August 23rd, 2010
08:52 PM ET

Texas school rejects 4-year-old over lesbian parents

A private religious school in Texas has denied admission to the daughter of a lesbian couple who wanted to enroll the child in preschool, citing its "clear teaching of the Christian faith" for the refusal.

In a statement e-mailed to CNN sister network HLN, the dean of St. Vincent's Cathedral School in the Dallas suburb of Bedford, Texas, said the school is standing on its principles "in matters of marriage and sex outside of marriage" by refusing to seat 4-year-old Olivia Harrison.

"St. Vincent's School as a ministry of St. Vincent's Cathedral upholds the clear teaching of the Christian faith, the Holy Bible, and the Anglican Church in North America," the Rev. Ryan Reed said.

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Filed under: Gay and lesbian • Religion
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Elizabeth Beamer

    I am sure that story about lesbian relationship is very Biblical; but so is:: Suffer not the little children to come to me. You can't cut and spindle Jesus to suit yourself. It is all or nothing–after all that is what he suffered for you.

    August 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • rrt

      How is this child suffering? Are there not any other schools in the area she can attend? Its not like she is being denied medical treatment because her parents are gay. Can she not go to public school or is that too mainstream? The only way this child is suffering is that she is being exploited for gay rights.

      August 25, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tonysold

    Good for the kid. Less risk to get abused for those religious people.

    August 25, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. MaryO

    I wonder if they have any children whose parents are remarried after divorce, or who never married in the first place. I would hope they are at least consistent.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      There's a difference here, Mary. First off, I'm not endorsing the school's decision. I have my own opinion, but that's not relevant. Let's talk about your specific point:

      Religion in general is based on the principle that people can change and walk way from their former life of wrongdoing. This means, among other things, that you are no longer committing those wrongful acts on a daily basis.

      If someone got pregnant outside of marriage and then repented of those acts, there's no ongoing sin there, so there's no cause for the church to complain. People can get divorced and re-married for many reasons; the Bible allows for divorce and re-marriage in the case of abandonment and adultery. If your husband moves out on you and hooks up with someone else, you're within your rights to divorce him and find a new husband (or just stay single.)

      On the other hand, the Anglican church obviously considers the gay lifestyle to be a conscious, every day choice – not something a person did once and got over with. In effect, every time those two women have relations, they're doing something the church doesn't approve of. This is far different than someone who did something in the past that they're not proud of and have no intention of repeating.

      So the key difference is whether the act is ongoing: The single mom believes she was wrong to fool around, and she won't do it again. The gay couple is continuing their relationship that goes against the teachings of the Anglican church (this school's sponsor.)

      August 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaryO

      Actually, Tom, Jesus made no exception for adultery at all. In fact, he says any remarriage for any reason is adultery. See Mark 10:2-12. Choosing to get and stay divorced rather than reconcile is a choice; staying remarried after divorce is a choice, and staying unmarried (which you didn't address) is also a choice.

      August 26, 2010 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Actually, Matt 5:32 in the NIV says "But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery"

      The NKJV also says "divorce", while the KJV says "put away".

      This pretty clearly says that you can divorce someone for adultery. Jesus doesn't address re-marriage of the other partner, who didn't commit adultery. Since he did not say "when either person re-marries", the only logical conclusion is that if you're cheated on and divorce the cheater, you're free to get married again.

      So I don't see an inconsistency here.

      August 26, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Madison

    Okay this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever herd of in my life. I can't believe a religious school would turn down a 4 year old who probably has NO idea what a lesbian is. This little girl has no choice or say in if her mother is gay or not!!! I can NOT believe people would actually do this to a little girl, she's freaking 4 years old!!! Also why would a church turn her down?? Wouldn't you think the church would try to help the little girl and lead her down the right path instead of just pushing her away. I'm flabbergasted. This is awful.

    August 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eyeque

    Tom & Mary O... Both statements from you make no since unless Jesus was named Matthew. This is the gospel according to Matthew... AKA opinion of Matthew. You know what they say about opinions don't you? It is a simple math problem... Look for the common denominator & solve the problem... If you look around the world today & find the common denominator of all the world conflicts & wars, religion is involved in every instance one way or another. Jesus / god is portrayed as the most peaceful loving person but the religion (be it christian or muslim or any other) is an awful, violent & discrimanatory club. If it wasn't for the money that is to be made in religion it would not exist. Oh & by the way to the idiot that said once you repent you are no longer the sinner... you can't murder someone, go to chruch & forgive yourself for killing someone & repeat the same process just to repent again. Religious people are blind to the truth to feel better about what happens when they die... You are nothing & will be nothing in the end no matter how high the pedestal you put yourself on...

    August 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • wichart

      Actually, biblical scholars agree almost universally that none of the gospels were written by the people they are attributed to, so we can't even say that this is Matthew's opinion.

      August 28, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Foxglove

    I'm a lesbian. Guess what? I happen to think it's okay for that school to discriminate. Why? Because it's a PRIVATE school, not funded by government dollars. This is a free country. They are free to exercise their religion as they see fit. If they don't want the child of lesbians in their school, then the lesbians should find a different school, where their daughter will be welcome, and so will they.

    People, there is a separation of church and state for a reason. We must allow ALL of our citizens their freedoms, and that includes these Christians who disagree with lesbians. I am also a Christian, btw. I disagree with the school, but eh. Whatever – live and let live, and to each his own.

