Monday, March 2, 2009

Play for Teens Performed at Most Holy Redeemer

A group of Catholic school teens are on their way to Most Holy Redeemer Church to perform a play about the conflicts between Christianity and homosexuality.

The Most Holy Redeemer Church bulletin of February 22, 2009 reports that the church will host a production of a play called "Be Still and Know." From the bulletin: “The director, John Loschmann, along with the cast and crew from Sacred Heart Preparatory School, Atherton will perform "Be Still and Know" at Most Holy Redeemer on Sunday, March 8 at 2 pm. All are welcome. This play is based on the novel, The God Box, by Alex Sanchez and adapted for the stage by John Loschmann. It explores the subject of homosexuality within a Christian, adolescent context.” As with most things at MHR, I think it far more likely the play “explores” Christianity, within a homosexual context.

This raises a number of questions:

• Is the content of the play in agreement with Church teaching on homosexuality?
• Who decided on having this play produced at Sacred Heart of Atherton?
• Has the production of this play at Sacred Heart of Atherton been approved by the Archdiocese?
• Has the production of this play at Most Holy Redeemer been approved by the Archdiocese?
• Why is this play being performed at Most Holy Redeemer at all? The novel “The God Box” from which the play is adapted, is targeted at an adolescent audience. For obvious reasons, there are virtually no children at MHR. Why is a play targeted at children being performed at a parish where there are no children?
• Finally, has anyone at the Archdiocese read “The God Box?” Or even visited the website of Alex Sanchez, the book’s author?

To take the last point first: had they done so, they would have seen that Mr. Sanchez claims to be exploring the conflicts between Christianity and homosexuality. But an examination of his website shows that for him there is really no conflict: Christian teaching on homosexuality does not present a conflict to be struggled with, (as is true of Christian teaching on many things) but an obstacle to be overcome. That’s why his homepage features rave reviews of “The God Box” by people who share this view: Harry Knox, of the Human Rights Campaign; Steve Kindle of Clergy United, Nancy Wilson, of the Metropolitan Community Church, and Episcopalian bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori.

Catholic Teaching Not Allowed

It gets worse. Since “The God Box” is targeted at young people, let’s suppose a young same-sex attracted Catholic reads the book or sees the play, and goes to Mr. Sanchez’s webpage in search of guidance. There site has a number of sub-pages. One is a “Spirituality” page. It contains 31 links. Every link, without exception, is to an organization which denies Church teaching on homosexuality. Under the “Catholic” heading, do we find the Vatican, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, or the Courage Apostolate? No. The recommended Catholic spiritual resource is “Dignity USA,” a homosexual activist organization not even recognized by the Church, nor even allowed to meet on Church property. The one thing such a young person visiting Mr. Sanchez’s site would never receive would be genuine Catholic teaching on the issue of homosexuality.

Who Chose “The God Box,” and why?

The adaptation of “The God Box” that will be presented at Most Holy Redeemer is called “Be Still and Know” by John Loschmann, a drama teacher at Sacred Heart High School of Atherton. Why did Mr. Loschmann choose this particular work? Well, a web search reveals that Mr. Loschmann is a signatory to the “Represent Me” list on the Equality California website--a list of people who want Proposition 8 overturned. A further search shows Mr. Loschmann gave $100 to the No on Proposition 8 campaign. Leaving aside the question of whether a person who refuses to accept Church teaching on such a foundational issue as marriage should even be teaching at a Catholic school, it certainly explains Mr. Loschmann’s interest in adapting “The God Box.”

Why is a Play for Teenagers being performed at an Adults Only Parish?

But why did Sacred Heart choose Most Holy Redeemer, of all places, as a venue? At first glance it makes no sense. Why choose to present a play aimed at children in a parish that has virtually no children? (See footnote 1). Is there another connection between Sacred Heart of Atherton and Most Holy Redeemer?

The Principal at Sacred Heart is a man named James Everitt. A web search shows that a Mr. James Everitt of Redwood City is also a donor ($200 on October 6, 2008) to the No on Proposition 8 campaign. While that donation does not list an employer or address, it does give the city of residence and a zip code. And an earlier donation by James Everitt, listing the same city of residence and zip code gives the employer as “Sacred Heart Schools.” His position on this issue is thus in accord with Mr. Loschmann and the parishioners of Most Holy Redeemer, but not with the Catholic Church. But there may be a more direct connection: a December, 2008 webpage from the Most Holy Redeemer lists a James Everitt as a Lector at the Church. Certainly, there's a chance that it's not the same man, but it would sure account for the otherwise seemingly inexplicable choice to present the adaptation of “The God Box” at Most Holy Redeemer.

As to why Most Holy Redeemer would host such an event, that’s apparent: Because it validates their true religion, which, as I have argued before, is not Catholicism, but the celebration of homosexuality. The one thing the play is guaranteed not to have, the one thing that is anathema to Mr. Loschmann, Mr. Everitt, and the parishioners of MHR, the one thing they would never accept, is genuine Catholic teaching on homosexuality.

The now decades-long tolerance of the celebration of homosexuality at MHR is bearing fruit: today, among other things, they have openly same-sex “married” lectors, acolytes, and Eucharistic ministers serving at Mass. And now, with their allies in Catholic High Schools, they are actively seeking to corrupt the faith of our Catholic young people.

This is not about our same-sex attracted brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church, striving, as do we all, to live a Christian life. What we are confronted with is the “evangelizing” for homosexuality in our parishes and now our Catholic schools. It is being backed by the drama teacher and Principal of Sacred Heart of Atherton, and by the pastor of MHR. Our Archdiocesan officials have a duty to put a stop to it.

1) On November 10, 2006 Matt C. Abbott reported that Most Holy Redeemer’s September 30-October 6, 2006 census counted 312 men 74 women and 6 children (1.5% of the parish). http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/abbott/061110

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

My son has turned in an application to attend this school in the Fall. Prayers please that he is not accepted as I now cringe at the thought of him attending this place, with a pro-homosexuality principal. I heard that a caller who phoned in to Immaculate Heart Radio complained to the school when her daughter, a freshman, was forced to watch this play. She was told she was being 'closed minded". Sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

No prayers necessary. Even if your son is accepted, refuse to enroll him there. Good luck trying to find a real Catholic school, though. They all seem to be corrupt and filled with heretics.

