She was fired for her ACTIONS, not her INCLINATIONS

Item: “Phys Ed Teacher Fired for Being Gay

A former physical education teacher lost her job because of her relationship with another woman.

Apetition [sic] was created on in support of Hale as a teacher, simply requesting: “Reinstate faculty member Carla Hale and apologize for discriminating against her on the basis of sexuality.”

Supporters added, “It’s unfair that someone who cared so much about her students and her job should lose them on the basis of something she cannot even control.”

Not quite. A distinction anyone should be able to see plainly has been entirely ignored.

A person with homosexual tendencies and same-sex attraction who lives a chaste, celibate life would not be fired by a Catholic school for “being gay.”

A person with heterosexual tendencies who is still single and maintains a chaste, celibate life would not be fired by a Catholic school for “being straight.” Seems ridiculous to say this, yes, but it is important when setting up the parallels here.

Simply being gay is not sinful and is not grounds for dismissal anymore than being straight is. A person who is gay but maintains that chastity consonant with his or her state of life—a virtue to which we all are called, by the way, gay, straight, bi, married, single, whatever—would not be fired for being gay.

The error, the sin, the grounds for dismissal, comes when the person decides that it is appropriate and acceptable to act upon their disordered desires and then does so. Again, this applies equally to a heterosexual person who pursues extra-marital sex and cohabitation as it does to those persons who engage in same-sex relationships and pursue same-sex “marriage.”

Whether a person is born gay or not is immaterial because, contra Lady Gaga, “Born This Way” Does NOT Mean “Act This Way”. Whether a person is heterosexual or homosexual, that person has a choice whether he or she will participate in sexual relations at all at any given moment, let alone whether they will act on disordered sexual desires—again, whether disordered but basically heterosexual or disordered and basically homosexual.

This teacher was not dismissed because of something she “cannot control” but because of what she chose to do in an area she most definitely can control.

There is a difference between disposition and behavior. Between inclination and action. Between thinking something and doing something. Between desire and activity. This mighty important distinction has been utterly lost in this discussion it seems.

The Diocese of Columbus is being sued for violating the city of Columbus’ statute against discrimination, which includes sexual orientation, and has no religious exemption. Three interesting points here:

1) The fairly recent Hosanna Tabor case should be a strong argument to toss the Columbus statute and force them to re-write it with a religious exemption.

2) Since she was not fired for the simple fact of her homosexuality but because she had engaged in behavior antithetical to Catholic teaching it is possible that the statute does not actually apply at all.

3) If this statute does apply, it means homosexual activities are more protected in law than heterosexual activities because there would be no civil law preventing the Diocese of Columbus for firing a teacher who was cohabiting with an opposite-sex partner.

We shall see how this plays out, but it is another sign that the only intolerance still allowed is anti-Christian intolerance.


Saint Joseph Cathedral, Columbus, Ohio.

  • jgbech

    When my first wife was too ill to have a third child I practiced celibacy. But there was no end in sight. I foolishly looked for an answer from my priest. He had none. I found then that the church and sex don’t mix well. They don’t consider that everyone has a different libido.
    Their demand for celibacy from any homosexual or unmarried heterosexual is a prime example of ridiculousness. Their demands even fall on deaf ears among their own clergy.

    • Slats

      Good grief… Read the letters of Paul. “If you live by the flesh, you will die.” The Church (not a “human institution,” but the divinely instituted Body of Christ which is guided into and maintains truth by the Holy Spirit, is never going to teach the lie that we all as men and women don’t have responsibilities toward each other. Your priest should have taught you about NFP.

      • jgbech

        Slats, NFP was in its’ infancy. I don’t remember it ever being discussed since mention of sex was taboo in the church. Because of the difficult times and temperature readings for ovulation it was thought too risky even by her doctor. Dr. Einterz told me “if your intent is to practice contraception for the purpose of not procreating… what difference does it make how it is done”?

  • Katie

    To the author of this post: it is impossible to take anything you have to say seriously when you misconstrue facts. And also when you reference Lady Gaga.

    • Slats

      If you’re going to come here and accuse Joshua of “misconstruing facts,” you had two choices – 1) tell us all what’s been misconstrued and have some credibility, or 2) present no alternative account, thus looking completely ridiculous and having far less credibility than you accuse Joshua of having. Guess which one you chose!

    • Slats

      Katie, on further reflection, re-reading Joshua’s original post and your response, for most of what he wasn’t really giving blow-by-blow accounts of the Diocese of Columbus decisions, motivations, the facts of this particular case, etc., to which you could present an alternate timeline and information. He was presenting the Catholic perspective of why, from what we know of the what has been released about the situation, the protesters complaints are off base. The information, explanation, and distinctions Joshua is presenting are true, particularly with regard to that portion of his post beginning with “Not quite…” and ending with “…lost in this discussion it seems.” They aren’t “facts” in terms of events, deeds, etc., but they are true in terms of a Catholic perspective. Fundamentally and irrefutably, from a Catholic perspective, there is a distinction between actions and inclinations in the sexual arena and in approaching the same-gender attraction issue. There’s really nothing substantive that you could say to rebut that portion, and if you are accusing him of “misconstruing facts” with regard to that section, you are incorrect.

      Once again, if you have anything to refute his quotations of the protesters or his observations at the end (i.e. “The Diocese of Columbus…” onward), either present a case, or concede your own dearth of credibility.

      • Slats

        Excuse me – the writer was Tom, not Joshua.

  • Joannie

    I am amused that many people who comment on this will either bring up the abuse scandal or other issues. This is about the Natural Law not just Church Law. The French people themselves are aware of this. Jesus did say “Let he is without sin- ” but then they forget “Go and sin no more”

    • jgbech

      The abuse scandal still has a negative effect on many, myself included. Sadly the scandal is not over especially among the hierarchy. The bad Bishops who were never prosecuted. It goes all the way to the Vatican . My 4th Degree Knight brother-in-law told me when the news broke that it is “only a few priests”. That was more than one $Billion ago.

      • Tom Crowe

        Except that, in the grand scheme of things, it was, in fact, “only a few priests.” Dollar amounts do not make that different. While even one priest doing that sort of thing is too many, the proportion of priests even credibly accused—let alone convicted—of awful offenses against children was below 2 percent of priests in this country. Compare that to any other profession (e.g., teaching, coaching, Protestant ministers, rabbis, Scout leaders, etc.) or to family members (uncles, fathers, cousins, live-in boyfriends, etc.) and the percentage is quite small. Of course, since we hold ourselves to a higher standard, and since our priests *ought* to be unassailable on grave sins like these, and since “the world” really hates the Church and wants to bring her down, each and every single case will be more scandalous and get more attention, so it *seems* like there have been more.

    • Rita

      The ‘Natural Law’ was invented by the ancient Greek Philosopher, Aristotle, a Pagan, the same person who held that women were inferior because they ‘contained more water.’ It was passed down to Thomas Aquinas by Albert the Great, his teacher. They lived in the Middle Ages way before the microscope or the ovum were even discovered, at a time when men were thought responsible 100% for the child’s heritage. I think it’s time for the Church to crack open a more modern science book!



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