POLL: Was a gay Catholic school vice principal unfairly fired?

RNS-CATHOLIC-FIRINGRecently, a gay vice principal in a suburban Catholic school was fired from his job for marrying his same-sex partner. The school claims he violated terms of his contract, which require adherence to Catholic Church teachings. The church forbids same-sex marriage.
The employee, Mark Zmuda of suburban Seattle, filed a wrongful dismissal suit this month against Eastside Catholic School, saying his duties as vice principal were “purely administrative and unrelated to any religious practice or activity.”

Tell us do you think: Was the school right or wrong to fire Zmuda?

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Jim Downard

I have sympathy (though not approval) for churches that abide by the logic of their tradition. Christianity has no solid foundation for accepting gay relationships, even as the society has moved on, and so it is understandable that within a particular covenant lots of practices will be disallowed. As an atheist (Spokane WA Faith & Values poster), that would be just one more reason for finding that religion of questionable practical relevance, but the soul-searching believers trying to deal with changing social standards is certainly real.

But religions do evolve, even if at glacial speeds at times. Protestants brought divorce onto the Christian table, just as the Judeo-Christian culture gradually adopted the Hellenistic standard of monogamy. We’ve given up the witch and heretic burning craze, along with slavery, and today you’d be hard-pressed to find Bible followers who would like to resume the good old days (though there are a few, unfortunately).

To what extent gay marriage and ordination will prompt the fissioning of new Christian denominations before the parent organization can mutate into tolerance remains to be seen. The believer will still have to grapple with (or rationalize) the texts that make the matters contentious. But then, that’s the inevitable game that must be played whenever immutable revealed Truth(s) have to bump into what people actually think and do.

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