Anonymous said...

You're 86 years old and you have no wisdom on this issue? How is that possible?

And to you people who "cringe" at the thought of homosexuality need to spend more time in the word. Do you seriously think Jesus cringed when he hung out with the sinners of his day? He LOVED them. So, stop judging and send your son to Sacred Heart so he won't end up a bigot like you.

Anonymous said...

As a student at Sacred Heart Prep and a actor in the play, I suggest that you all come out to see the show on Sunday March 8th. We all have put a lot of effort into producing it and we would love to hear your comments in our talk back sessions that we have done after each show.

I hope you all can make it out.

Anonymous said...

Gibbons,
Me thinks thou doth protest too much. Most psychologists are of the opinion that someone so obsessed with homosexuality and so committed to bashing it may well be closet homosexual themselves. Gibbons what’s your real story and why are you so afraid of homosexuals?

Anonymous said...

I'm also an actor in the show and a proud student of Scared Heart Prep. To the first poster - don't be ridiculous. Sacred Heart is an amazing school (a favorite for Ivy Leagues) and you should feel honored to be able to send your child there.

Anonymous said...

Jesus 'hung' with the sinners to draw them out of their world of sin - not to wallow in it with them.

This play is not the thing to be engaging young, impressionable minds with. Parents at that school are paying a TON of money to entrust their children are getting a first-rate education, and apparently they're learning they are to be no different, no better, no more noble than those who have no morals, no values, and no self-control. I've not been a classic fan of homeschooling, but man...I'd rather have a socially awkward child who can comprehend right and wrong than one whose immortal soul is endangered not only by the public schools, but the so-called Catholic ones as well. Another bullseye, Gibbons.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who expresses hatred for homosexuals now will be looked down upon by future generations as ignorant and brainwashed individuals, similar to the racist bigots that dominated many periods of the past (and sadly, still exist today). So believe what you may, but I guarantee you will soon be scoffed at by future generations.

Also, if you are honestly thinking of withholding your child from attending Sacred Heart Prep because of its liberal ideals, then good luck finding him/her a college to attend. As a student at an Ivy League University, I can honestly tell you that the vast majority of college communities are liberal and in support of gay marriage and equal rights for homosexuals, bisexuals, transgenders, etc. Welcome to the real world. Sorry to shock you, but most educated people support gay marriage. There must be a correlation between intelligence and understanding/acceptance of human beings...

Anonymous said...

The Archdiocese of SF, and most other dioceses in California, are incapable or unwilling to require its parish priests to adhere to the basic dogmas of the Catholic faith. To put things in their bluntest terms, heresy reigns supreme in the Roman Catholic Church, at least in this area, and there is little or no sign of any change. The Holy Father's reform of the reform remains ignored.

I have become a Byzantine Catholic for these reasons.

JM said...

Anon 3/2 9:52 PM: "Sorry to shock you, but most educated people support gay marriage." Apparently this doesn't include you! Let's break down your argument: 1. We "express hatred" for homosexuals. This is called a "straw man." You are putting words in our mouths that we never said. The Catholic church, Gibbons, and Fr. Malloy do not express hatred of homosexuals. The Church teaches that we must love and respect homosexuals as we love and respect all sinners. However, we must condemn sin which separates us from God. 2. We will be scoffed at by future generations. Oh really? We are supposed to believe this simply because you guarantee it? This is a totally unsupported statement. Even if your prognostication is true, it has no bearing on the morality of homosexual acts. They are either right or wrong independent of what future generations think. 3. The vast majority of colleges, universities, and educated people support gay "rights": therefore it is right. Oh really? You've done a poll? I wouldn't dispute that most colleges are liberal, but I would dispute that most educated people support gay "rights." Regardless, if your "Ivy League" university were educating you so well, you would know that you are making an "argumentum ad verecundiam," or appeal to authority. It is a logical fallacy to assume that because "educated" people hold a certain opinion on something that is not in their area of expertise, therefore it is true. If the Pope said it is going to rain tomorrow, I am not going to automatically assume he is right simply because he is extremely educated. He is not a meteorologist, so his opinion on the weather is irrelevant. 5. I think it's very funny that you consider your Ivy League university to be the "real world." When you graduate and leave academia, you're going to be in for quite a shock. 6. Do us a favor: don't just automatically reject our faith and our opinions as bigotry. Learn what we actually believe before commenting on it, and I promise I will do the same for you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you JM for this intelligent post. My son's Catholic formation is so much more important to me than his attending any Ivy League school! "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, if he loses his soul in the process."

God Bless you!

SHP Alum '08 said...

As a former student of Sacred Heart Prep and a very impressed member of the audience of "Be Still and Know", I cannot say I am surprised by this article and the subsequent homophobic comments, and still they hurt me deeply. I do, however, have faith and great hope that my generation is leading the way towards a more just society. Homophobia is something I am positive we will grow out of generation by generation as awareness is raised and laws evolve. We have made great strides in overcoming discriminations of the past, while by no means completely irradiated, they are much less prevalent in our society today. Homophobia is just another social hurdle we will get over in time. I have faith in our generation and generations to come.

And please, do not deny your child a Sacred Heart education- it is a beautiful one, and one of the greatest gifts you can give a young person.

Anonymous said...

"We have made great strides in overcoming discriminations of the past, while by no means completely irradiated, they are much less prevalent in our society today."

And you managed to graduate??!?

Yep, it's one hell of an education they offer down there.

SHP Student said...

Hah! To the first commenter...the freshman was forced? No, she was not. None of us were. All of us who went, the people who filled the theater to the brim, were not forced.

I'm no expert in the bible, but I know in my good little Catholic schoolgirl heart that Jesus Christ was not in this world to prosecute homosexuals. Gays, Lesbians, straight,transexuals... We are all human. And we are all different. But the main fact is that we can all love. Anyone can love God with all our heart,and God loves us all back, no question. and YOU, you bigots, have the nerve to say some of these people do not deserve this love? You have the nerve to say they have no SELF-CONTROL?

