Wednesday, 25 August 2010

ACNA school in the news

Updated Saturday evening

The school is St Vincent’s Cathedral School in Bedford, Texas.

News reports:

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Bedford school turns away student because of parents’ lesbian relationship

See also, the letter to the editor (scroll down to Clarifying church ties) and there is also this.

Dallas Morning News Dallas-area school won’t take daughter of lesbian couple

CNN Texas school rejects 4-year-old over lesbian parents

Update
Episcopal CafĂ© Vincent’s dean defends rejection of student

The Very Rev. Ryan Reed, Dean of St. Vincent’s School, spoke with DallasVoice.com about the rejection of 4-year-old Olivia Harrison from his school because her parents are lesbian…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 3:25pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ACNA
Comments

And so the campaign of the so-called "orthodox" to bring Anglicanism into disrepute continues!

Posted by: JPM on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 4:41pm BST

St. Vincent's, being a private school, can be as bigoted as they wish AFAIK...

But they have no right to use the word "Episcopal" in the name of their organization. They left TEC of their own accord, so it's blatant false advertising (to say nothing of how their distasteful actions damages the reputation of real Episcopalians).

Fun fact: The (in)famous Fr. Ryan Reed, formerly of the Diocese of Fort Worth, is Dean of the school.

Posted by: David H. on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 6:18pm BST

Didn't someone once say "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God"?

Posted by: David Exham on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 6:23pm BST

The whole thing, I believe, is a result of the dishonest use of the name "Episcopal" by the ACNA/Southern Cone folks.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 6:32pm BST

I can be quite demonstrative in my affirmation of GLBT equality, but ...
The school may, to some, be disingenuous (if I'm using the word correctly), but if we take them at their word, they are saying that the values they teach may make the child feel like an outsider, the values they teach are not in alignment with what the parents might want. So they told the parents the child is not accepted after all. They told the child's parents they don't believe in same-sex marriage. BUT, they then go on to suggest that there may be schools more suitable for the child and her parents. They're not telling the child or the parents they're going to Hell. They didn't exorcise the child. No mention was made of fire and brimstone. Simply that the school is not a good fit for the child, and it isn't, in my opinion. If only all such schools were willing to show such respect.
For non-USA readers of this site, neither the United States at the federal level, nor Texas at the state level, includes sexual orientation in non-discrimination laws, to the discredit of both, IMHO. So David H. is correct in his first sentence. The school can refuse to admit them.
And, how much research did the two parents conduct about the school? Why did the school overlook or ignore the deliberate crossing out of "father", and the writing in of "mother"?
I would love it if all children were made to feel welcome at schools calling themselves "Christian". Sadly, that is not the case. Caveat Emptor. And all Emptors should do their research.

Posted by: peterpi on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 8:25pm BST

Yes...because, being 4 years old already, she has probably already contracted lesbianism, which as everyone knows is highly infectious... at other schools, even accidental contact in the playground has led to whole families going down with lesbianism, and having to be put in quarantine... lesbianism is also, of course, the cause of the breakdown of marriage in our country and a major reason for the increase of divorce between heterosexual couples... however, rumours that more 4 year olds may be kept away from school, in case other families contract 'divorce', 'greed', 'lustful looking at a woman', or 'failure to love your neighbour as yourself' are believed to be unfounded, as these illnesses are far less serious, and no threat to the institution of marriage whatsoever... just a few doses of hypocrisy, taken once or twice daily is sufficient to immunise families for life... and protect them from the dreaded gay agenda...

Advisory: REMEMBER, 4-year-olds can kill your marriage just by breathing on you, if their parents are lesbians! Do not let your children near them. We have it on reliable information that most lesbians are members of Al-Qaida. There were no lesbians on Noah's Ark, and if there were, they would have been eaten by the dinosaurs.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 9:16pm BST

If in fact, this school continues to use the word "Episcopal" in their official advertising, then I believe the Episcopal Church can in fact, sue them for copyright infringement. It will actually be necessary to do so because the damage done to the name "Episcopal" is measurable. I do agree that the parents could have researched this school before they submitted an application for their child, but this too is understandable because if the school used the word "Episcopal" it would be easy to understand why the lesbian parents would want their child to attend in view of the inclusive theology of the Episcopal Church. The bigotry of the school officials is another matter. Ultimately, they will be the losers if they are preaching and teaching hatred and bigotry. Oh yes, we all know they are using selective passages from the Bible to back up their homophobia but this strategy will also come back to bite them in the future.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 10:46pm BST

peterpi

'but if we take them at their word, they are saying that the values they teach may make the child feel like an outsider, the values they teach are not in alignment with what the parents might want'.

