One day last week, up in North Carolina, at Charlotte Catholic High School, Sister Jane Dominic Laurel was giving a lecture on masculinity and femininity which turned into a diatribe against homosexuality, featuring all sorts of out-dated, inane, unproven stereotypes about gay men and women. Laurel told the students at the mandatory assembly that masturbation turns young boys gay; having an absent father turns young boys gay; she claimed more young women are engaging in oral sex—a deviant sex act “imported from homosexual culture.” That is not a part of the natural love shared by a man and woman.
Apparently Sister Laurel was jetted in from the 1950s to give her lecture, but a lot of folks aren’t laughing. In fact, some parents of students at the school — and keep in mind it’s a Catholic school and the Catholic Church is not known for its progressive views on homosexuality — dmended an apology from the school; and, in a separate move, 64 students and 86 alumni have signed letters with a similar request which was sent to school officials; the letters said, in part:
“Last week’s presentation represents a betrayal of trust. Your responsibility to provide nurturing and informative education to the students of Charlotte Catholic was shrugged off. Your mission to truthfully convey the teachings of the Church — the teachings of love, compassion, and humility — was replaced by teachings of hate and intolerance.”
According to the petition, Sister Laurel told students that “people are gay because they have an absent father figure, and therefore they have not received the masculinity they should have from their father,” and then cited another out-dated unproven statistic that states “gay men have had either over 500 or 1000 sexual partners.”
A gay Charlotte Catholic student, who withheld his name because he is not fully out at school or home, also wants an apology:
“I would like them to issue a formal apology to the students and to the parents and alumni. I want them to know how upset everyone is and for them to acknowledge that.”
He further explained that Sister Laurel told the assembly that gay people are unfit to be parents because they abuse children:
“She brought up an abusive Australian couple that was gay ... portraying to us that gay people are unfit parents.”
Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, a professor at Aquinas College in Nashville, apparently has a long history of extremist anti-LGBT views, and has previously partnered with the Ruth Institute — formerly funded by the National organization for Marriage [NOM] — to lecture on the dangers of same-sex marriage. And her boss, Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith, president of Aquinas College, has come forward to defend Laurel and her remarks, saying that the Sister’s message has met with a warmer reception elsewhere:
"The presentation was given with the intention of showing that human sexuality is a great gift to be treasured and that this gift is given by God. It appears that this message was not universally accepted. The hope of Aquinas College is that no one was left feeling that they are not loved by God."
They might not have felt they were unloved by God, but it seems many parents and students and alumni feel that Sister laurel has no ideas what she’s talking about and perhaps needs to set down the age-old texts from which she gleaned her statistics and information and read something from this century.
And she may have plenty of time to do so, because a scheduled lecture by Sister Laurel at a youth conference in Asheville, North Carolina, has been cancelled, and the :::ahem::: good sister is reportedly taking a “sabbatical” and leave all of her teaching positions and will withdraw from speaking engagements.