Skip to main content

And the purge continues. Trish Cameron, a fifth-grade teacher at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Moorhead, Minnesota, will not be back in the fall. The reason? She personally supports marriage equality.

Cameron has been teaching at St. Joseph's for eleven years. Eleven years of dedication to the children of St. Joseph's and their education, all down the toilet, just because she personally supports marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

The incident apparently came about after Cameron was asked to fill out a self-evaluation. When asked whether she supported Catholic teaching, she responded:

I do not agree w/ all Church teachings on a personal level but I do not bring my own opinions into our religion classes. We tend to focus on respect and love for one another and living out our call as servants whenever a ‘political’ topic crops (which it rarely, if ever, does).
In a follow-up conversation with the school administration, she specified that she did not agree with the Church's stance on marriage equality. That was all it took. She was asked to write a letter of resignation.

The Forum reports:

Families and staff also received a letter signed by Principal Toby Bierl and Superintendent and church Monsignor Mike Foltz. That letter stated that because of “an unfortunate circumstance” and the school’s “fiduciary responsibility” as a “Catholic-Christian school,” Cameron was asked to resign.

In the letter, the school officials credited Cameron with being instrumental in developing St. Joseph’s drama club and for “her love of teaching and her kind and giving heart.” The situation “leaves the school with an air of sadness,” the letter stated.

Foltz could not be reached for comment.

Very sad indeed. Very sad that a perfectly qualified teacher who has been at St. Joseph's for eleven years, helped build a drama club, and by the school's own admission has a "love of teaching" and a "giving heart" is sacked because of her personal position on a civil rights issue. But I guess it was to be expected, since the Church has informed its priests that there will be no "open dissension" over the Church's backing of the anti-gay Minnesota amendment. The Catholic Church is running a tight ship, but it seems to be mainly on this particular issue.

Cameron says that she does not want to discuss her forced resignation further.

In my honest to goodness heart, I want the interest in this story to build bridges for all the right reasons, not to tear things down. I feel like perhaps there is a wave of interest that may need to come and go before I speak about this.
What a strange world we live in, when dissension over marriage equality matters more to school officials than actually being, you know, qualified as a teacher. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot.

Originally posted to Chrislove on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 05:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women, LGBT Kos Community, Angry Gays, Street Prophets , and Anglican Kossacks.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  How sad for the kids (38+ / 0-)

    A teacher that appears to have been excellent and loved is fired not because she was pushing her views on students, but simply because she did not agree 100% with the Vatican.

    They are forcing people to either lie or lose their jobs. What a choice.

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:03:28 PM PDT

  •  It is a strange world we live in. (13+ / 0-)

    It's also a sad world.

    This is a work in progress.

    by broths on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:04:42 PM PDT

  •  At my former school she would have been fired (29+ / 0-)

    too.  

    From my school's handbook:

    The biblical and philosophical goal of XXXX is to develop students into mature, Christ-like individuals who will be able to exhibit a Christ-like life. Of necessity, this involves the school’s understanding and belief of what qualities or characteristics exemplify a Christ-like life. Even though parents may personally believe differently, while enrolled at XXXX, all students are expected to exhibit the qualities of a Christ-like life espoused and taught by the school and to refrain from certain activities and behavior. Thus, XXXX retains the right to refuse enrollment to or to expel any students who engages in sexual immorality, including any student who professes to be homosexual/bisexual or is a practicing homosexual/bisexual, as well as any student who condones, supports, or otherwise promotes such practices (Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:27).

    One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.

    by The Nephew on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:05:04 PM PDT

  •  That's just what I look for in a church , (19+ / 0-)

    intolerance . Yup can't be having any of that old loving compassion .
    I need a church that kicks people out who are caring .
    That's the way Jesus would have it !

