? They know better than to give any respect to Church officials who don’t deserve it.

Eastside Catholic inadvertently created a batch of future atheists today.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis is silent on matters like this. Sure, he says Catholics shouldn’t “judge” gay people… but firing them for the crime of marrying-while-gay? Not a problem for him.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • paulalovescats

    Surely they knew he was gay. Come on. He gets married, and it’s an uproar. I guess they thought if he was going to get married, sooner or later he’d bring a goat to sex ed class, molest a six-year-old, or eat a baby. Because, slippery slope.

  • Tor

    As long as he was unmarried, the authorities could pretend that he was just bringing his best buddy to school functions. The marriage was like rubbing a puppy’s nose in its own poop. Remember, religion is built on keeping the fantasy alive.

  • Pofarmer

    I doubt if he was bringing anybody to school functions.

  • Spuddie

    His coworkers celebrated his civil union 5 years ago. They couldn’t even pretend at that stage. This was just being spiteful for its own sake. Especially when NJ had only recently legalized SSM.
    [Any pretense that Governor Christie is a “social moderate” went away when he vetoed the SSM Bill despite overwhelming legislative and popular support]

  • Louis E.

    Shame on his coworkers for thinking his civil union worthy of celebration.(NJ has never stooped to legalizing SSM,its courts struck down the law against it…but wasn’t this guy in Seattle?…you’re confusing him with the one in Philadelphia).

    Personally,I favor abortion on demand,strict gun control,and a ban on capital punishment,but wish it was an impeachable offense for a judge to rule in favor of SSM.

  • Spuddie

    You are correct. I am confusing this one with the guy in Philly. My bad. 2 of the same type of story within a week of each other.

    NJ overwhelmingly supported legalizing SSM. It was the Governor’s veto (and aspirations to national office) which prevented it, prior to the court case.

    Of course I have yet to see a legal argument against SSM which wasn’t complete nonsense. Judges seem to think the same way.

  • Buckley

    The school may have gotten heat from the Archdiocese and the Bishop so it may have been out of the administrations hands. Notice how there is no mention of student punishment for disrupting the school day. I suspect that the administration tacitly supported the students.

  • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_of_Bangor

    I just looked at a picture of two gay men and I feel I now have caught teh ghey. I’m starting to have a strange attraction to animals as well. I think I’m going to start jotting down my gay agenda too.

    Or….

    I’m going to go puke because seeing two happy gay men is just disgusting.

  • Buckley

    LOL…did you see the muscles on the one??? I may turn gay after that.

  • Guest

    That’s cool. Hopefully those kids will leave that abomination behind entirely.

  • Guest

    :-)

  • islandbrewer

    Hooray! While I’m sorry that the Assistant Principal is forced to find another job, now (that truly sucks), I think it’s great that the Catholic Church is doing it’s utmost to make the children within the church see it as uncaring and unjust, hate it, and leave.

    Thanks, RCC! You’re doing more than I ever could to shrink the number of Catholics in the next generation.

  • peter taylor

    Exactly, the saying “Give ’em enough rope” springs to mind.
    Keep up the good work RCC

  • A3Kr0n

    I have a feeling Catholic schools might start having a harder time recruiting good teachers and administrators in the future.

  • smrnda

    I would like to think so, but with public schools often being de-funded people end up looking at the private options out of desperation. I suspect that’s intentional, as some legislators want to destroy public, secular education and force everybody to attend religious schools for lack of other options.

  • Buckley

    So true, that’s why I teach for a Catholic school and I have an openly gay friend in Chicago who teaches at one too, but because of family ties to the school (i.e. lost of money donated) she’s not going anywhere. Trust me if I came out as atheist, they’d be pushing me out with in the hour.

  • Louis E.

    While others want the opposite,and want to de-accredit all curricula outside what they prescribe for public schools regardless of anyone’s belief.

  • anniewhoo

    I will never crack the great tavern puzzle that is the Catholic Church. Rape children? No problem, we’ll transfer you to another church before anyone notices. Show your love and commitment by marrying your partner? You’re out of here! I hope Mr. Zmuda finds a more supportive place to work… and I hope those students continue with their protests.

  • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_of_Bangor

    Because nowhere in the bible does it say thou shall not stick your dick in little boys butt holes.

    It supposedly says something about marriage being between just one man and one woman but we all know that is pure bullshit.

  • Pseudonym

    Because nowhere in the bible does it say thou shall not stick your dick in little boys butt holes.

    Interestingly, it is in the Didache (2:2 if anyone is reading along), which predates the Bible.

  • Nele Abels

    Huh? Wikipedia tells me, the Diache dates from second century A.D. How can it possibly predate the pentateuch whose final redaction was completet about 450 B.C.?

  • Pofarmer

    Well, it predates the NT canon, but most all,the Gospels were floating around.

  • Neko

    OT canonized at the turn of the 2nd century, NT 4th century.

  • Nele Abels

    The Pentateuch, i.e. the five books of Moses, were canonized by a jewish redaction around 450 BC as a part of the Tanach. The Tanach was canonized by christians around 190 AD to form the christian Old Testament. The Pentateuch predates the Didache for several centuries.

    But, admittedly, that’s all nitpicking.

  • Neko

    I relied on discredited scholarship for the OT. Sorry!

  • baal

    I read a on-line copy of the section…It’s almost too good to be true.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Not only does it not actually say that, Polygamy is common in the Bible and never condemned, except that it disqualifies one from becoming a deacon. (In one line of one Epistle.)

  • Nomad

    At a basic level I see what you’re saying. Homosexuality is cracked down upon, but homosexual pedophilia is covered up and protected.

    But it’s simpler than that. It’s not about what the priests do. It’s that they’re priests. They’re the leaders, they get the special privileges. Probably a combination of the fact that they have power so they can do it, plus they have to be covered up for otherwise people might not trust the priesthood.

  • Intelligent Donkey

    Authority, authority, authority.

    Submit to authority, respect your elders, don’t ask questions. Age and titles trump curiosity and intelligence. Your parents are always right. Old knowledge trumps new knowledge. Unchanging “holy” books trump ever-changing science. And priests only answer to God Himself.

    Answers that you’re not allowed to question trump questions without answers.

  • peter taylor

    Just want to point out that it’s pedophilia that is protected in the Church, not just homosexual pedophilia. Heterosexual pedophilia is more prevalent

  • Louis E.

    Not among clerical abuse charges,it isn’t!
    The clear majority of the men’s victims were male.

  • peter taylor

    Hi Louis, not doubting you for a second but do you have a source?

  • anniewhoo

    Yes, good point, Nomad.

  • Nancy

    These kids learned a valuable lesson. They learned that standing up for what is right is important even if you don’t always win. They learned, when Mr Z came out to talk to them, that it still makes a difference, even a small one, to someone.

  • Marie Alexander

    I KNOW! I loved that part. That was my favorite part. *sniffle*

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    So glad the kids here in Washington are standing up against such an injustice.

  • Louis E.

    The only injustice is treating same-sex couples as if they deserved marriage licenses.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    Wow…. Explain exactly how that’s an injustice please. This I have to hear.

  • Louis E.

    The public interest requires that the unique and specific importance of opposite-sex relationships to humanity (regardless of the reproductive intent or capacity of any particular such relationships) be recognized by a legal institution limited exclusively to such relationships.Take away that status and everyone is harmed.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    How exactly will it harm anybody? Why does public interest require it?

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    17 states have recognized that it’s wrong to deny rights to same sex couples and there hasn’t been any harm whatsoever to anyone in any of those states. You’re talking out of your ass. The only injustice is there are still 33 States where human beings still don’t have the same rights as their fellows.

  • Louis E.

    17 states have taken a wrong turn that they need to reverse,and that wrong turn itself constitutes a harm to the people of those states.No “right” to have a same-sex sexual relationship treated as if of no lesser worth than an opposite-sex marriage should ever be recognized.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    Still waiting for you to elaborate on exactly what this ‘harm’ is. I live in a marriage equality state and I haven’t seen one iota of this harm you keep talking about.

  • onamission5

    Go get ’em, kids.

  • Jeff

    While I admire, respect, and love these kids for what they are doing, the thing to watch is their PARENT’s response.

