There’s nothing inherently wrong with organized religion. Unfortunately, we have no real way of knowing or understanding life’s greatest mysteries, so if someone’s belief in a higher power can make them a better, happier person, so be it. Religion starts being a problem when it becomes an impediment to progress: namely, the idea that it’s better to accept religious dogma than it is to allow scientific breakthroughs to dictate what we know about our world.
I say all this because I’m about to go in on another bigoted Catholic high school, and I don’t want it to seem like I’m just harping on religion for the sake of harping.
Say hello to Saint Francis Prepatory School, a New York Catholic high school that has recently come under fire for firing Mark Krolikowski, a teacher who identifies as transgender, for “insubordination.” Of course, Krolikowski allegedly had a great track record, but sure, insubordination. Furthermore, after Krolikowski came out as transgender, the principal allegedly said that he was “worse than gay.” Oh my sweet fuck.
Mark Krolikowski (who prefers male pronouns and to be referred to as Mr. K by his students, according to his lawyer) received several accolades for his work over the years. According to ABC News, that work included co-leading his St. Francis Prepatory School students in a musical performance for Pope Benedict XVI.
But after Krolikowski grew out his hair and began painting his nails and wearing earrings along with suits and neckties, Bishop Leonard Conway, St. Francis Prep’s principal, objected, calling him “worse than gay” in 2011. Conway notified Krolikowski that he would no longer be welcome at public events if he arrived in women’s garb.
The New York Post reports that Kolikowski agreed to tone down his appearance and even received excellent evaluations during the 2011-2012 school year. However, in June he was told he was being insubordinate, and he was terminated in August. After months of trying to settle with the school out of court, Krolikowski is now suing for unspecified damages. [SOURCE]
See? This is the problem with religion, or any other major belief: religion is meant to uphold goodness and humanity, but more often than not, people end up devoting all their time to upholding the religion. Not only are you completely missing the point, but ultimately, you’re just not being a very good person, no matter how you gauge it.