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:06:08 PM PDT

  •  Sad indeed (7+ / 0-)

    Remember this the next time you are wondering whether to send your kids to a Catholic school. With no money, they will dry up and blow away. They can either change their positions, or become irrelevant and fade away. I actually don't care either way.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:06:44 PM PDT

    •  One problem with that. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Nephew, lcrp, LSophia, Debby, wasatch, Lujane

      Sometimes the public schools are truly awful and most of the charters are even worse.  That leaves the Catholic schools and the fundie "academies".

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:59:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  unfortunately, church-sponsored schools... (20+ / 0-)

    ... can insist that their teachers swallow the whole dogma, and fire them for the slightest reservation, whether expressed or not.  

    But what this does is illustrate exactly how far the Catholic Church has fallen: between the child molestation and cover-ups, and the fanatical obsession with sex & reproduction (what a coincidence, eh?), they have utterly betrayed the teachings of Jesus and shown themselves to be allied with Mammon (the god of worldly wealth and power).

    Nowhere is that more clearly shown than in the phrase "fiduciary responsibility" used by the school in firing the teacher.   It's all about the money.  Which money remains to be seen, but none the less.  

    What needs to happen in response to this, is for parents to get word of what actually happened, and pull their kids out of that school.   And for progressive Catholics to stop giving money to the church as an institution.  Better yet, find a new church, of which there are many.   Really: you wouldn't go to Republican campaign rallies every Sunday morning, would you?  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:08:39 PM PDT

    •  Even better yet (4+ / 0-)

      Don't find a new church :)

      /Flamewar in 3, 2, 1... :)

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:15:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Fiduciary responsibility" is not restricted (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Chrislove, Lujane

      to money, and is commonly used in matters of Catholic education to refer to the responsibility a Catholic institution's board or other overseers for "the Catholic character, identity, and mission" of the institution. Fiduciaries are to act in the best interests of their principals, whether in matters of money or otherwise.

      Setting aside the appalling substance of the complaint here, he should not have used such argot, as your interpretation was entirely forseeable and sure to be widely shared.

      •  Good! Then let's widely-share it! (5+ / 0-)

        Time to go on the attack.

        Attack wins, explaining loses.

        Make them explain themselves and they will lose.

        We are not obligated to do their explaining for them.  Instead we should run with the common usage of the word "fiduciary" and force them to come out and explain.

        Is marriage more or less important than charity?  Than doing for the least among us?  Than war and the death penalty?   Force them to justify every millimeter of the way, and expose the contradictions.   Does this teacher get $20K departure money, like that child molester did?  If she was in favor of covering up child molesters but opposed to the right to marry, would she still be working with children?

        Make no mistake, the Vatican as presently constituted, is our enemy, and a sworn ally of the Republicans in this election.

        And making our enemies squirm isn't just a right, and isn't entertainment, it's a duty.    

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:32:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand why others feel differently, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane

          the Vatican is not my enemy. The RCC is not my enemy. The bishops are not my enemies. They are people with whom I disagree on many issues, and whose behavior often appalls me, especially in recent years. (Same goes for my non-Catholic Christian Republican relatives, who are also not my enemies.) The bishops are also people who are trying to have more influence on U.S. politics than I think they should, which puts them in a very large, and largely secular, club. Unfortunately, a big chunk of the power they have at the moment was handed to them by the Obama administration, by way of Sec'y Sebelius. Whether that ends up, on balance, being good strategy or bad remains to be seen.

          Graveyards are filled with indispensable men and those who've proclaimed the imminent demise of the Catholic Church. Got better things to do with my time, although I share many (but not all) of the sentiments. I have, in a small way, helped fight and win a similar Catholic elementary school battle -- about children of gay parents, not a teacher -- and choose to win at the local level rather than swing away wildly at Vatican windmills. YMMV.

          •  Sebelius did not hand them anything (0+ / 0-)

            Basically you're buying into their nonsense that "religious freedom" means "Everything and everyone we call Catholic is excused from any law we don't like."  And that's utter horseturds.  There's plenty of case law that says religion does not automatically trump laws that apply to everyone.

            They want to hire people and offer them health insurance, then they can follow the laws for employers with regards to health insurance.

