ALPB Forum Online

ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: cssml on August 26, 2015, 07:30:44 PM

Title: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: cssml on August 26, 2015, 07:30:44 PM
Based on the 'cake story', the following story about St. Mary's Academy, a Catholic school in my own community which I have close ties to, is bound to be in the news for some time.
 
  http://www.kgw.com/story/news/2015/08/26/catholic-school-rejects-hire-due--same-sex-marriage-view/32381067/

3 parent meetings are planned for tomorrow, I will try to attend one of them.

The mayor of Portland has already stated the following: (my emphasis):

“Portland is a city that embraces rights and opportunities for everyone. Those aren’t just nice words. They are also the law," ...  "We believe St. Mary’s Academy, and every other public, private and nonprofit organization in the city, should follow the letter and the spirit of the law, and our shared values.”

Oddly, this is not the first time Oregon has tried to tell the school founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary to get in line.  See the following landmark Supreme Court case for religious schools.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierce_v._Society_of_Sisters

"On November 7, 1922, the voters of Oregon passed an initiative amending Oregon Law Section 5259, the Compulsory Education Act. The citizens' initiative was primarily aimed at eliminating parochial schools, including Catholic schools"

Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: LutherMan on August 26, 2015, 08:03:16 PM
Based on the 'cake story', the following story about St. Mary's Academy, a Catholic school in my own community which I have close ties to, is bound to be in the news for some time.
 
  http://www.kgw.com/story/news/2015/08/26/catholic-school-rejects-hire-due--same-sex-marriage-view/32381067/

3 parent meetings are planned for tomorrow, I will try to attend one of them.

The mayor of Portland has already stated the following: (my emphasis):

“Portland is a city that embraces rights and opportunities for everyone. Those aren’t just nice words. They are also the law," ...  "We believe St. Mary’s Academy, and every other public, private and nonprofit organization in the city, should follow the letter and the spirit of the law, and our shared values.”

Oddly, this is not the first time Oregon has tried to tell the school founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary to get in line.  See the following landmark Supreme Court case for religious schools.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierce_v._Society_of_Sisters

"On November 7, 1922, the voters of Oregon passed an initiative amending Oregon Law Section 5259, the Compulsory Education Act. The citizens' initiative was primarily aimed at eliminating parochial schools, including Catholic schools"
Did you ever hear about the Bennett Law?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennett_Law
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: cssml on August 27, 2015, 09:55:56 AM
They caved:   http://www.kgw.com/story/news/2015/08/26/catholic-school-rejects-hire-due--same-sex-marriage-view/32381067/ .
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Steverem on August 27, 2015, 10:15:50 AM
They caved:   http://www.kgw.com/story/news/2015/08/26/catholic-school-rejects-hire-due--same-sex-marriage-view/32381067/ .

But ... but ... Charles assured us that churches would never be coerced to hire active homosexuals/marry same-sex couples/disavow their opposition to homosexual behavior.  Is it possible that our own humble correspondent has underestimated the power and the speed of the zeitgeist to dismantle millennia of social convention?
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Dan Fienen on August 27, 2015, 10:22:13 AM
There are a number of ways that this could be viewed.  It could be decided that a counselor at the school does not have an integral role to play in the religious education of students.  One wonders if in her counseling Lauren Brown will be expected to uphold Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality or if she will counsel against the teaching of the institution that hired her.  Or will they need to totally remove Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality from the school in order to make Ms Brown more comfortable.

Portland Oregon has shown itself to be a less than inclusive, welcoming and safe community for some people.  If you beliefs concerning homosexuality do not conform to the city government's norm you are to check those beliefs at the city limits.  Diversity does not include those who do not conform to the accepted group think.  How freedom loving!?! >:(
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Birkholz on August 27, 2015, 11:20:35 AM
Follow the money.

http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-33660-major_donors_mary_and_tim_boyle_condemn_st_marys_academy_decision_to_fire_gay_staffer.html (http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-33660-major_donors_mary_and_tim_boyle_condemn_st_marys_academy_decision_to_fire_gay_staffer.html)
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: DCharlton on August 27, 2015, 11:28:55 AM
They caved:   http://www.kgw.com/story/news/2015/08/26/catholic-school-rejects-hire-due--same-sex-marriage-view/32381067/ .

