Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
In the same week that the California Senate Education Committee advanced a law that will require the state’s public schools to rewrite their social science curriculum to promote homosexuality, the chaplain at a private Catholic high school in Indianapolis is being accused of spreading “anti-gay propaganda” for explaining Church teaching on homosexuality in class.
LifeSiteNews.com is reporting that a proposed new law in California that recently passed out of Committee will mandate pro-gay indoctrination of all public school students by forcing the curricula to incorporate the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Known as SB 48, it was introduced by an openly homosexual state Senator, Mark Leno, and managed to pass the ten-member Education Committee last week by a 6-3 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it will be considered in early April.
The law, which is supposed to counter discrimination of homosexual youth, contains no opt-out provision for parents or teachers. If passed, it will affect the curriculum for students as early as kindergarten.
“People oppose and fear the unfamiliar,” Senator Leno told the New York Times. “When grade-school students understand the arc of the L.G.B.T. movement over 40 years, that otherness begins to dissipate. That’s desperately needed right now.”
However, Leno’s over-reach was openly challenged in Committee by Senator Robert Huff who called the bill a “paradigm shift” that would have the effect of “actively promoting a lifestyle.”
Pro-family organizations agree and are already rallying against the bill.
Randy Thomasson, President of SaveCalifornia.org, believes the bill will cause homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals to be presented as role models to California students and called the measure “the most radical sexual indoctrination ever of children in California public schools,” in a letter to Senate Education Committee Chair Alan Lowenthal.
“The appropriate emphasis in history books and social science books is to honor people because of their contributions,” said Candi Cushman, education analyst with Focus on the Family, to LifeSite. “It just seems kind of crazy to be promoting them based on their political or sexual identity. You wouldn’t want to leave people out based on that, but neither do you want to base the entire reason that they’re included in history on sexual identity. It should be based on their historical contributions.”
Meanwhile, halfway across the country, Father John Hollowell, chaplain and teacher at Indianapolis’ Cardinal Ritter High School has come under fire for “anti-gay indoctrination” after teaching a class on the Church’s position on homosexuality in a marriage course.
Equality Matters, a media and communications group for homosexual rights, accused Fr. Hollowell on their website of “spouting a stream of homophobic and offensive falsehoods about same-sex marriage and gay people in general to a classroom full of students.”
In the lecture, which Fr. Hollowell posted on YouTube, he explains Church teaching on the subject based on Scripture and the Catechism. After citing Leviticus 20:13 and other places in Scripture where homosexual acts are called an “abomination”, he tells his students: “You have two options,” he says, “God is cool with homosexuality, homosexual acts, I should say … or what the Bible and the Church say about it is correct … There’s no middle ground on that issue.”
He also cites the Catechism, which states that homosexual inclinations are “objectively disordered” and homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and that people with homosexual inclinations should remain chaste.
Equality Matters claims that “several commentators” including the openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson, say there’s a link between this kind of teaching and suicide among homosexual youths, although they cite no credible studies to support this claim. The site also referred to a gay-funded and recently discredited poll that claimed a majority of Catholics support homosexuality as a reason why Fr. Hollowell should not be allowed to instruct students in the faith.
These two incidents are the perfect example of the stunning dichotomy that presently exists in our culture, where in order to stop discrimination against one group of people, laws are drawn up that engender discrimination against another.
And to suggest that a priest not be permitted to teach Catholic beliefs in the Church’s own schools clearly crosses the line between wanting to end unjust discrimination and infringing upon the right of all Americans to the free exercise of religion.
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