- A Catholic school in Colorado is refusing students of gay and lesbian parents. (See here.)
- The Catholic archdiocese of Washington is cancelling all health insurances for spouses of employees to avoid paying benefits for same-sex couples. (See here.)
- A Dutch Catholic priest has refused to give communion to openly homosexual people. (See here.)
First of all, the Catholic school situation: While I have to wonder at people who differ with the Catholic church's teachings and yet choose to put their children in a Catholic school anyway, numerous people do. And not all these people live in ways that are consistent with the Catholic church's teaching. By teaching their children, the Catholic church is not condoning the actions of all the parents. Furthermore, one could argue that Catholic schools ought to particularly want to teach the students of sinners and heretics and infidels for missionary reasons--this is their chance to teach the young what they consider right before they are corrupted by these evil parents. But, if the purpose of Catholic schools is not to teach anyone who lives in ways inconsistent with Catholic teaching, it's hypocritical not to kick out students of anyone who openly flaunts a non-Catholic lifestyle: Protestants, Jews, Muslims, atheists... divorced people....
Second: health benefits. Okay, I also wonder why you want to dedicate your life to working for an organization that hates you, but let's skip that again. First, let's say, okay, you don't want to support a lifestyle you don't agree with. Then what you should do is not hire people whose lifestyles you disagree with. But why is it okay to pay one form of wages, and not another? Why is it okay to give them a salary at all, some of which will surely go to support their spouses, and yet not have health insurance? Secondly, the Catholic church ought to be in favor of universal health care as a human right. And you know what universal health care will do? It will also cover gay people. Will the Catholic church revoke it's stance on human rights issues because it doesn't want to inadvertently help gay people? Should we revoke the death penalty... except for gay people? Should we be against abortion... except for gay people? Nonsense--at least I would hope that this is obviously nonsense. So why is it okay to say, yes, we have gay employees, but we want them and their spouses to suffer when it comes to medical problems, because they have a lifestyle of which we do not approve?
Third: Communion. And, again, I wonder at those who choose to stay in a religion that has this attitude, but that aside... Now, I don't know the ins and outs of the Catholic's policies and procedures about giving communion.
What's going on with all of these situations
Does the Catholic school kick out all children of felons? If it was to educate a child of a murderer, does that imply that it condones murder? Does that mean that they can't say in the school, "Murder is bad?" If you give a murderer communion, does that mean that you believe murder is good? If you give a murderer health care, does that mean you think murder is good?
The Catholic church needs to re-examine its priorities and realize that it believes in education, it believes in health care, and it believes in holy communion, and that the goal of the church is to spread the teachings of Jesus, both through education and communion and through following Jesus' actions (like healing the sick).
Meanwhile, to LGBT people who find themselves shunned by the Catholic church? Well, Catholicism is wrong.... about a lot of things. Hopefully this begins the questioning of the Catholic church's rightness.
*Text in red added 3/11/09 for correction and/or clarification.