Catholic schools should be free to teach their creed

If the editor of the Yukon News thinks 'Yukon's Catholic school boards are out to lunch' (editorial, Feb. 28), he would have done well to join them for said lunch. He would have found he was dining with good people and he may have come away with some new

Subhead’What’s next, forcing the Mae Bachur

shelter to euthanize all their animals after one week because they get public funds?’/Subhead

BodyIf the editor of the Yukon News thinks ‘Yukon’s Catholic school boards are out to lunch’ (editorial, Feb. 28), he would have done well to join them for said lunch. He would have found he was dining with good people and he may have come away with some new understanding and respect for the Catholic school councils, the church, the Bible and for people of faith.

Instead, if I may paraphrase his words, “He showed his own adeptness at overlooking such things as truth, and violation of fair and balanced comment, when it suits his fancy.”

We are all human and may not always do what we know to be good, true, right, legal, best, honourable and so forth whether its something as simple as exceeding the speed limit, tasting one unpaid grape at the grocery store, or something more serious. Most of us do not, however, change our view of what is good, true, and right just because we occasionally fail at it.

The editorial stated that “the Catholic church views homosexual acts as ‘depraved and sinful’” as if the term targets homosexuals, when the reality is that there is a long list of acts the church, not just Catholics, regards as depraved and sinful. (Lying, drunkenness, brawling and cheating, to name a few.)

Moreover, when using those words the church does not intend disrespect nor to cause hatred toward anyone. The church teaches these things with love and hope that those who practise them will turn away from them, love and follow God and live according to His word for the wellbeing of their bodies and souls and for the good of the community.

That some people fail in this and use these words in a spiteful way remains the failing of man, not the Bible nor the church.

Is the church “mealy mouthed” for using the phrase “same-sex attraction” rather than gay, or are they mealy mouthed who use the euphemistic word “gay” rather than “homosexual”?

In any case, same-sex attraction is not the same as gay. That is particularly true among the young when boys may prefer the company of boys, and girls prefer the company of girls. They may even “experiment” with each other, but that does not make them gays and lesbians. So, why criticize the church for using gentle, non-judgemental language with vulnerable adolescents, rather than a label?

The saying, “figures don’t lie but liars figure” may be well to keep in mind regarding UBC’s study and uncertain correlation for a reduction in gay student suicides in schools that have gay-straight alliances. Extrapolating UBC’s stats as proof of the value of such clubs is overreaching, so why mention it, except as a lever to force Vanier to have a gay-straight club?

Hardly fair pool. But then this anti-Catholic campaign is not about fairness, is it?

Unfortunately, the finding that a dwindling number of Catholics actually believe scripture (or perhaps more correctly, pick which parts of scripture they choose to believe), and the core tenets of their faith when it comes to sexual matters, (including birth control, homosexuality, marriage and divorce) does seem to be true. So, if the “faithful” don’t subscribe to it, why insist on teaching it?

Catholics must answer this question for themselves. However, neither belief nor unbelief can change the immutable nature of holy scripture, and whether some people believe it and practise it or not does not change its wholesome goodness nor the value of teaching its principles and precepts.

The editorial proposed a gay-straight alliance club at Vanier as the price for the school continuing to receive public funds. What’s next – forcing the Mae Bachur shelter to euthanize all their animals after one week because they get public funds?

And what about all the other people and organizations who enjoy public largesse? Should they also all be required to teach their members things they don’t believe? Why require Catholic schools to teach that homosexuality is morally and spiritually OK when for Catholics, as well as many other people, it is not?

Bullying Catholic schools to have a “gay club” and teach homosexual-specific acceptance is wrong. There is no compelling rationale for it, other than to force Catholics to bend the knee to post-modernist relativism. Teaching general respect should be sufficient, and that is what the Catholic school councils are proposing.

Vanier did not, has not and will not harm anyone, and if the Catholic school councils are out to lunch, you can be sure it is a working lunch on behalf of their schools and their students. They deserve credit and respect, not censure.

Your editorial said as much in stating that “most parents … enroll their kids in Whitehorse’s Catholic schools … because the schools are strong on academics and screen out the riff-raff.”

Why does the Yukon need a publicly funded school system for Catholics in 2014? Simple. Because it is the respectful and right thing to do.

Rick Tone lives in Whitehorse.

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