There were somewhat similar, and equally specious, arguments advanced in the Relate case, where it was suggested that surely gay couples would not want to visit a sexual therapy counsellor who personally believed that all gay couples would go to hell.

Those arguments were rejected in the Court of Appeal, by Lord Justice Laws, who also rejected Carey's witness statement proposals.

But this has a familiar ring to it, does it not? It used to be claimed, allegedly for the good of the children, that black youngsters should not attend schools where there was a whites because they didn't fit; they really were outsiders. It took decades to desegregate the schools; I don't think we have that amount of time to spare to fix this....

Posted by: chenier1 on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 11:21pm BST

I don't think the issue is whether or not the school was legally justified to deny admission or whether it would have been a good school for the little girl. The issues, I think, are
A. The Southern Cone/ACNA "Diocese of Fort Worth" is still using the name "Episcopal," and doesn't really make its position in the Anglican Communion clear (or rather, it's lack of position in the WWAC) on its web page. They seem to be doing this as part of their ongoing struggle to keep hold of Episcopal assets.
B. The school waited a long time before rejecting the girl - from June until late August. They should have rejected the girl pretty quickly once the application was turned in so the parents would have as much time as possible to make other arrangements.
C. The school is apparently lying through its collective teeth. They appeal to their canons to justify their behavior, but I seriously doubt they are researching the backgrounds of mixed-gender couples to make sure that they are in a canonical marriage.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 11:22pm BST

Why would you take so-called "orthodox anglicans" at their word?!

Has ten years taught no one *anything*?

You know, there's the benefit of the doubt and then there's just plain fooling yourself.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Thursday, 26 August 2010 at 4:48am BST

But the Archbishop of Canterbury has just given the ACNA de facto Anglican status by attending a gathering where Archbishop Duncan has been accorded primatial status and the liberal agenda denounced.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 26 August 2010 at 5:35am BST

This whole sad situation demonstrates the inability of the ACNA people to distinguish between their own anti-gay agenda and the impropriety of their own desire to still be associated with the Anglican Church. They will have to come to terms with the fact that, in America and Canada, they DO NOT represent the Anglican Church - no matter how they cling to their adoption by the Global South.

If there comes a definite split between Global South 'Anglicanism' (of which ACNA is now a part) and the ACO (of which TEC and the A.C.of C. are a part); then the title 'Anglican' will not belong to the Global South & ACNA, but rather to those who have remained loyal to Canterbury, the Founding Province of Anglicanism.

This latest debacle - about an ACNA school not accepting the child of Civil Partnered same-sex
parents - ought not to be seen as an 'Anglican' initiative at all - rather that of a schismatic and non-Anglican entity.

It is time Canterbury disssociated itself - and the Anglican communion - from such acts of injustice. They do not reflect true Anglicanism, whatever ACNA and the G.S. might say.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 26 August 2010 at 10:53am BST

There were two cases of Roman Catholic schools rejecting the children of gay families (or "households" as Vincent Nichols prefers to call us) earlier this year.

This is a reasonable report that covers both of these and discusses other situations dating back 5 years here:
http://smurl.name/jt62

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 26 August 2010 at 7:49pm BST

Episcopal is a term that cannot be monopolised. Maybe "Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA" would be limited and exclusive to TEC, but not episcopal.

As for the whole affair. its a obviously a set up. I can't see how any " gay family" would really want their children educated in such an environment.

Sometimes you liberals can be really petty.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 26 August 2010 at 10:48pm BST

"As for the whole affair. its a obviously a set up. I can't see how any " gay family" would really want their children educated in such an environment."

Well, Robert, they didn't know that the church school was so hateful. After all, it said "Episcopal" on the sign, not "Roman Catholic."

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 12:17am BST

And Robert, if we can't claim "Episcopal," then you shouldn't be able to claim "Catholic." Turn about fair play.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 12:18am BST

You are incorrect Robert Ian Williams. The Episcopal Church in America has EVERY legitimate claim to the word "Episcopal" when it comes to copyright infringement. Once again, you make claims that are fallacious on topics of which you know nothing. Your pettiness is well documented in the many posts you have written in these threads. It is laughable that you call liberals petty when you hold the record for hypocrisy and judgement of others.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 1:34am BST

"Sometimes you liberals can be really petty."