But ... but ... Charles assured us that churches would never be coerced to hire active homosexuals/marry same-sex couples/disavow their opposition to homosexual behavior.  Is it possible that our own humble correspondent has underestimated the power and the speed of the zeitgeist to dismantle millennia of social convention?

Since the assurance did not pass through the editorial process and was not published by a newspaper, he may not have been speaking ex cathedra.
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: SomeoneWrites on August 27, 2015, 11:32:23 AM


Portland Oregon has shown itself to be a less than inclusive, welcoming and safe community for some people.  If you beliefs concerning homosexuality do not conform to the city government's norm you are to check those beliefs at the city limits.  Diversity does not include those who do not conform to the accepted group think.  How freedom loving!?! >:(

I tend to agree with a lot of your posts.  These types of constructions always bother me, though.  I don't think anyone who espouses freedom, diversity, and tolerance are advocating them without limits.  I'm hearing what a number of people like that value is that they can work together and such. 

As a comparison, and only a comparison, it would be like
Person A - "We don't want segregation"
Person B - "If you segregate the segregators, you're segregating."

I think it misses the point.
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Dan Fienen on August 27, 2015, 11:43:12 AM
So what limit would you support here?  Can an institution founded and run by a group of Roman Catholics operate according to Roman Catholic teaching or are Roman Catholics in Portland Oregon forbidden to teach according to the Roman Catholic church? 

A question.  Now that Ms Brown has been hired at St. Mary's, what if in Chapel a sermon is preached pointing out that homosexual activity and same sex marriages are contrary to Roman Catholic teaching?  Could Ms Brown sue the school for creating a hostile working environment?  Could the LGBT community force St. Mary's to fire any employee who would preach such a sermon?

I also wonder about the implications of this incident for the LCMS.  I seem to remember that we have an educational institution located in that city.  Will they need to submit what is being taught in that school to the city government for approval?   
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: pearson on August 27, 2015, 12:02:25 PM

I don't think anyone who espouses freedom, diversity, and tolerance are advocating them without limits.  I'm hearing what a number of people like that value is that they can work together and such. 

As a comparison, and only a comparison, it would be like
Person A - "We don't want segregation"
Person B - "If you segregate the segregators, you're segregating."

I think it misses the point.


You're right; it does miss the point.  Your example demonstrates a problem: when any proposition (i.e., a claim) becomes self-referential, it ultimately collapses into incoherence.  Self-referential propositions eventually congeal their meaning and become genuine paradoxes, as your example shows.

But I suspect Pr. Fienen's comments are directed at a larger target, one which I'm confident you also grasp.  Is the political state entitled to curtail the freedom of private entities within society in order to force those entities to conform to declared public norms?  The modern political state has the power to do so, and it may create the legal context for doing so.  The question is: may the political state legitimately (i.e., morally) exercise that coercive power over private entities engaged in private transactions within a free society?

Tom Pearson 

Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: SomeoneWrites on August 27, 2015, 12:04:00 PM
So what limit would you support here?  Can an institution founded and run by a group of Roman Catholics operate according to Roman Catholic teaching or are Roman Catholics in Portland Oregon forbidden to teach according to the Roman Catholic church? 

A question.  Now that Ms Brown has been hired at St. Mary's, what if in Chapel a sermon is preached pointing out that homosexual activity and same sex marriages are contrary to Roman Catholic teaching?  Could Ms Brown sue the school for creating a hostile working environment?  Could the LGBT community force St. Mary's to fire any employee who would preach such a sermon?

I also wonder about the implications of this incident for the LCMS.  I seem to remember that we have an educational institution located in that city.  Will they need to submit what is being taught in that school to the city government for approval?

Thank you for replying.

Believe it or not, I'm more in agreement with you.  The comment I was speaking to was concerning the "How freedom loving" sentiment.  Those types of things strike me as odd.

On the other hand, I DO think Catholics, Lutherans, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, and such can have institutions that teach and preach according to their traditions.  I think there are federal limitations that are already in place concerning things like if there was some extremist sect that jeopardized national security or something like that. 

