How to resist a Catholic school board that wants to fly the homosexual pride flag
April 28, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — After much resistance from faithful Catholics, the Halton Catholic District School Board in Ontario decided during an illegal meeting on Monday not to fly the pro-homosexual “pride” flag at its schools. Nevertheless, all school staff must undergo “mandatory training” on LGBT students, and schools must “raise awareness around Pride month” and post pro-LGBT signage “to ensure that students in the 2SLGBT community are supported throughout the entire school year.”
The partial victory was made possible by concerned Catholics. Below, LifeSiteNews documents one such effort: a letter sent to Patrick Murphy, chair of the Board of Trustees, by Dan Di Rocco, “a former Catholic school trustee, retired principal, father and grandfather.”
“The Board appears to be facilitating the promotion of a gay political and cultural agenda, step by step, by entertaining such dangerous and divisive requests” as flying the rainbow flag, Di Rocco warned.
He also pointed out that at previous board meetings on the issue, several “false statements were allowed to stand without anyone challenging them. One example was that of a parent saying that Jesus asked us to respect all diversities. That is nonsensical. He never said anything of the sort. Wrong doing and false worship were condemned by Jesus many times.”
“Trustees should take decisions faithful to the history of Catholic education, the primary purpose of which is to help students to be holy and get to heaven, enjoy union with God,” Di Rocco explained. “It may sound trite, passé, but it is the truth and the only real justification for having a system of education separate from the public one.”
Full text of the letter:
Patrick Murphy, Chair
Board of Trustees
Halton Catholic District School Board
Dear Mr. Murphy,
It is with disappointment in my heart that I write this letter after watching the proceedings of the April 20 meeting of the Board of Trustees of the HCDSB.
As a former Catholic school trustee, retired principal, father and grandfather, I appreciate the delicate nature of the topic up for discussion. But, I was flummoxed by the inability or unwillingness of trustees to defend clearly and unequivocally the rights of parents and students to a true and robust Catholic education in the schools under their fiduciary care.
It has always been my understanding that the primary purpose of Catholic schools is to transmit the truth of the Catholic faith, impart knowledge, moral values, and love for Jesus, preparing them for a good death so they will enjoy their ultimate destiny, union with God in heaven. In addition to the regular aims of education, Catholic schools exist for this supernatural objective — well defined, well explained, well set forth in word and deed, in the liturgy, the sacraments, and the living examples of the teachers, parents, and fellow students.
Given this raison d’être, trustees of the HCDSB should not find it difficult to say no to an unreasonable, divisive and improper request — that of flying the rainbow flag. That flag has a history and it does not symbolize inclusiveness, diversity, tolerance and love. Rather, it signifies special privilege, arrogance, aggression and support for an immoral lifestyle.
There were many elements of that board meeting that I found befuddling. One trustee sported a rainbow t-shirt, clearly manifesting support for the motion, meaning that she is not impartial, but, rather a person with a closed mind.
More than once, trustees thanked pro-flag delegations profusely, in glowing terms, commending them for their “courage” in making their presentations.
Thank you for your wonderful delegation
Excellent presentation … so eloquent
It shows a lot of hard work
Every delegation ought to be recognized and politely thanked for their presentation, but without using effusive, sycophantic language to encourage them in their false or immature understanding of the faith. Little effort was made to correct their biased, and in some instances, outlandish statements.
The questions asked of the presenters (at least three different times) by certain trustees, were exactly the same, and shamelessly tailored to evoke the same answer, limited as it was. I invite the entire Board of Trustees to watch their own performances to see how other people might construe their attitudes, statements and facial expressions.
Some trustees and a few pro-flag-flying presenters at times displayed a supercilious, off-putting, aggressive tone, not in the least interested or open to points of view that differed from their own preconceived notions, even in the face of truthful statements made by the two parents and the priest who presented in opposition to the motion.
What about the actual content of what was discussed and the arguments presented by the various delegations?
It was said that flying the rainbow flag would be a symbol of acceptance, inclusiveness, safety, togetherness, unity, love, hope, tolerance of diversity, sense of belonging, etc. Repeatedly, the question was asked of the students and parents promoting the flying of that flag, what it would mean for them. They gave the same answer each time. But, they also mentioned that it was merely the first step to more fully accepting and celebrating the gay agenda. They mentioned the need for teachers and other staff to learn to use the proper pronouns, to stock school libraries with their gay literature, to welcome gay-freindly posters in the classroom, to have the teachers take sensitivity training, probably to learn how to engage in self-censorship, etc.
