Sunday, December 05, 2004

Pink Slip
After only a few blessed hours of sleep tonight I suddenly woke up and so here I am before my computer. I suppose it is just as well since blogging on CRM has come to almost a total halt.

So, I ran across this article on AOL News. The principal of a Utah high school had decided that homosexual teenage couples had to have parental permission slips before they could attend social events sponsored by the school as a couple. Apparently that decision has ruffled a few boa feathers. Why? Because that policy was seen as oppressive and, it is suspected by some, that the school is trying to remove itself from responsibility for what might happen to "out" homosexuals -- apparently there is a concern about violence from peers against professed homosexuals.

At first read, at this hour of the day, three things jump right out at me in this article.

(1) The mother of one young "homosexual" boy states how proud she is of her son for protesting the principal's policy. She is quoted, "You can't help who you love." My thought: Oh, my dear, but you can help who you love and you even have a responsibility to help who you love. My suggestion is that you get to work on helping that son of yours.

(2) The father of another young "homosexual" boy states, "As long as I'm paying taxes to support that school, my son deserves every bit of protection, education, whatever that school has to offer." My thought: Okay, how about we sink some tax dollars into providing some true education and some true protection by telling the truth about the design of human sexuality and sexual love. Yeah, I'm sure that would fly like a lead balloon.

And finally, (3) I really hope you got this. The first name of the father in number 2 is "Quovaudis," a one letter difference from the obvious origin of his name "Quo vadis," meaning in Latin "Where are you going?" This is so thick with irony. What if pops took more active responsibility for his son and asked that question of him more directly, instead of expecting the school to bear total responsibility for "protecting" his son? What if someone -- anyone -- in these boys' lives asked that same question, in view of the larger moral framework? Where are you going? In what direction are you taking your life? Where are you going in reference to morality and the Natural Law? And finally, consider the origin itself of that question "Quo vadis" as it is recalled in Catholic tradition.

The most famous use of that question is from St. Peter's encounter with Jesus. Legend has it that later in life, after Jesus had ascended to Heaven, Peter, Bishop of Rome, upon facing the terrible persecution of Christians at the time, was fleeing Rome to avoid execution. He was not too far outside of the city gates of ancient Rome when he is said to have met Jesus passing in the opposite direction, heading into the city. Peter is said to have asked Jesus, "Domine, quo vadis?" (Lord, where are you going?). Jesus' response: "I am going to Rome to be crucified again." At that, Peter got the message, turned around and returned to Rome where he met death by crucifixion. So, this legendary question of Peter to Jesus, is really more of a question we must ask ourselves. Certainly, Peter must have felt that question come right back at himself when he heard Jesus' response of fidelity. Peter must have asked himself: "Where am I going?" He was, according to the legend, abandoning his call, his vocation to be the shepherd of Rome, feeding the lambs and tending the sheep (cf. John 21:15-19). It was precisely in facing what he did not want to face, in doing what he did not want to do, in being led where he did not want to go, that Peter was to find the earthly completion of his mission and the crowning of his sanctity.

What if instead of resigning oneself to the often confusing atmosphere of teenage sexual maturation, someone called these boys to face the truth of human sexuality, supporting them in working hard and suffering, I am sure, to overcome the tendencies they think they have discovered in themselves? Maybe, just maybe, that would be the rough road leading to true happiness!

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