I went to a Catholic high school that had a gay world religions teacher.  But that was before gay marriage was a thing, so I don't know how they would handle it now.  But they did have a morality code which all students and staff were obliged.  I think that's kinda how it goes and how it should go.  So if that guy got married, I can see him losing his job, and that makes sense to me.

And if the public doesn't like it, they can be vocal about it, and that makes sense to me. 
And if it got to the supreme court and they forced the school to keep the teacher, I'd think they made the wrong decision and would write a letter to my congressman to overturn it. 

 
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: SomeoneWrites on August 27, 2015, 12:08:42 PM

You're right; it does miss the point.  Your example demonstrates a problem: when any proposition (i.e., a claim) becomes self-referential, it ultimately collapses into incoherence.  Self-referential propositions eventually congeal their meaning and become genuine paradoxes, as your example shows.

But I suspect Pr. Fienen's comments are directed at a larger target, one which I'm confident you also grasp.  Is the political state entitled to curtail the freedom of private entities within society in order to force those entities to conform to declared public norms?  The modern political state has the power to do so, and it may create the legal context for doing so.  The question is: may the political state legitimately (i.e., morally) exercise that coercive power over private entities engaged in private transactions within a free society?

Tom Pearson

Well spoken all around.

On a quasi-philosophical level (And Scott Yakimow can help me here if he chooses as well) - how is it possible (or is it even possible) to take a position of saying something like "I don't want segregation" without it collapsing on itself.

Is it that the shorthand fails?

Can we say "I don't want someone excluded from participation in society on basis of race, gender, identity, sex, ethnicity, or orientation"
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: David Garner on August 27, 2015, 12:17:39 PM


Portland Oregon has shown itself to be a less than inclusive, welcoming and safe community for some people.  If you beliefs concerning homosexuality do not conform to the city government's norm you are to check those beliefs at the city limits.  Diversity does not include those who do not conform to the accepted group think.  How freedom loving!?! >:(

I tend to agree with a lot of your posts.  These types of constructions always bother me, though.  I don't think anyone who espouses freedom, diversity, and tolerance are advocating them without limits.  I'm hearing what a number of people like that value is that they can work together and such. 

As a comparison, and only a comparison, it would be like
Person A - "We don't want segregation"
Person B - "If you segregate the segregators, you're segregating."

I think it misses the point.

I think the problem is the loudest voices calling for tolerance, freedom, diversity, etc., tend to find the limits of all of those virtues at the end of their own noses.
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: pearson on August 27, 2015, 12:21:28 PM

Can we say "I don't want someone excluded from participation in society on basis of race, gender, identity, sex, ethnicity, or orientation"


Sure, any individual can say that.  The question is: is the political state morally entitled to coerce private entities in society, engaged in private transactions, who may have principled (i.e., conscience-bound) convictions regarding either A) a limited or even eccentric definition of what "participation" consists in; or B) a limited or even eccentric definition of what counts as "exclusion"?

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: SomeoneWrites on August 27, 2015, 12:30:05 PM

I think the problem is the loudest voices calling for tolerance, freedom, diversity, etc., tend to find the limits of all of those virtues at the end of their own noses.

I'm not sure I agree.  I think it's a problem of shorthand.   


Can we say "I don't want someone excluded from participation in society on basis of race, gender, identity, sex, ethnicity, or orientation"


Sure, any individual can say that.  The question is: is the political state morally entitled to coerce private entities in society, engaged in private transactions, who may have principled (i.e., conscience-bound) convictions regarding either A) a limited or even eccentric definition of what "participation" consists in; or B) a limited or even eccentric definition of what counts as "exclusion"?

Tom Pearson

You could probably guess that I think these things are socially constructed.  Someone reading this conversation probably just won 5 dollars.
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: pearson on August 27, 2015, 12:36:19 PM

You could probably guess that I think these things are socially constructed.


OK.  Are socially constructed and promulgated public norms enforced by the political state on principled private transactions between private entities morally legitimate?

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: SomeoneWrites on August 27, 2015, 12:54:20 PM

You could probably guess that I think these things are socially constructed.


OK.  Are socially constructed and promulgated public norms enforced by the political state on principled private transactions between private entities morally legitimate?

Tom Pearson

It seems to depend on the principles and transactions.
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: David Garner on August 27, 2015, 01:25:42 PM

I think the problem is the loudest voices calling for tolerance, freedom, diversity, etc., tend to find the limits of all of those virtues at the end of their own noses.

