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High School Seniors Told Gay Marriage Is Bestiality At Mandatory School Assembly

by David Badash on April 4, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,News,Politics,Religion

Post image for High School Seniors Told Gay Marriage Is Bestiality At Mandatory School Assembly

A Catholic priest who hosted a mandatory assembly told seniors at Minneapolis’ DeLaSalle high school that single parents and children who are adopted are not normal, preached against same-sex marriage, and a Catholic couple who presented with the priest told the students gay marriage was akin to bestiality, all apparently in an effort to influence the seniors — soon to be of legal voting age — to vote for the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment facing Minnesota, according to a report.

DeLaSalle touts itself as “a diverse community of teachers, learners, alumni, parents and volunteers,” whose “mission is to serve students from Minneapolis and surrounding communities who seek a high-quality, values-based, academic preparation for life,” and to “fulfill this mission, in part, by respecting and affirming our heritage as a Catholic High school in the Lasallian tradition.”

The students, however, to their credit, were not having it.

While the name of the Catholic priest was not disclosed, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, who sent the priest, is headed by the infamous Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt (image, top,) who in 2010 began an anti-same-sex marriage campaign by producing and mailing to Minnesota residents 400,000 DVDs proclaiming the sins of same-sex marriage. Nienstedt has banned gay prayer services, “refused the Eucharist to students wearing rainbow buttons,” and has publicly banned “open dissension” from his priests on matters related to same-sex marriage.

Jon Tevlin at the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes:

When DeLaSalle senior Matt Bliss heard rumors that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis planned to hold a mandatory school assembly to talk about marriage, and potentially gay marriage, he remembers thinking, “This is not going to end well.”

He was right.

“The first three-quarters of the presentation were really good,” said Bliss. “They talked about what is marriage and how marriage helps us as a society. Then it started going downhill when they started talking about single parents and adopted kids. They didn’t directly say it, but they implied that kids who are adopted or live with single parents are less than kids with two parents of the opposite sex. They implied that a ‘normal’ family is the best family.”

“When they finally got to gay marriage, [students] were really upset,” said Bliss. “You could look around the room and feel the anger. My friend who is a lesbian started crying, and people were crying in the bathroom.”

Bliss was one of several students who stood up to argue with the representatives from the archdiocese. One girl held up a sign that said, “I love my moms.”

Hannah said students were anxious when they heard about the program and were suspicious because only seniors were required to go. “We put two and two together,” said Hannah. “All of us will be able to vote next fall [on the constitutional amendment that limits marriage to same-sex couples].”

Hannah said the presenters briefly brought up the amendment but backed off when students got angry.

A priest and a volunteer couple presented the information. When someone asked a question about two men being able to have a quality, committed relationship, the couple compared their love to bestiality, Bliss said.

“Most people got really upset,” said Bliss. “And comments about adopted kids, I found those to be really offensive. There were at least four kids there who are adopted.”

Hannah, who is adopted, said one of the presenters said that adopted kids were “sociologically unstable.” She called the comments “hurtful” and comparisons between gay love and bestiality upsetting.

“My friend said, ‘You didn’t just compare people to animals, did you?’” said Hannah. “I think everyone has a right to their opinion, and I don’t judge them on it. But we don’t force people to sit down so we can tell them their opinion is wrong.”

Jim Benson, a vice principal who was at the gathering, said that “90 percent was received well. The majority of the kids focused on the 90 percent, but some responded to the last 10 percent.”

Benson said the school expected a wide range of opinions on the topic and expected students to raise questions. He said about 20 students participated in a discussion the day after the event, and “I thought a lot of good came out of it. I thought the students were respectful.”

Asked if he thought the comments of the presenters were appropriate, Benson referred me to the archdiocese.

Jim Accurso, spokesman for the archdiocese, said most of the presentation went fine. But during a question-and-answer session, a presenter used “an unfortunate example” to answer the question and made students upset.

At one point, Bliss raised his hand and, “as politely as I could,” began to argue with the presenters. He used his knowledge of history to refute many of their points, and explained that various cultures have accepted and embraced homosexuality going back hundreds of years.

“I think they were surprised by the history I gave them and surprised that I was so calm,” said Bliss. “I don’t think they expected the response they got from the students.”

They were so upset that the priest and school officials abruptly ended the assembly.

“It was a really awful ending,” said Bliss. “It was anger, anger, anger, and then we were done and they left. This is really a bad idea.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article stated that the unnamed priest told students gay marriage is akin to bestiality. The comparison of same-sex marriage to bestiality was made by the couple, not by the priest — although the priest apparently did not correct or denounce the couple’s comments. We apologize for the error.

Hat tip: Think Progress

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kibblesbits April 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm

This is why I left the Catholic Church. Why should they get money from me? Why should they count my family (very traditional, by the way, more 'old fashioned' than most Catholics I know) amongst their numbers? I converted to something a lot more tolerant and in line with my views.

StanleyJames April 4, 2012 at 6:21 pm

YOu actually and I'm proud of you, joined the 3rd largest denomination in the USA – EX CATHOLICS, about 10 million

Alex_Parrish April 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

The Roman Catholic church is currently going-about making themselves irrelevant — as the student reactions to this presentation reveal. The sooner they become totally irrelevant (and they don't have far to go) the sooner they close their doors and go out of business. I still cannot fathom why we are giving wholesale tax-exemptions to these cretins.

