Are sensitivity and tolerance one-way streets? – UPDATED

I read this story over at Deacon Greg’s earlier today and it annoyed me but I was too busy to write about it. My first thought was, “so, you friends at Catholic high school have supported you as you came out and by your own admission, always been respectful, and the school was fine about your bringing a boyfriend to prom, and you’re going to reward them by making commencement all about you? Why all the taking and no giving?”

I think you do nothing to build goodwill when you say, “your friendship, support and all the rest have meant nothing unless this advocacy group is now given a platform at our graduation.” It’s suggests an insensitivity to both one’s classmates and — dare I say it — the very Catholics who have supported you.

Is sensitivity and tolerance something that only goes one way? Is there to be no sensitivity for people of faith, only for “people of [name an issue]”, no tolerance for church views, only secular ones? Unless everything goes your way, and only your way, you feel “invalidated and unaccepted”?

I’m sorry, but that bugs me. Is this a generation that believes everything must be exactly as it wants it or it’s all “hate”? Is that what we’ve come to? Because if so, it’s pathetic. I am strongly of the opinion that a gay high-school student should be treated respectfully by his peers. I am also strongly of the opinion that the school be treated respectfully by the student.

Respect really has to go both ways, doesn’t it?

Too much to ask, apparently.

Like I said, I had no time to write on it, and I still really don’t, and now I don’t have to because Joanne McPortland has said almost everything I would and then some — all passionately articulated.

Long prelude and wandering tangents aside, the decision by Bishop Amos of Davenport not to allow a representative of the Eychaner Foundation to present Keaton Fuller with its Matthew Shepard Scholarship at the Prince of Peace graduation ceremonies is correct, within the bishop’s rights, and completely nondiscriminatory. The Eychaner Foundation advocates for gay rights, among which are engaging in homosexual relationships and gay marriage. This advocacy runs counter to Catholic teaching, so for a Catholic school to provide the Eychaner Foundation with a bully pulpit (and I use that phrase deliberately) at Prince of Peace’s graduation ceremonies would be inappropriate. Bishop Amos rightly congratulates Mr Fuller on his accomplishments and has no problem with the scholarship being announced by a school official–as, by the way, every scholarship I’ve ever seen or read about being awarded is handled, as I am certain all other scholarships being awarded to members of Mr Fuller’s graduating class will be handled. That is not discrimination or, as Salon puts it, “an anti-gay snub.”

Read the whole thing. It’s worth every word.

UPDATE: “Tolerance” and “Sensitivity” and vandalism

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About Elizabeth Scalia