Now I am not gay, nor do I have many gay friends. But I love myself and God and my family, and I love our green, good earth. So I KNOW that love is not a white wedding cake with two plastic men and women figurines on top. Love is unexplainable, and unable to be confined to your narrow biased perspectives. You judge that what happens between two men or women is not love. Hah. You wouldn't know love if it bit you in the a**.

P.S. How DARE you invade the privacy of our teachers! They are good Christians, and besides that, good people. No one deserves to have their personal finances and charities displayed on the internet. What would Jesus have done?

SHP Alum '08 said...

Anon 3/3/09 at 2:26-

You're absolutely correct. They should just take back my high school diploma for one spelling mistake. How silly of SHP, releasing a student capable of a simple error.

Apologies to anyone who was confused when I unintentionally typed "irradiated," I meant to type "eradicated".

Anonymous said...

I am appalled by the insults that have now passed between those on either side of this, but I am especially appalled that adults - who I believe are parents - have spoken in such condescending and passive-aggressive ways to both high school and college students, who are still, as yet, teenagers. This certainly is no proper forum for your resentment, and your cruelty is no example at all to set for a youth you demand to be amenable to your own opinions.

To all this, I have only one response: there is one assumption upon which the first comments depended, and one which I believe is the most problematic: those opposed to the play assume gay people are sinners, or simply, gay people have control over their sexual preferences in the same way as someone exerts control over his decision to steal or murder. You encourage a student to study debate and rhetoric; I encourage you to study biology. More often than not, sexual preference is predetermined by what we have inherited through our given genetics, a fact which is becoming more clearly indisputable and equally provable.

I am a Sacred Heart graduate who received a tremendous amount of financial aid to attend the school. I received the finest education possible then because I was exposed to the finest people - my teachers, and the school's present principal - I could have ever hoped to know.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:31 PM:

You're missing the entire point.

Sacred Heart is a Catholic School. Most Holy Redeemer is, ostensibly, a Catholic parish.

That homosexual acts are sinful is not an "assumption," it is a teaching of the Catholic Church. This is easily found by going to the relevant Catechism entries: numbers 2357, 2358, & 2359. These entries also make clear the Church condemns no one for their "sexual preferences," only for sinful acts.

Why are a Catholic school and a "Catholic" parish (I put Catholic in quotes, because as I have argued numerous times that the real religion at MHR is not Catholicism but the celebration of homosexuality)being allowed to teach things in direct opposition to Church doctrine?

I repeat my closing paragraph:

"This is not about our same-sex attracted brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church, striving, as do we all, to live a Christian life. What we are confronted with is the “evangelizing” for homosexuality in our parishes and now our Catholic schools. It is being backed by the drama teacher and Principal of Sacred Heart of Atherton, and by the pastor of MHR. Our Archdiocesan officials have a duty to put a stop to it."

Some of the comments to the post just prove the point.

Gibbons in SF

Anonymous said...

for heavens sake people its a play I dont care if you hate gays but as catholics we should be open to all people no matter their personal interests. Seriously you should read over your comments before you send them you sound like idiots. I absolutely love Sacred Heart I've been introduced to so many different people. They don't force anything upon you they just provide you different experiences so you can decide your own personal opinions and views. And for the first person to comment the freshmen were asked to view it because a young freshman boy called anther boy a fag. uhhh i don't want to waste my time writing this i have much better things to due then comment on idiotic remarks.

Anonymous said...

Oh, what an easy way out! It's just a play! Well, let me tell you this...people are influenced by what they "see" and what they "hear" and these things can have serious deleterious consequences for their souls. These are minors.. and they are at a very impressionable young age. Wake up! I believe there is an agenda going on here and it speaks volumes that the director of this play voted No on 8. There lies the true meaning behind this!

Anonymous said...

I am parishioner at Most Holy Redeemer, and just received an email telling me this play have been canceled. Unofficially, the SF Archbishop Niederauer and Bishop William Justice demanded MHR to cancel the play under the threat of closure. Shame of the head of the church in San Francisco.

Anonymous said...

If Anonymous 10:50 is relating accurate information, then HOORAY! Thank God Archbishop Niederauer had the courage to defend Catholic faith and stop the scandalous miseducation of students at Sacred Heart. Now the Archbishop will need prayers and support more than ever, because the backlash from the homosexual mafia will be intense.

Anonymous said...

Gibbons, You are unfortunately missing the point. Let me first say that I do not support the gay lifestyle or gay marriage. However, I did travel quite a distance to see this play a few weeks ago. It is not at all, in any way, "evangelizing." It is a play about social justice. It presents BOTH views on the subject of homosexuality. And to the very end, some of the characters remain anti-gay. It was extremely well-done. There was a talk-back session at the end. It was obvious that minds were not influenced or changed because of the play. It did give pause to thought about the type of treatment often given to those who are gay, different, or have different religions: just because you feel someone has sinned or is wrong, is no reason to verbally or physically attack and harm that person. This is what the kids said they got out of this: calling someone a "fag," or worse, or harming them physically, is just wrong. Visiting an author's website does not qualify anyone to make comments about or judge this play. Unless you have seen the play, then commentary about it can not be accurate. An apology is definitely in order to the students, faculty and that school. What I observed was a group that did not necessarily support and endorse the gay lifestyle, but had a respect for all mankind.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:47 AM.

What are "both views" on the subject of homosexuality?

Gibbons in SF

Anonymous said...

By "both views," I mean that the play presented the view that religion tells us that homosexuality is wrong, and the view by others that don't feel that way. This last group was not Catholic.

You really need to see the play, and not make false assumptions based on what you "think" the play was about.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:27:

You write:

"By 'both views,' I mean that the play presented the view that religion tells us that homosexuality is wrong, and the view by others that don't feel that way."

What religion, please?

Gibbons in SF

Anonymous said...

I guess I should have said "The Bible." I assumed that when I said "religion" you knew that I was referring to the Catholic Church.

Please give thought to the message of respect and love I spoke of in my comments, and not just try to pick apart semantics.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:28:

I don't know why you would assume that. Religion includes more than Catholicism--just go to The "Spirituality" page of Alex Sanchez's website and you will find links to 31 religious organizations, every one of which celebrates homosexuality. Or, for that matter, Most Holy Redeemer, which has openly same-sex "married" persons serving as lectors and Eucharistic Ministers at Mass.

