SEATTLE (RNS) Forced out of his Catholic school job for marrying his same-sex partner, a gay vice principal in suburban Seattle has filed a wrongful-dismissal suit against his former school.

Mark Zmuda claims that as vice principal of Eastside Catholic School, his duties were “purely administrative and unrelated to any religious practice or activity.” He filed suit in King County Superior Court against the school and the Archdiocese of Seattle. The suit follows at least eight similar suits filed across the country.

Mark Zmuda took a job as a teacher at Eastside Catholic School in part because he believed he could be a good Catholic role model. Two months ago, he was fired precisely because he did not measure up as a Catholic model: He married his male partner. Photo by Catherine O'Donnell

Mark Zmuda took a job as vice principal at Eastside Catholic School in part because he believed he could be a good Catholic role model. Two months ago, he was fired precisely because he did not measure up as a Catholic model: He married his male partner. Photo by Catherine O’Donnell


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In a news conference Friday (March 7), Zmuda, 38, said that prior to accepting the job, he read anti-discrimination statements in the employee handbook and relied on them when accepting the job in 2012.

In December, the school fired Zmuda, saying he violated terms of his contract, which require adherence to Catholic Church teachings. The church forbids same-sex marriage, and court rulings have upheld religious institutions’ rights to hire and fire according to the tenets of their faith.

In February, however, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that nonprofit religious institutions in the state could be sued for job discrimination if an employee’s job is unrelated to religion.

Eastside has filed a motion to dismiss the suit, saying the court can’t adjudicate the case without violating the First Amendment, which protects freedom of religious practice.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Seattle said it would ask the court to dismiss Zmuda’s suit too.

“The archdiocese did not direct, nor does it have the ability or authority to direct, employment decisions made by Eastside Catholic School, but the archdiocese believes the school’s decision is consistent with Catholic teaching,” the statement reads.

When Zmuda was let go from Eastside Catholic, hundreds of students walked out and staged a sit-in. They subsequently submitted a petition with at least 21,000 signatures protesting the dismissal to the archdiocese.

Zmuda seeks unstated damages against Eastside Catholic for loss of his job and difficulty in continuing his career as a school administrator.

YS/AMB END O’DONNELL

94 Comments

  1. It’s too bad it’s come to this, that a religious organization presumes that everyone is the same, that God-made gays cannot be just as honorable and worthwhile as everyone else. Proof is always in performance, and Mark Zmuda has certainly proved over a long period of time that he is honorable and worthwhile, just as honorable and worthwhile as the bishop, clergy, professional religious, or anyone else in the Diocese of Seattle.

    No doubt Zmuda is more honorable than all the sexually abusive clergy of the church or the bishops who have been using the people’s money to hide the real crimes of those clergy and committing more crimes in that obstruction of justice.

    If the church and its leaders lived up to the precepts of Jesus whom they claim to follow, we would have none of these sex-related clerical crimes, and we would be seeing an understanding and respect for science, sociology, and psychology that provides us with a true understanding of homosexuality. We would not be living still in an inquisitional past that makes yet another lie out of religion.

    • That’s an interesting claim that you attempted to sneak in there: “God-made gays.”

      God does NOT make anybody gay (1 Cor. 6:9-11). People sometimes choose, because of their life situations and issues and “feelings”, to convert to the gay religion. Once they convert to the cult, they get locked into the cult, unless God frees them.

      This Zmuda fellow is a prime example. He’s not just locked into the gay marriage cult, he’s now trying to force acceptance of that religion on his entire Catholic school, via the courts. That’s just a godless mess, period.

      Anyway, such tragic conversion is by a person’s own choice, not God’s. God is the Person who is offering a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13, 6:9-11), healing, cleansing, deliverance, freedom from the gay lifestyle, through the Person and power of Jesus Christ. God doesn’t make anybody gay.

      • Oh yes that “gay marriage cult” which stresses things like consensual monogamous adult relationships and raising families with a measure of human dignity.

        Not at all like the Catholic church.

        • Well put, J.C. The most exposing error of heterosexuals is to claim that sexual orientation is chosen. There’s is a drive, natural to them. They are blinded by their own passion to think they have chosen what their nature drives them to desire. They always display the worst myopia about sex when they infer they have chosen to like the opposite sex rather than that it is their nature, their orientation.

          I used to know a humorous guy who frequently responded to inquiries about how he felt, “Oh, I’m gay!” And when others kidded him about being gay, he would humorously respond, “I can’t help it, it’s my nature.”

          So many straights need to take a lesson from that survival attitude. Straights are the ones who force gays into closets and slam the doors tight behind them, even lock some of them. Stranger than that fiction is the fact that it is straights who “breed” gays and who then so often and readily “throw them away.”

          But consider the massive number of straight parents who never even come to realize or be informed that any of their offspring are “queer.” Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio recently went through that experience. He was stunned, no doubt took it personally and offensively at first. Now he’s a convert. Now he accepts gays–so he says. Why should it take such trauma on either side?

      • @Doc

        This is all too characteristic “black and white thinking”. Are there any shades of gray for you? You apparently think that “God’s sex” is a strict binary system – you are either male or female and necessarily heterosexual.

        But “sex” has never been a binary system. In some cases, primary sexual characteristics are not clearly binary. Secondary sexual characteristics are certainly not and neither is related biochemistry, which effects behavior.

        “Sex” is a complex genetic trait just like many other human traits. There is considerable variation in both the physical and behavioral characteristics associated with gender. People need to understand this and deal with it.

        • Daniel Berry, NYC

          you’re using too many big words for “Doc” Anthony – words that have scientific application–something with which he is clearly not familiar.

          • Daniel, Doc’s and other’s replies are not only for the writer of a specific comment, they are part of the whole discussion.

      • Daniel Berry, NYC

        With all the horrible things people have done and continue to be wiling to do to us gay people, you gotta be crazy to think that anyone would deliberately choose to be gay. Fortunately, many of us grow enough as persons and persons of faith to come to believe that, like anyone else’s sexuality, being gay is a gift of God.

      • The vast majority of pedophiles are heterosexuals who are equal opportunity sexual predators and could care less about the sex of the object rather than their tight orifices and total control. Many priests when finally confronted are in heterosexual marriages. The medical research literature has numerous articles pointing out how heterosexuals, many religious, love to fill any tight orifice.

        • This is absolutely false. There is no valid evidence for that at all. Your logic would follow that: the vast majority of men that rape women are heterosexual, and men that rape and murder little girls are heterosexual, thus there is inherently a flaw in the character of heterosexual men. Your logic overflowing with ignorance and bigotry.

