If you're joining me here today, you might wish to read Part One of this story: Truths We Find to be Self-Evident, Part One: Mommy and the Catholic Church
Dear Darling Daughters:
A few people have asked me why I can’t keep my mouth shut about what happened at our school and just move on. I was told at one point, “Oh, well, we are over it and moving on.” Someone else said to me, “Lorie, I really think if you would just read the bible with an open heart, you would see that homosexuality is wrong.” Really?
I feel a very strong “calling” if you will, to speak up on what I consider to be a tragedy of epic proportions. I’m not exaggerating. “Calling” is the best word I can use to describe the sense of urgency and spiritual persistence I feel in telling this story. And “epic tragedy” is an absolutely appropriately term to describe what I think is so very wrong about the decision that was made.
I think anyone who has ever studied God or religion has some basic understanding of the moral objectives behind any sort of spiritualism. Basics: be kind to others, do unto others, don’t covet, don’t murder, don’t lie…. I don’t need to list the 10 Commandments here for anyone, and in particular, church heads, to know the basics.
I don’t and will never understand any organization that would choose to be unkind to anyone. Don’t we attend church to learn, to be accepted into a community, to find unconditional acceptance, to obtain guidance, and to bask in the love of God for all of us?
And, if that’s the case, why do so many participants of organized religion so readily accept the systematic elimination of anyone who challenges the organization’s interpretation of what is meant by The Bible and the rules of the organization? How is it possible to commit to an organization that ostracizes certain people, for whatever reason, and still believe that the greater good is being met even when the most basic precepts of spirituality are being ignored?
Someone told me that I should evaluate the school based upon its merits and those exceptional things my children would gain such as a superior education. I wanted to say to that person, “Would you allow your children to attend the best school in Boulder if they segregated African Americans?” I’m betting the answer would be “no”. What message does it send to our kiddos for us to say, “Oh, well, we don’t really believe in what they did, but we sent you there anyway because it was a good school.”
I also recognize that some of my peers at the school do believe that homosexuality is a sin or a choice and should be shunned. If that’s the case, I would suggest you consider what you will do when one of your children comes to you with the news that s/he is gay. Some of you will find this out while they are still at the Catholic School. Will you allow them to continue at a place they are not accepted? Will you speak out on their behalf? Do you really believe that your child is somehow bad or damaged and won’t be accepted by God if she is lesbian? I urge you to challenge your own thinking.
I know that some would say I should have stayed with the school and tried to create change. The fact is, I’m not a member of the Catholic Church and I don’t have the kind of financial input that I would need to have to influence anything that happens at the school. The only ways that I can object and try to make a difference are to pull what financial influence I do have in the form of tuition, and speak clearly and loudly about what happened. I still might not have any impact, but these two-and-a-half years later, I can still make it uncomfortable and memorable. You’ll also notice I haven’t tried to take any individuals to the mat over this because I believe that would be as cruel and un-Christian as the original event.
So, why don’t I keep my mouth shut? Remember that “calling” I told you about? Part of it is knowing in a very profound and definite way what is right and what is wrong and having the spiritual strength to say so and act accordingly. I believe that calling is as substantial and enduring as any religious figurehead who feels called to preach on Sunday morning. The Catholic Church had its say in a very big way and now, it's my turn.
My girls, there’s still another critical piece to this story that I will tell you in the coming weeks.
My love to both of you!