  • velveteenRabbit

    just fyi, it’s not in Seattle, it’s in “Sammamish” which is about 15 miles out of seattle and is a fair amount more conservative than Seattle (we actually have a republican rep to the House).

  • Pofarmer

    “Love doesn’t matter.”. The Catholic Church isn’t about love, it’s about obediance.

  • Itarion

    Their god, though. He’s about love, right? That’s what I’ve heard…

  • Intelligent Donkey

    Yes, the Holy Bible tells us so.

    Now stop asking questions or you’ll end up in Hell.

  • Itarion

    But wait, I thought… FWOOSH!

    Well, damn me. Guys, I found the problem!

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    LOL What kind of hippie liberal Christians have you been listening to?

  • Itarion
  • baal

    Serving god is obedience. God is love.
    so being obedient to god is love.
    See! Just move the words around the board a bit and you can wind up at the right configuration of meanings to allow abject debasement to be the pinnacle of goodness and light.

  • Pofarmer

    To be fair, it’s obediance to the Church, not necesarily God.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin’
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    –Bob Dylan

  • Pseudonym

    Of course, the “sons and daughters” of Dylan’s day are the grandparents of these kids. Indeed they are a-changin’.

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    ♬ As the present now / Will later be past …. ♬

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    It seems a pity Dylan didn’t write a verse for the priests.

  • Rain

    I don’t know if this person is for real or not. https://twitter.com/suicidalife_ They need help if they are for real.

  • Pseudonym

    Eastside Catholic inadvertently created a batch of future atheists today.

    Some are future atheists. Some are future church reformers. Either way, it’s all good.

  • Rationalist1

    All are future thinkers with a moral standard higher than the Catholic Church could give them.

  • Greg G.

    He’ll get a big, heart-felt apology from the Church after the next revelation in about 400 years.

  • Rationalist1

    You’re thinking of the Mormon Church. Catholic Church teaching doesn’t change. Or at least they never admit it.

  • gimpi1

    I believed they finally apologized to Galileo fairly recently. In 1992, apparently, Pope John Paul II “expressed regret” about how Galileo’s case was handled. Only about 500 years after putting him under house arrest for life. So they do admit error, rarely and far, far too late to do any good, of course.

  • Rationalist1

    And if you read Catholic apologetic websites they will say the Church was right because Galileo was imprudent in proposing this revised cosmology. They never admit they are wrong.

  • gimpi1

    Yes, Rationalist, the apologists never admit an error. Of course, they didn’t really like John Paul II, too much of a squish. But at least the head-honcho said, “We goofed.”

    Incidentally, the Mormon Church is taking some heat from its own apologists over admitting that denying black men the priesthood was a mistake. I guess any group that insists it’s without error has PR issues to deal with when they have to admit an error. So it goes…

  • OMar

    don’t get what the problem is half the people In the ignorant catholic churchs are gay raping young boys rofl hopefully one day people will stop being ignorant and accept everyone if there is a god he created all of us and put us in this world to love one another and respect

  • David McNerney

    “…if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.”

    That didn’t last long.

  • Rationalist1

    Never started. Just a PR line.

  • Louis E.

    If the person enters into a same-sex marriage,that removes the presumption of “good will”.

  • David McNerney

    If a man and a woman get married the good will remains, so your objection is against same sex marriage. Therefore a judgement has been made – restoring the presumption of prejudice.

  • Louis E.

    Recognizing that being same-sex makes a same-sex sexual relationship wrong is moral awareness,not “prejudice”.Those who do wrong need to face adverse consequences.

  • David McNerney

    Wrong? According to whom exactly?

  • joey_in_NC

    This simply demonstrates the number of students in Catholic high schools who are nominally Catholic. It’s no surprise.

    FWIW, I completely do not understand the firing of the couple that had an out-of-wedlock pregnancy (subject of a previous blog post). There is nothing about that situation that indicated that the teachers were intentionally publicly defying Church teaching. This case, however, is a blatant public defiance of Church teaching.

    Think about the message Church officials have sent these students: Love doesn’t matter. Your dedication to our schools doesn’t matter. If you’re gay, you better stay single and celibate if you want to be part of our club.

    The message is simply: If you want to be employed by the Catholic Church, then simply don’t publicly defy Church teachings.