StanleyJames April 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm

tks – I know so many catholic with one foot out the door. I'm doing my best to insure they realize to whom they have been paying tribute and praying –


magnacare1 April 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Is this priest brain dead because he is certainly out of touch and needs to come into the 20th century. I left the church for reasons just like this. The ignorance is unacceptable! SHAME ON THIS PRIEST!

StanleyJames April 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Wonder if he is one of the 10% fo who molested kiddies?

georgecorral April 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm

One of the many examples of the beginning of the end for the Catholic Church.

nottooold April 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm

If the Archdiocese is actively involving itself in politics, and mailing 400,000 DVDs to voters in an effort to get them to vote against the same-sex marriage issue surely seems so, then they should be investigated over their tax-exempt status. As for the presentation, the Archdiocese is certainly within their rights to discuss the Church's views on marriage and family at a Catholic high school. But when they start expressing such disgusting attitudes and hate for others they have stepped over the line. They certainly have no right to push their dogma onto non-Catholics or insist that their dogma become the law of the land.

Ramzi April 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm

take down the image of this article of the archbishop if it's not the priest who actually made the comments. that's bad journalism and you know it.

David Badash April 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm

No, I don't think I will, and no, I don't think it is. It's quite clear who the image is, the article clearly states so. Feel free to actually read the article.

Coxhere September 28, 2013 at 9:03 am

Actually, a picture of the pope, the archbishop's boss and head pedophile, needs to be at the beginning of the article. The pope is ultimately responsible for this garbage that violates human beings..

apeaceofgreen April 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm

So does this mean the priest and bishops who raped little boys are really beasts? Hmmm, quite a conundrum wouldn't ya say?
I'm not trying to be mean but I have found that people who make a pointed effort to demean one of God's creations this way are also people who have locked closets.

StanleyJames April 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm

In this case not necessarily locked closets. THe John jay Institute of criminal justice said in their report that as more gay priests entered the priesthood, the molestation rate went down.

Obvious – the gay priests were satisfying the normal desire for sex with an age apporpropiate consenting adult

The str8 priests were raping the children who were the easiest to terrorize and threaten with hell if the ratted out the priest – molester

bishopsheeney April 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Why is the church so vocal on gay marriage which it has nothing to do with when it was so silent about priests raping and abusing little children. Maybe the bishop could answer this conundrum for us. The other problem that I have is that most of the gay people that I know are priests, what's up with that?

StanleyJames April 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm

And the church will ramble about kids needing a mother and a father, while not screaming about all the single mothers.

And the church abhors divorcee, but took in Gingrich, whose on #3 and a known philanderer re #1 adn #2

Surely they conveniently forget that money is the root of all evil. Wonder how much the Grich paid.

After 3 kids ,I and my wife wish we had a few other people to help us bring up those kids.

StanleyJames April 4, 2012 at 6:35 pm

The church talks ab out religious Freedom – to demonize gays and gay marriage

What about our freedom from religion? And our gay friends freedom to marry.

BTW NOM recently got outed as re their use of gay marriage to drive a wedge between the black and gay communities.

Nom is a creature of the catholic church and the right wing xtians whose forebears gave us slavery, the kkk and segregation.

Gays are just the latest victims of these bad people

wyocowboy62 April 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm

If there is a hell (which I believe there is not) this preist will be going their…not am I gay but also adopted…this preist can GO TO HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cat923 April 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm

This is the very reason I left the Catholic church. I was confused then, as I am confused now. Is it me, or do they contradict themselves? Catholics are pro-life……my local church has a sign outside that says "pregnant? Need to talk?" What that sign should say is "Pregnant? Come in and listen to what we tell you to do." What they tell you is to have the child and give it up for adoption…through the archdiocese!!!! So how could this "Catholic couple" say those terrible things about adopted children???? Terrible….terrible……terrible. Very irresponsible. UGH!!!!!!

BillyStorm April 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm

No offense, but this is typical journalism these days. Making claims, likely taking content out of context, and not even providing the reader with enough direct and accurate quotations and facts for readers to form their own opinions.

Craig_Oregon April 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm

To put this story in its proper perspective…and see the impacts of what was said, see this blog entry:

Thanks for thinking, reading, and sharing.

Buffy April 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm

"They didn’t directly say it, but they implied that kids who are adopted or live with single parents are less than kids with two parents of the opposite sex."

Does this mean the Catholic church is going to get out of the adoption business?

stazimel April 5, 2012 at 11:54 pm

not really sure why a priest would be talking to teenagers about how great marriage is anyway..

Lee April 7, 2012 at 10:51 am

What a horrible story. A school isn't a forum for opinions, especially not such hateful ones as these. I'd be very proud of those students who had the courage to stand up to these people and to not just calmly accept it. I think anger is the right thing to feel in this situation. More people should get angry about the vile hate, discrimination and ignorance that is being preached in schools.

Robgreenberg1 July 25, 2013 at 7:28 pm

not really sure why a priest would be talking to teenagers about how great marriage is anyway.. A good point but I have another opinion…

elizapar11 September 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Who cares what this little ignorant boy thinks? Catholics, Christians and other religious followers believe in fairy tales.

DarthEVaderCheney November 8, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Wouldn't you think by now that the Roaming Priests of the $Catholic$ church would be so sick of this crap, that they would change their ways, and make every effort to clean up the disasters of the past, post haste. Bishop Finn of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese is still in offce and HE was arrested, charged, found guilty of hiding the pedophile priest's computer photos AND the priest (who is now in jail) and received a "slap" on the wrist for his actions, PLUS the Pious One is a member of Opus Dei! Nice resume, chief!

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