What’s Wrong With Alliances?

My conservative foils in the Catholic blogosphere will probably howl over this one, but I once worked with a fairly liberal priest who told me I had a credibility issue with the parish’s lesbian and gay parishioners. I shrugged and said I had no idea how the LGBT committee came up with that. “You set them straight,” I said. “Right?” He gave me a blank stare. I did not know, but I suspected he was the source of that rumor.

I don’t have a problem telling people I am an ally. What does that mean? It’s not about being a culturewar ally, like Catholic conservatives teaming up with evangelicals or warmongers. It’s about being able to sit down with other people and cultivate real friendships. The church should have no problem with that.

I was reading about this legal initiative in Ontario, and the Church’s opposition. There’s a few things about this that strike me as off.

First, you can’t legislate good relationships. I realize the Ontario law doesn’t require people to get along. It doesn’t require the independent installation of one group. It seems to say that if students, on their initiative, want to form an alliance, no adult can stop them. On the other hand, if people insist on behaving without good manners, no law can stop them.

Second, a group is just a group. Groups can exist and do little to nothing, like committees. Sometimes they can do crazy and inappropriate things. I don’t think there are many Catholic schools out there who have disbanded athletic teams because of the danger of hazing or unsporting conduct.

One would think that the Catholic Church would take the initiative to form alliances on its own. It’s just a good idea.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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