  • Rationalist1

    Better message – Never work for a religious based organization. Basic civil rights laws may not apply. Basic ethics certainly doesn’t.

  • Neko

    If the Church didn’t take a position on gay marriage, what would be your position, Joey?

  • gimpi1

    I admit I don’t follow this. I work for a privately-held company. As long as I do my job well, the owner of that company doesn’t care if I live according to his beliefs. I lived with my husband for years before we married, the owner of the company is uncomfortable with couples living together before marriage. (When I announced our marriage, his response was “About time! Did you finally wise up?) However, he never expected me to comport my private life according to his beliefs. I don’t believe what he does. I don’t vote the way he does most of the time, I don’t support the causes he does, and that’s fine. Why is a teacher different?

  • joey_in_NC

    It depends on the employer/organization and the company culture they want to maintain.

    A more apt analogy would be a PETA employee publicly enrolling in the National Hunters Association. Why would PETA keep an employee who publicly defies what the entire organization stands for? You may disagree with the principles of PETA, but you can’t say PETA’s decision to release such an employee is unreasonable considering PETA’s culture and principles.

  • gimpi1

    Actually, I would disagree with PETA’s decision in that case. As long as the employee does the job while on the job, I don’t regard their life away from work as their employers concern.

    Perhaps the fact that I free-lance for any number of organizations colors my views. I have done design-work for political organizations that I wouldn’t vote for on a bet, products I wouldn’t buy and individuals I disliked. I don’t sit in judgement of my customers. As long as a potential customer isn’t openly unethical, and the service or product they offer isn’t illegal or actively harmful, I don’t regard our disagreements as having any part in a professional relationship.

  • joey_in_NC

    Actually, I would disagree with PETA’s decision in that case. As long as the employee does the job while on the job, I don’t regard their life away from work as their employers concern.

    I understand, but it’s different if one does a public act that is contrary to the company’s culture. It’s ironic because if gay marriage were illegal in Massachusetts, then most likely the vice principal would still have his job, depending exactly on how public/open he is about his gay relationship. If he kept his relationship strictly private, then there would be nothing that explicitly indicates that he’s defying Church teaching. But by filing for a same-sex marriage through the state, that is an explicitly public act of defiance.

  • gimpi1

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • Spuddie

    Whatever objections they had were reduced to bullshit excuses once they hired him and kept him on for so long. He was not “in the closet” or even remotely “discrete” about his relationship. Claiming prior ignorance would be an outright lie.

    His employers knew full well he was gay, and in a monogamous relationship (he was in a civil union and had a party for it at work in 2008 FFS!) and didn’t care. Suddenly its an act of defiance? That’s a load of crap.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Why would PETA keep an employee who publicly defies what the entire organization stands for?

    So, the Catholic Church is a single-issue interest group dedicated solely to the opposition of gay civil marriage?

    I mean, we all sort of suspected, but this the first confirmation…

  • joey_in_NC

    So, the Catholic Church is a single-issue interest group dedicated solely to the opposition of gay civil marriage?

    Nice try.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Hey, I’m just taking your bad analogy and rolling with it. Not my fault you decided to draw a formal equivalence between something as rich and deep and multifaceted as the Catholic Church and effing PETA to score points in favor of shitting on people’s love you don’t approve of.

  • joey_in_NC

    Dude, I thought you were more reasonable than this.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Oh, I’m sorry, fluffy me is out for the day. You get annoyed me. I find people who are willing to throw nuance in the trash in order to make excuses for bigotry slightly less than worth the effort to present a pleasant demeanor.

    Your Church stands against many, many things. Public defiance of those things is something that they act against, at best, sporadically, fitfully, and only when it is convenient to a narrative. So your excuses to that effect are bullshit, and unworthy of a person with empathy and two brain cells to rub together. If an entire school’s worth of Catholic kids can figure that out, what exactly is your fucking malfunction?

    Maybe tomorrow I’ll be in a better mood, and you can have fluffy me to play with again.

  • joey_in_NC

    No problem, if this is the real you, then so be it.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Ah, I see, angry me is the real me, but pleasant me is a facade, even though I’m pleasant 99% of the time and today am having a bad day.