Yeah! You stinkin' liberals!

Petty, that's what you are - like when you go on to a blog with a view that's predominantly opposed to you in a completely different denomination and make pompous proclamations about the infallibility of the Archbishop of Canterbury or chortle about the decline in attendance of the Roman Catholic denomination or declare how Catholics complaining about unjust criticism of their child abuse scandals is petty!

Oh. . . . wait.

That wasn't *you* was it, liberals?

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 4:46am BST

They might be able to claim "episcopal" as descriptor with small "e."

However, the claim that we have a copyright has to be careful of the fact that there is, for example, such a thing as an "African Methodist Episcopal" denomination, and A. M. E. has been around a very long time, and, certainly here in the South, is no storefront, have-to-travel-sixty-miles-to-find-one tiny denomination.

The copyright infringement would be in the fraudulent use of the word Episcopal to denote the denomination to which they belong as being part of TEC.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 8:55am BST

"Episcopal is a term that cannot be monopolised." Like "Catholic", to be sure.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 11:27am BST

"You are incorrect Robert Ian Williams. The Episcopal Church in America has EVERY legitimate claim to the word "Episcopal" when it comes to copyright infringement. "

Of course that is not a trademarked term. In the United States there are actual denominations called "The United Episcopal Church, The Reformed Episcopal Church, and a couple of others. Episcopal means governed by Bishops. It's also used in old Methodist churches.

Posted by: Josh L. on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 3:20pm BST

"In the United States there are actual denominations called "The United Episcopal Church, The Reformed Episcopal Church, and a couple of others. Episcopal means governed by Bishops. It's also used in old Methodist churches."

But not, significantly, the unmodified adjective "Episcopal." And no one disputes those bodies' right to use "Episcopal" as part of their name.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 6:01pm BST

Certainly there are plenty of churches with the name "Episcopal" but it seems unfair to assume that the mothers in question were up to speed on our own internal church dramas. They have said they simply took the school's nomenclature at its word and we ought to take them at theirs. It's not unreasonable not to expect such a problem with admissions in an Episcopal school. Even knowing the school's affiliation, I had no idea that ACNA considers it a sin to be the child of same-gender parents. I would think such a draconian stance beyond even RIW's own communion.

Posted by: Geoff McL. on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 6:48pm BST

"I would think such a draconian stance beyond even RIW's own communion."

Alas, no. It's happened in the States at least once:

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/22769137/detail.html

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 7:28pm BST

Common sense plus a rather plain reading of the New Testament quickly show us that this is all nonsense, flat earth stuff played up to the point of crisis by people who cannot believe that little or nothing of the traditional claims about lesbians as mothers are empirically accurate. But of course nobody at this self-anointed academic outfit can be bothered to read the published science.

The church leaders who so pride themselves on being unable to read the long-since-published science do not deserve our time and attention on these matters in which their doctrines are so far mistaken for so long.

It all is, as I always wearily repeat: Flat Earth Stuff.

All of our best hypothesis tested evidence shows that sexual orientation functions similarly, no matter whether folks are straight, gay or somewhere in between the polarized categorical poles of the once path-breaking 1950's Kinsey spectrum.

Posted by: drdanfee on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 10:46pm BST

Bill, thank God one of us has a mastery of the English language. That was what I was *trying* to say.

I have *got* to stop reading that Williams person's speeches! Or should I say I have to stop failing to not try to stop reading them, or perhaps otherwise?

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Saturday, 28 August 2010 at 4:37am BST

If I remember correctly, St. Vincent's kept the "Episcopal" in its name, because focus groups in Texas associate "Episcopal" schools with high academic quality. Apparently, parents also associate it with tolerance, too.

Posted by: Caelius Spinator on Sunday, 29 August 2010 at 1:18pm BST

Caelius, that may be. But the schismatics have been careful to keep Episcopal as their name in other contexts, and I have to think that it's related to their attempts to retain control of diocesan assets. If you go to their web page, you'll see that they even continue to use the seal of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, as well as the name.

http://fwepiscopal.org

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Sunday, 29 August 2010 at 5:23pm BST

"If you go to their web page, you'll see that they even continue to use the seal of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, as well as the name."

Well, that ought to get them sued under federal law. Even if the diocese never registered the seal as a trademark or service mark, most courts would consider it one under common law, and infringing on a common law trademark carries the same civil penalties as infringing on a registered one.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Monday, 30 August 2010 at 2:48pm BST
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