Monday, August 23, 2010

Catholic Studies Professor Sticking to his Guns, and Silly Logic

I was reading Michael's Picks from Rationally Speaking on InsideCatholic details for its readers five ways to talk to the Left about same-sex marriage. The fifth way, Show that Gay Marriage is Harmful, compiled a list of people and organizations that were 'harmed' by gay marriage. Two groups of Catholic charities were affected. Boo-hoo. A Canadian teacher was disciplined by the teacher's governing body for denouncing the school’s teaching on homosexuality. His statement: "Sexual orientations can be changed and the success rate for those who seek help is high. My hope is that students who are confused over their sexual orientation will come to see me." Oh yeah by the way he is a school counselor. Umm, it is completely unethical for a counselor to project their own beliefs onto students who have complete trust in them. So once again, boo-hoo.

Now one of the people on the list, Kenneth Howell, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois, lost his job teaching Catholic Studies for explaining why the Church teaches against homosexuality. A student complained via e-mail to the head of the department - "Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing. Declaring that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another. The courses at this institution should be geared to contribute to the public discourse and promote independent thought; not limit one's worldview and ostracize people of a certain sexual orientation." Howell states 'he disagrees with the idea that a professor must present lessons without even hinting at his own beliefs on a subject.' And, "It doesn't seem to me to be particularly honest or fair to a student. If you believe something, you can tell the student that. Where it becomes problematic is if it becomes injurious to a student by penalizing them for their beliefs. I always tried to be fair and honest and upfront with my students, and engage them on questions of human reason." Now I have to admit that the student complaining was the one taking the course. What else would you expect to be learning in Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought? As much as I want to help rid the world of all harmful anti-thought, I have to admit that I am in defense of this guy. It is his job to promote the uselessness of Catholic dogmas. However, I hope to one day see secondary and higher education using curriculum like this to address what humans once believed and why they believed it.

Another way to discuss gay marriage with lefty liberals is to focus on the words 'Right' and 'Marriage'. That statement left me unsettled right from the start. I thought, word-play, right? Correct. They focus on what it means to have rights, and that the freedom to marry is not a right. ??? For example, you can't marry someone who is already married, or someone who is related to you, or who is too young. How in the hell does this argue that the freedom to marry is not a right? The age argument is completely irrelevant to our society anymore. Kids aren't going to get married because their parents aren't arranging them anymore. With respect to incest, it just ain't fun! Lastly, who the hell wants to attempt to avoid the IRS as they claim their taxes twice and hope for two refunds? I know, that was a far reach. My point is that these "examples" of why it is not a right to marry are in no way connected to Inside Catholic's argument against gay marriage. Sure, free speech is a right, but with some basic, common sense limitations, so is marriage.

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