    You know what is starting to turn me away from giving Catholics the benefit of the doubt? Talking with Catholics like you and realizing that all the excuse I make for all the hateful things your church does don’t match the reality.

    I see, according to your standards, that being a judgmental prick is the “real you”, so if that’s the case, fuck off very much, and know that it was you who succeeded in creating yet another enemy of your so very precious, child-raping, love-corrupting abomination of a church.

  • joey_in_NC

    Ah, I see, angry me is the real me, but pleasant me is a facade, even though I’m pleasant 99% of the time and today am having a bad day.

    I wasn’t commenting on how “pleasant” or “angry” you are, but rather how you think (because sometimes it takes being angry to reveal how/what one truly thinks). If that’s how you really think, then so be it.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    …because sometimes it takes being angry to reveal how/what one truly thinks…

    No, actually, I have been rather desperate to cling to any excuse not to throw in the proverbial trash bin the now clearly, thoroughly evil monstrosity that is modern Christianity, particularly the Catholic Church and its organized regimented depravity. And I suppose in some ways, you’re right about one thing. It took me getting angry (and you being smugly passive-aggressive) for me to realize I was clinging to sentiment, making apologies for the inexcusable, trying to find pearls in a bucket of swine shit.

    If it makes you feel any better, it wasn’t just you. Lately I’ve been confronted with several actual expressions of inhumanity perpetrated in the name of God and Church that have had me reassess just who and what I had been reflexively defending. Just last week, I met a woman through a professional networking event my partner was attending, and she was proudly Catholic as part of her beliefs and heritage. The very next day, as she was working a soup kitchen, she was viciously berated by the priest there. Her crime? Helping poor people sign up through the state exchange for health insurance. (Many soup kitchens have set up volunteer stations for heath-care sign up, since it’s a place that the poor who might not have access to a computer routinely go.) You see, the priest was livid she would dare to work inside a system where it was possible that those poor people (many of whom had never had access to health care) might use that health care to procure contraceptives. The law requires the contraceptives to be covered, therefore she is evil according to the priest, whose tirade reduced her to tears. That night she talked about her experiences, and it was very clear that she was heart-broken, and she announced that she was done with the Catholic Church. It’s one thing to oppose the manner in which health insurance is delivered (and I have personally said plenty about that), but it is quite another to use one element of that effort as an excuse to denounce it and the people who try to use it to help others.

    A few months ago, my partner and I were walking through the parking lot coming out of the Stop & Shop after buying our groceries, and spotted a bumper sticker-laden car announcing the evils of euthanasia and abortion braced around a “Pray the Rosary” sticker. My partner commented to me, apparently loud enough for the person who we didn’t know at the time was sitting in the car, her disapproval. Cue the woman in the car rushing out and screaming nearly incoherently at my partner, who rushed to our car and closed and locked the door, all while this woman was continuing to berate her and say how evil and cruel we (but particularly my partner) must be (for our opinions, you see) and that God would surely punish us and that we should apologize. She also turned to me and tried to get me to say, as the “man” in the relationship, that I should control her and not let her speak her mind. Truly deranged, and my partner was terrified and sobbing from the incident. I never raise my voice if I can help it, but the only thing that would startle this woman enough to break her in-the-hate-zone slobbering spittle fest was my bellowing that she needed to step away from the car NOW so that we could leave.

    I really don’t like talking about my personal experiences and those of people close to me, and there are plenty more where they came from I will not share still; in effect that has become my defense mechanism to not face just how rotten this institution has become. In the abstract, or with the distance of history, experienced vicariously it is, it turns out, very easy to love that which is actually evil by papering over and ignoring and excusing the real lives it viciously hurts. Churches are pretty, and the art they’ve bought with their wealth is pretty, and mass is pretty, and some of the erudite arguments of long dead church fathers are fascinating; aesthetic value is seductive, it distracts from moral ugliness.

    You can believe what you like, and I’m sure cognitive dissonance will cause you to file these under more atheist lies so you don’t have to confront the utter moral rot that is your Church and the horrific effect it has on people who try to do good or just have the temerity to disagree. I have little hope it will be taken otherwise. And I really need to stop “understanding” people like you who spend your time defending the indefensible. When you stand that close to evil, there is a splash radius. I know full well just how easy it is for a skilled rhetorician to make black seem white, or failing that make blue seem green, and how easy intellect can be perverted into an infinite excuse-generating machine.