          • Stephani T: Murphy0071 is right and you are wrong. First of all, heinous as it is, rape of adult women is a completely different class of sexual abuse than pedophilia. Greater muscle strength in men than in women is obviously the reason there is so much of it. It remains utterly wicked, sin, and crime. Adding to that crime is the fact that so many women do not find justice in our courts or society at large for these awful assaults.

            Still, pedophilia is the sexual abuse of under-age kids by adults–male or female, victims or pedophiles. For whatever accuracy the studies and polls can be taken, there is, altogether, more pedophilia is committed by heterosexuals than homosexuals. Even some women are guilty of pedophilia. I presume that imbalance is made possible by the fact that minors lives with adults in their families, and have more contact with adult relatives.

            Whatever, adult rape is a different crime than pedophilia. Both are evil, and society does not do enough to prevent either or bring those guilty of sex crimes to justice.

        • Pedophilia and presumed pedophilia are very complex subjects. It’s important to consider that celibate clergy must live circumscribed, unnatural lives. That don’t have the free and open opportunities for sexual exploitation that non-clerical, non-celibate people have. In short, many of them become disturbed by their unnatural lives and in time some resort to what is safest, most possible, most available, kids and underage boys with whom they mistakenly think no trauma might be involved in their pedophile behavior.

          It’s still pedophilia. The psychic damage is often worse than with a non-cleric because of the high, holy image held by the youngster of the cleric. It is abnormal, and it has to represent an accumulated psychological disturbance in the cleric by the time of the pedophile behavior. The victim still suffers horribly. The worst aspect of it all is that the sex act causes even worse effects in the victim of a cleric because of the image in the victim of the cleric as a “holy man.”

          All that having been said, it has nothing to do with Mark Zmuda. He was no pedophile. He simply had a different sexual orientation than the majority of people, but that does not make him or any other homosexuals “sick” by virtue of their orientation alone. Nature is loaded with dominant and minor variations in all things. Zmuda was only following his natural orientation in pursuing a very healthy love/sex life just as most heterosexuals do.

          We understand sexuality immensely better now than what was described or alluded to in the mythological presumptions of biblical authors. We have science. We have sociology. We have psychology. And our knowledge in these disciplines should be exploited to help us understand the difference between health and disturbance in the sexual behavior of all sexual orientations. Libraries are filled with books of research about the disturbed sexual behavior of all orientations, hetero, homo, and bi.

          Why isn’t any church leader wondering aloud about the wisdom of requiring celibacy of clerics? It is not natural. It is not supported by science. It is not even supported by the bible. And the church is guilty of denigrating sex by requiring celibacy of its clergy. That requirement is a cause of many maladjustments as these men grow.

          Perhaps the bishops and other clerics who thrive on “parading in church finery” as “peacocks” and living in mansions pursue that an an alternative to their miserable, celibate lives. Francis told his committee of referral bishops to find him genuine pastor, “smelling like sheep.”

          Bishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey, certainly does not smell like a sheep. He needs the people of his diocese to pay for the enlargement of their mansion for his sole luxurious life after he retires, because he, like so many others, resorts to material luxury in lieu of holy sexual satisfaction–or truth in following Jesus.

          I would take Mark Zmuda any day as an alternative to John Myers. Zmuda is honest and earns his living. Myers is dishonest and steals the money of the people of the Diocese of Newark to pay for his royal, “peacock,” living. Is Myers going to living in the huge mansion all alone? Is he going to do the cleaning and cooking? Is Myers competent to repair either of his two elevators if any of the mechanics fails?

          Fire John Myers and rehire Mark Zmuda! Zmuda should not have to be going to court to get the bishop of Seattle to stop “parading in church finery” like “a peacock,” begin to “smell like the sheep,” and follow the main precept of Jesus, Love!

      • It’s ingenuous for you to use a screen name that suggests you have some medical knowledge if you’re going to continue to tell that LIE about sexual orientation, “Doc.” Sexual orientation, whether gay, bisexual or non-gay, has been shown by science to be inborn and unchangeable, and psychologists have shown being gay or lesbian is just as healthy and “normal” as being non-gay. A quick look on any search engine on the phrase “Physiological Basis of Homosexuality” turns up over 26,000 articles, the vast majority supporting the biological basis of same sex attraction, but NONE of them have any PROOF for the wild claim anti-gays make that “it’s a choice.”

  2. You’re inferring, of course, that God did not make everything. God is not the creator of heaven and earth and all that they contain. Interesting. More interesting is that you know so much about the Infinite. That would, of course, equate you with the Infinite, that would make you equal to God.

    Your claim that people “choose” to be gay means that there is no “natural” orientation to be heterosexual, that it is a choice to be heterosexual. And that means that you would have an equal inclination to be straight or to be gay. Your orientation to be straight is every bit as strong, and recognized, and as much of an urge as your urge to be gay. Is that what you’ve experienced?

    Corinthians or any other part of the Bible has nothing to do with being gay or straight or any choice between them. Those ancients who wrote ancient biblical scriptures knew no more about the science or sociology or psychology of sexual orientation than what you are displaying.

    I presume you are heterosexual and have absolutely no inclination toward sex with another man. That certainly means you are heterosexual, but it has all to do only with your orientation by your nature, your science, your sociology, your psychology, and it has absolutely nothing to do with a choice you made. You did not make any choice, you only acted on your nature.

    My oh my! Homosexuality, as with heterosexuality, has absolutely nothing to do with religion. There is a difference, an absolute difference, between sexual orientation and religion. There is no gay religion or gay church, though there is religious thought about homosexuality, and there are some churches that cater to predominantly gay people because churches with members like you have no understanding of any sexual orientation other than their own. That ignorance about other sexual orientation than one’s own, like all ignorance, is the basis of the bigotry and prejudice toward what is different, toward what is unknown. Bigotry and prejudice are considered not only based on ignorance, but in themselves, they are considered evil, sinful by most religions based on any intelligence.

    You are showing a sad misunderstanding of “cult.” Gay is not a cult. Gay churches are not a cult. Gay churches are only religious organizations of people with a good understanding of homosexuality, of its scientific nature, of the sociology related to homosexuality, and of the psychology of all sexuality, even heterosexuality.

    You need to read better. Zmuda is not trying to force any sexual orientation on anyone. He never has. He obviously never will. What he is asking is for a scientific, sociological, and psychological understanding of more than a single sexual orientation and acceptance of himself as a “gay” man. He was fully acceptable to everyone in his school system before he “came out,” so what’s the difference? Knowledge from his own admission is the difference. He has not changed one bit. He’s the same Mark Zmuda now that he was before when he was admired, respected, loved, and accepted. It’s others and the system that is behaving differently toward him.