The Board appears to be facilitating the promotion of a gay political and cultural agenda, step by step, by entertaining such dangerous and divisive requests.
Many false statements were allowed to stand without anyone challenging them. One example was that of a parent saying that Jesus asked us to respect all diversities. That is nonsensical. He never said anything of the sort. Wrong doing and false worship were condemned by Jesus many times. Another example was the statement about Jesus meeting the woman at the well and how that showed that we must likewise respect people from different backgrounds. The point of the meeting was not that Jesus dared to meet with a foreigner (and a Samaritan woman to boot) but rather that he gently gave her a lesson and an opportunity to be saved by believing in him, the living water. All have the chance to be saved, Gentile or Jew. Everyone is welcome at the banquet. He told her all about herself, even the many husbands she had had. She saw the need to repent and turn away from her sinful past. And she did. It’s what all of us sinners are asked to do to be saved. That is why Jesus came into the world. It is why there is a Catholic school system.
How these students could not be taught a proper reading and understanding of the scriptures they were quoting is disturbing. They either have not been taught or they have not understood the meaning of Jesus’ actions and words.
Another unacceptable statement was that we are “not to condemn, judge or marginalize people”. It is well-meaning but taken out of context. If the correction is done for the salvation of the individual we have a responsibility to point out the problem and try to show them the better way and the truth of the matter. I can still love my child and yet insist that certain actions are sinful and ought to be avoided. I can love a person who may resort to stealing, or fighting, or being disrespectful, being disobedient, gambling, cheating on exams, but in charity I need to point out that the action is not acceptable, that it is harmful. Correction is needed. Failure to correct is moral cowardice.
It seems to me that, in fact, it is easier today to go along with the crowd than to insist on truth. The parent’s G. K. Chesterton quote was apropos. One trustee was afraid to take a stand, feeling that he did not wish to insert politics into it. A trustee is elected to make decisions and those decisions are political because they impact the community of believers. A person who stands in the middle of the road usually gets run over.
The reality is that when something has a high moral price, only committed people will pursue it. A new magisterium is seeking to take over, that of the gay rights regime, working for the one percent of the population. If teachers, parents, critics and trustees accept self-censorship for fear of reprisal then the public discourse is definitely dominated by the totalitarian mentality.
Several times it was stated that “it is 2021!” What is that supposed to mean? There is no longer a need to teach morality? No need to speak the truth? Sin has been eradicated? It is a foolish statement, but was delivered in a rebuking fashion, “come on you rubes get with it”. In fact, one trustee uttered a foolish statement that scriptures were written for other reasons that don’t really apply today. She seemed to be denying the eternal truth of the inspired word of God. Amazing, and from a Catholic trustee!
On one of the occasions that the phrase “It’s 2021” was spoken, it was followed immediately by the challenge that “we should practise what we preach”. That’s exactly what these students, teachers and parents wishing to fly that rainbow flag should do — practice the Catholic faith as taught by the magisterium.
How is flying that flag a divisive, and therefore unacceptable course of action? There are several reasons. For one, it extends to a small group of individuals a special privilege denied to all others. The student, teacher or parent who has same sex attraction is foisting their agenda and their values on the rest of the community. The Canadian and Ontario flags already include everyone. There is no special need. It would be an exercise of power on the part of the promoters of the gay life style, and in contradiction of Catholic moral teaching concerning that lifestyle. The individual who experiences such attraction is to be respected and loved, but the lifestyle needs to be described for what it is, immoral and harmful to self and society.
On a practical level, why stop with just a rainbow flag? Why not a flag each week denoting a different cause and a different agenda; pirate flags; disability flags; sports team flags; occupational flags; real estate flags; capitalist flags; the United Nations flag; the Olympics flag; themunicipality’s flag; chamber of commerce flags; Black Lives Matter flags; asian flags; safety flags; music flags; health food flags; etc. etc. ad nauseam. No one person or group is more important than others. One flag for the nation, one flag for the province and one flag for the faith. That is it. Period.