But I appreciate your clarification, and rephrase your statement with the clarification added:

"By 'both views,' I mean that the play presented the view that religion (the Catholic Church) tells us that homosexuality is wrong, and the view by others that don't feel that way."

Anonymous, why are a Catholic School and a "Catholic" Church giving a forum to those who deny Church teaching?

Gibbons in SF

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who has defended the play as being benign because it presents "both views" regarding homosexuality:

According to Catholic faith, there is only one truth regarding homosexuality and homosexual acts: same-sex attraction is a disorder and homosexual sex is immoral because it is sex contrary to the design of nature, contrary to God's will.

Any other "view" on homosexuality is false, erroneous, misleading, incorrect, wrong.

For a Catholic school to produce a play that presents "both views" on homosexuality as if they are two equally acceptable moral alternatives is to fail in its duty to present the truth of Catholic faith and identify the errors in contrary ways of thinking.

You say the play teaches respect for those who suffer from same-sex attraction disorder. That is fine is far as it goes. But often "tolerance" and "respect" are used by homosexual activists to extend beyond tolerating and respecting the person to tolerating and respecting his immoral choices. That a Catholic school can never accept.

To present the homosexual lifestyle or homosexual relationships as anything other than sexually and morally deviant is to depart from the truth.

The whole point of the play is to brainwash kids to accept homosexual relationships as normal, but it does so under the pretense that it is only about respecting individuals.

The fact that priests and nuns in the front row applauded at the end of the performance does not guarantee the play's conformity to Catholic doctrine or morality. There are a large number of dissident clergy and religious, especially among the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Unless you have seen the play, you have no basis on which to make a criticism. I am another adult who has seen the play, and Gibbons and Anon 10:13 are so mistaken. There was no "brainwashing." I did not see a comment about "tolerating" choices, but "respecting" other human beings. It seems that you are afraid. Please do not condemn, unless you have first seen and talked to the school in question. With so much hatred and so many wars in this world, isn't there a more productive way to spend your time? Why do you persist in attacking and condemning this play, the school and the performers without getting accurate and all of the facts? I am tremendously saddened by your attitudes.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 10:13 Please don't make assumptions about clergy. They were not from that order, and hardly "dissidents."

SHP '06 said...

How dare you, Father, personally attack such wonderful men? Respect their privacy, please, and know that Sacred Heart Prep has touched more lives than you ever will.

The five goals of the Sacred Heart, and the incredible education I received, have made me into not only a good person, but a whole person filled with love. I really do pray for you, Father. Do not attack our faculty and staff.

-SHP '06, current Ivy League student and a downright good person.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:29, brainwashing does not have to be overt, and people who already agree with the aims of the brainwasher seldom perceive what is really going on. In the case of the play, the brainwashing is subtle: presenting the homosexual lifestyle as compatible with orthodox Christian faith. Quite to the contrary, the homosexual lifestyle is wholly incompatible with Christian faith. Any attempt -- as the book and play make -- to reconcile the two is a subtle form of brainwashing to lead people away from true Christianity. It appeals to people's emotions: "Oh, don't you want to be a loving person? Then respect others and the way God made them and the choices they make based on their identity. Just love them and let them love how they want to love. Jesus taught us to love all people, and if you want to be his follower then you should love gay relationships. What are you? A hater? Oooooooh: THAT'S not Christian." That's the gist of the book/play. It is brainwashing, and it distorts the Bible so that impressionable teens and feeble-minded adults believe that the Bible doesn't really teach what it plainly teaches about the immorality of homosexual conduct. It is irresponsible and scandalous for a Catholic school to produce and promote a play that twists the immoral into appearing moral.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 12:46 Which performance of the play did you attend and did you stay for the talk-back session?

Anonymous said...

To those of you who think that the play is merely about respect and isn't brainwashing and isn't promoting immorality, how about this scene from the play:

The male character who is questioning whether he is homosexual or not is given advice to look at pornography featuring both sexes. "See which turns you on." is the remark made.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:56 It's easy to take anything out of context, isn't it??

a gay-tor said...

Waitt a minute.

So let me get this straight. My high school is brainwashing me? Uh oh, I guess the nuns who founded it and all the students are raging homosexuals! And we're all going to be forced to convert to the cult of the celebration of homosexuality! Where we all get sweaty and dance to techno. But I'm just so brainwashed I just don't care anymore.

Anonymous said...

Gay-tor: you wrote, "And we're all going to be forced to convert to the cult of the celebration of homosexuality!"

Yep! You got that right. What do you think Sacred Heart's annual "Diversity Days" is all about?

You will see a pattern at Sacred Heart of systematic, controlled enforcement of the opinion that the homosexual lifestyle is to be accepted, celebrated, and now even integrated within the framework of Christian belief, contrary to over 3,500 years of Judeo-Christian moral heritage and contrary to the authoritative teaching of the magisterium.

Bishop Martino of Scranton recently issued a letter about false diversity. Here are some excerpts that pertain to this matter:

As Catholics, we believe there is an objective, moral Truth – given to us by Jesus Christ. This Truth is timeless, and it cannot be altered by the shifting tides of popular culture.

As the Bishop, it is not only my right, but my obligation to ensure that authentic Catholic teaching is being provided in all Catholic institutions in this Diocese, and that viewpoints in opposition to this teaching are not being presented as acceptable alternatives.

Would that Bishop Martino were the Archbishop of San Francisco!

a gay-tor said...

Diversity Day? We don't even pay attention to that stuff. We're just normal kids, preoccupied with stuff like homework, sports, tv, movies and friends. They're not exactly forcing it down our throats, not at all. We have plays, and this year it happened to be based on the God Box. A couple months ago it was Dr. Seuss, and before that it was a Midsummer Night's Dream.

And that systematic, controlled enforcement that you talk about? Not so systematic, and not so controlled. They enforce rules such as no drugs, no alchohol, the like. Can you all stop hating our school because we happen to be an institution that DOESN'T make the gay kids go home and cut their wrists every night because no one will give them the time of day?