    You no doubt would never have recognized or known that Mark Zmuda was gay if he hadn’t announced it. You don’t feel any need to hide your heterosexuality, why should anyone with a different sexual orientation that does no harm to anyone else hide their different orientation? It is rank ignorance, and a sinful distortion of truth, to claim that Mark Zmuda is making any effort to force any persuasion on anyone else. He is simply defending his right to be honest, to be himself.

    You distort the whole meaning of religion and church just as you distort the whole meaning of all sexual orientations.

    You display an extremely sad and selfish ignorance about sexuality, sexual orientation, religion, and church. Your tirades are nothing but emotionalism. For you to use the Bible, old or new testament, as if it were a history, science, sociology, or psychology text displays a total ignorance of the nature of the Bible’s ancient, mythological writing. You display an urgent need to study all of those disciplines deeply, earnestly, and honestly before you dare to drag out a single sentence and try to use it as a modern explanation of everything.

    I continue to find it extremely strange that some people think they can explain everything on the basis of ancient writings of a single group of people among the many billions who have existed on this vast sphere we call Earth! I find it extremely unsettling that those people claim they are religious. Religion has the meaning of striving to be good. The awful contradiction is that religion has a history of ugly, murderous evil that is not outmatched by any other form of thought.

    When I was a kid in a religious school, we were expected to memorize the questions and answers others, religious leaders, had written for a book called a catechism. One of the early questions in that book was, “Who made you?” The rote response expected of us while we stood individually was, “God made me.”

    Next question: “Why did God make you?” Response? “God made me to know Him and love Him and serve Him in this world so I could be happy with Him forever in Heaven.”

    I see absolutely nothing infinite, all intelligent, all powerful, all good in the God you imply. I see nothing but evil in a God who would make a creature with “distorted nature” and then expect that creature to live contrary to that “distorted nature.” A God who creates distortions is a distorted God!

    You display a desperate need to study biology and other sciences. You need to study sociology, psychology, and history more than you need to spend time memorizing sentences from the Bible. You need to study. You need to think. You need to learn. You need to become the free person your God made you to be. You display a desperate need for truth that will make you free. I think some famous person, long ago, once announced, “The truth will make you free.” You can’t have truth without knowledge, full, broad knowledge in as many disciplines as you can manage. That always takes more than a lifetime.

    • @Gilhcan,
      A touch long winded, but right on.

      As you encourage Doc to avoid the Bible, you refer to “The truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Actual LOL.

      And though I am convinced John is correct about the ‘truth’, I’m quite sure he is wrong about where the truth is!

      The more people abandon religion the more truth they will find.

      • Often, to make up for the obviously small background of some commenters, it is important to attempt to provide some background for them and for those who might otherwise accept their misinformation. The less background they display, the more they and other presumptuous people like them need.

      • That’s putting it somewhat nicely and succinctly, but because religion has such a sordid history, does that mean there is nothing good in it. And I have run into a number of atheists who were at least as evil as many believers.

        Neither religious people nor atheists has any monopoly on truth or goodness.

      • Depends on what is considered “truth,” right? If you wish to stick with the bible, I think Pilate would join many of us. “Quid est veritas?” “What is truth?” We’re still searching for that, right? Long before Pilate, it was the Greek Diogenes who went in futile search of the honest man.

        • @Gilhcan, Fair enough. I’ll be a bit long-winded myself,

          Yes – There is some good in religion. As a completely man made enterprise it would be very peculiar if nothing in it was any good.

          THE GOLDEN RULE
          The Golden Rule or more commonly THE LAW OF RECIPROCITY (do to others what you would like done to you, etc..) is the oldest moral code in history and it needs no Gods.

          Even Atheists follow this rule. We can’t help it. That is what Christians don’t seem to understand!

          Atheists know when we have behaved unfairly and we don’t like that feeling. We prefer justice. We prefer fairness to unfairness for ourselves – and our loved ones! Just like Christians, we are not always good. But we try to be.

          It is natural kinship.
          It appears to predate all the worlds religions which have subsumed it and claimed it as their own. Analects of Confucius to Rabbi Hillel of Babylon.
          All religions have some variant of The Golden rule.

          However, religions CLAIM this law as their own idea (which it clearly isn’t) YET incoherently they ALSO CLAIM its universality is somehow validation that specific religion must be ‘true’!

          THE SCIENCE:
          Most mammals have been shown to have ‘a sensitivity to reciprocity’ or ‘fairness’. It has been shown to be an evolved trait – a strong characteristic in primates, dogs and other animals.
          Morality, then, is clearly an evolved trait – like having 5 fingers on each hand – it comes with being born.

          I can provide links to those studies if you like.
          Or you can just google this topic: The evolution of moral behavior.

          We are primates, so it shouldn’t surprise us that ‘The Golden Rule’ is just EVOLUTION in action.

          BAD PEOPLE:
          Bad Atheists would include Stalin.
          Bad Catholics would include Hitler.

          I don’t think we should smear each other by association.
          Some people are psychopaths – and Hell won’t scare them straight anyway.

          RELIGION AND GENOCIDAL BEHAVIOR:
          There are some exceptions…but Populations which believe they have “God on our side” (gott Mit Uns) are PROVEN more likely to perpetrate mass evil. Religious people (Germans prior to WW2, Russian Orthodox prior to Stalin) are more likely to commit genocide once convinced ‘EVIL’ must be eradicated.

          SUSPENSION OF ‘THE GOLDEN RULE’ IS ONLY ALLOWED FOR
          “A GOD’S SAKE”
          Rwanda, for example is the most Catholic country in Africa – Yet 800,000 people died there in a matter of weeks AT THE HANDS OF CATHOLICS in the 1990s.
          Japan’s Emperor Hirohito, Ireland, Shia and Sunni wars, etc…are only more evidence.


          TRUTH
          God either exists or He doesn’t.
          God’s existence is an extraordinary claim. There should be some extraordinary evidence for it – I’ve seen no such evidence.

          When people realize that God is unlikely, they must honestly confront that. Usually it opens the door to wonder, philosophy, culture and science.

          Atheism is simply the lack of belief – not the claim that a God is impossible. I do not have evidence for God.
          I therefore must be open minded to the probability that God is not real. I must not preach God’s rules if I cannot demonstrate God in some way.

          I don’t accept that something should be believed if there is no evidence for it or (at a minimum) some way to demonstrate that it is probably TRUE.