There were other statements made that deserve appropriate attention and a response - ”We are wonderfully made”. Exactly, we ought to keep ourselves that way, live up to the aspirations and responsibility given to us. We should strive to do everything in our power to avoid any sinful behaviour.
Another vacuous statement was — “June is known as flag month”. Really? Something that a group of politically motivated people thought up a few years ago, suddenly acquires the status of a longstanding tradition, going back hundreds of years. I am certain that there must be at least a dozen other “causes” that celebrate something in the month of June depending on the national context; Father’s day; graduation day; Hernia awareness day; migraine and headache awareness day; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) awareness; Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome awareness; world infertility awareness; professional wellness; hunger awareness; National Aboriginal History Month; Canadian Armed Forces Day; Canadian Environment Week; Clean Air Day Canada; National Blood Donor Week; National Public Service Week; National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism; Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day; Canadian Multiculturailsm Day; and a host of other such awarenes days or celebratory days. But, as Father Roginski stated, in the church tradition, June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, just as May is traditionally seen as the month of Mary, and October as the month of the Rosary. So why fly the rainbow flag that divides the community? Father Roginski is right; an appropriate and thoroughly Catholic theme for June should be what unites us, the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Unfortunately, the board’s trustees do not seem to understand the true nature of the gay agenda, (or worse, perhaps some of the trustees are fellow travellers). People with homosexual attraction, as activist operatives, have worked and agitated for the last four to five decades. These tactitians proceed, step by step, in a clever, stealthful manner, according to the rules set down for radicals by Marxist thinkers and activists like the American, Saul Alinsky, and the Italian, Antonio Gramsci. It would be wise to learn about these political philosophers and activists. Their influence is everywhere.
This ‘innocent’ request for flying of the rainbow flag should not fool you or deceive you. It is part of a common thread that binds certain developments together — namely, a secular, humanist philosophy of life, (to be seen in law, entertainment, education, music, and politics, etc.) — one in which human nature is portrayed as infinitely malleable, freed from any belief in God, and in which the human will is sovereign, able to choose and create its own sense of reality. The original lie made to Eve by the serpent still holds, “You will be like God, having knowledge of good and evil”. It means making your own decision of what is right and wrong; you will be your own master, your own god, your own reference point. You can build a wonderful, sane, rational, progressive society, without the need of God.
Trustees should take decisions faithful to the history of Catholic education, the primary purpose of which is to help students to be holy and get to heaven, enjoy union with God. It may sound trite, passé, but it is the truth and the only real justification for having a system of education separate from the public one. Students can learn or aquire general and discrete skills and knowledge anywhere — whether public schools, private schools, virtual schools or homeschool or any combination thereof.
Have the courage to say no to the request. To acquiesce to this immoral request is to act as quislings, as traitors to the faith and to the sacrifices of parents, students, priests, teachers and trustees who have gone before us. I remember vividly my grade 3 teacher, Miss Mary Duffy at Holy Rosary School in Hamilton working at the Brewer’s Retail store on Friday nights to make ends meet because the pay for Catholic teachers was so low; and yet, she made the sacrifice to teach in that school and to give her students an excellent education. That is just one example.
We should not forget the deep roots of our Christian society. It is those spiritual roots that nourished and protected our society, that emphasized the protection and empowerment of individuals and institutions against the absolutist claims of the state. Catholic schools have contributed mightily to the well-being of Ontario. It has helped to shape the society for the better. This heritage should not be tossed aside.
To give in to these requests for special privileges is illogical, unproductive, destructive, divisive and a sad gutting of the sacrificial efforts of past generations of Catholics in the province of Ontario. It is to surrender to a slick, immoral political agenda whose proponents will return each year (if not each month) with an ever-expanding list of innocuous-sounding demands that will never satiate them.
Do the right thing. Just say no to a request that has no genuine justification in fact or in spirit. Be not afraid to speak the truth. The supporters for the flag-flying are indeed correct — it gives them hope, but unfortunately it is a badly placed hope. Real hope lies in the promise of Christ.
You have the opportunity to lead in a positive renewal of Catholic education. Don’t drive a rainbow coloured stake into its heart.
Dan Di Rocco