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Minnesota Catholic School Forces Teacher to Resign for Disagreeing with Church on Gay Marriage

Trish Cameron, a Minnesota fifth-grade teacher at St. Joseph's School in Moorhead, Minnesota was forced to resign after responding to a questionnaire given to her by the school which asked her about the church's teachings.

StjosephsCameron, who had been at the school for 11 years, said it was her personal support for gay marriage that got her fired.

The Forum reports:

In a letter sent to St. Joseph’s staff and families, Trish Cameron said she was told June 1 she would not be offered a contract for the following school year because of her response to a question on a self-evaluation.

The question concerned whether she supported the Catholic Church’s teachings, she wrote in the letter.

Her response, as quoted in her letter, reads: “I do not agree w/ all Church teachings on a personal level but I do not bring my own opinions into our religion classes. We tend to focus on respect and love for one another and living out our call as servants whenever a ‘political’ topic crops (which it rarely, if ever, does).”

After a later discussion with school administration, Cameron said in the letter that she told them she did not agree with the church’s stance against gay marriage. Because of her dissent, she was asked to write a brief letter of resignation.

The school sent a letter to parents calling it “an unfortunate circumstance” but said it was the school’s “fiduciary responsibility” to ask her to leave.

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  1. Again, sad to see, you sleep with dogs, you'll catch fleas. But that doesn't excuse this blatant all-out assault we're not seeing from Catholic bigots against our community and anyone, gay and straight, who isn't openly anti-gay. With that being said, if this is what they want, then ultimately, they're hurting their own cause. Just says it all, really, that a teacher for 11 years at the school suddenly becomes unqualified because she's not anti-gay, rather than her actual teaching skills. Sick people.

    Posted by: Francis | Jun 11, 2012 6:31:48 PM


  2. I have no problem with parochial schools of any religion enforcing doctrinal standards on their staff long as they run they school without government money. If this school gets a government subsidy of any kind beyond tax-exemption (which also applies to non-religious charitable institutions and schools) then they need to follow government hiring guidelines and not discriminate. This is not rocket-science folks. If you take our money, you must not discriminate. Period.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Jun 11, 2012 6:35:41 PM


  3. Pfffbtbt to that. The school made it clear: they have a FIDUCIARY responsibility, not a MORAL responsibility. Which means their finances are held hostage by bigots. Or so they claim.

    Of course the FIDUCIARY responsibility of the POPE is about to change revenue streams when this teacher and the ACLU sue the church and school.

    Five million ought to be just about right.

    Maybe the Pope can hand pay her out of that Priest Pedophile fund.

    Posted by: Mic | Jun 11, 2012 6:56:05 PM


  4. Why ask for a resignation if her contract is ending?

    Posted by: JJ | Jun 11, 2012 7:01:03 PM


  5. I have so many mixed feelings about this. If Ms. Cameron really supports marriage equality, then this is the break she needs to lead a life with a clearer conscious. (Of course, very few of us get to lead pure lives.) Then again I hate to see someone lose their job and if she were really desperate, I would not blame her for lying to keep a job to feed her kids.

    But Francis is right. There is this zealous enforcement of towing the doctrine line when the church continues to cover up sexual abuse, and now, financial crimes, among other things. They often single out the women in these situations.

    Something is stirring in the American Catholic Church. I would not be surprised if we saw some type of revolt. It is starting to happen in Ireland. I bet in 10 years, the church in the US will be a shell of its former self.

    Posted by: Angela Channing | Jun 11, 2012 7:07:11 PM


  6. Meanwhile, Christians are constantly claiming that they are being discriminated against (e.g., that wedding photographer in NM). But someone it is perfectly fine for them to discriminate against people.

    Posted by: jht | Jun 11, 2012 7:22:25 PM


  7. Isn't this the way Stalin rolled? I guess the Bishops will soon be opening "re-education camps" for errant Catholics who don't tow the Papal line. The disappearances start soon after.

    Posted by: RWG | Jun 11, 2012 7:50:15 PM


  8. Questions for catholic laity: Do you agree with church leadership? If not, what are you doing to change their policies or change them? If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. HINT: Joe Rat. and his fellow criminals need lots of $$$$$ to live the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed.

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Jun 11, 2012 7:50:38 PM


  9. Hard to believe church attendance is going down... Firing great teachers for not being rabidly anti gay, threatening to stop feeding the poor if gays can marry, closing adoption centers rather than give children to qualified gay parents, refuse to give the after morning pill to rape victims, what's not to love?

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Jun 11, 2012 8:00:11 PM


  10. America is not Russia or Nazi Germany, it is time these anti-gay Catholics stop their hate and discrimination against American who stand up for the equal rights and freedoms of all Americans.

    Posted by: Dave | Jun 11, 2012 8:01:29 PM


  11. I really hope that some of these schools that are in desperate need of good teachers are reaching out to these teachers. I also hope that teachers who are gay and working in Catholic schools are preparing an exit strategy so they're not caught off guard if this happens to them.

    Terrible.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Jun 11, 2012 8:07:37 PM


  12. Ditto at ALEX PARRISH - "I have no problem with parochial schools of any religion enforcing doctrinal standards on their staff long as they run they school without government money."

