To the Editor:
Carl Linnaeus, noted Swedish zoologist and botanist, rejected the idea of carnivorous plants, e.g., venus flytrap, with the argument that such plants go “against the order of nature as willed by God.” Almost three centuries later, we recognize that Linnaeus’s argument says far more about his limited understanding of the world than it does about the nature of God’s will.
I am reminded of Linneaus’s argument every time I hear the same logic applied to argue against equal treatment for gays and lesbians; most recently, when I learned that Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School, in Boulder, Colorado will not readmit two children because their parents are lesbians. Unsurprisingly, Denver’s Arch-Bishop, Charles J. Chaput, has endorsed the school’s cruel and capricious decision, arguing that Catholic school students’ parents are expected to agree with church beliefs.
I’ll admit up front that I have no greater claim to understanding God’s will than Linnaeus or Arch-Bishop Chaput. However, I do wonder whether the Boulder school, and the Arch-Bishop, have given any thought to where this new expulsion policy will lead. For example, the Catholic Church believes that divorce is “a grave offense against the natural law.” Will the school be expelling all children with divorced parents? Similarly, the Catholic Church teaches that birth control is against natural law. Any student with fewer than four or five siblings is on notice that he or she may be the next one asked to leave.
In fact, I don’t think that children of divorced parents, or those whose parents practice responsible birth control practices, have anything to fear. The school’s justification is so obviously hypocritical that any reasonable observer is left with only one conclusion. Those children were expelled because of prejudice and fear. The School’s leaders, and Arch-Bishop Chaput, should be ashamed.