          So far, God just doesn’t appear to exist.
          Take heart, you are good anyway.

    • Daniel Berry, NYC

      your arguments are good, but the shrillness of Doc Anthony’s posting (and he never fails to make similarly shrill postings about homosexuality) suggests that he doth protest too much. So I wouldn’t assume he’s heterosexual. How many secure heterosexual men do you know who find it necessary to make such strident denunciations about gay people? I’m 60 years old and have lived in New York City for over 30 years. So far the only people I’ve met who were so loud and nasty about gay people were closet-cases.

  3. Sin is the cause of all evil and “distortion.” God did not create us sinful. Therefore, God does not create anyone a homosexual. Heterosexuality existed before humanity’s fall into sin. Homosexuality did not. It is caused not by God, but by man’s sinful nature.

    • @CLETUS,

      “Homosexuality is….made by man’s sinful nature”

      Should Gays be stoned to death? Are they enemies of God?
      “Bring to me those enemies of mine, EXECUTE THEM in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

      • Why must we limit ourselves to quoting the bible? Isn’t there any support for ideas or for ethics anywhere but in the bible? Can’t individuals think and/or be of good morals/ethics autonomously, without any religious literature? Consider how the religious right has co-opted the Republican Party, and consider all the destructive, selfish greed of Mitt Romney’s 53%.

    • If God did not create us sinful, then didn’t he do a rather careless job of creating us able to sin? Almost matches our power with his, right?

      Can you takes us back in your monumental knowledge of God, creation, sin, and the bible, and explain all that stuff about sex and sin?

      As for “before humanity’s fall,” do you know when Cain killed Abel? And what about the perversity of a God who would place his first creatures in a wondrous garden–along with forbidden things–and tease them with those lovely things as a condition of remaining in that wondrous place?

      I guess sex is like that garden apple, right? Put it in front of them, God. Tease them with choosing one or the other, or one of three or four. And then evict them with their genitals covered because they made the wrong choice. What kind of wicked God is that?

      Genitals were beautiful before the apple and ugly after the apple. Don’t you recognize mythology when you read it in this late time? Don’t you recognize the difference between metaphor and science?

      • Stephen T: Since Religious New Service sadly does not provide commenters the opportunity to revise or edit their comments, one has to be very, very careful to do so before “Post Comment.”

        Another unfortunate event is that when one selects “Reply” below a comment, presumably to reply to that precise comment, the reply can end up anywhere in the long list of comments and future readers can’t make sense of it because it didn’t land where “Reply” was selected. They can’t see any relationship. Makes no sense.

  4. People like Mark suffer because Christians are completely dishonest.

    If one quotes the old Testament Laws you will be told by a Christian, “STOP THAT! Jesus left the New Testament – we don’t care about the OLD Testament laws anymore. ”

    But if you talk about Gays ………… they go right to the OLD TESTAMENT!
    “Thou shalt not lie with man, as with woman: it is abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22)

    Hypocrisy is not ‘a blemish’ on Christianity – Hypocrisy IS Christianity!

    • Atheists and others who still wonder and search are not without blemish. Consider Dick Cheney. He was very careful to never refer to religion. He knew the Bush-Cheney base and he would never offend it. It was safer to keep his mouth shut on that topic. Besides, his mouth and mind worked overtime so much on selfish greed, even distorting facts to practice it, that there was no time left for anything else.

    • No, Jesus did not leave the New Testament. Other writers after his death, people who never met Jesus, are the authors of all those books and other writings. Even Paul, who changed from the Jew Saul, never met or knew Jesus–unless you are willing to buy into the story of a miraculous encounter on the Damascus road as a meeting.

      • Dr. Norman C. Murphy

        Since Christianity is based on delusion,it is only fitting that the promulgator of “Christianity” was Saul of Taursus, a Roman citizen and that his books were acceptable to the Romans who put Christianity together and made Christ a god. Constantine’s wife was a Christian and Constantine continued to worship Roman deities until his death. His wife announced his conversion to Christianity while he was on his death bed. LOL!

    • Jerusalem Council, Max. Read up about it, learn the whats and the whys of it. It’s been a settled issue for 2000 years and it’s a function of modern-day biblical illiteracy that so many are ignorant of it. It’s only within the last generation, with everyone trying to approve homosexual behavior, that people have been offering up this OT vs NT argument, evidently thinking they’ve come up with something new, blissfully oblivious to the fact that it was all considered and dealt with long ago by the earliest Christians who were themselves Jews and Torah-observant. Pathetic.

    • Atheist Max: Sadly, you go to extremes too, too often by dumping everyone and everything into meaninglessness just because you oppose it. Just because you reject religion, it does not follow that all those who are religious are dishonest–or anything else you consider negative.

      I am a non-theist, but I certainly find little in common with your thought patterns.

      • @Gilhcan,
        Excuse me? I’m the one going to extremes?

        “Kill homosexuals” – God

        How much Gay hate has to happen before people begin to understand that religion IS the problem and Not the WAY it is practiced ?

  5. I am sure you know that the homosexuality issue is addressed in the New Testament not only in 1 Corinthians but also in Romans 1, especially verses 26-32. (yes, I know many more sins are mentioned but 2 or more wrongs don,t make a right). Of course, if you don,t accept any form of Biblical reasoning then all this is meaningless anyway.

    • Who cares about biblical references to homosexuality or any other sex? Are you inferring that thinkers and writers of biblical mythology were so learned in the science, sociology, or psychology of sex that they were the last word about all sexual matters? The greatest error is to consider the bible a textbook on anything.

      • @Gilhcan,

        “Who cares about biblical references to homosexuality…?”

        June 5, 2012 – Kardin Ulysse, a black 14-year-old boy, was attacked in the cafeteria of Roy Mann Junior High School by another group of boys. He was called anti-gay slurs and sustained damage to the cornea of one of his eyes, leaving him blinded. Ulysse’s parents planned on suing the city for failing to supervise its students properly.

        June 23, 2012 – Mollie Olgin, 19 years old, and her girlfriend, Kristene Chapa, 18 years old, were found shot in the head near Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas. Olgin died at the scene and Chapa survived. Law enforcement has said there is no evidence to suggest that the incident is a hate crime. The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Texas urged a thorough investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and Portland police to find the shooter.

        July 5, 2012 – Tracy Johnson, a 40-year-old black trans woman, was found dead from gunshot wounds in Baltimore, Maryland.

