Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Jake Midura Challenged Homophobic Catholic School Test Question

I get it Catholic Church; you think gay people are bad, and pedophiles are just confused, but do you have to make being gay a test question?

Jake Midura is seventeen and gay, and like most gay folks he struggled with the idea that he was gay, but has accepted it, loves himself, and came out to his family and friends.
Jake also goes to a Catholic high school, and, amazingly enough, he says it has always been a safe haven for him, and he’s never felt any kind of bigotry or homophobia at school … until The Test.

See, Catholic schools are still teaching that homosexuality is bad, and on one of his end of the year exams, Jake came upon this multiple choice question:
Homosexual sex acts are immoral because
A. a homosexual orientation is evil.
B. God disapproves of gay people.
C. they are not open to life.
D. none of these.
Jake correctly answered "D" and was given an incorrect since the "correct" answer is that The Gays are “not open to life;” whatever the hell that means.

And when Jake and his mother suggested to the school that maybe these kinds of questions can be revised, and made a "little more tactful" the school principal, Denis Mailloux, issued this statement:
"This was a question on a test administered to students in a high school junior level class called "Life in Jesus Christ," which is a Christian Morality course. The question was taken verbatim from the textbook: "Your Life in Christ: Foundations in Catholic Morality," which is in conformity with USCCB guidelines. The correct answer is C.
Our faculty and staff strive to be sensitive to the needs of all of our students, and we have no desire to be hurtful or coarse in presenting Catholic teaching on this or any other topic. However, as a Catholic school, we also have a responsibility to teach authentic Catholic doctrine, or to 'teach the truth in love' as Ephesians 4:15 so well puts it."
They don’t wanna be hurtful or coarse, but they do wanna make sure they teach their studenst that The Gays are not open to life … and, again, still wondering what in the hell that means.

And then Father John Fortin, Superintendent of New Hampshire H Catholic Schools said this:
"Church teaching on homosexuality is complex, and this particular test question should not be taken as representing the fullness of the Church's teaching on it. The Church teaches that persons who experience same-sex attraction should be welcomed into full participation in their local faith community, and explicitly rejects unjust discrimination and harassment of any persons, including those with a homosexual inclination.
The Church also teaches that all persons are called to live a chaste life in keeping with the particular states of life. In particular, the Church teaches that sexual activity is reserved for married couples."
The teaching isn’t complex; the teaching is that being gay is bad. And, if the question is mot representative of Catholic teachings then why is it on a test and why is it in a text book?

And, since being gay is bad, I wonder where the questions about straight kids were? The Masturbation Is Bad quiz? Or the Premarital Sex Means You’ll Burn In Hell exam?

I think Jake had the right answer all along and that, big surprise, it’s the Catholic Church that’s gotten it wrong.
Daily Kos


the dogs' mother said...

I want to know what the question above is?
Is it about premarital sex?

anne marie in philly said...

the RCC is fulla bulla and should be squashed!

Susan said...

So what...answering C in effect means the Gays are open to death? Neither possible response makes sense. This is beyond insulting. It is an abomination.

Frank said...

In as much as I have serious issues with the Catholic church's teaching regarding same sex attraction and sexual behavior, I nonetheless feel a need to foster some degree of intelligent discussion regarding the terminology used here and related points.

Be advised that the Church, when instructing children and adolescents, is prone to use euphemisms: kind of like our parents and grandparents used "in the family way" to mean "she's pregnant" or "that time of month" to refer to "that time of month".

In Catholic school catechism class way back when, they called masturbation "self abuse" and touching another sexually "heavy petting". In this particular instance, "not open to life" means the sexual activity is not able to produce an embryo. (i.e. not open to creating a new baby). Dwelling on the semantics distracts from the essential argument about the morality of same-sex sexual activity which is central to the Test question under discussion.

John McNeil ( challenged the Church's theology on homosexuality (1976) and used very sound (logical and theological) arguments in doing so. His book was initially OK'd by church authorities, then the OK was rescinded. I contend that the initial OK was valid and was only rescinded under pressure from conservatives. He argued that homosexual sex is, or can be, in fact, life affirming and moral. So, I agree that "D" none of the above is also a correct answer, despite the textbook.

It would be most interesting to see what other questions on the Test, if any, relate to heterosexual activity. I believe the RC Church is hanging on to its sexual morality teachings in the same way as it held fast to its belief that the earth was the center of the universe. It finally admitted Galileo was right after 359 years (

Someday, maybe in 359 years or so, it will finally decide to proclaim reality in the sphere of sex. The problem is, the church is stuck. It cannot figure out a rational, logical, convincing way to negate thousands of years of teaching, especially when so many have taken these teachings seriously.

And keep in mind that the moral neutrality of homosexuality is not nearly as self-evident as the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. When, at some future point in time, 99.99% of society accepts the moral neutrality of homosex,and science confirms it, the church, if it is still a viable institution, can easily say it was mistaken way back when, in 2015, because it didn't, in all its wisdom, truly understand human sexuality.

Raybeard said...

"Sexual activity is reserved for married couple" So gays, along with everyone else, ought to be married to have sex. Well, although it's disappointingly restrictive to have to propose to every man, and for the marriage to be performed, before having sex with him, at least it's consistent. So I suppose it might be termed 'progress'.

viktor kerney said...

The church always gets it wrong

Helen Lashbrook said...

Q 21 The doctrine of papal infallibility was brought in in the 19th century. Does this mean that all previous popes were wrong

A) All the time
B) Some of the time
C) Never