P.S.
It's been proved that homosexuality occurs in over 450 different species, and not only is homosexuality very present in the animal kingdom, but is beneficial to evolution as well.

Anonymous said...

I am a SHP Parent. I am a conservative Catholic. I did not see the play and wish I had after discussions with some of the students who saw it and participated in it.

In their opinion, it was about acceptance of people who are different in some way than them, much as Jesus did.

Sacred Heart Prep is an incredible school. The principal is an incredible person, who is very devout and uses Christian teachings in the way that he administers the school as those who attend the school and who's children attend the school will attest. I can think of NO FINER place for my children to learn.

In addition, the adult faith formation (for parents) is better there than any parish I have belonged to has offered outside of Mass.

Look at the Sacred Heart Prep goals and know that they are taken very seriously.

Anonymous said...

To the first comment:

Hmmm...Do you really want us to pray that your child is so stupid he doesn't get into high school?

And please, stop cringing. As Catholics, we should know that God loves everyone, and likewise, so should we.

At Sacred Heart, nothing is forced down our throats. And no one tells you what opionion you should have. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

I am a freshmen at SHP... this school is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. The teachers care about each individual student and make sure they receive the best education possible. Our principal is a fantastic man and it makes me so upset to hear bad comments about a man who is trying to help us have the best future possible. At our school, being different is ok and you know that you won't be judged. Mr. Loshman is an amazing drama teacher. Anyone who has had the opportunity to meet him and take one of his classes would never have the heart to talk bad about him. I love my school and any kid would be so fortunate to attend Sacred Heart Prep.

Anonymous said...

Sacred Heart is a superb institution that accepts everyone. I couldn't dream of going to a better high school. Now you may say I'm just "brainwashed", but what entitles you to say you aren't? It goes both ways buddy.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:28AM on March 4:

I'm still hoping for a response to the question in my last comment of our conversation, given at 10:10 AM this morning. I repost that comment in full:

I don't know why you would assume that. Religion includes more than Catholicism--just go to The "Spirituality" page of Alex Sanchez's website and you will find links to 31 religious organizations, every one of which celebrates homosexuality. Or, for that matter, Most Holy Redeemer, which has openly same-sex "married" persons serving as lectors and Eucharistic Ministers at Mass.

But I appreciate your clarification, and rephrase your statement with the clarification added:

"By 'both views,' I mean that the play presented the view that religion (the Catholic Church) tells us that homosexuality is wrong, and the view by others that don't feel that way."

Anonymous, why are a Catholic School and a "Catholic" Church giving a forum to those who deny Church teaching?

Gibbons in SF

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if you saw the play yourself, you could find the answer.

Anonymous said...

I would like to say that I am a senior at Sacred Heart Prep and have been a part of the SHS community for 15 years. I have been through soooo much at this school involving death, sickness, loss, and so much more. No other school could have taken care of me better than Sacred Heart has, so to those of you that don't call this a Catholic school or are praying that your child doesn’t get in to the school, I think you need to rethink that mainly because the teachers here care so much about the student body that I think of them as Christ-like. As for the play, I have seen it and it is truly one of the best plays I have seen at SHP. A major thing about being Catholic is accepting people and loving everyone, God created us all to love each other and when people call each other harsh and hurtful words based on sexual orientation, I don't find that Christ-like what so ever. This is an issue that needs to be addressed. People still use phrases such as "that's so gay" or describe people as "fags" all the time, which I find so disrespectful, I would never want my friends, or siblings to ever hurt someone so badly. This is what the theatre is trying to prevent or stop. This play is done so beautifully! It is simple, honest; it makes you want to support these characters. The screen play is written so well and makes people rethink things. It is written showing both sides so I suggest that before you bash Be Still And Know, you should see some of it and actually give the play a chance. If you allow your child to watch certain TV shows that are filled with drugs, sex, and alcohol, you should allow your child to see this play. It teaches you something and gives hope to those people who are actually experiencing it. It shows them it’s ok to be yourself, and to love yourself for who you are.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:39:

The question I ask is simple. I'll repeat it:

"By 'both views,' I mean that the play presented the view that religion (the Catholic Church) tells us that homosexuality is wrong, and the view by others that don't feel that way."

Anonymous, why are a Catholic School and a "Catholic" Church giving a forum to those who deny Church teaching?

Gibbons in SF

Anonymous said...

Gibbons, Sounds like you need to see the play.

Anonymous said...

If the responses that claim to be from Sacred Heart students are really from students, it is clear that they haven't the foggiest notion of what Catholicism is about. To all of them, it merely involves being "nice" or "polite" as the left defines those civic virtues. They seem to have no understanding whatsoever of sin, redemption through Christ, the teaching authority of the Church, the moral truth, God's will for sexuality. They have absorbed the dominant ethos of the media culture, which is promoting the full normalization of homosexual relationships as equivalent to natural marriage, and their "Catholic" school has done little -- if anything -- to combat their misunderstandings. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church about homosexuality. That should settle the matter about what the correct Catholic understanding of homosexuality is. Yes, it involves a respect for persons as persons. Also yes, it involves moral disapproval of homosexual acts and unions. The two are not mutually exclusive. And no, the Church's teaching is not going to change on this matter because it is part of the infallible deposit of faith.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 9:29: How easily you seem to be able to criticize and make assumptions about kids you don't even know... You are so very wrong. What a sad discourse that people like you rush to judge and condemn others. These kids show so much more "Catholic" and Christian-like behavior than mean-spirited comments from strangers like you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:52, I bet a poll of students would show a very high percentage supporting the legalization of gay marriage. No one who supports gay marriage can be considered a faithful Catholic. Has the school done anything to change students' minds on that issue? Quite the opposite, it seems: the play encourages sympathy for gays, strongly tending towards the emotionally based stance that gay relationships should be considered equal to heterosexual relationships, thus gay marriage should be legal. That is what's going on with the play, and that is why so many Catholics are concerned about the impropriety of a Catholic school producing it. One of the girls in the play even said that because California passed Proposition 8 the state especially needs to hear the message of the play right now. What message might that be? Gay marriage. Have any of the students expressed their opposition to gay marriage at the same time that they supported the play? No, they have all expressed that they have been encourage to accept gays, which means in its extension to accept gay marriage, something a Catholic cannot do.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:11, that is non-responsive. The question remains.