        August 14, 2012 – Tiffany Gooden, a 19-year-old black trans woman, was found murdered on the second floor of an abandoned building in Chicago. An autopsy verified that she had been stabbed to death. Notably, the body of Paige Clay, another young black trans woman, was discovered in April 3 blocks away from where Tiffany was found. The pair were known as friends.

        August 18, 2012 – Kendall Hampton, a 26-year-old black trans woman, died of gunshot wounds. Eugene Carlos Dukes was arrested in early September for her murder, and indicted later that month.

        August 26, 2012 – Deja Jones, a 33-year-old black trans woman, was shot to death in Miami. No arrest has yet been made.

        September 3, 2012 – The body of Kyra Cordova, a 27-year-old trans woman, was found in a wooded area in Frankford, Philadelphia.

        November 15, 2012 – Janette Tovar, a 43-year-old trans woman was murdered by her partner, Jonathan Kenney, according to police, who beat her and slammed her head into concrete. He was later arrested for her murder.

        March 1, 2013 – Sondra Scarber addressed a parent about her girlfriend’s son being bullied at Seabourn Elementary School in Mesquite, Texas, and was beaten by him when he realized that she was a lesbian.

        May 17, 2013 – Mark Carson, a 32-year old black gay man,[183] was shot to death by another man who trailed and taunted him and a friend as they walked down the street in Greenwich Village, New York. When the two friends ignored the assailant’s questions, the man began yelling anti-gay slurs and asked one of them, “You want to die tonight?” Elliot Morales, 33, was arrested briefly after the shooting and charged with murder and weapons charges on May 19.[184] According to police, Morales said he shot Carson because he was “acting tough”. Morales pleaded not guilty on June 19, 2013.

        November 4, 2013 – Sasha Fleischman, an 18-year-old who identifies as genderqueer (neither male nor female), had their skirt set on fire while they were sleeping on an AC Transit bus in Oakland, California. Police arrested 16-year-old Richard Thomas and charged him as an adult with aggravated mayhem, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and hate-crime enhancements. Thomas admitted to police that he had started the fire and that he did it because he was “homophobic.”

        The problem is religion – NOT the way it is practiced.

        “Kill homosexuals” – God (Leviticus 20:13)

    • It is never “meaningless” to think, never meaningless to study and learn. To do a proper job in any of those areas, one must go beyond oneself, search into many sources, far more than mythology thousands of years after it was written. The human race does continue to discover more reality about itself and the universe in which it exists. The greatest error is to consider the bible a textbook on any subject.

    • Except none of those passages actually refer to homosexuality as we know it aka consensual adult relations among those of the same gender. “Romans” deals with idolatry and “Corinthians” the use of rape as a temple rite

      But then again, its not like you would care about accurate and honest views of such passages. Using appeals to reason are completely lost on someone who is merely looking for social sanction for their bigoted attitudes. There is no real point in trying to show people that they are misquoting when they are only using it as a pretext to act malicious towards others.

      • Unfortunately it is you who is not interested in any honest or accurate view of these passages. There is no evidence from history that these passages were ever interpreted in the manner you suggest. The word Paul used in these passages is “arsenokoitai” which is made up of the two key words in the Septuagint translation of Leviticus 20:13. And we know from Flavius Josephus (who was a contemporary of Paul and received the same legal and religious education as Paul) exactly how first century Jews (including Jesus) understood Leviticus on the subject: that nature approves the sexual union of man with wife but “abhors the mixture of male with male.” The Babylonian Talmud and the Midrash Rabbah Genesis, the earliest editions of which (as far as we know) date to the first couple of centuries AD, agree and even go so far as to condemn same-sex marriage itself.

        It’s one thing to reject the biblical injunctions, but quite another to deliberately misrepresent their meaning.

        • No history, you are relying on centuries of accrued translations and interpretation long after the fact and removed entirely from full textusl context.

          If course my point is your interpretation is merely pretext (as is pretty much anyone using Biblical passages as support if a given position). You merely want to give a patina of social acceptability to an position which is more malice than scripture. More excuses than rational discussion.

          The fact that many people who ferverently believe in the same texts as yourself do not hold the same position shows how not so cut and dry as you would hope.

          • Um, no. What I am relying on is the interpretation which was quite obviously the one held in the same time and place occupied by the New Testament writers–this is what “context” is all about. What you are selling is an interpretation made up out of whole cloth within the last generation for a very specific agenda and possessing no historical or scriptural support whatsoever. Your continued attempts to inject accusations of “malice” or “bigotry” are quite ineffectual. One’s personal feelings about the Bible’s injunctions don’t change what history clearly shows those injunctions to BE, though you are certainly free to repudiate them altogether if you wish.

          • Pardon me if I lend no credence to the notion that your Biblical interpretation is anything but a pretext and excuse for a position rather than the result of a rational discussion or learned analysis.

            What you look to do is excuse what is objectively a malicious point of view. One purely at odds with Christian notions of humanity, humility and goodwill. Simply window dressing to give a bigoted position a measure of social acceptance. Not any different than what Southern Baptists used to say to support segregation or Catholics & Lutherans used to use to justify anti-semitism.

            The existence of Christian churches which differ from your take on the subject is proof positive that your version is hardly the final word on the subject. Of course you would simply claim, in a piqu of narcissim that they are not “real christians” or heretical.

            I inject malice and bigotry into the discussion because it is the honest assessment of your view. You are looking for excuses to treat others with contempt as unworthy of basic human dignity. There is no better objective way to consider such positions. It is bigotry to look for excuses to treat others as less than people.

            The Bible is vague enough in all things to make its injunctions subject to whatever position you want to use them for. 500+ sects of Christian are living proof of how varied these interpretations are.

          • There may indeed be “Christian” denominations who interpret the issue differently but, as before stated, these interpretstions are without any historical or scriptural evidence that they are correct. There was no dissension in either Jewish or Christian understanding of the subject until just the last generation, and I’m afraid its a bit too late in the game for johnny-come-latelies with axes to grind to step in and try to tell us what the true meanings of the ancient scriptural writings were.

            Just in case it might save some bandwidth, I could not possibly be less impressed with your persistent accusations of “bigotry” or “malice.” In the first place they are inaccurate; I actually wish the scriptures did NOT say what they say about homosexuality, as well as a few other things, yet am unable (as are you) to sprinkle “interpretive” pixie dust on them and make them go poof. In the second place, they are completely without relevance. One may be the most extreme bigot imaginable and it will take not one iota of validity from his position if his facts are straight. For the correct interpretations of ambiguous ancient writings (assuming that they are actually ambiguous) it is simply unavoidable that one must look to actual history and to.contemporaneous writing and commentary–not to the “personal bias” of those who draw the conclusions (which of course would dispose of your positions as well).