I'm not sure I agree.  I think it's a problem of shorthand.   

I think the reality is people don't view "tolerance" as it is classically constructed, but rather as "tolerance" for certain values, which is really nothing more than groupthink tyranny.  Tolerance is literally what it sounds like -- tolerating those with whom you have the most vehement agreements.  Whether tolerance is a virtue or not is up for debate.  But it is rank intolerance to want to punish people legally, financially and socially because they hold viewpoints you disagree with. 

Now who in American politics right now is doing that?  And doing so under the banner of "tolerance?"
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: SomeoneWrites on August 27, 2015, 02:06:27 PM

I think the problem is the loudest voices calling for tolerance, freedom, diversity, etc., tend to find the limits of all of those virtues at the end of their own noses.

I'm not sure I agree.  I think it's a problem of shorthand.   

I think the reality is people don't view "tolerance" as it is classically constructed, but rather as "tolerance" for certain values, which is really nothing more than groupthink tyranny.  Tolerance is literally what it sounds like -- tolerating those with whom you have the most vehement agreements.  Whether tolerance is a virtue or not is up for debate.  But it is rank intolerance to want to punish people legally, financially and socially because they hold viewpoints you disagree with. 

Now who in American politics right now is doing that?  And doing so under the banner of "tolerance?"

I don't think it's groupthink tyranny anymore than I'd say orthodoxy is groupthink tyranny. 

I don't think pro tolerance groups want to be lumped in with those of whom you speak, any more than Christians want to be grouped with westboro, Muslims with ISIS, feminists with "tumblrites", etc. 
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Matt Hummel on August 27, 2015, 02:09:11 PM
One thing to keep in mind with the school. I f I am reading the story correctly, it is a non-diocesan school, run as a mission of an Order of Sisters.

There are some Orders whose theology/ecclesiology makes the more "forward" elements of the ELCA look like refugees from the Fellowship of John the Steadfast.

My point is, it may not have been the caving to jackbooted heel of Progressive Tolerance that it seems. They may have wanted to all along.
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: MaddogLutheran on August 27, 2015, 02:13:28 PM
One thing to keep in mind with the school. I f I am reading the story correctly, it is a non-diocesan school, run as a mission of an Order of Sisters.

There are some Orders whose theology/ecclesiology makes the more "forward" elements of the ELCA look like refugees from the Fellowship of John the Steadfast.

My point is, it may not have been the caving to jackbooted heel of Progressive Tolerance that it seems. They may have wanted to all along.
Agreed.  What is likely to happen next is that the local ordinary (bishop) will weigh in...as recently happened in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in a similar situation recently.  I have to believe there is still another shoe to drop.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Matt Hummel on August 27, 2015, 02:19:48 PM
One thing to keep in mind with the school. I f I am reading the story correctly, it is a non-diocesan school, run as a mission of an Order of Sisters.

There are some Orders whose theology/ecclesiology makes the more "forward" elements of the ELCA look like refugees from the Fellowship of John the Steadfast.

My point is, it may not have been the caving to jackbooted heel of Progressive Tolerance that it seems. They may have wanted to all along.
Agreed.  What is likely to happen next is that the local ordinary (bishop) will weigh in...as recently happened in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in a similar situation recently.  I have to believe there is still another shoe to drop.

Sterling Spatz

What makes that story of interest is that the School made the decision to fire in the first place. Abp. Chaput's words just backed them up.
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: David Garner on August 27, 2015, 03:24:42 PM

I think the problem is the loudest voices calling for tolerance, freedom, diversity, etc., tend to find the limits of all of those virtues at the end of their own noses.

I'm not sure I agree.  I think it's a problem of shorthand.   

I think the reality is people don't view "tolerance" as it is classically constructed, but rather as "tolerance" for certain values, which is really nothing more than groupthink tyranny.  Tolerance is literally what it sounds like -- tolerating those with whom you have the most vehement agreements.  Whether tolerance is a virtue or not is up for debate.  But it is rank intolerance to want to punish people legally, financially and socially because they hold viewpoints you disagree with. 

Now who in American politics right now is doing that?  And doing so under the banner of "tolerance?"