    I will no longer have a part of it.

  • baal

    “aesthetic value is seductive, it distracts from moral ugliness.”
    QFT

  • Neko

    aesthetic value is seductive, it distracts from moral ugliness.

    Preach, sister. This is the crux of my relationship with the Catholic Church.

  • joey_in_NC

    FWIW, I’m sincerely sorry for your experiences.

  • Little_Magpie

    Ugh, what terrible experiences. Internet hugs if you want em.

  • Carmelita Spats

    I wish I could up vote this 10,000+ times. I’ve loathed the Roman Criminal Church since I was knee-high to a disturbing dogma. When I think “the mass is pretty” or the “church is pretty” or “Saint Sebastian’s erect nipples and sacred sacra are goddamn sexy and smack of open mouthed and sticky and holy sadomasochistic eroticism”, I go back to what they DID cover up. Covering up the sexual torture of deaf children makes me put aesthetics in perspective. It’s like reading a Garcia Marquez novel and getting to the page where he describes the “tasteful” undressing/assault of a young girl and he wants the reader to feel empathy for the molester through the beauty of the language. I threw it in the trash. I’m an old-fashioned hedonist and I hang on to my non-biblical standards.

  • Madison Blane

    3lemenope, if it makes you feel any better, the fact that you choose to think the best of strangers and look for the good in life actually says a LOT about who “the real you” is. People tend to approach the world in a process of mirroring, seeing others as a reflection of who you truly are – evil and devious people assume all people are hiding something and think good people are rare; innocent and truthful people are often easily duped because the believe most people are honest and think truly bad people are rare; good people believe most of the world’s population is good at heart with good intentions and are often truly shocked to find out otherwise.

    No matter how many times I am confronted by bigots, hate-mongers, and truly spiteful people, I have a deep belief that these people are just misled and could come around with a little education, because I was misled, I held some truly horrible beliefs and attitudes and I was able to find a better path through learning. I’m rational and like to see an issue from all sides before coming to a final conclusion, so have a tendency to research, over-explain and delve deep into the comments section. I value debate and therefore I continue to engage with the obstinate. I grew up poor, in bad family circumstances but I have created a happy family of my own and I became a pediatric RN so it is hard for me to accept that ANY person is inherently bad and cannot or will not change in the right situation with the right support system.

    So, even though others might think ‘angry you’ is revealing the ‘real’ you’s true nature, thoughts and opinions…your general approach says something quite different.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Thank you for this. :)

  • baal

    I have many ‘me’s. There is the angry me, the calm me, the explaining crap me, the tearing you a new one me, the wow i feel sexy me, and the i’m going to hurt you now me, and the demon me (not good for other people to be around), the homemaker me, the dinner maker me, the juggernaut me (he keeps going), the warrior me, the insanely smart me, and more. It can be crowded in here. I tend to think of all of them as Legion. But at the end of it all, I am myself and don’t consider most of ‘me’ a facade.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    I’m with you there. I really dislike the trope “oh, now we find out who you truly are!” as though nothing that came before or will follow counts, only the worst or most terrifying or most pitiable expression of self. It is derived from a really cynical, awful view of humanity that holds that we are all down deep just horrible people that play at being nice. We are kaleidoscopic, we are all the things seen, (as well as a few never seen except perhaps by the closest and most trusted). Elevating one image above all others as the “really real” smacks of a lazy desire to pigeon-hole and categorize.

    It’s just that Joey inadvertently did me a favor in revealing to me that some piece of the “nice” me was really just “pollyanna” me and I was unhealthy to keep clinging to it. I do have a bad habit of only seeing the good or acknowledging it, sometimes to the point where I will criticize others for focusing on the bad. I want on some deep psychological level for people and organizations to live up to their full potential, and have a very hard time when they decide instead to (intentionally) spite that potential and do ill instead. I’m just beginning to realize how deep that runs.

  • Spuddie

    I like your non-fluffy you best of all. =).