        • It is shocking that people are still quoting the bible as if it had any more credibility than any other religious text or god myth. The same people that quote scripture as if it were an accurate historical text “proving” the existence of god and/or Jesus, condemn Elvis, UFO, or the Loch Ness monster sightings as ridiculous. How hard would it be to embellish the life of Jesus to promote his teachings? How hard would it be to adjust his life to fit the Old Testament prophesies? How hard would it be to get people of that time to believe in miracles, when god myths, virgin births, and resurrections were common beliefs?

      • Larry: Those “accurate and honest views of such (biblical) passages” are certainly not the last word. Biblical writings are ancient, they are mythology. They pre-date vast stretches of history and they do not relate to most. They are not science, not sociology, not psychology. Using the mythological writings of the bible as if they are science, sociology, or psychology, misses the whole point of of the type of writing the bible is.

        • As a general rule, anyone who tells me their POV is based on the Bible is full of crap. It is written vaguely enough and so full of conflicting and contradictory ideas that it is a litmus test for one’s views. Its merely a pretext to confirm what they already want to do. They just want to make their view sound like it has some form of social sanction.

    • Daniel Berry, NYC

      The whole argument is grounded in a Bronze-Age ethic, many or most of whose provisions would horrify decent people of our own time. Thank God. Unfortunately, I don’t necessarily look to the so-called christian church for decency.

    • Dr. Norman C. Murphy

      Too bad the translation from the Koine is incorrect and word at the time of writing meant, “child molester.” In fact, Luther properly translated it into German as Knabenschander, which according to authorities in Koine Greek say is the only possible translation. Christ never mentions homosexuals and the word does not come into use until the 19th century.

      • Christ mentioned sexual immorality, which included a number of behaviors including same-sex ones. That He didn’t pick it out for a specific mention is more indicative of lack of dispute over the subject than condonation. In fact, it is just as well that He left the general understanding of the subject in place and DIDN’T make a specific statement, for people would simply set to work creating BS arguments around it just like they do with His words about divorce.

        • Any argument premised on God’s feelings about the subject rests on circular reasoning and other logical fallacies, regardless of any associated “BS arguments”, as you put it. They are inadmissible in any reasonable court and are not well tolerated here.

          Your beliefs appear to stand on religious freedom alone. And since two same-sex people having a relationship or getting married does not substantially impinge on your religious freedoms they also cannot foster a reasonable argument.

          Any ideas? Surely you can come up with a reasonable argument why gay people should not enjoy the same rights and benefits that other citizens do.

          • Actually, the issue of whether gay marriage should be allowed or not doesn’t particularly interest me, as it pertains to a world system in which Christians are more or less aliens (and ever have been, even in those times when religion supposedly ruled). Marriage in ancient Rome was a thoroughly repugnant institution, and yet the earliest Christians managed to stand apart from the perverse culture and maintain standards of holiness that put the modern Church to shame. The degeneration of secular marriage should no more interfere with the Christian walk now than it did then.

            Where I take issue, however, is when nonbelievers step in and presume to tell us what we should accept and reject within our churches, and what our scriptures mean and don’t mean. And conversely, when those among us abandon fidelity to scripture in order to conform to the ever-shifting whims of a fallen world, in blatant contravention of Christ’s warning to avoid such conformity. Christ is the dividing line; where He is not, holiness is not to be expected and of course can not be compelled by law. But neither will I participate or condone for the sake of conformity. And that is as far as my interest in the gay marriage debate extends.

          • @Shawnie5

            Ah, the last resort, isn’t the first amendment a great thing?

            “Where I take issue, however, is when nonbelievers step in and presume to tell us what we should accept and reject within our churches, and what our scriptures mean and don’t mean.”

            If the big bad non-believers are making your unfounded opinions and arguments look foolish, I recommend not airing them in public. And if you cry “persecution” when people do not let them stand unchallenged, you will likely only offend persecuted people and make others laugh at you.

            You can accept or reject anything (legal) you care too within your church and interpret any scripture any way you want there. But you are not in church here. If you wish to extend your church’s arguments or authority out into a secular democracy you will have to make secular arguments. The fact is, your religious opinions and arguments are impotent in that regard. Learn to live with it.

          • “Christ is the dividing line; where He is not, holiness is not to be expected and of course can not be compelled by law.”

            And where He is, holiness is expected and can be compelled by law. But that is theocracy. It is still practiced in some places. Fortunately for us, our founders took great care to be sure it would never be practiced here.

          • My opinions about the meaning of certain passages of scripture, which is what my exchange with Larry was all about, are neither foolish nor unfounded, and the “big bad nonbelievers” are powerless to make them “appear” so–particularly since most of them have no actual knowledge on the subject but are merely parroting what they have heard others say. Also note that I have never “cried persecution” in any way here. When the debate crosses over into what the outsiders think the insiders should do and believe, then that is when I become interested enough in the subject to join the discussion and refute error.

            “And where He is, holiness is expected and can be compelled by law.”

            No, the converse of my previous statement is not true. Holiness can not be compelled by law at all. It is the work of the Spirit within “whosoever will.” Of course the Founders did not wish anyone to be religiously compelled–neither do I–although most of them did not expect that the average man would be able to handle the kind of freedom they were introducing without the restraining and moderating effect of religion upon the character. Reaonable minds may differ as to whether their speculations were accurate or not.

          • @Shawnie5: Again, I am sorry for the earlier confusion. I sometimes get lost trying to keep track of who is saying what to whom in these threads.

            “Of course the Founders did not wish anyone to be religiously compelled–neither do I–although most of them did not expect that the average man would be able to handle the kind of freedom they were introducing without the restraining and moderating effect of religion upon the character.”

            I largely agree and am most interested to understand the qualities a non-“average man” would have in this context.

        • @SHAWNIE 5,
          You said,
          “Where I take issue, however, is when nonbelievers step in and presume to tell us what we should accept and reject within our churches.”

          But nobody is doing that.
          It is what you do outside of church that is the problem.

          “Kill Homosexuals” – YAHWEH, father of Jesus (Leviticus 20:13)

          • Excuse me but our friend Larry has been doing exactly that, which is why I replied to him in the first place.

          • @Shawnie5

            Surprise! Larry has rights too. If he were showing up at your home or your church to argue, you might have a point.

          • No doubt he DOES have the right, and I also have the both right to refute what he says and sufficient interest (being that this is an intrachurch matter) to do so. So much for your protest that “nobody is doing” what Larry is quite pointedly doing.