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Jun 11, 2012 8:08:33 PM


  13. It's a good thing the teacher wasn't disagreeing with the leaders of Iran, she'd be beheaded while the rest of here in America cry and moan because we're so mistreated compared to the gay men in Iran who were just hanged.

    Posted by: Alan | Jun 11, 2012 8:20:16 PM


  14. @MIC: though we are used to seeing the word "fiduciary" only used in reference to finances, in fact it means "relating to trust or faith". The school is claiming, awkwardly, to have a duty to defend the "universal faith" against the dire threat posed to it by a fifth-grade teacher who doesn't hate gays enough. The justification statement, though indefensible, is therefore slightly less ridiculous than it seems on face; it's the church's zero tolerance for freedom of conscience that is objectionable, its actions rather than its statements.

    Posted by: Vint | Jun 11, 2012 8:20:37 PM


  15. And I'm certain that they are determining who among staff is using birth control & those people will be fired as well?

    No? So infringements to Khurch teaching are only relevant when it involves homos?

    Yes, your policy is perfectly clear.

    How ANYONE continues to walk thru their doors is completely beyond my understanding.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Jun 11, 2012 8:21:00 PM


  16. Surprisingly, I don't have a problem with a teacher in a Catholic school being asked to resign after admitting she doesn't support church teachings. She knew or ahould have known the deal going into it.

    My question is: Why are there church-attached schools that are subsidized by taxpayers? Yes, tax exemptions are nothing but a subsidy borne by all taxpayers.

    Maybe it is time we say enough is enough. If the Church wants to control the education of children (doesn't sound good to me), then the Church should shoulder the full cost.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Jun 11, 2012 8:36:54 PM


  17. Interesting that there are now more references to "the American Catholic church" than ever before. It always used to be "the Roman Catholic church." Little changes in language preparing the way for the collapse of Roman rule?

    If a major earthquake reduced Vatican City to rubble I doubt that it would ever be rebuilt. Even without an act of god the foundations are getting shaky. (irony intended)

    Posted by: doctrine uber alles | Jun 11, 2012 8:56:05 PM


  18. another reminder that catholicism is based on lying. Al she had to do was be like tens of millions of catholics who use birth control , but take the sacrament .
    Notice that she said she would not violate doctrine in the classroom , there for those who said here is that that was the right to fire her are wrong .

    Posted by: Bob | Jun 11, 2012 8:56:11 PM


  19. I was born RC and every day I put more distance between me and that CORPORATION. So, let's see a bunch of guys in dresses who call themselves holy mother church are behaving like LADY who doth protest to much, me thinks. It's why I prefer Shakespeare to Sunday Mass. What a gaggle of hypocrites. They destroy incomes and lives, but object and you are a threat to their right to Religious Freedom!

    Posted by: Edward LeMay | Jun 11, 2012 9:10:28 PM


  20. i went to this school and i know her personally and it makes me sick to see her leave she was an amazing teacher. she told the truth and look at what happened. yes i do understand it says this in the bible and yes it is a catholic school and all but she does NOT teach her opinions, i would know. i wonder how many lied and said theyre against it just so they wouldnt lose their job...

    Posted by: tyler | Jun 11, 2012 9:14:41 PM


  21. This might be crowd to get this reference, but let the age of thought crime begin!

    Posted by: Garst | Jun 11, 2012 11:30:51 PM


  22. @Tyler: There are sentences in the Bible saying that women must not teach men. There are other words there that say that divorcees must never get remarried. There are other parts that say that disobedient children must be murdered. (Only that part about divorce was Jesus' opinion, and the others were OTHER people's statements in the Bible).

    There is nothing anywhere in the Bible, though, that says that anyone should deny marriage rights to same-sex couples, let alone lose their job over it. Those ideas come from the Vatican (tge same Vatican that used to excommunicate left-handed people, denounced and had people arrested for saying the earth was round and revolves around the sun, and covered up for child-molesters in its ranks.).
    The VAST majority of American Cathilics don't agree with a lot of the Church doctrine (just look at surveys that show how many use birth control).
    I know a lot of Catholic school teachers, and every single one I know plays a game of deceit with the students. They live with and/or have sex with their own partners (on birth control), don't believe the Vbarican is any kind of moral authority worth listening to on anything, etc.
    The tesukt is that kids there don't get a full, real edication. They get an indictrination, which prevents, rather than encourages, thoughtful examination of facts and issues.
    In that sense, I disagree with thise who say they should be able to do what they want as long as they don't get subsidized. Every kid deserves to learn how to learn, rather than to be indoctrinated to avoid thinking things through.

    Posted by: Gregv | Jun 11, 2012 11:37:24 PM


  23. The church used to have a policy where members were allowed to disagree with the church on moral grounds. I'm sure that policy still exists.

    Apparently, it only exists in name.

    The leaders of that institution won't be happy until they have driven away so many members that there isn't an institution left.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jun 12, 2012 1:03:06 AM


  24. When can we start taxing these churches?

    Posted by: Barney | Jun 12, 2012 1:40:25 AM


  25. @Alan, just because gay and gay-supportive people in other countries are treated even worse than they are in the US, that doesn't make it OK to treat people badly here.

    I know what you are trying to say, but nothing other people do makes it right somewhere else.

    Posted by: Jack M | Jun 12, 2012 8:03:55 AM


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