    August 27, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      I agree with this. I'm gay, and frankly, it's a private school. Just enroll them in a public or secular private school.

      August 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Margroks

    What a load of nonsense. Typical self-righteous Christians, whining about what the Bible said and denying a child because the parents won't kowtow to their religious claptrap. The child and the parents are better off without these extremists. People who think they know what God wants us to do because they read it in the Bible or any other religious text fail to understand that God didn't write any of that stuff down. It was all just societal and cultural beliefs of the time put to paper by priests hundreds of years after the event. Anything with a grain of truth was made to fit the prejudices and POV of those who later wrote it down. It's no more the actual word of God than the phone directory and the more extremist the sect, as here, the worse it gets.

    August 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Charles

    It sounds like it's a non-issue for both sides. The parents didn't realize the school's rigid stance and the school didn't realize that "Tracy" wasn't a guy until parent/teacher night. Both sides agree that they don't want the kid attending the brain-washing... I mean 'religious education' facility and since it's a private school their admittance policy is whatever they want it to be.

    August 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jesus of Nazareth

    It's funny they call their religion 'Angelican' yet there's nothing Angelic about them.

    August 27, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Just a small point.. the religion is called "Anglican", not "Angelican." The Anglican church is part of the Church of England. And this particular church and school are likely associated with a more conservative element of that church than, say, the Episcopal Church in the USA, which is also associated with the Church of England and the larger, worldwide Anglican Communion. (The ECUSA has several gay bishops, most memorably one in New Hampshire who has served for about seven years.)

      August 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Unit34AHunt

    The child is better off without the indoctrination in stupidity that she'd get at that school.

    August 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. michelle

    dear wichart

    You really seem to have a good grasp of scripture, especially for an atheist! And you are so correct that believers should follow Yeshua (Jesus) over Paul every time. Well done. I would like to clarify that when Jesus said he didn't come to abolish the law but to fulfill it... until "all is accomplished". The accomplisment was the cross. His shed blood was the final sacrifice for sin forever, thus freeing us from the bondage of an impossible system of laws. Therefore Paul, who wrote that the law no longer applies to those who's faith is in the risen Christ, was also right. This is not a license to sin, but a new life in which Christ indwells through His Spirit and helps us with and forgives us for our sin. It is not a contridiction; simply a new covenant over-riding the old covenant. A fulfillment of the old so believers can walk into the freedom of the new. Blessings to you wichart! michelle

    August 27, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • brad

      Most athiests know the bible better than most christians. why? Because we actually read it to have substance enough to refute stupid claims. Nothing shuts up a christian more when they start touting off their favorite hate filled bible verse than when you use their own book to contradict them.

      August 27, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • wichart

      I tried posting a reply earlier, but it didn't work for some reason. I'll see if I can remember what I was going to say...

      So, when exactly did "heaven and earth pass away" and "all" get accomplished. I know Christians of certain sects like to think that the death and supposed resurrection of Jesus fulfills the "all is accomplished" part of this verse, but I'm not buying it. Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher. He believed that the world was coming to an end... SOON. To him, the "all" that was to be accomplished would be the coming of the kingdom of heaven on earth. See Matthew 24. Verse 35 is particularly relevant to our discussion because it echoes Matthew 5:18 when it says "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away". Keep in mind he says that while talking about the second coming that would mark the end of the world as we know it (and directly after he tells his apostles that this will happen while some of them are STILL ALIVE). Anyway, if you take Matthew 5 in context, and don't add context to it from Paul's beliefs, it's clear that Jesus was saying that the Mosaic Law would remain intact for as long as humans existed on this planet.

      There's an excellent, but very long-winded and technical, explanation of this at http://www.the-highway.com/mosaic-law_Welty.html.

      August 28, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. Areku

    As if we Christians don't have enough bad press already...crap.

    August 27, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. B-Dog

    What he REALLY meant to say was this...

    "I'm a Texan.
    And an American.
    And I am sick and tired
    of the way many of us Texans
    are havin' our views distorted
    by your newspapers and on TV.
    So let's get this straight.
    We do not accept Jews
    because they reject Christ.
    Their control of the international banking
    cartels are at the root of communism.
    We do not accept Papists
    because they bow to a Roman dictator.
    We do not accept Turks, Mongols,
    Tartars, Orientals nor N*****s...
    because we're here to protect
    Anglo-Saxon democracy and the American way "

    August 27, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bigdaddypaddy

    You sir are a gigantic IDIOT and a HUMAN penis. That is why youy are an occupant of Texas!!!

    August 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MTGIRL

    We all have issues we don't agree with and then we avoid them. We won't ever all be in agreement on all things. We need to base our decisions on reality not on what we want reality to be. Why would you subject your child to this type of school if you were lesbian? What is right and wrong here is what the child is being subjected to. Put the child in that school to make some sort of point??? Sure you could do that, but the school is still going to teach what they believe and then the child has to go home daily and live contrary to those teachings? Awfully confusing for the child. The child is being placed in the position of being wrong no matter what he/she does.......wrong at home if they believe what they are taught at school and wrong at school for being supportive of their parents. The denied admittance was in that child's best interest. There are other avenues for that child to be brought up with religious values. It is a parents responsibility to nurture and protect and placement in that school provides neither. This is not the fault of the school. They are who they are and that is allowable. If you don't like it then don't go there, it IS that simple.

    August 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
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