And so it continues:
Barbara Webb had been a chemistry teacher and volleyball coach at Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., for nearly a decade — until last month, when Webb says administrators at the all-girl’s Catholic school learned Webb and her wife were expecting their first child … Webb says that she learned of her pregnancy in June, informed her employers in July, and was fired by mid-August.
Webb had already been married for six years – and so she was fired not for marrying, but for that other terrible sin: having a baby.This time, however, the nuns in charge have had some qualms:
The congregation of Catholic nuns that operates Marian High School have signaled they will re-examine policies that led to the controversial firing of a gay teacher who said she was let go because of her nontraditional pregnancy.
“Pope Francis has brought a sense of hope to our lives and encourages us to look at our Church with new eyes,” Sister Mary Jane Herb, president of the Monroe-based Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, said in a letter to alums that was shared on a Facebook page created to support the fired teacher. “No, it is not likely that doctrine will change, however the Pope emphasizes that the values of mercy, inclusion and compassion need to be included in our response to complex situations.”
Part of the message is clearly not getting through:
Of the 40-some employees who have lost jobs at Catholic institutions since 2008 because of their sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancies or personal views on homosexuality, nearly half have lost their jobs this year.
This is only 17 firings across the entire country this year – which is a minuscule fraction of the number of gay and lesbian employees at Catholic institutions. But the accelerating pace and the intensive news coverage certainly means it is becoming more and more a live issue.
And it comes down to this: does it seem Christian to you to fire people for marrying someone or for having a baby? When the next generation of Catholics comes to see their church as doing this, how will they reconcile that with the notion of the church as dedicated to universal love, social justice and compassion? The “sins” that gay Catholics are committing, after all, are no worse in theological terms than masturbation, pre-marital sex or the use of contraception within a marriage. And yet only the gays are really subject to these new censures, because they can be more easily identified in the public space.
However way you slice it, that means that the Catholic church is engaged in a very targeted campaign of discrimination against gay people for the very sins most straight Catholics commit all the time. This has to strike most people as wrong – deeply wrong. Even the most stringent church teaching on homosexuality opposes what it calls “unjust discrimination” against gays. And isn’t selective enforcement of morals against one tiny minority precisely the definition of “unjust”?