Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –
I just read a wonderful article in the Los Angeles Times titled Many Catholic schools fight to survive where the author, Carla Rivera, attributes the 40% decline in enrollment at Catholic schools to families leaving the urban core. As a recent dad, I think the real reason why enrollment is plummeting is that parents don’t want to send their kids to places that teach intolerance.
Anybody who has driven to Santa Monica lately knows that the area is not suffering from a lack of people. Over the last seven years, more than half of the population has not left the West Side. I do know one thing that happened seven years ago: the Catholic Church started attacking lesbian and gay families, starting with Proposition 22 and an attempted Constitutional Amendment, then following up with the 2004 “Defense of Marriage” acts now spanning 27 states.
The Boy Scouts have suffered a 35% decline in enrollment since 1977, and they too blamed it on urban shifts and the rise of alternative programs. But the Girl Scouts have the same external pressures and their enrollment actually rose 3% in the same time. The difference? The Boy Scouts fought for and won the right to exclude gay kids and leaders, while the Girl Scouts welcome everybody equally.
Polls conducted by the Barna Group show that in 2004, 52% of Christians aged 16-29 described Christianity as “hypocritical — saying one thing doing another,” and 80% of Christians polled picked “anti-homosexual” as a negative adjective describing Christianity.
As a parent, I think it would be irresponsible to send my kids to a place that taught that some families are better than others, or that their place in heaven depends on who they punish here on earth. A couple of years ago I might have thought differently, but looking in their eyes now I realize that hate is taught, and it is worth every penny to send them someplace where they will learn God’s love instead of the Catholic Church’s hate.
I wish their hate didn’t extend to my government. It’s too late for you to sign AB 43, but it is time to say that it is wrong to block the Freedom to Marry.