Respecting Differences…(cough cough)


Now that the Ontario Catholic School Board has solved the problem of how to scupper the Gay-Straight Alliance movement within its system, while giving the very superficial appearance of support, all the poor, bullied, abused, suicidal Catholic students can rest easy. They’ll get their club. Sort of.

For instance: the name itself does not and will not contain the word “gay”, or any other word that implies “gay”. Also, any discussion or material that promotes awareness of homosexuality, or encourages activism for it, will be shut down by the mandatory supervisor, or by the invited chaplaincy. In other words, the catholic school board will support its gay population, provided it does not attempt to discuss (re: encourage) homosexuality.

What the administration says:

“We may not agree with the advocacy of a lifestyle, but still believe that gay students, and for that matter any students, should not be bullied.”

What the administration means:

We disagree with this lifestyle, and we will do everything in our power to shut these kids down, and, if possible, cure them of their affliction through the teachings of our Christian doctrine.

{By the way, the Catholic Church’s singular reason for existing is to advocate a lifestyle.}

What the administration says:

“We are totally against bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and have nothing against homosexuality. But this is about anti-bullying specifically, not promoting a lifestyle that goes against our Catholic teachings.”

What the administration means:

Children should leave the business of bullying homosexuals to the experts: the Catholic Church. Look, for instance, how we’ve managed to satisfy the government’s demand that we allow GSA-style clubs, without permitting any discussion of homosexuality. And look how we give the illusion, to the public and parents, if not the students themselves, of caring. Brilliant, if we do say so ourselves.

{You may have noticed that the two sentences in the quote contradict each other.}

What the administration says:

“[The Respecting Differences clubs] are not intended as a fora for activism, protest or advocacy of anything that is not in accord with the Catholic faith foundation of the school.”

What the administration means:

If you can’t live like a good Catholic, you should get outta Dodge.

Good idea, children. If you are, or think you might be, homosexual, it behooves you to get away from the destructive influence of the Catholic Church in all its forms, including its schools. They will never help you. They will only hurt you. If you don’t believe me, re-read the quotes above. Ask a native Canadian. Ask a Protestant Irishman. Ask around, kids.

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About Mike Morey

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3 responses to “Respecting Differences…(cough cough)

  • Arnie F

    Mike, while I am somewhat offended by your comments, I do understand that there are many causes for bitterness against the institutional Catholic Church and perhaps you have your own. Many Catholics like myself struggle on a day to day basis with the practices of our faith, are called “cafeteria Catholics” by fellow parishioners and have a hard time accepting what seems to be some systemic contrariness in a sacred order.

    Nevertheless educators (for example in our school board in Eastern Ontario) are tackling bullying in an ardent manner. They also engage in a restorative justice program that promotes a more Christian path among our high school youth to counter all things anti-social, not just homophobia. Advocating a lifestyle based on the teachings of Jesus Christ It is not just the “Catholic Church’s singular reason for existing”, but all Christian churches.

    While poking fun at Catholicism is de riguer these days (and you are entitled to your opinions) understand that your unbridled and unbalanced comments play to the pitchforks-and-torches crowd. Admonishing these kids to get away from circles of care and support, because you think its ALL destructive, gives little solace to kids who need to hear “it gets better.”

  • Mike Morey

    I appreciate the comments, Arn.

    Frankly,it’s a difficult task for me not to offend someone with each of my posts. But I’m usually picking on someone for a specific reason. In this case, that reason is a deep-seated intolerance, not necessarily in the individual catholic worshiper but in the church body as a whole.
    Even though I’m not homosexual, I believe this group should be able to discuss the intolerance pitted against them from all directions. It’s especially important with teenagers, who tend to believe they are alone, that no one else feels the way they do, that they are misunderstood. Talking about it helps them understand this is not the case, that there are others facing the very same challenges. And that is the purpose of Gay-Straight Alliance clubs.

    Yes, all schools and school boards should be concerned about all forms of bullying and discrimination. But in this instance, the catholic board is pretending to comply with the students’ wish for a GSA club (and also complying with a government order), when it is in fact shutting them out. I don’t believe I am stretching the truth too far by suggesting the Catholics will not be of much real help to any homosexual teenager looking for solace or sympathy. Again, I mean the Catholic Church, not you, the good catholic citizen. It’s the school board’s own words that tell the story, here.

    (If I want to poke fun at someone for the sheer entertainment of it, I’ll stick my pitchfork into Mayor Rob Ford. He barely feels it through all that blubber.)

    Thanks for reading, even though I offend you. Maybe I’ll go after baby seal hunters next. I don’t think any of them can read.

    Cheers, Mike

  • Arnie F

    No worries, Mike. I know you write from a deep-seated conviction about things of substance. This topic is very germane. I have a hetero kid in the Catholic School System and I’m on the School Council. He and I are quite aware of the issues and the responses. He himself is part of a “Link Crew” where he supports a vulnerable “buddy”. There is advocacy and support. But like growing up “Paki” in good ol’ London Town in the 60’s, I know that bullying is there and you have to seek out support, solace and sympathy.

    I’ll continue to enjoy your blog even if I don’t always agree with you, until, that is, you start blogging about Justin Bieber!!

    Best always,

    Arnie

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