  • Spuddie

    A better analogy would involve the employee working there for over a decade, inviting his co-workers for hunting trips during that time, partying with co-workers when he gets a prize for largest stag bagged in a season and then fired when he takes a vacation to Alaska for a helicopter caribou hunt 12 years after working there.

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    While some of the protestors may only be nominally Catholic, it’s alternatively possible they include Catholics who take the Vatican II bits in Gaudium Et Spes about Conscience quite seriously — and finding their consciences more compelling than the bishop.

    In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience when necessary speaks to his heart: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law written by God; to obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged. Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths. In a wonderful manner conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by love of God and neighbor. In fidelity to conscience, Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth, and for the genuine solution to the numerous problems which arise in the life of individuals from social relationships. Hence the more right conscience holds sway, the more persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and strive to be guided by the objective norms of morality.

  • baal

    If they were true catholics they would have felt no remorse and wouldn’t have supported a man who did right by them? See this is where I think the whole concept of sin and obedience to god causes catholics to lose sight of what it means to be moral.

    Get your priorities straight and do good in the world for its own sake.

  • Jinx

    Yo! Born and raised Catholic here! In response to
    “There is nothing about that situation that indicated that the teachers were intentionally publicly defying Church teaching. This case, however, is a blatant public defiance of Church teaching.”
    Seriously? Since when does premarital (straight) sex not defy Church teaching?

  • joey_in_NC

    Since when does premarital (straight) sex not defy Church teaching?

    It does. But there is a difference between struggling with sin and an intention to publicly endorse sin to purposely cause scandal. Of course the Church recognizes that even Catholics struggle with sin, which is why there exists the Sacrament of Penance. Most of the time it’s difficult to clearly differentiate between one simply struggling with sin and one intentionally endorsing sin to others, so usually the benefit of the doubt is given (or should be given) that former is the case. However, there can be no confusion when one intentionally signs a public license that endorses sin (or something clearly against Church teachings).

  • Spuddie

    The “message” is bullshit when its being consistently ignored for over a decade and then suddenly enforced when its politically convenient.

  • gimpi1

    “The students who protested today showed the Catholic Church precisely why its in so much trouble. The kids may not have a choice about the school they attend now. But once they are able to make the choice for themselves, how many of them will raise their kids in the Church? How many will even attend Church? How many will leave the faith altogether?”

    This is the absolute truth. At some point the Catholic and Evangelical churches will have to come to terms with the fact that the majority of people no longer accept the idea that a gay person falling in love and marrying is wrong. If they can’t manage to do it, they will be pushed further and further to the margins over time.

    I think they will eventually manage to change. After all, the Southern Baptists, a denomination founded to defend slavery and later segregation using the Bible, finally admitted they were wrong. The Mormons finally admitted they were wrong to deny black men the priesthood. When beliefs become too embarrassing, when membership is bleeding away to nothing, rather than face extinction, most organizations change.

    Not all, however. The Shakers come to mind as one that died out rather than change. Time will tell.

  • baal

    Wow! That wasn’t just a few tens of students; it’s like a full on rebellion.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Say one thing for young Catholics, they ain’t drinkin’ the hate-the-gays Kool Aid.

    Priest: “Can ye drink from the cup I drink of?”

    Student: “No thanks. Tastes strangely bitter.”

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    Wikipedia indicates the school has a bit over 900 students, so this is about a third of the student body — a decidedly non-trivial fraction.

  • Ibis3

    I imagine the Church sees all those students and instead of reevaluating their decision, they feel even more justified. I mean, he must have corrupted them already, if the students view the firing as something wrong and the gay, married AP as someone to love and support.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Unfortunately, I think you’re absolutely right. It’s much easier to see enemies everywhere and circle the wagons than reevaluate and consider the possibility of having made an error.

    The Church is pretty famous for this. Perhaps two hundred years after the fact, the tepid non-apology will read: “…mistakes were made.”

  • Olive Markus

    This is exactly how they see these types of incidences. Anybody who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the church has simply been corrupted by liberal propaganda. I saw a clip of Dolan recently saying that the church is losing its hold on society’s opinion of gay marriage because they church had been out-marketed. The Republicans see disapproval of themselves the same way. It couldn’t possibly be that they’re wrong. Oh, no. It must be that they simply need to rebrand the same old shit and dupe the silly people into buying it.

