(Original eight-stripe version of Pride Flag designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978.)
The Catholic school board in Halton is proposing to fly the Pride Flag to represent that our schools are "safe spaces" for those who identify with LGBTQ+. As Catholics, we should know that God is not against those who experience same-sex attractions, those who struggle with their identity or even those who have made sexual choices which are not a part of His Law.
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." - John 3:17
"I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." - Jesus, John 10:10
If the focus is on Love and inclusion then we need to be true to who Jesus Christ is.
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." - Jesus, John 13:35
"Therefore by their fruits you will know them." - Jesus, Matthew 7:20
As Catholics we do not need a flag to signal and promote to people that we're Loving. We need to actually be Loving.
"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..." - Romans 3:23
God knows that we have sin in us. That we are bound to mess up because of our sinful nature. He is of course saddened by this and even justly appalled by our sins - but not by us! Because He loves us! We are His children!
"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." - 1 John 3:1
He knows our sins, that is why Jesus came to the world: to pay the price of our sins so we can be set free from them. Jesus said to a group wanting to stone a woman caught in adultery:
“...let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” ...When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” - Jesus, John 8:7-11
What does Jesus say? Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.
Jesus forgives! If we are willing to admit our weakness, He forgives all of us! No matter what. That's Love!
And we are made for LOVE... but the LOVE we are made for is an unconditional Love that transcends all things: also known as agape. This form of Love is God, therefore, we are incapable of fully Loving a person without God. If we Love God in this way, we are guaranteed to be blessed with abundance! If we give this type of Love to a person it is bound to break us... because people are not perfect, their response to our giving of this type of Love falls short. But we need to love others, and at times it will break us. Good news: if we are full of God's Love already, then God's Love will shine through that brokenness, making it a win-win. We can only Love others when we put Love of God first, and we show God we Love Him by following His Laws.
Our desires or ideas should not dictate to us how we live our lives, but rather God's Law should instruct us and inspire us to how we live our lives.
As a society, we seem to have lost the ability and the willingness to do hard things. Everything in our modern society is served on a golden platter and we are drenched in convenience and individualism. "I know what is best", "That offends me", etc.
When a person discovers the Truth of God's Law they find the freedom to be themself. This has happened to me. I have learned that putting God's Will before our own orients us to enjoy His Creation how it was designed to be enjoyed. This does not mean it is easy. Every day I am called to sacrifice, and not always "get my way". But being obedient to God's Law is the best choice I have ever made. That being said, I struggle daily - but I know that when I fall, He will be there to help me up. After all, He's a good Father! To fly the Pride flag is to show acceptance and tolerance of all that this flag represents. Considering the media and the secular culture's association with the flag it is not appropriate to fly it at a Catholic school. It is not appropriate for this fundamental fact:
Jesus calls us by NAME and not by our sexuality.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” - Isaiah 43:1
"If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world..." - Jesus, John 15:19
"Follow me." - Matthew 4:19 (in all the Gospels)
Love and acceptance is not shared with others by a flag, rather we show Love by sharing the Truth of who God is and introducing people to the person of Jesus Christ so that all can experience His Love, Mercy and Peace. We share Love by walking with our brothers and sisters. A flag cannot heal our heart, but Jesus will.
Further reading: (bear with me, this story is ongoing so new information might have been posted since the writing of this blog) * Update about the meeting on April 20th: https://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/10377651-heated-disagreement-as-halton-catholic-district-school-board-defers-decision-on-raising-pride-flag-at-schools/ The .PDF of the previous Halton Catholic District School Board meeting held on April 6th 2021:
https://www.hcdsb.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/BOARD_2021_04_06_REPORT.pdf Catechism of the Catholic Church on Marriage, Sexuality and Same-Sex Attraction: https://www.mncatholic.org/catechism-of-the-catholic-church-on-marriage-sexuality-and-same-sex-attraction/
The Toronto Sun articles:
Lifesite News report on Hamilton Diocese support: