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Posts tagged ‘bullying’

Catholic Students and Gay-Straight Alliances

Archbishop of Toronto, Thomas Cardinal Collins

Image via National Post.

Today’s episode of Ontario Today on CBC radio featured an interview with Catholic Archbishop Thomas Collins, who argues that anti-bullying legislation giving students the right to form gay-straight alliances infringes on freedom of religion. It’s less than fifteen minutes long and well worth listening to, primarily because of the way Collins deals with the question of Catholic doctrinal objections to homosexuality and whether those are at the root of his objection to GSAs.

Because he doesn’t.

It’s a bit of amusing to listen to him straining so hard to avoid the very blatant question, “Is this really about Catholic teachings on sexuality?” It really obviously is. You can’t complain that gay-straight alliances infringe on Catholic religious freedom without calling attention to the fact that Catholicism is very much against homosexuality. But gosh darn it, he sure does try.

In order to skirt the issue of church teaching on homosexuality, Collins essentially invents a made-up world in which the government forces GSAs on schools that don’t want any, while non-LGBT victims of bullying get ignored in favour of the glamorous gay kids. Then he describes what he finds objectionable about that scenario. He’s right. That’s a horrible way to combat bullying . . . but it’s got nothing to do with what is actually being proposed.

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Savage Attacks

Dan Savage

Photograph by 4Salcia, taken at the University of Western Ontario’s “It Gets Better” presentation.

The media is all in a frenzy about Dan Savage’s recent comments at a journalism conference, where he was speaking about his anti-bullying initiative, The “It Gets Better” Project, and his work as a spokesperson for the LGBT community. The story, in a nutshell: Dan Savage remarked on the parts of Leviticus most Christians ignore (like prohibitions on shellfish and menstrual intercourse), he used some profanity in referencing them, and a bunch of Christians in the audience staged a protest and walked out. Now the right-leaning, anti-gay community is lamenting that Savage is totally fine with bullying, as long as it’s Christians being bullied instead of gays.

“It’s amazing that we go to an anti-bullying speech and one group of students is picked on in particular, with harsh, profane language,” said high-school teacher Rick Tuttle, quoted on socially conservative LifeSite News. Commenters from the same site describe Savage as irrational, aberrant, depraved, fake, mentally ill, morally degenerate, pathetic, psychopathic, and blasphemous.

Now that’s a point that I feel like I need to challenge.

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Anything To Be Beautiful

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