Religious faithful won’t back down against secular pressure

“Who am I to judge?”

I’ve heard that a lot lately. But I came to the conclusion that we not only have the right to judge. We have an obligation to do it.

If we don’t, it means that we’re just feigning acceptance for everything that passes through our lives, thereby removing any sense of good or bad from the human equation.

But, you will say, “What would Jesus (or Buddha or Mohammed) do?” Note that I don’t include Jehovah in the mix, because after that locusts, pillar of salt and Angel of Death business, I think we’re all pretty clear about where he’d stand on the judgment angle.

Live and let live simply doesn’t work for me, which I suppose makes Christine a bad Christian. But that doesn’t work in this uber-evolved society where, apparently, we’re not even supposed to criticize Planned Parenthood for donating the “by-product” of abortions — dead babies — to medical research facilities.

We’re supposed to consider all lifestyles and choices to be equally valid, to the point that we begin to wonder why we believe what we believe, and do what we do.

Who are we, after all, to judge?

Which brings me to something that happened at my alma mater last month. On June 22, Waldron Mercy Academy, a Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia, declined to renew the contract of its religious studies director, Margie Winters. By all accounts, Winters was a good teacher.

Unless, of course, she’s a married lesbian, teaching religion at a private Catholic school.

In that case, she is a superstar. Make that a martyr when her contract is not renewed.

It appears that Winters was approached by a parent who wanted her to include the “Theology of the Body” in her class. It is based on a series of lectures by Pope John Paul II in which he talks about the complementarity of the male and female bodies, and the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. It’s not surprising that someone engaged in a one woman/one woman dynamic wouldn’t exactly be thrilled. So she said no.

The parent, in turn, notified some higher-ups, and it all ended up on the evening news.

Stop the presses. And stay tuned for the Diane Sawyer interview.

Because really, that horrible group of religious zealots needs to be exposed. Who are they to judge?

I’ll tell you who they, and we, are.

We are Catholics who have chosen to mix our academic training with our spiritual formation in one seamless process.

We might disagree on the legalization of same sex unions, but will circle the sectarian wagons to protect this church’s ability to stand stalwart behind traditional unions.

We don’t appreciate non-Catholics, lapsed Catholics, disgruntled Catholics and uninformed Catholics telling us we need to get with the program and be force-fed their secular vision of tolerance when that conflicts directly with fundamental church doctrine.

We know that the law protects our right to hire and fire those who advance religious objectives under the “ministerial exception” to anti-discrimination policies.

We are not going to back down because some parents and pundits try to make us ashamed of our faith.

That’s who we are. That’s who I am.

Feel free to judge us all you want.

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