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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 13, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Eastside Catholic: Is gay marriage or Zmuda’s firing against church teachings?

Zmuda’s firing is a travesty on the teachings of Christ

I am writing to express my support for reinstating Mark Zmuda as vice principal at Eastside Catholic High School [“Reinstate Mark Zmuda at Eastside Catholic High School, Opinion, Jan. 3”].

Many churches have lost their vision and understanding of Missio Dei (God’s Mission).

Before Christ’s arrest, he prayed to his Father that all believers would be one — in believing in Christ and in God the Father who sent him into this world, not in believing an institutionalized set of rules, canons and doctrine. Churches have made law the religion and not the message of Christ. The only law that matters, theologically and pastorally, is the law now written in the hearts of men and women; the law placed there by God himself.

Church is the people guided and led by the Holy Spirit with the assistance and support of the clergy, not the other way around.

Zmuda’s firing is a travesty on the teachings of Christ (see the Sermon on the Mount) and he deserves reinstatement.

Rev. Thomas C. Shortell, Buenavista de Cuellar, Guerrero, Mexico

Eastside Catholic obligated to uphold church’s teachings

I, along with many of my fellow Catholics, am troubled by The Seattle Times’ coverage about Vice Principal Mark Zmuda’s dismissal from Eastside Catholic High School.

Catholic teaching is clear and consistent about marriage being between one man and one woman. It is also consistent about homosexual activity being morally wrong — as differentiated from homosexual orientation, which has no moral judgment attached to it.

I have dear friends who are homosexual, and two who are married.

In no way do I judge their hearts. I know that on many levels, including their compassionate giving and reaching out to others, these dear friends are holier than I am. But that does not mean that I believe gay marriage is morally right.

The administrators at Eastside Catholic are obligated to uphold the clear teaching of the church, though they, along with me, may believe Mark Zmuda is in many ways a holy person.

Condoning particular actions or lifestyle choice is not the same as judging the goodness of another’s heart. I would so love to see this difference made clear.

Peggy Anderson, Kirkland

I cannot support a hypocritical church

Seeing the unbalanced support for the firing of Mark Zmuda, I couldn’t sit by silently.

This Christmas, my father asked if I would attend Christmas Eve Mass. For the first time as an adult, I explained to him why I wouldn’t attend services at a church that didn’t embrace, respect and love every person, as Jesus preached.

My brothers and I were raised Catholic. I attended youth groups and received the sacrament of confirmation. Since coming out in 2010, I have not attended religious services because I do not feel as though Catholicism considers me a real, whole person of worth and value.

Today, my loved ones and experiences instill my spirituality. I cannot in good faith consider my life to have value and honor from the institutionalized prejudice, hate, bigotry, social irresponsibility and, above all, intrinsic hypocrisy of the Catholic Church — or indeed organized religion in general.

I will raise my children with spirituality. But why would I indoctrinate them into religions whose perspectives and actions are so wrong and against the teachings of their central figure? I want no part in this bigotry.

Matthew Jackson, Seattle

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

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