I don't think it's groupthink tyranny anymore than I'd say orthodoxy is groupthink tyranny. 

I don't think pro tolerance groups want to be lumped in with those of whom you speak, any more than Christians want to be grouped with westboro, Muslims with ISIS, feminists with "tumblrites", etc.

I'm not sure what a "pro tolerance group" is.  But when the Mayor of Portland suggests people ought have "shared values" enshrined into law that punishes those who don't share said values, I don't know what to call that but groupthink, and inasmuch as the government secures the proper thinking by force of arms, tyranny.
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on August 27, 2015, 05:36:05 PM
The question is: may the political state legitimately (i.e., morally) exercise that coercive power over private entities engaged in private transactions within a free society?
 

That's one question, but it is not the only one, especially when the state is granted limited powers.  So one could acknowledge that a political state may do so, but that particular governments -- say, that of the United States of Amerca -- may not even though others -- say one (or more) of the 50 states, or counties, or cities, etc. within the USA, along with many of the free societies in other lands -- may.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on August 27, 2015, 05:39:20 PM
The mayor of Portland has already stated the following: (my emphasis):

“Portland is a city that embraces rights and opportunities for everyone. Those aren’t just nice words. They are also the law," ...  "We believe St. Mary’s Academy, and every other public, private and nonprofit organization in the city, should follow the letter and the spirit of the law, and our shared values.”

Oddly, this is not the first time Oregon has tried to tell the school founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary to get in line.  See the following landmark Supreme Court case for religious schools.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierce_v._Society_of_Sisters

"On November 7, 1922, the voters of Oregon passed an initiative amending Oregon Law Section 5259, the Compulsory Education Act. The citizens' initiative was primarily aimed at eliminating parochial schools, including Catholic schools"
Did you ever hear about the Bennett Law?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennett_Law

More appropriate, especially in Oregon, is the Blaine Amendment (http://www.becketfund.org/blaineamendments/).

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: pearson on August 27, 2015, 06:17:14 PM


OK.  Are socially constructed and promulgated public norms enforced by the political state on principled private transactions between private entities morally legitimate?


It seems to depend on the principles and transactions.


So, you don't really have an answer to the question.  That's fine.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: SomeoneWrites on August 27, 2015, 06:29:27 PM


So, you don't really have an answer to the question.  That's fine.

Tom Pearson

Dude. 
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Dan Fienen on August 29, 2015, 11:28:10 AM
I raised this question as an aside before, but I think that it is important enough to be actually considered.  The LCMS has a university in Portland, Oregon.  Does this case raise concerns for our continuing to operate this university as a Lutheran university in this community that seems bent on bending all institutions, including religious institutions to conformity to the governmental group think about sexual orientation?
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Terry W Culler on August 29, 2015, 11:55:19 AM
I raised this question as an aside before, but I think that it is important enough to be actually considered.  The LCMS has a university in Portland, Oregon.  Does this case raise concerns for our continuing to operate this university as a Lutheran university in this community that seems bent on bending all institutions, including religious institutions to conformity to the governmental group think about sexual orientation?

As I understand it, the people of the least Christian state in the nation couldn't really do anything to the school--it chose to cave.  There is enough case law and precedent to protect the LCMS school from the state of Oregon, although there might be a problem with respect to hiring homosexual janitors or cooks. 
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Charles Austin on August 29, 2015, 01:00:30 PM
I thought the school voluntarily changed its policies. What is wrong with that?
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Dan Fienen on August 29, 2015, 01:05:10 PM
If a school freely chooses to change its policies, they're free to do so.  But before the school changed they were threatened with legal action.   Was that threat unequivocally withdrawn  or is it still there for a any other school out of conformity?
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Charles Austin on August 29, 2015, 01:07:55 PM
Thinking the worst again, Pastor Fienen?
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: scott8 on August 29, 2015, 01:08:12 PM
If a school freely chooses to change its policies, they're free to do so.  But before the school changed they were threatened with legal action.   Was that threat unequivocally withdrawn  or is it still there for a any other school out of conformity?

There was also a huge backlash on social media.  I.e., the bullies came out to play.  And yes, the Mayor came out strongly against the school, threatening legal action and whipping up the crowd.

