By Tom Quiner
“Dowling High decision not to hire gay teacher protected by law.”
This is the headline that emblazoned this morning’s Des Moines Register.
The story begins like this:
“A Des Moines Catholic high school was within its rights when it decided not to hire a substitute teacher full time once it found out he was gay — because Iowa’s civil rights law allows religious institutions to discriminate based on sexual orientation.”
Note the slant to the reporting: “discriminate based on sexual orientation.” I prefer my headline above.
Dowling High School chose to honor its religious conscience rather than cave to the so-called sexual liberties honored by the mainstream media and the liberal elite. The substitute teacher denied a contract publicly snubs Church teaching by the life style he chooses to live.
A young man who graduated from Dowling just a couple of years ago posted an articulate response on his Facebook page this morning worth sharing:
“I was deciding whether or not to post about all Dowling this week, but I feel like it’s necessary…
Please note: I’m explaining what I see as a logical position, and it presumes acceptance of the Catholic Church’s teachings, HOWEVER, this is not a “religious” argument (in my opinion). I’m really not trying to evangelize or defend Church teaching with this post (you can look that up on your own if you want: Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357-2359 for starters)—I’m just explaining DOWLING’S logic.
Whether you are Catholic or not, whether you agree with the Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality or not, Dowling Catholic High School, as a religious institution, has the right and responsibility to maintain a code of conduct for both students and faculty that is in line with the Catholic Church. This is especially true of faculty members, as presumed role models, however flawed they may be.
Many might say (and have said) that Dowling’s actions were wrong because “we’re all sinners.” While it is true that “we’re all sinners”, herein lies the difference (again, presuming Catholic teachings, which is certainly reasonable at a Catholic institution): according to the Catholic Church, a homosexual relationship implies a pattern of sin going forward (if the couple acts on their desires, which I’m assuming). Therefore, it’s not about anything that an individual may have done in the past—rather, it’s about his or her commitment to such a pattern of sin going forward. The past is the past. That’s not what the issue is here. It’s a lack of desire to avoid such a pattern of sin in the future.
Further, those who claim that heterosexual teachers living in such a “pattern of sin” as contraception, divorce sans annulment, etc. are in the same boat as individuals in homosexual relationships: ultimately, you’re right. Is this a double standard? Yeah, probably. But if anything, Dowling has the right to demand the same high expectations, at least in public matters, of all its staff. If Dowling is made aware of an ongoing issue with a staff member of such a nature(with not attempts to rectify said situation), it is within its rights to, again, maintain the teachings of the religion that is its fundamental purpose.
The purpose of Dowling Catholic High School is the Catholic Church. It’s a private institution that absolutely no one is obligated to attend or affiliate with. If you don’t like its teachings, you have your free will. But its self-contained logic follows.
I stand with my alma mater.”