Tuesday, July 12, 2011

California Catholic Bishops Oppose Curriculum Making Gays Visible

You cannot make people more unwelcome than by pretending they are not there.

You cannot make people more unwelcome than by trying to erase their human presence.  Their human nature.  Their very reality in the human community.

I blogged yesterday about recent statements of a Vatican official that try to play semantic games designed to invisibilize gay human beings.  To exclude gay human beings from the human community.  

To pretend that we who are gay are not here, and that to the extent to which we make our presence known, we deserve to be repressed, shoved back into the dark recesses of the closet.  Even subjected to violence.

Because, after all, the 1986 document of the current pope, written when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the pastoral care of homosexual persons, says that it is understandable that when gay and lesbian people choose to come out of the closet, they suffer violence.  Violence is the price this minority group should expect to pay when it makes its presence in the human community visible.

And after I blogged about these matters yesterday in the context of a discussion of the obscene response of Catholic officials to a recent United Nations initiative designed to protect the human rights of gay and lesbian persons and to combat violence against these human beings, I turned to the National Catholic Reporter and read that the bishops of California are opposing the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in textbooks in that state's schools.

They are opposing the introduction of a new curriculum in California's state schools, not its Catholic ones, that would teach schoolchildren about the contributions of gay and lesbian human beings to the human community over the course of history.  They are opposing a curriculum that would inform children that gay and lesbian human beings exist.

That we exist and contribute to the human community.  That we exist and contribute in positive ways to be celebrated.

It is all of a piece: a leading Vatican official representing the Vatican at the United Nations informs us that gay and lesbian human beings really do not exist, and therefore do not deserve human rights.  These invisible, non-existent human beings do not deserve the human rights accorded to every other human being in the world.

And the bishops of California, where a powerful bishop, Salvatore Cordileone, played a significant role in yanking the right of civil marriage from gay citizens of that state and now heads the U.S. bishops' anti-gay marriage initiative, inform us that gay and lesbian people must not exist in textbooks.

That the children of California must not be taught even in state schools over which the bishops have no jurisdiction that gay and lesbian human beings exist and contribute to the human community, and have done so since time immemorial.

It is all of a piece, this cruelty that surpasses all understanding, which emanates now from the powerful men ruling the Catholic church.

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