Mayor Hales said:

"Portland is a city that embraces rights and opportunities for everyone. Those aren’t just nice words. They are also the law...  We believe St. Mary’s Academy, and every other public, private and nonprofit organization in the city, should follow the letter and the spirit of the law, and our shared values."

So what is being enforced is not just the "letter" of the law (as he believes the law is written -- something not at all clear regarding First Amendment protections from those such as him), but also its "spirit" -- a rather amorphous thing.  Even more, the insistence is on conformity, too, not just with the law but with what he believes the "shared values" of Portland to be; cross those, and risk governmentally-encouraged legal problems and social ostracization.  As he says, he sees his role as enforcing shared values, and he is the guy with the guns here locally.
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Dan Fienen on August 29, 2015, 01:33:24 PM
Thinking the worst again, Pastor Fienen?
How, given what has transpired, is my question unreasonable.  I assume that you consider the mayor of Los Angeles to be unreasonable and simply thinking the worst because he has made it his business to work to prepare Los Angeles for a major earthquake and the chaos that would follow.  On the other hand, eleven, twelve years ago, the governments of New Orleans and Louisiana were spot on by not thinking the worst that a hurricane could do, right?  Preparing for a hurricane like Katrina would have been just paranoia, right?

Similarly, Winston Churchill was just plain nuts for thinking that Nazi Germany might try to take over Eurasia.  There he was thinking the worst and look what happened.

British statesman Benjamin Disraeli must have been supremely foolish when he said, "I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best."  According to our wise counselor we are to hope for the best and ignore the worst.

Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Team Hesse on August 29, 2015, 01:47:55 PM
If a school freely chooses to change its policies, they're free to do so.  But before the school changed they were threatened with legal action.   Was that threat unequivocally withdrawn  or is it still there for a any other school out of conformity?

There was also a huge backlash on social media.  I.e., the bullies came out to play.  And yes, the Mayor came out strongly against the school, threatening legal action and whipping up the crowd.

Mayor Hales said:

"Portland is a city that embraces rights and opportunities for everyone. Those aren’t just nice words. They are also the law...  We believe St. Mary’s Academy, and every other public, private and nonprofit organization in the city, should follow the letter and the spirit of the law, and our shared values."

So what is being enforced is not just the "letter" of the law (as he believes the law is written -- something not at all clear regarding First Amendment protections from those such as him), but also its "spirit" -- a rather amorphous thing.  Even more, the insistence is on conformity, too, not just with the law but with what he believes the "shared values" of Portland to be; cross those, and risk governmentally-encouraged legal problems and social ostracization.  As he says, he sees his role as enforcing shared values, and he is the guy with the guns here locally.


I like the PNW..... but I am awful glad I no longer live on the west side.


Friends of mine farm ground owned by the Sisters. At one time I attempted to rent some of their ownership. They have a long established presence and reputation in Washington County. It is truly unfortunate that they should become the target in this matter. Someday there will be a turn....it will not be pretty when it comes.


Lou
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 29, 2015, 02:12:18 PM
From what I've read, I haven't seen that there were legal challenges, i.e., a lawsuit. This seems to have been a situation that was "tried" in the public media. The counselor's contract was terminated with a severance package that included silence about the termination which she did not accept, went public.
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Team Hesse on August 29, 2015, 02:21:58 PM

Mayor Hales said:

"Portland is a city that embraces rights and opportunities for everyone. Those aren’t just nice words. They are also the law...  We believe St. Mary’s Academy, and every other public, private and nonprofit organization in the city, should follow the letter and the spirit of the law, and our shared values."




One thing not mentioned here is that St Mary's Academy is in the city of Beaverton, not Portland. Mayor Hales has no jurisdiction in the matter. He is posturing with these statements for the sake of whatever constituency he is posturing for.


Lou
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: scott8 on August 29, 2015, 03:03:04 PM

Mayor Hales said:

"Portland is a city that embraces rights and opportunities for everyone. Those aren’t just nice words. They are also the law...  We believe St. Mary’s Academy, and every other public, private and nonprofit organization in the city, should follow the letter and the spirit of the law, and our shared values."

One thing not mentioned here is that St Mary's Academy is in the city of Beaverton, not Portland. Mayor Hales has no jurisdiction in the matter. He is posturing with these statements for the sake of whatever constituency he is posturing for.