          • @ Shawnie5

            I am sorry I did not get your point earlier – of course you have a right to defend your beliefs against reason.

          • Well, currently I have not been defending beliefs against reason, as you ever so courteously put it, but scripture against ignorance. But many thanks for your kind indulgence of my Constitutional rights, of course.

          • @Shawnie5

            “Well, currently I have not been defending beliefs against reason, as you ever so courteously put it, but scripture against ignorance.”

            I thought you were defending Rod’s belief of what scripture says (Mar 8, 2014 at 1:03 am) against the reasoned response provided to him by Murphy (Mar 8, 2014 at 9:19 pm). Am I wrong or was Murphy’s response unreasonable or ignorant?

            “But many thanks for your kind indulgence of my Constitutional rights, of course.”

            And many thanks to you for so graciously accepting my apology.

          • I forgot Rod and Murphy–I was originally addressing Larry’s assertions. I would not go so far as to call Murphy’s response “unreasonable” or “ignorant.” It is, however, incorrect. The term in question, coined by St. Paul, is made up of two key words from the Septuagint version of Leviticus 20:13, which we know from ancient Jewish commentary on the subject (contemporaneous to that of Paul) was decidedly understood as referring to same-sex behaviors. The notion that it can “only be translated as child molester” is an invention of John Boswell, who wasted much time and effort in unsuccessfully trying to square his own homosexuality with scripture.

  6. While I do support gay marriage, I generally also support the right of private religious organizations to discriminate according to their policy as long as they do not accept tax dollars.

    However, it appears that Zmuda has a very good case here, because the school had a policy statement on its website that it does not discriminate in employment based on marital status or sexual orientation but that statement was conveniently removed after his dismissal. A similar statement was included in the employee handbook.

    Zmuda can rightly argue that he relied on the school’s published policy, and same sex marriage is fully legal in Washington State. I believe the school and possibly the Archdiocese of Seattle will be forced to either rehire him and/or settle.

    The fact that he was offered an opportunity to keep his job if he divorced really highlights the incredible hypocrisy of the school and the archdiocese in this matter. Further, a part time music teacher for the school came out as a lesbian and announced her engagement to a woman. She was given a raise.

    LOL Sometimes you can’t even make this stuff up.

    • You make some good points. Although, I think the school may still be able to defend their actions on religious freedom grounds. They will likely argue that homosexuality is tolerated, which is why it was included in their equal employment opportunity (EEO) statement, but conducting homosexual acts, like marrying your same-sex partner, is not.

      On the other hand, you may have a technical point about the timing of their removal of their EEO statement relative to the date gay marriage became legal and the date Zmuda was married. It sounds like the school may have been caught with its pants down, so to speak. Zmuda’s lawyers might try to argue that (if) marriage was legal at the time Zmuda married and that the right was inherent in the “sexual orientation” provision of the schools EEO statement at the time Zmuda married. I am sure other Catholic organizations have already been warned to prepare changes for their own EEO statements should gay marriage be legalized in their state.

      It will be an interesting case to watch, for sure.

    • Aislander: The problem is that churches, religious schools, and other religious operations are already receiving all kinds of public dollars contrary to the limitations of our Constitution. That is wrong and should not be allowed under the disguise of the Bush/Cheney “Faith Based Committee” deceit nor President Obama’s maintenance of that committed contrary to what he promised while campaigning in 2008. Obama made it even worse by filling half of the committee positions with church leaders. Our Constitution is being flagrantly violated in so many ways by our own government!

  7. I only hope that Mark Zmuda and his partner appreciate all the thought and reaction that has been provided by their situation. That alone will be a grand benefit for the church and greater society no matter what other outcomes happen. Discussion is bound to provoke deeper thought. Only a sincere contemplation of these conditions can cause the kind of sacred results needed for these sacred realities. Zmuda’s and his partner’s experiences are already a blessing for all of us.

  8. Some contradictions: Any church minister in any church can obtain a license from any state to be an officiant at a marriage. That is done to avoid the need for duplicate marriage ceremonies as, for instance, in Monaco where the famous actress U.S. Grace Kelly and the Monaco’s Prince Rainier were required to go through a civil ceremony before their subsequent church ceremony. The church ceremony was not recognized as a legal action, only as a church action.

    Therefore, marriage in places like Monaco is only legal when the civil ceremony is observed first. Giving church ministers in the U.S. the legal status to officiate as marriages is a convenience so that couples do not have to duplicate ceremonies. It also relieves justices of the peace and others from the burden.

    The Catholic Church approves of divorce in certain circumstances, but it does not recognize divorce as a dissolution of the marriage. Church officials must declare circumstances negated the existence of the presumed marriage, that it was, in effect, null and void.

    The schizo attitude toward marriage by the Catholic Church applies to its ministers obtaining civil status to officiate at marriages, but once its minister officiate at a marriage, it becomes a church matter. The church does not approve of remarriage, or participation in church rites (sacraments) after divorce if a previously, legally married person remarries. In short, the church does not recognize divorce unless a divorce is for legal convenience as in the case of a marriage the church considers to have never canonically existed. The church does not recognize solely civil marriages of if its members.

    Yet the church managers of the church school in the Diocese of Seattle, Washington, informed Mark Zmuda that the only way they would keep him on their payroll would be if he “divorced” his partner, his spouse. That would all have to be done quietly, of course. The church abhors scandal, as we well know from the ways most bishops throughout the world have obstructed justice by trying to cover up the sexual abuse of minors by their clergy.

    Of course, the church never recognized Zmuda’s marriage to begin with because he is Catholic and the marriage was a mere civil ceremony in official church eyes, not a Catholic religious ceremony. The church exists in two worlds, that of its own laws (canons) and that of civil laws–when it’s convenient.

    That means the Catholic Church subscribes to its ministers being civilly certified to officiate at marriages–for convenience–but it does not recognize civil marriages, nor remarriage by its members who have divorced, even with church approval. If such divorced members “attempt” to remarry, the church considers that they, like Mark Zmuda and his civil spouse, are living in sin.

    It is not a sin for church officials to urge you to obtain a civil divorce of a marriage of which they never approved. You see, as we all saw sadly and too often in the pedophilia scandal of Catholic clergy, the church, through its officials, lives by two sets of rules. They abide by civil law when it is convenient, and when it might cause scandal or is otherwise inconvenient, they abide only by church canons. They literally have it both ways. And our justice system has been extremely lax, especially regarding the pedophilia, in allowing them to have it both ways.

