March 19, 2010
Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Boulder, Colorado, recently informed the parents of two students that their children wouldn't be re-admitted for next fall's term.
Normally, that would be a matter between the parents and the school and not the stuff of national news. But not this time.
That's because the parents in question are a lesbian couple.
Father Bill Breslin, the parish priest, explained that the decision was motivated by concern for the children's well-being. According to Breslin, "If a child of gay parents comes to our school, and we teach that gay marriage is against the will of God, then the child will think that we are saying their parents are bad...We don't want to put any child in that tough position."
That prompted Breslin to ask an obvious question: "Why would good parents want their children to learn something they don't believe in?" He noted that "there are so many schools in Boulder that see the meaning of sexuality in an entirely different way than the Catholic Church does. Why not send their children there?"
Not surprisingly, what's best for the children isn't what's at stake for the Church's critics. Students from Iliff School of Theology, a liberal Protestant institution, protested outside of the Archdiocese of Denver's offices, holding up signs that read "Standing on the Side of Love."
As Archbishop Charles Chaput, a formidable defender of orthodoxy, explains, Catholic schools "exist primarily to serve Catholic families with an education shaped by Catholic faith and moral formation." So it's reasonable, he says, to expect "school families to live their Catholic identity faithfully."
Now, Catholic schools do accept students of other faiths and no faith. They accept children of single parents and divorced parents. But they also expect that these parents will not offer a "serious counter-witness" to Catholic teaching in their actions.
It's difficult to imagine a more obvious "counter-witness" than the case of the lesbian couple in Boulder. Orthodox Christians of all denominations hold that sexual intimacy outside a marriage is morally wrong and that marriage is a covenant which can only occur between a man and a woman.
As Chaput says, these teachings "are central" to a Christian understanding of "human nature, family and happiness, as well as the organization of society." Ignoring the contradiction would undermine the purpose for which Christian schools exist.
A Boulder gay rights group vowed that "decisions like this aren't going to be tolerated." I guess that means that in the name of "tolerance" and "love," they won't let Christians impose their faith on themselves.
This is exactly why Christian leaders from all denominations, including Archbishop Chaput, wrote the Manhattan Declaration—and why now nearly half a million Christians have signed it. Please, come to BreakPoint.org, and we'll show you how you can sign the Manhattan Declaration yourself and take a stand for religious freedom, traditional marriage, and the sanctity of life.
We have to act. Because, given the trajectory of our culture, it won't be long before many, indeed most of us, are facing the kind of challenges the Sacred Heart of Jesus School did. May we, please God, all of us stand for Truth.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.