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"Who Am I To Judge?": Catholic Schools Buck Francis, Enact Morals Clauses, Elicit Homophobia

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It's all in the morals clause
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Roman Catholic Dioceses in Oakland and Cincinnati have come under fire for new morality clauses that require teachers to conform to church teachings in their private lives.
Some parents, teachers and students worry teachers could be fired for being gay or engaging in behavior the church frowns on, such as having sex outside marriage, or for supporting gay family members.

That's Entertainment

The morals clause (aka "morality clause") rears its pious head from time to time in the news, but it's been with us for a long time, especially in faith-based establishments. Some people wouldn't be employed if not signing the (sometimes) cryptic contract that melds private life with profession.

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It wasn't until the 1920's that the morals clause hit its stride --- because of a Hollywood scandal.

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Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was an early Hollywood star of immense magnitude (pun intended) who garnered an almost obscene salary for his antics after the First World War. He was the first real Hollywood "star" and lived a lavish lifestyle that included parties and women. At the height of his fame (indeed, after signing Hollywood's first million-dollar contract), he gave what was to be his last party in San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel. It resulted in 3 days of debauchery, the death of a young starlet, Virginia Rapp, three successive murder trials (the first two resulted in hung juries) and the end of Arbuckle's career. It also resulted in the self-censorship of the Hollywood movie studios - and the morals clause in the contract of every actor tethered to a studio.


Arbuckle's scandal was followed by Babe Ruth's drinking and womanizing, so in 1923, morals clauses for sports athletes went into effect. *

Today's "MORALITY"

The problem with morality clauses today is not that morality has been outdated, but that it has been dispersed through walks of life and "lifestyles": what seemed totally immoral in Fatty Arbuckle's day is more an accepted part of the human condition. But there are factions in the U.S. (namely, the Christian Right) who frown upon the human condition. They look upon it as a curse, somewhat like Original Sin.

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The "Sinners" Take It To Francis

WASHINGTON -- The Human Rights Campaign [HRC] on Tuesday delivered a letter to the Vatican on behalf of nine teachers who have lost their jobs at Catholics schools for either being LGBT, or supporting an LGBT family member.

The letter, delivered to the Nuncio, or diplomatic representative of the Holy See, requests a meeting with Pope Francis "so that you may hear our personal stories firsthand and see the impact the Church's actions have had on us all."

The move comes as Catholic dioceses in Cincinnati and Oakland have implemented new teaching contracts which contain morality clauses that require teachers to conform to church teachings in their private lives or face dismissal.

And Cleveland Makes Three

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http://sacredcowsmakethebesthamburgers.blogspot.com
Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books €" Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)
 

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