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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 23, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Eastside Catholic: More reader responses from both sides of the debate

The majority of emails and letters we received over the weekend concerned the dismissal of gay vice principal Mark Zmuda. Here are 3 reader submissions:

The real outrage at Eastside Catholic High School is not the firing of the vice principal, it is the lack of moral formation shown in the rallies [“Thanks to the Students of Eastside Catholic,” Opinion, Dec. 20, 2013].

This is a common problem. That is why the pope called for a new evangelism. The Ten Commandments are binding on all people. Christians are not to be conformed to the world. The idea that the church needs to change to conform to the world violates scripture.

Making same-sex marriages legal does not make them licit. Loving someone means that you desire the best for him or her (heaven). Accepting behavior that puts their eternal salvation at risk is not loving him or her. Who tells your toddler that it is all right for him to plan with fire? Mercy refers to a willingness to forgive someone when he or she repents.

Catholic schools should reflect what it means to be Catholic and demonstrate it in every aspect of the school life. Any school that has faculty or staff that give the impression that you do not have to follow the teachings of the church is a violation of the trust that is put in them by the parents. Any such school should not claim to be Catholic.

— Mike Solon, Renton

The media have chosen to misread Pope Francis’ statement [“Thanks to the Students of Eastside Catholic”, Times editorial, Dec. 22]. For the pope to decline to “judge” a “person” does not translate into a vote for gay marriage. In setting the stage for the resignation or firing of a Catholic school administrator, the gay agenda has unwittingly sacrificed a vice principal to moral principle. An unhappy situation for all, but not reducible to a slogan of unjust “bigotry.”

However, The Times is more right than you know in stating that “the ground has shifted significantly, from the Vatican to Sammamish.” Narcissism in all its forms, and self-referential victimhood, are the new reality.

Peter D. Beaulieu, Shoreline

Regarding the brouhaha at Eastside Catholic, Dan Johnson of Renton advises the students that biblical principles transcend cultural norms [“Eastside Catholic: at odds with the Bible,” Opinion, Dec. 21]. This sounds reasonable at first, but it doesn’t really wash.

Johnson must know that not all biblical principles are created equal. The Old Testament’s Book of Leviticus is full of rules on how to dress, wear your hair, rotate crops and carry out animal sacrifices. Few people take these seriously today. And one of the Bible’s strongest condemnations of homosexuality is right there in the same section. The stoning of adulterers is another biblical principle that has fortunately been superseded by more reasonable cultural norms.

Besides, the principles of love and forgiveness that the New Testament brought were supposed to wash away much of that Old Testament patriarchal rigidity. And while the New Testament doesn’t specifically approve gay marriage, it doesn’t specifically condemn it either. No, Johnson, the church’s policy against gay marriage is not a biblical principle, but an invention of the church hierarchy, and one that will change in time. The students are on the right side on this one; the right side not just of history, but of reality, decency and common sense.

Doug McLean, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Gay marriage, Gay rights | Topics: Catholic, Eastside Catholic, Mark Zmuda

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