Monday, March 10, 2008


Remember that religious high school in Kansas that refused to play a basketball game officiated by a female referee? You may have heard that the school simply didn't believe that females should have authority over males, but it turns out that was completely wrong.

Or maybe not completely wrong...

...Initial reports stated that the school, citing religious beliefs, did not allow women to have authority over men, and therefore could not permit a woman to referee boys. School officials aren't speaking publicly on the matter, but St. Mary’s headmaster Rev. Fr. Vincent A. Griego did release a statement.

"This alleged reason was neither stated nor is it held by any official of St. Mary’s Academy," Griego wrote. He went on to write that: "The Church has always promoted the ideal of forming and educating boys and girls separately during the adolescent years, especially in physical education.... In addition, our school aims to instill in our boys the proper respect for women and girls. Teaching our boys to treat ladies with deference, we cannot place them in an aggressive athletic competition where they are forced to play inhibited by their concern about running into a female referee."

Oh. How thoughtful of the school to recognize that this woman, with her inferior woman-brain, can't possibly assess the risks to the womb-vessel that is her body, and thus requires a patriarchal church to do it for her.


... St. Mary's Academy is affiliated with Society of St. Pius X, a Catholic traditionalist group formed in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

A Catholic University religious studies professor, William Dinges, tells us that "Archbishop Lefebvre was a French archbishop, very, very conservative." I'll say:

Archbishop Lefebvre often condemned the 1789 French Revolution, and what he called its "Masonic and anti-Catholic principles"....

Lefebvre spoke approvingly of the "Catholic order" of the wartime French Vichy regime (1940-1944), which collaborated with Nazi Germany.... In 1976, Lefebvre praised the regimes of Jorge Videla in Argentina and Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and in 1985 he spoke approvingly of the governments of Francisco Franco of Spain and Antonio Salazar of Portugal, noting that their neutrality in World War II had spared their peoples, including their Jewish populations, the suffering of the War.

Also in 1985, the French periodical
Present quoted Lefebvre as endorsing the controversial French politician Jean-Marie le Pen, leader of the Front National, on the grounds that he was the only leading French politician who was clearly opposed to abortion.

In 1990, Lefebvre was convicted in a French court and sentenced to pay a fine of 5,000 francs when he stated that, as a result of Muslim immigration into Europe, "it is your wives, your daughters, your children who will be kidnapped and dragged off to a certain kind of places as they exist in Casablanca".

By the way, in 1989, a World War II-era collaborationist who became the only Frenchman to be convicted of war crimes against humanity was captured after spending several months in a monastery run by followers of Lefebvre. A 1997 article currently posted on the Society's Web site, "The Mystery of the Jewish People in History," tells us that "Jews are known to kill Christians" and warns that "If Christians wish to remain free, let them avoid entanglements with the Jewish people." I guess sexism is the least of these folks' offenses.


Meanwhile, there's this in Israel:

In Jerusalem, more ultra-Orthodox Jews, or Harediim, are leaving their cloistered neighborhoods for cheaper housing in the suburbs. In one suburb, that has led to rising tensions and sporadic violence with their modern Orthodox and secular neighbors.

...Dr. Hahvah is a modern Orthodox woman who dresses modestly, keeps kosher and observes the Sabbath. One day driving home, she saw that someone had put up a sign in her neighborhood that read "Don't pass here unless you dress modestly."

"I find that offensive," she says. "I don't think that anybody should impose dress codes on the public."

When she tried to haul the sign down, some ultra-Orthodox pelted her and her car with rocks....

That rock attack was hardly an isolated incident. People driving on the Sabbath have been bombarded with rocks. Earlier this year in Beit Shemesh, a young Haredi woman was sitting next an Israeli soldier on a public bus when ultra-Orthodox men assaulted both of them and forced the woman off the bus. Men and women, they said, should be segregated. Later, an ultra-Orthodox man who stood up to the zealots within his own community was himself brutally beaten. He said it was like a pogrom....

The deputy mayor says some Harediim have felt estranged as rising costs and overcrowding have forced more and more of them out of their sheltered neighborhood, Mea Shariim, in the heart of Jerusalem, and into the suburbs.

"Culturally, it's a big change for them," he says. "This is the first time these group of peoples are moving out of Jerusalem, out of Mea Shariim. They're not used to seeing a woman in pants, they're not used to seeing a woman with uncovered hair, and they find it very hard to adjust."

Oh, boo hoo.

Sorry -- I'm from New York, and I like the way we do things here: You're free to follow your beliefs, but you have no reason to believe that the people around you are going to stop living their lives their way. Distracted? Deal with it.

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