Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Where is the Love?

Joe Nadeau lost his job as the St. Agnes music director because he was openly gay, reported the Kansas City Star yesterday (www.kansascity.com.) Some parishioners, seeing his name sometimes in connection with the Heartland Men's Chorus, a gay musical group that Nadeau led, asked the pastor to fire him.

With the former pastor, Rev. Don Cullen, this didn't work. With the new pastor, Monsignor Gary Applegate, it did.

Nadeau could have kept his job only if he resigned his post with the men's chorus, said that he would be celibate and stated that he agreed with the church's teaching on homosexuality--that it is a disordered lifestyle.

The church basically teaches that people are not gay by choice, but that being true to their sexuality is wrong. Having a gay relationship is considered to be the equivilant of straight people having sex outside of marriage. However, the Catholic Church is against gay marriage.

St. Agnes is the parish my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins attend. They said parishioners and students loved Nadeau and it was a small group who wanted him out. I've met Joe, a nice guy who had inspirational posters hanging in his classroom like, "Be it ever so humble, there's no voice like your own."

I understand that people want Catholic employees to adhere to the rules of the church. I disagree with the church's stance on homosexuality, but even if I agreed with it, I would think this letter was wrong.

I don't understand how they can say, "In the name of God, I will write a letter asking that the pastor fire this kind, talented man because he is gay. Jesus, after all, loves busybodies. Didn't he say, 'cast the first stone?'"

The church is against a lot of things. I learned at Mass a few months ago, for instance, that being on birth control is a mortal sin.

Is the church going to fire all those men and women using birth control? Maybe, if they were quoted in the paper as using it, they would.

So what's the plan? It's easy to tell people what not to do. But we're left wondering, six days a week, how to take care of our families with the skyrocketing prices of homes, education, and insurance. How to live as a gay person without falling in love. How to live, basically, without participating in the human experience.

It's interesting to me that Jesus didn't clearly tell us what to do in regards to these issues. Oh wait a second. He said, "Love one another as I have loved you."

I remember him saying, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." I remember him siding with the underdog, the singled out, the accused every time. I don't remember him circulating any letters recommending that temple employees be ousted. He had bigger fish to fry, namely teaching us to love one another.

Where is the love in this situation?

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