Head of school that hosted anti-gay band resigns

Robert Sheridan rs at robertsheridan.com
Wed Mar 14 16:55:07 PDT 2012


Couple of corrections/clarifications:  

The school in question seems to have been a public school; the offending band is said to have an association with an extremist religious group.  

The reference to religious groups causing harm should have made clear that the teachings of any religious group, however beneficial in general, are capable of being bent towards harmful ends.  

Religion seems to be one of the few major influence systems that militate in favor of sanity and morality generally, despite any questionable origin-tales; wouldn't want to see a world without these belief systems.

My guess is that church members pay very careful attention indeed to Court holdings and are careful to avoid transgressing to the extent possible; then there are the individuals who want to keep things as they were.

rs


On Mar 14, 2012, at 4:38 PM, Robert Sheridan wrote:

> http://tinyurl.com/6sds54u
> 
> Okay, we can all think of examples where religious zealots of just about any faith go overboard in the service of their beliefs; suicide bombings by radical Islamists comes to mind, the promise of 72 virgins in heaven, etc.  Call it insanity, but if you wanted to advise people on how to avoid insanity in the name of religion how would you do so?
> 
> First, define insanity:  A belief system that is impervious to reason and causes harm?  That would take care of any of the major religions that come to mind.
> 
> No?  Okay, let's except belief in the supernatural; that's so common that it might be considered normal, however much it may fly in the face of facts.
> 
> In the news article, above, the head of a Christian school hosted an anti-gay band.  Apparently nobody told him that denigrating gays was a bad idea now.  His brand of religion apparently looks down on gays.  He's been forced to resign.  I suppose that if he had more or less privately cited biblical passages condemning same-sex relations he wouldn't have been forced to resign.  
> 
> A Catholic priest was censured last week for refusing communion to a woman burying her mother, the reason being that the daughter lived in a loving relationship with another woman.  The school head and the priest were both acting in accord with lifelong learning.  It took Pope John Paul II to remove anti-Jewish references from the liturgy, references that had been present for centuries, if not millenia.  Women are still denied the status of priests, as are married men except if previously Church of England.  It's hard to keep track of all the examples where the times have outpaced the tradition.
> 
> When do recognized 'religious' beliefs become wrong?  Or recognized as wrong?
> 
> If church authorities themselves are in doubt, or reluctant see the immorality of certain teachings, what are ordinary members supposed to rely on for authority?  The latest secular Supreme Court rulings?  Slavery stood for centuries alongside churches; slaves built churches.  Today no church would fail to recognize the immorality of slavery and condemn it in the name of religion, despite previous practice.  See Frederick Douglass.  Apparently secular society has a great influence on church belief and teaching, albeit in arrears.  The Mormons, for example, have changed their teaching regarding marriage and race in response to outside pressure and condemnation.
> 
> According to a poll taken the other day in connection with campaigning in Mississippi and Alabama, 52% of those polled in MS and 48% of those in AL believe that racially mixed marriage is wrong, immoral, and bad and should thus continue to be outlawed.  It took the Supremes until 1967 to so hold in Loving v. Virginia, having been taught the lesson against ruling over-hastily in the face of social prejudice in Brown v. Board in 1954.  
> 
> Mississippi is not San Francisco.  I visited Biloxi, Mississippi last week for a reunion with some friends of my youth from Back East, one of whom had settled near there, and had occasion to visit Beauvoir, the last residence and privately run monument to confederate president Jefferson Davis.  Imagine a monument to someone who'd made war on the United States, a war that killed 600,000, both sides.  Imagine a monument next door to Osama bin Laden, who killed 3,000.
> 
> How would you advise priests, ministers, religious teachers and leaders in general that some of the things that they may wish to teach, preach, and demonstrate against will get them fired or otherwise denounced for failing to keep up with the times?
> 
> How does the religious community keep up in general?  Newsletters?  Trade publications?  Case-law summaries?  General news?  CNN announcers raising eyebrows?
> 
> rs
> 
> 
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