    Only one U.S. bishop so far has been prosecuted and found guilty of any matter in the pedophilia scandal. That was a mere misdemeanor for the obstruction of justice by Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, MO. Probation was the only “slap-on-the-wrist” judgement. Yet many caught smoking a joint are languishing in our monstrously overcrowded prisons. And numerous pedophile clergy are roaming free.

    Cardinal Dolan of New York, when he was archbishop of Milwaukee, used the people’s money to hire sleazy accountants and lawyers to hide diocesan funds in its cemetery endowments to avoid court-ordered awards to victims of clergy pedophilia. That is obviously the reason Benedict gave him a red hat after transferring him to New York.

    The Catholic Church has a great deal in its history and currently of which to be ashamed. The behavior of so many clerics continues to give cause for shame. Sadly, good clerics suffer from that awful shadow. John Paul and Benedict did next to nothing but support that obstruction of justice to avoid scandal. They did little more than give it small lip service.

    John Paul is being canonized, and Benedict now announces from retirement that he always knew John Paul was a saint. Of course, John Paul brought Josef Ratzinger to the Vatican, made him a cardinal, and ensured his election to replace him as Benedict. Good John XXIII is being thrown into the canonization for good measure, long after his time, apparently to quiet the obvious politics of it all.

    • @Gilhcan,

      “The behavior of so many clerics continues to give cause for shame.”

      Yup.
      First, they start by asserting without evidence that there is a God.
      Then they say you need to believe or you will go to Hell, another assertion.

      “Bring to me those who would not have me as their king, those enemies of mine, and EXECUTE THEM in front of me.” – JESUS :-(

      [from The Parable of the 12 Minas, perhaps the most dangerous words in the entire Bible.]

  9. 1 Romans 26 – 27 says”For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” English Standard Version of the Bible. These verses say nothing about pedophiles.

    • Yet you omitted the preceding paragraph which puts it in context:
      Chapter 25
      “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”

      The passage was about IDOLATRY and temple rites. And the passage after it showed that it was a form of punishment by God.

      Chapter 28
      “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”

      God turned the idolators gay as punishment! So in other words Rod, you are just using it as an excuse or are just too lazy to read the entire section.

      • And you omitted the entire OT and NT which puts ALL of this in context. Idolatry, as we see repeatedly in the NT writings, is not merely a matter of temples and images–that is only one manifestation of it. It is the tendency of the whole fallen world (including Christians, who still possess fallen sin natures which war against the Spirit) to place anything and everything (mainly self) before God. God does not “turn anyone gay” as a punishment for anything. But in the face of continued unrepentance, after a point God steps out of the way and lets people follow the path of self-worship wherever it takes them, be it sexual immorality or violence or greedy pursuit of gain, etc.

        This is clear from Paul’s exhortation in chapter 2 to not condemn others for having failed to fulfill the law because “you all do the same things.” Not meaning, of course, that everyone had engaged in pagan temple worship or in same-sex behavior but that everyone had placed self and selfish desires before God in one way or another–this being what sin and fallenness is all about.

        • None of which addresses homosexuality in the modern, relevant meaning of the word. You admitted yourself that Jesus does not talk about it at all. You simply lumped it in with the general term of sexual perversions in a general legalistic dodge. Any excuse to avoid love of thy neighbor will be given by a bigot who wants to wrap their beliefs around religion.

          Idolatry is the worst crime of the OT and NT. Homosexuality was divine punishment in that passage, not the act being condemned by God. This is simply one of many passages bigots try to use to justify animus against gays which completely divorced of its actual context.

          For example if you took from the story of Sodom just a condemnation of homosexuals, you missed the entire point. That the acts involved were gang-rape and inhospitable treatment of strangers [The worst taboo in all of the cultures of the Mediterranean region]

          People are going to use whatever passages of the Bible are going to confirm their opinions one way or the other. Anyone who claims their view is based on Biblical precepts is blowing smoke.

          • Larry, there is no “modern relevant” meaning of homosexuality. There have been men who would rather do men than women since the beginning of time, and all the ancients knew this perfectly well. Why do you think Leviticus 20:13 was written in such general term–rather like baby-talk, actually? Please cease this nonsense argument that the ancients simply didn’t understand what homosexuality was.

            And why exactly should we NOT “lump it in with the general term of sexual perversions?” That’s what the Torah did. That’s what Josephus and Philo did (contemporaries of Jesus and Paul). That’s how every Jew listening to Jesus speak understood it and He certainly said nothing to disabuse them of that understanding.

            Idolatry is not the “worst crime” within the meaning of the NT. It is THE ONLY crime: turning something else (ultimately self) into God and serving that rather than Him. That leads to the depraved mind. God does not put the depraved mind into people, but “gives them over” (releases them) to follow it where it leads. For some it leads to sexual immorality. For others it leads to endless pursuit of wealth. For all it leads to destruction without repentance and claiming of Christ’s saving work on our behalf.

            As for Sodom, I don’t know what you’re talking about since I never referred to Sodom at all. Sodom is not directly relevant to what we are discussing here.

        • Shawnie your efforts are admirable but as you can see willful ignorance is a very tough hing to break through. Keep up, the good work though. They haven’t been able to refute what you say just double down in their ignorance.

          • Well, thank you, Frank. There appear to be some reasonable minds here, but I’m afraid that with Larry I’m dealing with the type who thinks that screaming Bigot is supposed to end the discussion and relieve him of further responsibility to defend his position. I can appreciate his honesty about it, at least, but I sincerely hope he is not in a profession where someone’s safety depends on his having his facts straight.

  10. The issue as presented is not what a man does in the privacy of his bedroom, but that he knowingly and willingly accepted a job which had certain prerequisites attached. He signed the contract, so to speak, and then he made the decision to break the contract and make a public display of doing so. Mr Zmuda made a conscious decision to break his word, his contract, and had a moral obligation to resign when he made that decision. That is the issue. It has much less to do with his choice of bed partners than it does with his moral obligation to adhere to a signed contract or to resign if he found the contact too confining.

  11. You people can whine all you like but the Church has the right to hire those that they believe are faithful to the the teachings of the Church or for that matter unfaithful to the teachings of the Church.

  1. […] Eastside Catholic School’s fired vice principal sues his former employer and the Archdiocese o…. One had to figure this case would eventually lead to litigation. It’s almost a religious ritual in American society today. Not only do high-profile disagreements get tried in the court of public opinion, but they become adjudicated in a system where the priests of justice preside over rules and rituals. Advocates for religious freedom seem to have little hesitation seeking wisdom from that belief system, when it suits. […]

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