Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Openly Gay < Closedly Gay

Bishop Amos of Davenport
Continuing the growing list of things graduations should and should not be-
A compromise has been reached between the Diocese of Davenport and a gay student about to graduate from one of its Catholic schools in Clinton.

The gay advocacy organization that provided Prince of Peace Catholic School senior Keaton Fuller with a $40,000 scholarship has prepared a script to be read at a May 20 graduation ceremony with the blessing of Bishop Martin Amos.

Bishop Amos went on to say in a statement that “principles of mutual respect and careful listening exhibited by all parties allowed a solution to emerge. We have many things we agree upon, and have also agreed to accept the fact that we also have some things we disagree about. But that shouldn’t prevent all of us from celebrating Keaton Fuller’s success.”

So, the kid gets a scholarship named for Matthew Shepard that provides for his further education. The website for the Eychaner Foundation that provides the scholarship lists the conditions of application.
The student must:
be a graduating Iowa high school senior: which is easy enough to do. No really, graduating from a Catholic school isn't that hard. Done.

have a GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale:
which is not that hard to do in most Catholic schools. U jus hav 2 b abul 2 b urself.

have an ACT score of 22 or better: Ok, that's kind of impressive.

be openly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender: which morally isn't a problem. "Open" means that you are able to accept your orientation. There is no problem with being "openly" any of those things in the Catholic faith.

prove demonstrable LGBT activism and community service: this one can be problematic in some sense. If you are actively promoting gay marriage which is against Church teaching, then it does oppose the mission of the Catholic Church (and, in a dream world, Catholic schools and education). However, it should include being active in the anti-bullying efforts or providing some Catholic guidance to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students who want to be faithful to the teachings of the Church. "Courage" is an organization developed for that purpose. So, this stipulation cannot be seen as sinister.

have high moral and ethical standards and conduct: Ok, this would compliment the one above. Understandably, morals and ethics are fluid terms but in the Catholic Church, there are certain things that we believe to be right and those that are wrong. I would hope that Keaton Fuller, the graduate in the middle of this situation, is such a person that makes his Church and society proud.
The madder you get about gays, the more Shakespeare I get.

I've read a bit of the commentary on this story and I'm a bit squicked out by some of the posts and outrage concerning this young man. I am sure any "compromise" the Diocese made is not as harmful to the faithful as some of the terms and comments being made by supposedly adult Catholics.

I am not sure if it is possible, but Catholic schools should be more choosy about who and what offers scholarships and who or what scholarships can be awarded to Catholic students. It's hard to basically tell someone that they can't get free money for school but there is also a more subtle way of doing it. List it in the program. It will be read because when the speaker is yammering on, everyone either is texting or reading the program.

Or better.. KILL GRADUATIONS! End them. Send the diploma by text: "U hav graduated. Sum1 gave u money for college. WOOT. Tweet this to ur grandparents to get a gift. LOLZ".