Lou

Pretty sure it is in Portland -- right downtown: http://www.stmaryspdx.org
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Team Hesse on August 29, 2015, 03:38:55 PM

Mayor Hales said:

"Portland is a city that embraces rights and opportunities for everyone. Those aren’t just nice words. They are also the law...  We believe St. Mary’s Academy, and every other public, private and nonprofit organization in the city, should follow the letter and the spirit of the law, and our shared values."

One thing not mentioned here is that St Mary's Academy is in the city of Beaverton, not Portland. Mayor Hales has no jurisdiction in the matter. He is posturing with these statements for the sake of whatever constituency he is posturing for.


Lou

Pretty sure it is in Portland -- right downtown: http://www.stmaryspdx.org (http://www.stmaryspdx.org)


Interesting. The St Mary's Academy I knew was/is at the intersection of Murray Boulevard and Farmington Road not to far from downtown Beaverton. I am quite sure that is the original. The Kelly farm at Reedville and the Algesheimer estate were part of the original patrimony. I could tell you stories.....


Lou
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: DCharlton on August 29, 2015, 03:42:11 PM
Thinking the worst again, Pastor Fienen?

We're still waiting for you answer on this question, Pr. Austin.

They caved:   http://www.kgw.com/story/news/2015/08/26/catholic-school-rejects-hire-due--same-sex-marriage-view/32381067/ .

But ... but ... Charles assured us that churches would never be coerced to hire active homosexuals/marry same-sex couples/disavow their opposition to homosexual behavior.  Is it possible that our own humble correspondent has underestimated the power and the speed of the zeitgeist to dismantle millennia of social convention?
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 29, 2015, 06:59:46 PM

Mayor Hales said:

"Portland is a city that embraces rights and opportunities for everyone. Those aren’t just nice words. They are also the law...  We believe St. Mary’s Academy, and every other public, private and nonprofit organization in the city, should follow the letter and the spirit of the law, and our shared values."

One thing not mentioned here is that St Mary's Academy is in the city of Beaverton, not Portland. Mayor Hales has no jurisdiction in the matter. He is posturing with these statements for the sake of whatever constituency he is posturing for.


Lou

Pretty sure it is in Portland -- right downtown: http://www.stmaryspdx.org (http://www.stmaryspdx.org)


Interesting. The St Mary's Academy I knew was/is at the intersection of Murray Boulevard and Farmington Road not to far from downtown Beaverton. I am quite sure that is the original. The Kelly farm at Reedville and the Algesheimer estate were part of the original patrimony. I could tell you stories.....


There is a Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon in Beaverton. They have Valley Catholic Schools. http://www.ssmo.org/

Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: cssml on August 30, 2015, 04:57:57 AM
That is correct.  St. Marys Academy is downtown Portland.  It was founded as the first private school in Oregon in 1859 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Mary's_Academy_%28Portland,_Oregon%29

"St. Mary's was founded by twelve sisters from the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in 1859, at the request of archbishop François Norbert Blanchet. Only two of the sisters spoke English; the others spoke French. They traveled from Montreal via ship and rail to Fort Vancouver where Blanchet had established a school on property he purchased from Daniel H. Lownsdale in 1857. The property had a two-story house, which became the school. St. Mary's opened in the same location with six female students (three Catholic, two Jewish, one Protestant) on Monday, November 7, 1859, 17 days after they reached Portland."

St. Mary's of the Valley is in Beaverton, and runs Valley Catholic among other things:  http://www.ssmo.org/who-we-are/

This is a different order of Sisters which was founded right here in Oregon about 130 years ago (1886).  Valley Catholic used to be called St. Mary's of the Valley.

I don't have time to post much more on the situation right now, but it is tense.  There are discussions ongoing with the Archdiocese, and the only joint statement out after the last meeting is:

   “The Archdiocese and St. Mary’s Academy are in discussion regarding the recent policy change by the Board of Directors and committed to continued conversation.”
 
I ask for your prayers for the school and situation.
Title: Re: Religious freedom and secular values are butting heads again
Post by: Team Hesse on August 30, 2015, 07:14:31 AM
Now tis clear thank you.


Lou