            In capitalist America, bank robs you!

            by madhaus on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 10:34:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, you completely misunderstand my (0+ / 0-)

              comment, but I don't have the energy tonight to make it much clearer.

              The administration is right on the substance. Whether it was right on the politics remains to be seen. Depends on whether the insistence on fighting this fight before the election wins more votes from women than it loses among Catholics who buy the bishops' braying about religious freedom. Pretending the administration didn't play a hand with deliberation diminishes the players. I won't do that. I think they're skilled and hope they were right, but for me it's a coin toss for now.

              •  Okay, I get the politics vs substance distinction (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek

                But I still maintain that the Catholic leadership were not "handed" anything.  28 states already had the rules that they're now so upset about when it went national.  And they're going nuts on the nuns, on marriage equality, basically on every single social control issue they have.

                Too bad they don't think their own teachings against the death penalty or unjust wars or cutting welfare or kicking out immigrants matter very much.  I would love to see some of those hardline conservative Catholics (cough Ryan cough) told they can't receive communion for their rejection of doctrine.  Ha!

                In capitalist America, bank robs you!

                by madhaus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 12:12:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  G2geek - you are absolutely right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LSophia

      There is even a SCOTUS case specifically on this point. Teachers in a religious school must stay within the dogma of that religion or they can be fired. As an example, an unmarried woman who teaches in a Catholic school can be terminated for being pregnant.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:34:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder how many teachers (30+ / 0-)

    at Saint Joseph's got fired for supporting the Iraq war or for supporting the death penalty.

    It's about time I changed my signature.

    by Khun David on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:10:06 PM PDT

  •  I attended Catholic School K-12 (11+ / 0-)

    while not actually being Catholic (my family is protestant).  I know for a fact that one of my Religion teachers in HS was not Catholic, but not only did she teach the subject well, she tried to teach empathy and respect for all people. The love she had for everyone and everything really shone through, and years later, I still remember her as one of my best teachers.  She touched so many lives in a positive way, I can't imagine how things would have turned out if the school had dismissed her for not upholding every little doctrine of Catholic law.

    "The governor and journalist exhange a judas kiss/and now before the song is done, the plot begins to twist"

    by Avilyn on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:10:44 PM PDT

  •  Many, many years (21+ / 0-)

    in the coming but this mentality will completely destroy Catholic schools because a new generation of parents and children won't abide by this bullshite.

    When I taught at an all girls' Catholic high school -- which was also my alma mater -- we invited Geraldine Ferraro to speak at the commencement (this was in the mid-'80s).  Everyone was excited when she accepted.  Then, Fat Wally -- the Bishop -- told the nuns to disinvite her.  The nuns said "no."  Fat Wally raised the bar by threatening to bring the issue to the Vatican and also got some conservative parents to get outraged.

    Whatever happened to Geraldine Ferraro during the primaries -- I'm willing to overlook because she was the most gracious, beautiful person in electing to bow out and not force the nuns to disinvite her.  I'll never forget her for that.

    Of course, these nuns (my former order) basically ignore the bishops and Vatican more obviously now.  I love them to death.  Fat Wally was outed as a pedophile protector -- of course.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:16:26 PM PDT

  •  Why would she want to stay? (6+ / 0-)

    A large part of the job of a Catholic school teacher is conveying the principles the Catholic Church wants conveyed,  Why would anybody want to be in a position of teaching children that they must adhere to, and practice, principles you oppose?

    •  I don't know. (11+ / 0-)

      Maybe she's Catholic herself, even though she disagrees on this issue (as many, many Catholics do). Whatever her reason for staying, I doubt the marriage equality issue was very likely to come up in her fifth-grade classroom.

      Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?

      by Chrislove on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:22:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know several gay catholics (9+ / 0-)

        that are fairly active in their faith.  I don't know how they do it.  I have personally lost most of my faith...at least for now.

        One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.

        by The Nephew on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:27:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Me too (8+ / 0-)

          The gay Catholics I know are very, very Catholic. I can understand holding most of the Catholic beliefs as a gay person, but it must be very difficult when your Church hierarchy doesn't support you.

          Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?

          by Chrislove on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:28:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Chris - many priests are gay (5+ / 0-)

            and have taken a vow of celibacy. This was even more common before gays were openly accepted in our society.

            Prior to the 1980s gay boys in strict Catholic families had three choices. To live in the closet and be the bachelor uncle who always had roommates, but never girlfriends. To come out of the closet and be shunned by your entire family. Or to be the favorite child, the son your parents revere, the one who gives his life to God, my son the priest.  Is it surprising how many took option three?

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:48:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  My godfather (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LSophia, Chrislove, wasatch, gramofsam1

            was a very devout Catholic and ushered at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.  I attended his funeral there in the late 90s.

            My godfather and my uncle lived together for close to fifty years, and right after I came out to my family, I asked my mom if she thought Uncle Pete and Uncle Bob were gay (in my family, all my parent's close friends were Uncle or Aunt).  My mom said she wasn't sure.

            Well, soon after that, I came out to Bob, and he confirmed the answer I suspected, but he also asked me not to talk about it to Pete.  I guess it had to do with the period of time that he grew up in (they were both born in the 20s) and the Catholic beliefs with which he was raised.  (I remember how upset he get when Act Up would protest at St. Pat's).

            At his wake, about 30 people attended at their apartment on the Upper East Side; the only women who attended were his sister, my mother and my brother's fiance (my uncle was my brother's godfather).  The men who attended (other than me and my brother) were all about the same age as Bob and Pete and I (unfortunately) had visions of "Boys in the Band" when observing them.

            It is sad to see, even in New York City, in the late 90s, this dichotomy between who a person is, and who a person is supposed to be, especially when that person has a strong faith.  But, I also undersand, in part, what it was like to be a young to middle-aged gay man in the '40's, '50s and '60s.

            It's about time I changed my signature.

            by Khun David on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 09:20:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I was not raised in a religious family, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chrislove, blw

          but I can't help thinking (if there is a God, that is...) that He is quite disappointed in followers who seem to be using the Bible to justify hatred.  This can't be what God had in mind...

      •  this is more than just being catholic. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Nephew, VClib

        it would be her job to impart those principles to children.  If asked about pre marItal sex, it would be her job to say that was wrong and sinful.  If I asked about same sex relatIonshIps,  like two men or two women together, it would be her job to say that was wrong and sinful.  Why Would she or anyone think they can do a great job instructing children that those children must adhere to principles that they themselves reject?

        •  Well, I don't know (4+ / 0-)

          I can't say what her motivations were. I do know people who teach at Catholic schools, though, who don't toe the Vatican line. In some cases, it's a matter of what jobs are available. My purpose was just to comment on this particular act of discrimination.

          Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?

          by Chrislove on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:28:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  not everyone teaches theology (0+ / 0-)

          There are teachers of math, science, English, history, art, music, maybe some foreign language. If someone has the skills to teach those subjects, and a Catholic school is hiring, why would they expect to be dealing with such questions on anything like a regular basis?

          48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one. - Mother Teresa

          by wasatch on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 10:22:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Three points. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            1. The "strictly subject" teachers -- not so much in an elementary school.   That's an easier argument to make in a high school -- a Catholic high school here that I know has a Muslim SCIENCE teacher.  She dresses in a way that is traditionally Muslim, and the students know she is Muslim, so she is not expected to discuss religion -- but she cannot say anything to UNDERMINE Catholic teachings.

            2.  If you are teaching English, history, art, music, etc. -- anything that touches the world around us today -- what does the teacher say when a child says something about a same sex relationship in those contexts?  What does a teacher say if one of the children in the classroom has relatives in a same-sex relationship, and mentions that?  For a teacher in a Catholic elementary school, the required answer (as far as the school is concerned) is "that is wrong and sinful."  Would this woman be comfortable saying that, and explaining WHY it is "wrong and sinful" if she doesn't believe that?  If not, she cannot do the job expected of her at that school.