Gibbons in SF.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:30 You are wrong on several accounts. Yes there are people who have supported the play but are against gay marriage. I am one. My child is one. Please do not make so many false assumptions. And most importantly, please remember that students read this blog. If you truly feel passionate about this issue and feel that wrongs are being done, then take this offline and go directly to the school directors. You are doing a great disservice to the children by maligning them, their school and their faculty. You are hurting the people you think should be helped. At least do it in a more professional manner.

Anonymous said...

As a SHP alumni who lives in the community, I find it sad that this issue is dividing the school. I try to support the school by going to the plays, donating, etc. I did see the play and I was a disturbed at the reference to "pornography" that was made in the play. I do think this will effect enrollment, I have heard of many families who are not considering SHP for their children due to all of the controversy surrounding homosexuality. As another Alumni put it "SHP is not the school it used to be".

Anonymous said...

It's "affect", not "effect".

Sorry. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

You know. Because "effect" is the noun.

Anonymous said...

THANKS FOR THE CORRECTION...MAYBE MY SHP EDUCATION WAS NOT THAT GREAT AFTER ALL !

Anonymous said...

I go to Sacred Heart Prep and I want you to know that the play had NO AGENDA. I was hesitant at first to see it, but at the end of the play we had a class discussion about it. It did not influence my opinion about gay marriage (I am personally against it). In fact, it helped me understand why it is not accepted in the Church. So many people are making such a huge deal about this and they should see the play before they judge it.

SHP Freshman said...

As a current freshman of SHP, I was told it was mandatory to attend this play. There was the common complaining that would be expected of any high-schooler, but if I was given a choice, I would see it again a million times. This play opened my eyes to the NEW civil rights movement. And now, I am aware of the prejudice and pure hatred these people are up against. You cringe at the thought of attending a pro-homosexuality school (commenter 1), what if your son is gay? Would you cast him out of your house, would you talk to him again? It sounds like a lot of you aren't ready to face the future. You call yourselves Christians, but how do you think Jesus is looking upon you for HATING another group just for being different.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I am the first commenter - and having read all of these comments... I know my son will not go here. If these comments were indeed written by SHP students.. you have done a disservice to your school because I have learned from these comments how unschooled you are in your faith and quite nasty too. That is really sad as the name Sacred Heart invokes someting very religious and very profound, a school that should be dedicated to promoting the truth of what the Catholic Church teaches.

I do not have hatred of homosexuals. I love all people. That does not mean that I fully embrace the moral teachings of the Catholic Church which you are mixing up with feelings of emotion. I do not called people names and I have taught my children to not do this either. Some of you said the play was not mandatory, then someone else said it was... so I have to wonder how truthful you are. I know the woman who called in on Catholic radio was upset that her daughter was made to watch the play without her permission. She said there were two males kissing on the stage. This is absolutely preposterous in a Catholic School and I would be complaining also like this woman did. And would I be told also, "You are being closed minded?".

Concerned Sacred Heart Student said...

To the first commenter,

As a part of the student body, we are commenting to defend our school, and it seems that all who argue against the school or the play either don't understand what a Sacred Heart education means. As a student in my second year, Sacred Heart has completely changed me to who I am today. Sacred Heart has provided me with a Catholic education as well as 5 goals that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. To the Sacred Heart Alumni who said that "Sacred Heart Isn't what it used to be", you are correct. Sacred Heart is much better than it used to be. Sacred Heart is an understanding and accepting community that I am honored to be a part of. I am also honored to actually got to see the play. I went on my own accord, and I absolutely loved it. The play was amazingly well done, and it provides "both sides of the argument" that some people have been discussing before. I believe that some comments on this blog have proposed both sides of the argument and I am completely flabbergasted that a civil rights issue like gay marriage even needs another side of the argument. Would Jesus deny gays the right to marry? Or would he love them unconditionally? So I believe that writing here is not a disservice to my school. Anyone who believes that writing here is a disservice either doesn't know the school, or doesn't understand both the Catholic education, as well as the wonderful education we receive. Lastly, for the freshmen, a letter was sent home to the parents asking them permission to see the play. It the parents said yes, it was mandatory for that freshman to see it. So yes, parents and their child did have a choice to not see the play.

One thing I honestly don't understand about many comments posted is when you say that you don't hate gays, and you love all people, how can you deny someone the right to marry? Its in the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal" and the ninth amendment of the constitution defends all rights, then HOW could this country and anyone have the power to deny gays this right. So if this is the reason you decide that your child is not going to Sacred Heart, that is a shame. You child is missing out on one of the best educations and opportunities that they could ever have.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing here is that this is NOT the school that the sisters of the Sacred Heart sacrificed to build and maintain for so many years. No Religious or Priests teach here. Yes, there are many, many great teachers at SHP but as is the case at all schools, most teachers are extremely liberal. That is not a surprise however what so many are missing here is that this is a Catholic School and this play does NOT follow Catholic/Christian teachings. Devout Catholic and other Christian families are the minority and will continue to be fewer as we search out schools that will adhere to our beloved faith. And for the record, ALL Freshman were REQUIRED to attend the play and no REAL balance of views has ever been discussed. There is most certainly an agenda here and the students who have posted here in favor of the play are proof that they have succeeded!!!

g said...

yeah well when 14 year olds are exchanging words like "faggot" with each other in a harmful way, you bet your sweet rosary that those kids need to see the real meaning of that word, and the derogatory context it is used in, as the play shows.

Anonymous said...

I'm friends with the two guys who kissed. And they are very much straight, no worries for you there. It can't be as bad as what your kid probably sees on MTV.

sheesh said...

To the first commenter-

SHP kids have never been "nasty" or "unschooled". I think you, the first commenter, would just be the dramatic parent that likes to cause trouble. You cannot harp on high school kids for having arguments not as polished as your own. But when comparing the two, it can be said that the IQ of the Sacred Heart children will far surpass your own by the time they're your age, we can all see that. This whole blog fiasco has become sort of "the" topic among the students, and there is a fierce loyalty for their alma mater. So you have to anticipate that such a blatant attack by Gibbons Cooney on our teachers and drama department would be met with some fiery, hormonal, yet extremely well worded, student responses.

