Michael Pakaluk, a columnist for The Pilot newspaper representing the Archdiocese of Boston, is taking some well-deserved heat after penning this column recently. If you don’t feel like reading it (and if you’re easily nauseated I wouldn’t recommend it), allow me to sum it up for you:
Gay people shouldn’t be parents because they’re immoral porn addicts, and they certainly shouldn’t be in a Catholic school because their lifestyle will negatively influence the “truthful” and “moral” teachings of the almighty Catholic Church.
I knew this one would be a doozy right from the first paragraph when Pakaluk writes “The question arises of whether children in the custody of (one cannot say, ‘children of’) same-sex couples should be admitted to Catholic parochial schools.” So right off the bat, Pakaluk lets us know that not only are gay parents unable to be “real” parents, but adoptive parents are inferior as well. Because environment doesn’t matter at all, and the only way to be an effective parent is to be blood related. Got that? Moving on…
Pakaluk goes on to say his son is a first-grader in a Catholic parochial school, and there is one boy in his class who has two daddies. To this, Pakaluk writes “From what I observed then, I concluded that the arrangement served neither my son nor the other students in the class.” Yet Pakaluk never says how some other student’s family structure can possibly influence his child. Not to mention it’s none of his goddamn business in the first place. But then again, it’s all about Pakaluk and his homophobia.
Speaking of Pakaluk’s hate and fear, he goes on to unleash the following gems:
“It was inevitable that either the teacher, or some parent, would deal with the two men in such a way as implicitly to teach my son, or other children in the class, that there is nothing wrong with same-sex relationships.”
“The second reason is that parents are rightly given access to a child’s classroom, and yet I could not trust the designs of the same-sex couple. A mother or father may volunteer to read to the class or chaperone for a class trip. If the homosexual parent does so, what guarantee would I have that he would not be an advocate for his lifestyle, implicitly if not explicitly? One would expect him to be: he says he takes “pride” in his life; the school, it seems, has implicitly endorsed his role; and so why wouldn’t he speak unabashedly about his lifestyle?”
“The third reason is that it seemed a real danger that the boy being raised by the same-sex couple would bring to school something obscene or pornographic, or refer to such things in conversation, as they go along with the same-sex lifestyle, which–as not being related to procreation– is inherently eroticized and pornographic.”
If you have half a brain, it’s easy to see why many people would be so offended at these ignorant, hateful and misguided statements. As if children of same-sex couples are somehow prone to an increased likelihood of running across porn. Or how about criticizing gay parents who strive to take an active role in their kid’s lives, out of some crazy notion that they’re only doing it to infiltrate the minds of our nation’s youth and champion homosexuality? And at one point he even demands that school administrators inform him of the sexual orientation of parents before they host school events at their homes, in order to avoid a homosexual haven. It’s like he believes being gay is a contagious sin, and anyone close to gay people or their children could catch it. You know, like cooties.
Did I mention this clown is actually a professor? Frightening.
All of this from someone who claims to reside on the moral high ground, yet is immersed in a religion filled with priests who abuse young boys and then have it covered up by church leaders. Yet no mention of that in Pakaluk’s column.
Look, it’s no secret to anyone who’s been reading this site for awhile that I’m very much in favor of gay marriage and gay rights. Only so much as I’m a proponent of equality for everyone. Yet some people still ask me why I get so worked up about this issue seeing that I’m a straight guy seemingly without a dog in the fight.
But you know what? I’m a father now. And as a dad to a 2-year-old who will soon be asking me tough questions about everything, I think parents everywhere can use this as a teachable moment. One of my favorite movies, Boondock Saints, has a fantastic quote that has stuck with me for years:”Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most. And that is the INDIFFERENCE OF GOOD MEN.”
As parents we have a responsibility to teach our kids that prejudice, hate and injustice of any kind is not OK. But more important, we need to teach them to speak up about it. To do something. Be heard. Because standing idly by and saying/doing nothing is tantamount to condoning what’s happening. This is a lesson that can be applied to everything from the hypocrisy of not making gay marriage legal, to standing up for the kid being bullied on the playground.
Will and I won’t always agree on everything, just like my father and I have different viewpoints on various matters. But if I do my job as a dad, Will is going to grow up speaking his mind and speaking out for people being unfairly discriminated against. Even when it’s not popular and he’ll be labeled a homo or a faggot simply for being a proponent for basic human rights, I want my son to be someone who does the right thing and falls on the side of compassion, tolerance and acceptance.
Unfortunately, he’ll be battling the children of people like Mr. Pakaluk, who will no doubt pass on his hatred and intolerance to a new generation.
WHEN YOU’RE DONE HERE CHECK OUT FATHERHOOD FRIDAY AT DAD-BLOGS, WHERE THEY DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE GAY OR STRAIGHT AS LONG AS YOU’RE THE BEST PARENT YOU CAN BE.