A gay substitute teacher has been denied a permanent job at a local Catholic high school not because he is gay, but because he is openly in a homosexual relationship- behavior which is contrary to Catholic (and authentic Christian) teaching, which is explicitly made grounds for termination in the standard contract signed by teachers at the school, and which everyone admits is perfectly consistent with the law.
The local news outlets have consistently misreported the story, claiming that the man was denied the job because he is gay. Dowling High School has carefully and clearly explained that this is not the case, pointing out quite properly that homosexual orientation (a concept less than a century old) is in no way morally problematic for Catholics or for those who subscribe to the consistent biblical teaching that homosexual behavior is inconsistent with the Faith.
The confusion of the two is central to the ongoing strategy of the cultural Left. One cannot be a bigot because one disapproves of somebody's behavior. One cannot discriminate against behavior. But to acknowledge the distinction orthodox Christianity makes between orientation and behavior is to completely refute the dominant premise of the movement to accept homosexual behavior as what it is not: theologically and sociologically equivalent to the act by which the species is propagated, and the protection of which has been the basic rationale for the institution of marriage throughout the history of the Western world.
That particular bit of dishonesty is rife not only in the arguments of marriage revisionists and the social Left, but in the reporting of the media. To say that it is sloppy journalism is to put it mildly. But of course, journalistic integrity isn't the point.
The point is that if the actual position of the historic and biblical Christian faith were accurately reported, the entire rationale for the homosexualist movement would be discredited.
But that dishonesty isn't the scariest thing about this story. The truly scary thing is that the debate has become so emotionally driven and so poorly informed that, according to one local TV station, half the participants in a poll of viewers did not believe that a religious school should be able to require that its teachers comport themselves in accordance with the moral beliefs of the church body which operates that school.
One does not choose one's sexual orientation. But one can and does choose one's behavior. The consistent and deliberate confusion of the two lies at the heart of the current debate on the issue (that is, to the limited extent that the traditionalist position is even allowed to be heard). And it totally skews the journalistic reporting of the issue, just as it has confused and obfuscated the issues involved in Dowling Catholic's decision not to hire the teacher.
That in itself is scary enough. But that half the people of greater Des Moines have such open contempt for the First Amendment and the rights of churches to make employment decisions on the basis of their own teachings is even more frightening.
By the way, the argument has been made that Dowling is inconsistent in that it has heterosexual couples who are not married but are living together and couples who are divorced and remarried employed there as teachers, but will not employ a publicly active gay man as such. This is a valid point- if true.
If Dowling does have such teachers on its staff (I don't know for a fact that such is the case), they need to be fired- not only for the sake of consistency, but for the sake of spiritual integrity. Part of a teacher's job is to be a role model, and it is not only reasonable but necessary for a religiously-oriented school to avoid employing teachers who, according to the faith to which it subscribes, would be poor ones. And as I opened this post by saying, it is frightening beyond belief that anyone- whether the Dowling administration or the cultural Left- would even question that point.