How to lose the young

Catholic seniors in a Catholic high school directly challenged Catholic bigwigs from the archdiocese who convened a special assembly just for seniors to try to persuade them to vote against gay marriage in Minnesota on a constitutional amendment next fall.

In the process of trying to indoctrinate the students, church officials even suggested that adopted children were ‘sociologically unstable’ and thus inferior when compared with the children of biological, ‘opposite sex’ parents. Channeling ‘man-on-dog’ Rick Santorum, they incredibly brought up the suggestion that same-sex marriage was somehow opening the door to bestiality. The mucky-mucks from the church did not seem to be prepared for the pushback from the students.

“We weren’t being rude,” countered Lydia Hannah, another student who spoke out. “But people were upset, and we weren’t just going to sit there.”

“My friend said, ‘You didn’t just compare people to animals, did you?'” said Hannah. “I think everyone has a right to their opinion, and I don’t judge them on it. But we don’t force people to sit down so we can tell them their opinion is wrong.”

They were so upset that the priest and school officials abruptly ended the assembly. Students who were angry were allowed to stay there and talk with the archdiocese volunteers. It was more civil, for a while, but the more questions the presenters tried to answer, the worse it got.

“It was a really awful ending,” said [senior Matt] Bliss. “It was anger, anger, anger, and then we were done and they left. This is really a bad idea.”

Paul Hannah, Lydia’s dad and an attorney who specializes in First Amendment law (and who has represented the Star Tribune), supports his daughter’s response. In an e-mail he said: “I was very proud of her and the other De kids.”

I think we can all be proud of them. Increasingly, young people simply do not share the church’s hate of homosexuality.

The Catholic church must realize that they are losing badly on this one which is seen by a rapidly increasing number of young people as hateful and indefensible and yet they are stuck with it because of their history of dogmatism. Too bad they are not like the Mormons where the Prophet can say he had a revelation that caused him to abruptly reverse long-standing policy, such as on polygamy in 1890 and its blatant racism towards blacks in 1978. If the gay issue becomes too hot for them, expect a future Mormon prophet to have another convenient revelation and say, “Oops, our bad!”.

With the Catholics, however, the pace of reform is glacially slow, taking even centuries.


  1. slc1 says

    And yet gay men like Andrew Sullivan refuse to vote with their feet and leave the Raping Children Church.

  2. unbound says

    “Increasingly, young people simply do not share the church’s hate…”

    Little by little, piece by piece, people are recognizing that a good deal of what religion represents and states is indeed hate of one kind or another. We cannot expect a quick and complete collapse of the catholic church, but the tide is indeed slowly turning against that religion…indeed the tide is slowly turning against most religions. As long as we continue to educate our children, and educate them well in critical thought, the tide will continue to grow.

    I have no delusions that I will live to see the day that the catholic church will be reduce to meaninglessness. But that day is indeed coming nonetheless.

  3. Stonyground says

    Excellent story. It would appear that the pointy hats have lost every last bit of their authority. When high school students, at a Catholic school, call them out for their bigotry I am filled with hope.

  4. 'Tis Himself says

    The Catholic Church, along with all other Christian churches, proclaims that “Jesus loves you.” Upon further examination, it appears Jesus only loves you if you’re a heterosexual adult male.

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