Sand in the Gears

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Barring the doors

March 11th, 2010 Posted in The Art of Parenting, Theology

In Colorado, a Catholic school has refused readmission to the children of two lesbian parents. “Parents living in open discord with Catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals unfortunately choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment,” explains the Archdiocese of Denver.

Now, the conservative in me thinks that it’s entirely reasonable for a Catholic school to have standards for admission that turn on, well, being Catholic. On the other hand, how can Christianity ever divorce itself from the call to spread the Gospel? And if it cannot divorce itself from this calling, ought we to feel at least a bit squeamish at the sight of Christians barring the doors to children in need of the light and Word and love of Christ?

I recall a Buddhist mother telling Wife and me about her desire to enroll her child in a Wichita Christian school. She told them she didn’t care what religion they taught her child, that they could teach her child Christianity if they liked. They refused her, because they require parents to sign a statement of Christian doctrinal adherence (we Christians call those things “statements of faith,” which ought to make anyone familiar with James 1:22 a tad uncomfortable).

I understand the desire of parents who enroll their children in such schools to avoid having their youngsters taught side by side with devil worshippers. On the other hand, if your child’s faith is so weak that sitting next to a confused little devil worshipper in French class can render him apostate, isn’t the problem with your parenting, rather than your school’s admission policy?

It seems that the gold standard is to take them all. Take every child, and compromise not an inch on doctrinal purity or standards of conduct. I know that’s easier said than done. At the very least, however, we ought to pause before turning our backs on the very children we claim to care about when we talk our talk about upholding marriage and spreading the Gospel.