            3.  You must not be familiar with Catholic elementary schools.  Every teacher is expected to promote Catholic teachings "on a regular basis."  There are prayers throughout the day.  Religious views are a constant part of any Catholic school.  

            •  I went to Catholic schools (0+ / 0-)

              from 2nd grade through high school in the 60's & 70's. Catholicism was an assumption growing up. Even in Texas, other than one Presbyterian family and my Jewish uncle's family, everyone I knew was Catholic until I went to college.

              We had some specific subject teachers by 5th grade.

              Times have changed a lot since then, as sex/sexuality didn't come up in any class until a freshman health class, sophomore biology, and a required senior theology quarter  on marriage, which itself barely touched on sex, other than a film on childbirth, but heterosexuality was assumed, which would be more likely to be openly questioned now. What I remember more is the lessons on family finances and the impact that has on marriage stability, and issues like commitment and compromise.

              Oh, and in grade school, I remember when we all had to make pro-life posters, which were mostly images of roses. No sex ed in grade school. It was assumed that parents or high school would address that.

              In general, social and economic justice was bigger in the church those days than the overwhelming focus on sex/sexuality that we see today. LGBTs were more invisible and less accepted in society, so it was much easier for teachers to get away with not even mentioning their existence. Also, some of us kids were generally less precocious on matters of sex and sexuality. Now I wonder who among my classmates may have been gay; odds are that some number were. The closets were more full everywhere in those years. I don't know any kids in Catholic schools in the last 30+ years, so I don't know what it's like now, when LGBT's are more visible and more accepted in the culture.

              In high school health class,  I think sex ed was basically just some mechanical facts about reproduction and menstruation, and touting the effectiveness of abstinence. My memory is that the subject of contraception was indeed hanging in the air, but I don't remember if anyone raised the question. Wasn't much on my radar at the time. I'm pretty sure that homosexuality was never discussed AT ALL, and that would be much more likely to come up now.

              A good friend who worked at a Catholic high school was a favorite person for students to confide their problems to, and she confirmed years ago that the number of abortions arising from girls being properly Catholic and unprepared regarding contraception was steady. (Sigh) Some kept the baby and left school, as did one girl in my class. I'd guess that any LGBTs stay closeted. Hmmm....

              Mostly, people were still trying to figure out the meaning of Vatican II, so in elementary school, theology classes were mushy and lacking much substance, but that was partly an age-appropriate thing too.  Light on doctrine, heavy on "God is love", no mention of sexuality (which I admit would be more likely to come up nowadays). There was catechism (and CCD for public school students) in 1st (2nd?) grade before first Confession and First Communion, but it was taught at a level for 6-7 year olds, of course. A little more substance for Confirmation prep in 8th grade, but not a lot, still no mention of sex. Mostly I remember how scandalous it was that a brave and independent-minded friend refused to be confirmed, as she didn't believe anymore. Mass on Holy Days and first Friday of each month. Prayers delivered over the PA with morning announcements. No prayers the rest of the day, in elementary or high school. But we did have to take religion/theology classes.
              I do remember my older sister being taught about alpha brain waves and meditation in 7th or 8th grade religion class, which mostly just made the kids giggle.

              You are right that a kid with same-gendered parents or awareness of their own or another's non-heterosexuality would be awkward for a teacher in a Catholic school. Although, if the school admitted a student with same-gendered parents, I would assume that the school was not going to push that the kid's parents were evil.

              And yes, elementary school is different from high school. More theological substance, less Masses. In either, given the heavy focus on sex/sexuality in today's church, it wouldn't surprise me if these issues are pushed more these days in the schools.

              I'm wondering if a policy of teachers referring doctrinal questions to the priests or theology teachers could be workable... probably not, because as you say, the parochial school environment is more like a full-immersion experience, even though there are not religion classes all day.  I suppose you could phrase things as "The Catholic Church teaches X" and leave it at that, but when one doesn't believe X, it sure wouldn't feel right (and the kids might spot the dodge and confront it), especially if a kid came to you and told you they were gay, in which case, telling them they were evil would be unconscionable; telling them the Church teaching was wrong could get you fired.