Anonymous said...

No one was forced to see the play. Concerned parents should have contacted the principal at SHP. He is a reasonable man and would never force any one to see the play. He respects others opinions even if he does not agree with them...I was personally impressed with how he handled this matter and he eased the concern I had regarding the play. So parents who state that their children were forced to see the play never contacted the principal at SHP.

Anonymous said...

Concerned Sacred Heart Student 11:29,

You asked, "One thing I honestly don't understand about many comments posted is when you say that you don't hate gays, and you love all people, how can you deny someone the right to marry?"

The answer is simple: marriage, by definition, is a union between a man and a woman. Unions of the same sex don't meet the definition. People can call gay unions "marriage", but that would be as foolish as calling a circle a square. A circle and a square are two different kinds of things, and they should have two different names.

Opposite sex unions and gay unions are two different kinds of things, and they should therefore not be given the same names; they should have different names.

There are obvious biological differences between opposite sex unions and gay unions, the most important being that opposite sex unions are capable of true, reproductive bodily union whereas gay unions do not follow nature's biological design. Gay unions are like trying to get electricity by putting two electrical plugs together or two sockets together; it will never work. But you can get electricity by putting a plug in a socket. If you follow the design, you end up right; if you don't follow the design, things go all wrong.

Equal rights applies to individuals. Gay individuals do have full equal rights to marry in this country and state: all people have the right to marry. But since marriage is by definition only a union between a man and a woman, gay people and straight people alike must marry someone of the opposite sex. The fact that gay people might not want to marry someone of the opposite sex isn't the fault of the law nor is it a denial of their rights. Gay people can get married right now in California.

It would not be justice to change the definition of marriage to include gay unions because then you would be treating unequal things equally. Justice treats equal things equally and unequal things unequally. Gay unions are biologically unequal (actually they are inferior) to marriage between a man and a woman, therefore it would be unjust to treat the two different kinds of unions equally under the law by giving them both the same name.

You are confusing individual rights, which everyone already has equally (whether gay or straight) with associative rights. You want to argue that couples of the same sex should be viewed the same under the law as couples of opposite sex. I have already explained why that would be unjust: they are not biologically equal types of relationships.

Notice that this is not a matter of hatred, as the supporters of gay marriage so desperately want to apply to their opposition. There is no hatred in recognizing that gay unions are biologically inferior to straight unions. It's just a matter of objective biology and logical conclusion based on scientific facts. Applying the label "hater" to the opposition is a tactic to try and win the debate, not on the facts, but on emotional appeals. Gay marriage cannot win on the facts because, as I have explained, the facts do not support gay unions being equal to straight unions.

Furthermore, would you extend the right to marry to people who wanted to form unions of three, or four or five people? If not, how would you deny them their right to form a marriage of three or four or five? Shouldn't all people have equal rights to marry whomever and however many people they want to? After all, doesn't love make a marriage?

No, love alone does not make a marriage. Because you have to have one man and one woman to make a marriage.

Those who make emotional appeals to love as the basis for marriage are ignoring the biological design of sexual differentiation that obviously gives a natural superiority to the union between a man and a woman. Biology 101 should be all that is necessary to realize that gay marriage is wrong.

You are on the wrong side of the argument. Generations from now will look back at this blip in our society and wonder what went wrong in America and her schools that so many people believed in something so utterly absurd as gay marriage.

Are your religion classes teaching you this? Are they discussing Catholic doctrine about marriage?

Anonymous said...

Most Freshman parents were not aware that their children were going to see the play since no notice was sent home and most high school students do not tell you the daily happenings at school. Even afterward, few parents were made aware of the content other than that it was about tolerance. But the message goes far beyond tolerance and itself has no tolerance for the Christians portrayed in the play! The school has gotten so liberal that conservative students often have to bite their tongue so that they are not ridiculed:over 90% of the teachers voted for Obama in the school's mock election and the freshman class had the lowerst Obama vote at about 65% and that percentage goes up with each higher grade, which says something about what they are learning. Another irony is that the principal is the head of the Young Republican club. Everyone knows he is not a true conservative so few students are comfortable joining what should be a safe haven to voice minority views.

Anonymous said...

the play has not been cancelled. only the location, to a catholic university

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:52 AM:

Can you give us any evidence for this?

Gibbons in SF

Anonymous said...

My daughter attends SHP, and we have have found it to be an incredible school with so much to offer. But after watching the play, we didn't understand why the Freshmen class was required to see it but not the other classes. We felt 14 year olds were not ready for this subject matter in the way it was presented. There were extremely inappropriate dialoges between characters encouraging the use of pornography which made them feel very uncomfortable. In a Catholic school where spirituality is important, this doesn't fit in to the criteria of the school in any way. We have stressed the importance of tolerance to gays and had many discussions with our daughter so that she is aware of these issues. Shouldn't all children's views even if they don't believe the same way be voiced and teachers be sensitive to opposite view points . without consequence? Most kids that saw the play that felt it was in appropriate, were too afraid to say so because they would be labeled Homophobic.

B said...

In response to whether or not the play was mandatory: I asked a freshman at my school (Sacred Heart) and she told me that it was initially mandatory, but after seeing the backlash from all the parents the school made it optional.

Anonymous said...

We've had lots of people comment, or the same person has commented many times, to the effect that "Be Still and Know" will be performed at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco this Sunday. Lots of comments, no evidence. I've been unable to verify this. Any actual evidence (time, venue--please don't just say USF, it is a big place--any links with information) would be appreciated.

