Monday, December 15, 2014

Shame on Calgary's Catholic Archbishop

As expected, Calgary's Catholic Archbishop, Fred Henry, has spoken out out in favour of Bill-10, revealing his opposition to gay-straight alliances (GSA's).

A study in British Columbia funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research found that schools with GSA's in place for at least 3 years have half the rates of attempted teen suicide that their counterparts without them do. But Henry claimed that making it mandatory for schools to provide a safe meeting location for kids participating in GSA's has the following problems:

“It infringes parental authority over their children, the freedom to instruct one’s children in a manner consistent with their faith, and citizens rights to manifest their religious beliefs by worship practice in the absence of coercion or constraint by government.” - Calgary Catholic Archbishop Henry

Henry is certainly free to assert that these are problems for Catholics addressed by Bill-10, but for me to understand why that is so, he has some explaining to do. You see, GSA's aren't about preventing Catholics from hating the sin as much as they ever have. Catholic parents and schools can still instruct their children on the ugly, unjustified, faith-based, falsehood that homosexuality is an "objective disorder toward an intrinsic moral evil" if they so desire.

What gay-straight alliances are about is loving the sinner, and what could be more Christian than that? GSA's recognize that gay students are the targets of plenty of stones from which they aim to provide life-saving shelter and an incentive to stop them being cast. As the data shows, it's that simple.

Does Archbishop Henry support Bill-10 because he has alternative suggestions that are supported by empirical data? No. He doesn't. At the heart of his comments is an overwhelming concern with hating the sin, a concern so great that it is causing him to support the obstruction of the more important moral task: loving the sinner*.

Henry should look to his superior for clarity and direction:
“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,” he said. “I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.” - Pope Francis
Gay-straight alliances probably help to save the lives of those persons, Archbishop.

Does the Catholic Church really need more blood on its hands?

*Why is loving the sinner the more important moral task? Because the sin the Archbishop is concerned about is an imaginary one. It's based on faith. How can he be so certain that homosexuality is a sin that he's willing to risk human lives supporting it? He cannot. Faith in the commands of a higher power simply cannot justify putting even one human life at risk, and this is one of the many reasons that I am against religion.

1 comment:

  1. A good response to Alberta's Catholic Archbishop's regarding their incoherent and bigoted position on Bill-10 by Kristopher Wells, Assistant Professor and Director of Programs & Services at the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, University of Alberta.