  • Louis E.

    Like a clock stopped twice a day,when it comes to homosexuality the Catholic teachings are absolutely right.

  • Olive Markus

    Catholic teachings on homosexuality resulted in the suicides of my cousin and my childhood friend. Any teaching that causes so much pain isn’t right, regardless of how much you’d love the entire world to fall in line with your obsession of sex that isn’t any of your business.

    But on the positive side, my ENTIRE Catholic family, extended and beyond, used these tragic deaths as a way to move past the bigotry and support those they love who are homosexuals. Life is much sweeter now, even if you want to believe that it isn’t possible.

  • Louis E.

    I’m not Catholic or religious,and I consider the firing justified and the rebellious students a disgrace.

  • Little_Magpie

    I for one am incredibly touched by the students’ response. Gives me hope for humanity, etc.

  • SeekerLancer

    I’ve said it before but it’s beautifully illustrated here. The biggest threat to the Catholic church is the future. That’s why PR stunts like Pope Francis are scrambling desperately to keep the church relevant. Though it won’t do them much good since their actual doctrine is keeping itself firmly entrenched in the past.

  • Kent Mason

    I cannot wait for it to die!

  • Anna

    It’s easy for liberal Catholics to coast along and ignore the official homophobia when it doesn’t affect them directly. As sad as this situation is, it’s good that it revealed the true face of the church to these kids, and I bet many of them are going to end up thinking long and hard about associating themselves with this organization in the future.

  • jondaly

    As a gay man and a teacher, i can say that this is not clear cut. i support his right to marry. I also support the school’s right to enforce his work agreement. He signed the contract…didn’t have to teach at a Catholic school…knew the possible consequences.

    i teach at a small college in ohio. There is a Christian college within five miles of mine. I would never choose to work there, because they don’t accept gays, they require all employees to sign a code of conduct, and they’d fire me if they discovered that I was gay. So I teach elsewhere.

    Again, I support his right to marry. I do not support his right to force the Catholic church to accept his lifestyle, marriage, whatever you want to call it. Freedom of religion is important to me even though I don’t attend church regularly anymore. (I was raised Catholic, btw.)

    So…applaud the students for sticking up for their teacher. but let’s NOT force religious institutions to accept gay marriage (which I support).

  • jondaly

    and one more thing: while every right thinking, progressive, atheist is quick to condiment anti-gay “bigotry,” they have no problem parading their own very fashionable, political acceptable anti-Catholicism. After all, all chic, sophisticated progressives hate Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, Republicans, soldiers, wall street businessman, evangelicals….the list goes on and one…but that’s OK.
    we’re only supposed to tolerate people we agree with…right? and only progressive deserve freedom of speech. right?
    l

  • Madison Blane

    “After all, all chic, sophisticated progressives hate Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, Republicans, soldiers, wall street businessman, evangelicals….the list goes on”
    Actually, no.
    Hating an ideal or a teaching and despising the destruction it causes to individuals, speaks of a love for individuals over their ideals. I have Catholic family, Baptist family and friends, Republican family and friends, I am married to a Marine and come from a military family, my own mother is an evangelical (admittedly, I’m not rich enough to know a wall street business person, and I only know a few people who have left the Mormon church). I hate the HARM that has come to society in general and the people I love because of their belief in these powerful institutions. I love these people. I want the very best for them. I just happen to disagree with the fundamental philosophy behind the institutions that color their thought processes. People are so much more than their religion or political party. Progressives know this. It doesn’t seem that you do.

  • Rod E. McCabe

    Im appalled at the total disregard of the church officials to their own teaching. Im not in anyway involved with the happening but I wish both men the very happiest of relationship, and mr z …pay them back by getting a better job somewhere else…we shall overcome!

  • Louis E.

    I’m not Catholic,or religious at all(I reject atheism,but the necessary Infinitely First Cause neither writes books nor starts official fan clubs for itself),but I agree with the Church that there should be no same-sex sexual relationships,and no,love does not excuse such relationships…not all love should find sexual expression.

  • Roman Catholic

    idiots :)

  • Ken Jones

    OMG…what a hunky cute couple!!!!