Gibbons in SF

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to make it clear that watching the play was by no means mandatory and that I find it really interesting that all of you strangers, who claim to have good morals, are so quick to judge students like me.
The play was great and from my perspective it really did not change anyone's beliefs on homosexuality. Basically anyone who went to see it either went in not supporting homosexuality and came out that way or went in supporting homosexuality and came out that way. Although it did not change most people's beliefs, it really did make the audience think about the issue. I found that even though some people still don't accept homosexuality, they now have more tolerance towards homosexuals, which I think was more or less the goal.
A few things I'd like to clarify:
~To the person who said that the play was inappropriate~
I will say that it was a bit odd to hear some stuff that was said in this high school play, such as pornography, because that was just weird. But honestly, if your kids watch Gossip Girl or even House, they are exposed to way more inappropriate behavior and words like pornography. Therefore, if your children watch these shows it was probably not very uncomfortable for them.
~About the kiss~
The kiss between two of the male actors in the play was very innocent. It was not dirty or erotic or anything you people are probably thinking. The kiss was merely a peck on the cheek and was barely noticeable to the audience.
~And to the people who say the parents were not aware of the play~
SHP has many ways by which they communicate with parents. The play had been announced from the beginning of the year and was on all bulletins that every parent receives by email. Also there were various posters placed on bulletin boards, fences, and doors on campus. Even if you are not an involved parent at SHP, it was pretty hard to overlook these announcements. The announcements that were sent our clearly conveyed that the freshmen were going to watch the performance as part of our regular school day.
~And to the people who say that it is unfair only freshman had to see it~
Yes, freshmen were the only class that had the play scheduled into their day, but I know that most other students went to watch it as well. I myself watched it twice. The reason why other grades did not watch it as a class was because of time. The 10, 11, &12th grade have a higher work load then freshmen, which makes it harder to shorten there classes. Also, two members of the freshmen class raised the issue of using hurtful words to describe homosexuals such as fagget. I think the school wanted to see it as a class to learn that words such as that one are very hurtful.
~To the people who keep correcting our grammar~
As you said we are students, we are still learning, therefore, it would be great if you could back off and focus on the issue. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:40AM:

That's actually a pretty helpful description. I'd point out that a couple of times (comparing the play to contemporary TV, and noting that it probably did not make the students uncomfortable) you are not setting the bar very high--particularly for a Catholic school. God bless you!

I any case, the forced cancellation of the play at MHR by our Archdiocese (God bless them!)makes quite clear its inappropraiteness for an Archdiocesan institution.

If I were a Catholic parent of a Sacred Heart student, I’d ask some questions about why a Catholic School is producing a play that the Archdiocese cancels as soon as they learn of it.

Gibbons in SF

Anonymous said...

As a student of SHP who has taken a mandatory class on "Social Ethics," everything we learned was related to Catholic Social Teaching. We constantly used CST to justify our research on various social issues, including same sex marriage. There is no doubt that the Catholic Church opposes gay marriage and same-sex relationships. However, it does teach that homosexual persons deserve respect, justice and pastoral care. I believe this play's goal is to show that homosexuals should be treated with dignity and respect. It is not trying to impose the idea that same sex marriage should be legal. Though the Catholic Church may condemn homosexual acts, it does not condemn the individual. In that sense, I see no reason as to why this play should not be performed at a Catholic School that promotes the dignity of the human person.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:26 PM: You say "There is no doubt that the Catholic Church opposes gay marriage and same-sex relationships."

That's right, and there is also no doubt that this teaching is not accepted at Most Holy Redeemer.

At least seven persons who serve in liturgical functions at Mass at MHR are same-sex "married" right now. At least five past and present members of the pastoral council have contributed to the "No on Proposition 8" campaign.

So as I asked in the blog post: why is (now was, thank heavens) a play that challenges Church teaching on homosexuality being performed at MHR? The last thing needed there is something that challenges Church teaching. The one thing absolutely needed there is genuine and unambiguous teaching on this issue.

Gibbons in SF

SHP Freshman said...

*First Commenter* I don't believe I have done a disservice to my school in voicing my opinion to you because frankly, I don't want a parent like you deciding what is right and wrong. Who are we to decide what is right and wrong? How dare you try and take away these people's rights to be equal. You speak against them as if you are so perfect and above it all but the bible says "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Anonymous said...

I think everyone is missing the point...it does not matter where this play is being performed...The fact is that it represents the school.

Anonymous said...

To SHP09, What a beautiful, truly Catholic and Christian viewpoint. Thank you so very, very for your thoughtful and heartfelt comments.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the mission of the school has been compromised. “Our Mission is grounded in the spirituality of the Society of the Religions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Evolving Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church” We are taught to love one another and have never been taught to love what someone does that may be sinful. SHS had many choices to choose from for the loving homosexual people message and choose one that was not “Grounded in the Roman Catholic Church”. This clearly is a violation of the Schools Mission Statement. Do Roman Catholic’s love homosexuals? Absolutely!. Jesus taught us to love one another and this above all was his top commandment. He does not teach us to love the sin that we may have. Unfortunately this makes the schools decision to put on this controversial play look scandalous and reckless. Why do I want my child to attend a school that does not treat the issue of faith with great care?

When Archbishop George Niederauer forced cancellation of the play at Most Holly Redeemer Church) they (our Principal?) moved the play to another location (still put on by the SHS kids) for his parish to see? Have we now moved to a new level by acting in defiance of our own Archbishop? Does the leadership of the school have a hidden agenda? Have they asked the Archbishop for help and guidance?

Anonymous said...

I didn't go to Sacred Heart or any Catholic high school, but I did graduate from USF, and I knew plenty of SH/SI grads who labored under the mistaken notion that they were Catholics. Sigh. They sound just like many on this post.

You cannot be Catholic and then posit views that are in DIRECT OPPOSITION to Catholic teaching. I'm not sure why that's so confusing.

I'm constantly befuddled by those who hold onto some crazy hope that someday the Church will sanction homosexual behavior, abortion, women priests, etc.

To them I say: MOVE ON, PEOPLE! If you can't deal with the reality, the unchanging, immutable reality of what it means to say, "I'm Catholic," then do us and yourself a favor and quit pretending. Go be a Unitarian or something. You'll have no end of people congratulating you for your 'feelings'.

To the teachers, priests, and nuns who are in this crowd: Why must you keep hammering away at an institution that will not, that cannot, change? Why are you confusing moral truth for mere desire or feeling, and in the process taking impressionable, earnest, intelligent young people and warping their sense of truth?

I'm so glad I don't live in that carnival called San Francisco anymore. You can have it. It's things like this that convinced me, long before I was a parent, that it was no place to raise children. Q.E.D.