Why I’m Proud To Be A Freethinker.

Locally, we have a news story that encapsulates everything wrong with religion.  An elementary school teacher in a local Catholic school was fired for privately expressing support of gay marriage.

It all started when her Bishop came to speak to class.  He told them to tell their parents not to vote for gay marriage in the upcoming election.  She thought to herself this was really a heavy political issue to place on ten year old children.

On her annual self-evaluation form, when asked to reflect on the teachings of the church, she wrote she did not agree with its stand on gay marriage.  She was careful not to express this view to her class or parents.  She told her Prinicpal about the remark and thought that would be the end of it.

Later, when she entered the Principal’s office for a routine signing of her contract, there sat the Monsignor, an agent for the Bishop.  She was told to write a letter of resignation, ending an eleven-year career at the school which was by all accounts exemplary. She remains a life-long Catholic.

During all of this there were talks by priests from the pulpet telling people how to vote on the gay marriage issue.  The teacher asked her priest if ever there could be a gathering where people talked to the clergy instead of being talked to. His reply was that could happen, but it would not change divine teaching.

I’m proud to support Freethinkers and not the local Catholic Dioceses.


15 Responses

  1. Henry

    Jon:“I’m proud to support Freethinkers and not the local Catholic Dioceses.”

    That is your religious freedom exercised over public communication wires/fiber.

    However, the Catholic Diocese should have the right to ensure its teachings are secure. They exercised this right.

    1. Demosthenes

      @ Henry June 29, 2012 at 1:38 am

      “That is your religious freedom exercised over public communication wires/fiber.” While you are being very explicit I would go with he is exercising his 1st Amendment and several parts within it not just “religious exercise”. That being said this forum is not actually protected by the 1st, as it is a private organization with actual limits on frees speech. Look at the areavoices terms of service and community guidelines. So technically here in this arena, you are wrong that one has the ability to exercise their religious views freely.

      “Catholic Diocese should have the right to ensure its teachings are secure.” Do you agree though with what happened in this scenario?

      1. entech

        Probably not agree with just the sacking, I am certain that he would like to see something serious, perhaps a stoning would be suitable. Not a fatal one, after all she only agreed it should be permitted, stoning should be reserved for the facilitators – the perpetrators have theirs waiting.

      2. Henry

        ““That is your religious freedom exercised over public communication wires/fiber.” ….this forum is not actually protected by the 1st, as it is a private organization….”

        I did not say “server” or “hostsite” or whatever you assumed. I said “wires/fiber”.

        Of course the areavoices is a private organization. That is stating the very obvious that isn’t even an argument. I was talking about the public wires and fiber where Jon’s religious message is being heralded through. He has built a nice monument.

  2. Doubtful

    So Freethinkers think that they get to think what they want but people who disagree with them do not? I think you are confusing Freethinker with the current Democratic Party.

    1. mg

      had you read the article, it was the church that fired someone for ‘free thinking’, not the other way around.

      1. Demosthenes

        @ mg June 29, 2012 at 5:22 am

        While I agree that firing someone for their beliefs is wrong(personal or public). Do not let Doubtful goad you into assumption of facts and misdirection. He/She does it often.

        @ Doubtful June 29, 2012 at 2:50 am

        “So Freethinkers think that they get to think what they want but people who disagree with them do not?” – I do not believe so, I for one do not think this way and you may classify me as a “freethinker”.

        1. Doubtful

          @ Demo 3:10
          I do not goad people into assumptions. I explain to them the assumptions they have made without realizing it.

      2. Doubtful

        Exactly. The people Jon disagree’s with, the Catholic Church, decided to no longer employ someone that they do not want to employ. They are free to do that.

  3. Barbara

    Absolutely right, mg. And I thought the lady was very courteous and articulate about the whole business.

  4. Brad

    I think George Carlin said it best: “…and the Catholics, which I was until I reached the age of reason…”

    1. Doubtful

      @SoS 1:15
      In my case that is not true, but then I am not supporting the Catholics, just their right to do what they did. I personally do not like it but I do support their right to do it just as I supported the right of Muslims to build a Mosque close to ground zero. It seems that Fargo Schools have gained a good teacher. Good for them. I hope she does not mention her faith in the classroom or you will all be screaming to fire her.

      1. Not sure what gave you the impression that I think they shouldn’t have been able to fire her. I’m with you, I disagree with the action but not their right to take it.

        Teachers shouldn’t promote their faith in public school classrooms if they do they should be sanctioned. I don’t anticipate that this will be a problem with this teacher. After all she succeeded in not pushing her personal positions on her students or their parents and complied with her employer’s rules in that area at her prior job and there’s nothing to suggest that she won’t continue that practice going forward.

        The Bishop trying to use the children in his care to influence the political choices of their parents, on the other hand, I do have a big problem with. That sort of action aught to endanger the tax privileged status of both the school and the diocese.

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