              This is way too long a comment, but my general feeling is that a subject teacher might be able to navigate parochial school unless/until students raised the issue directly. But in this case, the students didn't raise the issue. The administration pre-interrogated. In high school, a subject teacher would be in a safer position, but the kids would be more likely to raise the issue.

              In this particular case, after 11 years of successful teaching, the administration's actions to prevent a problem that had not occurred in all that time is wrong-headed, IMO. Another symptom of the bishops' insistence on a relentless focus on ses/sexuality beyond reason.

              Yikes, sorry for the length.

              48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one. - Mother Teresa

              by wasatch on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:37:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  The new strictures are novel. (9+ / 0-)

      The Catholic Church is cracking down.  What was once tolerated is now forbidden.  Minnesota's bishops are cracking down harder than most.

      Also, the rest of society is liberalizing.  In 2001, it may not have occurred to most Minnesotans that something like marriage between two people of the same sex was possible, or even speakable.

      One possibility could be that the RCC did not bother to ask questions about what the teachers believed, provided that they taught the right thing.  Further, it's pretty safe to say that any mention of homosexuality in a fifth-grade class would be unthinkable in that area, even in a public school.  This degree of control is an innovation (and not in a good sense)

      Another possibility could be that the teacher was in honest, sincere agreement with the RCC position on same-sex marriage in 2001.  Her mind could have changed over the last eleven years and what was agreeable to her conscience then is no longer agreeable now.

      There's also the fact that teaching jobs are few and far between these days, and sometimes the Catholic Church's certification requirements for teachers are not as strict as those of the state.  

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 07:08:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe it's the only place in town (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chrislove, gramofsam1, wasatch

      that has a drama program?  Maybe she loves her students and loves teaching?  Moorhead, Minnesota is not exactly an enormous metropolis.  Opportunities there are bound to be somewhat limited.

      The RC church used to have an "official party line," but wasn't always overly zealous at enforcing it.  Now, sadly, it would appear that its has lost its tolerance for ambiguity and differences of opinion.

  •  I was raised in the Catholic Church (14+ / 0-)

    and attended a Catholic elementary school for grades 1-8.
    Our parish had a child molesting priest named Siegfried Widera who essentially got away with it with the help of the local DA and Archbishop William Cousins.

    The nuns and lay teachers  who educated me were dedicated, decent people whose loving, caring attitude was the only positive thing I have left of my association with that church. Now the evil, rotten shitheels in red robes are trying to snuff out the last small spark of hope their church posesses.

    Please, Sister Anna Rose, forgive me if I am filled with rage at the mention of the words, "bishop, "cardinal" and "pope".  You taught me to forgive my enemies. Does this mean I must also forgive your enemies? I turned away from the church long ago. I used to feel a twinge of guilt over my apostasy. Now I believe it was the wisest, luckiest thing I have ever done.

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:28:25 PM PDT

  •  Let's not kid ourselves into (4+ / 0-)

    thinking this is just a Catholic issue. There are scores of places in this country where a public school teacher could be dismissed for holding such beliefs.

    Santorum's OK. On a Saturday night. But on a Tuesday? Yecch.

    by Van Buren on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:50:14 PM PDT

  •  I guess the poor lady is "intrinsically disordered (6+ / 0-)

    The disconnect between Roman Catholics and their leadership is really getting crazy.

    I'm a product of Catholic education, partly anyway. In my experience, no one toed the line. Funny that it should be so front-and-centre these days.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 06:58:12 PM PDT

  •  If they dismiss all the lay teachers (8+ / 0-)

    who disagree with the Church's teaching on birth control, they would have very few left.

    About half of lay Catholics support marriage equality. No doubt, that includes those who work as teachers or in other positions in Catholic institutions. The support for marriage equality will continue to grow.

