An assembly was held at a Minneapolis area Catholic School recently – it was mandatory for seniors and was on the subject of marriage. It started out well, but suddenly veered into ugly territory:
“The first three-quarters of the presentation were really good,” said Bliss. “They talked about what is marriage and how marriage helps us as a society. Then it started going downhill when they started talking about single parents and adopted kids. They didn’t directly say it, but they implied that kids who are adopted or live with single parents are less than kids with two parents of the opposite sex. They implied that a ‘normal’ family is the best family.”
“When they finally got to gay marriage, [students] were really upset,” said Bliss. “You could look around the room and feel the anger. My friend who is a lesbian started crying, and people were crying in the bathroom.”
The diocese won’t talk, and the school won’t say who gave the speech. The kids – to their credit – challenged the speaker on these points, as well as his opinions on same sex marriage.
The kicker is that Minnesota will be holding a referendum on same-sex marriage, and these high school seniors will be eligible to vote right around the time it’s held. This was an attempt by the diocese – which is obviously vehemently opposed to the measure – to persuade or intimidate a captive audience into backing its political agenda.
A priest and a volunteer couple presented the information. When someone asked a question about two men being able to have a quality, committed relationship, the couple compared their love to bestiality, Bliss said.
“Most people got really upset,” said Bliss. “And comments about adopted kids, I found those to be really offensive. There were at least four kids there who are adopted.”
Hannah, who is adopted, said one of the presenters said that adopted kids were “sociologically unstable.” She called the comments “hurtful” and comparisons between gay love and bestiality upsetting.
“My friend said, ‘You didn’t just compare people to animals, did you?'” said Hannah. “I think everyone has a right to their opinion, and I don’t judge them on it. But we don’t force people to sit down so we can tell them their opinion is wrong.”
It’s an interesting conundrum – the Church opposes contraception, opposes abortion, and – evidently – has some problems with adoption, as well. That sort of narrows a couple’s options, doesn’t it? The school should be ashamed of permitting this hate speech to be presented by clergy to a captive audience.
The diocese – well, with the Church’s permissive nature ranging to the downright enabling of child abuse by a multitude of priests throughout the world, I’m not surprised by its chutzpah or hubris at trying to persuade young minds to become hateful.
I generally don’t take advice from people who have no experience in the matter being advised. I also think that it runs counter to Jesus’ teachings to preach hatred – to compare loving couples who aren’t bothering anyone to animals, or to suggest that adopted children are socially defective.
You don’t have to support same sex marriage or adoption, you don’t even have to like it or tolerate it. What you shouldn’t do is go in front of a group of young adults – some of whom are gay and adopted – and tell them that they’re less than human; that they are broken or need fixing.
That sort of thinking and dogma never, ever ends well.