“Who am I to judge?”
I’ve heard that a lot lately, from my lunch companion who didn’t blink at the waiter with the pierced nipple to Pope Francis, who makes a point of speaking off the cuff on airplanes, balconies and telephones.
In between those extremes are the Americans who equate tolerance to not expressing an opinion about moral standards, or lack thereof.
In this “don’t bully” society, etiquette trumps authenticity.
But when I really thought about it, I came to the conclusion that we not only have the right to judge. We have an obligation to.
If we don’t, we’re feigning acceptance for everything, thereby removing any sense of good or bad from the human equation.
Even worse, it could signify that we really do accept everything, which means that we stand for nothing.
In order to be considered intelligent and credible, we’re supposed to consider all lifestyles and choices to be equally valid. After all, since “Jesus would do whatever feels good,” who are we to make another person feel unwanted or offended by our values? Who are we to judge?
Which brings me to my alma mater. On June 22, Waldron Mercy Academy, a Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia, declined to renew the contract of religious studies director, Margie Winters. By all accounts, Winters was a good teacher. Even if Moses came down from Mt. Sinai and announced he was your substitute, it’s hard to imagine getting excited about a religion instructor.
Unless, of course, she’s a married lesbian, teaching at a private Catholic school. In that case, she is a superstar. Make that a martyr when her contract is not renewed.
Winters was asked by a parent to include the “Theology of the Body” in her class, which is based on a series of lectures by Pope John Paul II about the sanctity of marriage between man and woman. Winters said no.
The parent then notified some higher-ups, and it ended up on the news.
This is exactly the type of event that warrants full media coverage, right? “Catholic school touts Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve as appropriate role models!”
Because that horrible group of religious zealots needs to be exposed. Who are they to judge?
I'll tell you who they, and we, are. We are graduates of a school run by the greatest nuns in the world.
We might disagree on the legalization of same sex unions, but will protect this church’s ability to stand behind traditional unions.
We don’t appreciate non-Catholics and uninformed Catholics force-feeding us their secular vision of tolerance that conflicts directly with church doctrine.
We are not going to back down because some parents and pundits try to make us ashamed of our faith.
Feel free to judge us all you want.
Christine M. Flowers is a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.