    It is sad that the pope and bishops have become obsessed with these issues when there is so much good they could be doing and have done in the past. I remember in the 60s when the RCC was a leader for civil rights. Now they are on the wrong side of the great civil rights issue of marriage equality.

    •  Actually 71% support marriage equality, (6+ / 0-)

      according to this survey.    That makes sense given that the church's teachings about divorce force Catholics to understand the difference between a legal contract and an irrelevant religious ritual.

    •  My wife has worked for a Jesuit university (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LSophia, Chrislove, wasatch, skrekk, cocinero

      for over 30 years, as a librarian. This school places nothing but the most inclusive outlook on diversity. In fact there have always been open gays and lesbians working at the school, and never subject to hostilities in the least.

      I'd know about it otherwise, as we've hung out and partied with them along with other employees. And God knows when people get together from that school, all they do is "talk shop", much to my dismay as the outsider.

      I don't know what pressure the school is under these days from the larger church. But it would find itself hard to attract the instructing talent they need to entice students to apply...and to spend the kind of money for tuition that they ask...if they were to succumb to this hate. Thankfully they are self-sustained and not financially tied to the larger church body.

      There are, thankfully, many that disagree with the pope and his minions. I'm an agnostic myself, but I'll give kudos to Christians when they do the right thing.

    •  Wonder how many (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero

      divorced teachers those Catholic "schools" employ ?

  •  Born and baptized (0+ / 0-)

    Catholic, brought good shine to CYA, haven't been to church in 30 years.
    They lost me one Sunday when some asshole with robes on thought he had a better idea how women should decide what was best for their bodies.
    Sinad was right.
    These guys are fucked up.
    I was a (never molested) alter boy.

     The Bishops are really fucking up, leave the very few nuns you have left alone.

    In the late 60's in my Catholic School , all the youngest nuns got the hell out. We (and they)knew they were lesbian, but they were way better than the really old battle axes

  •  She should sue the school for wrongful (0+ / 0-)

    termination. She should argue that she was fired as a result of her personal religious beliefs, and her freedom of religion was injured as a result.
    Keep in mind that she stated her personal beliefs are different from the school's, but she doesn't let her personal beliefs affect her teaching in the classroom:

    I do not agree w/ all Church teachings on a personal level but I do not bring my own opinions into our religion classes. We tend to focus on respect and love for one another and living out our call as servants whenever a ‘political’ topic crops (which it rarely, if ever, does).
    .

    She was fired for not agreeing with a policy, not for teaching the opposite of the policy. This seems to me to be an extraordinary overreach on the school's part.

    GOP:: Greedy One Percent

    by YsosadisticGOP on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 11:01:13 PM PDT

  •  Do you see the imporatance of tenure in schools? (0+ / 0-)

    Do you think the same would not happen in a public school without tenure? If the principal were a fundie? ( I've met a few. there are often staunch conservatives in administration; they don't worry about tenure or security because ya know, they are so damned good who would ever want them replaced? See Clark, Joe, Paterson schools, Essex Juvenile Det Center etc )

  •  Getting to the point (0+ / 0-)

    where I doubt the Catholic Church (or as I call it - the First Church of Paedophilia) can do anything to make them despise them more

  •  The most pathetic part of St. Joseph's action is (0+ / 0-)

    that she was not openly dissenting. They had to pry it out of her in an inquisition.

    This was an act of violence against the religious liberty and right of conscience of the teacher, and an exercise in intolerance by the Catholic Church.

    It's not even about religion for them. It's about church doctrine.

    I find it disturbing that Scripture and Doctrine can be in contention, that people can be in a position where they have to choose between sacrilege and heresy. A good definition of a failed, corrupted church.

    Supply follows consumption. You cannot stimulate consumption by crushing the consumer. Deal with it.

    by Zera Lee on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 03:33:01 PM PDT

  •  Not surprised in the least. (0+ / 0-)

    Having attended one, I can certainly testify that Catholic schools aren't safe places for gay people - let alone the gay-friendly.  Never will be.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site