Sacred figures removed in the name of “inclusion.”
Legal Insurrection colleague Kemberlee Kaye noted that one would be hard pressed to name the dumbest thing to happen last week in the name of inclusivity and tolerance.
However, I think it would be a safe bet that the actions of a California Catholic school would pose fierce competition for that title.
A California Catholic school is facing a backlash from parents after officials took down some religious statues — including one of Mary and baby Jesus — over concerns that they were “alienating” prospective students.
The head of the San Domenico School in San Anselmo said parents of some prospective students who visited the campus – which was founded in 1850 and serves 671 students grades K-12 — expressed concern about the religious figures, according to the Marin Independent Journal.
“If you walk on the campus and the first thing you confront is three or four statues of St. Dominic or St. Francis, it could be alienating for that other religion, and we didn’t want to further that feeling,” Amy Skewes-Cox, who chairs the school’s board of trustees.
Not surprisingly, parents sending their children to the institution are not happy with the posturing.
In an email to the school’s board of directors, Dominican Sisters of San Rafael and the head of school, Shannon Fitzpatrick objected to the removal of the statues and other steps the school has taken in an effort to make the school more inclusive.
“Articulating an inclusive foundation appears to mean letting go of San Domenico’s 167-year tradition as a Dominican Catholic school and being both afraid and ashamed to celebrate one’s heritage and beliefs,” wrote Fitzpatrick, whose 8-year-old son attends the school.
…Cheryl Newell, who had four children graduate from San Domenico, said, “I am extremely disappointed in the school and the direction they’ve been going. This isn’t a new thing that they’ve been intentionally eroding their Catholic heritage. They’re trying to be something for everyone and they’re making no one happy.”
Representatives from the institution deny that the move has anything to do with the unrest after Charlottesville.
Amy Skewes-Cox, who heads San Domenico School’s board of trustees, said at least 18 of the 180 religious icons still remain at the school as part of a plan approved unanimously by the board last year, the Marin Independent Journal reported.
Ms. Skewes-Cox said the timing of the statues’ removals and the national statue debate spurring from the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, is an unfortunate coincidence and have “absolutely no connection other than it is change, and people have a hard time with change.”
I would argue that if someone is shaken by seeing statues of the two most significant figures in the Catholic faith, then perhaps selecting a school with a more secular history that is not named for a Catholic saint would be the better match. There are plenty of those in California.
I will be saying prayers in Mass this Sunday that the upcoming week will bring saner, and better, news for all of us.DONATE
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