Giving Mercy A Bad Name? Catholic School Cancels Goodwill Ramadan Dinner

A goodwill dinner planned for Ramadan at the Catholic Mother of Mercy High School in Cincinnati has been cancelled after an outcry from parents. The wonderful interfaith gesture to the Muslim community ended in sectarian prejudices as parents objected it was too close to the 9-11 anniversary and “sent the wrong message.” My favorite quote came from one parent who said “I’m glad it’s canceled; it wasn’t a good thing . . . It would have really given Mercy a bad name.” Yes, Mercy now stands for something entirely different.

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr wrote a letter to the school in response to letters from parents, asking for the cancellation. Some parents criticized the association with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has long been a target of critics. CAIR insists that it has always denounced terrorism. Moreover, if the parents wanted other Islamic groups to take the lead or to participate, I am sure that could have been arranged.

The closeness to the 9-11 anniversary only heightened the significance of this gesture. The dinner could have shown unity and fellowship between religions — and a rejection of the petty prejudices that divide the country.

Source: Toledo Blade

11 thoughts on “Giving Mercy A Bad Name? Catholic School Cancels Goodwill Ramadan Dinner”

  1. Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity to do the right thing in brining people together.

  2. What, pray tell, was the “wrong message”? Was perhaps the “wrong” message compassion? Cooperation? Forgiveness (at one time a hallmark of Catholicism)? Acceptance of others? There are a lot of these wrong messages the kids won’t be getting. But, they’ll sure get a strong dose of these RIGHT(wingnut) messages: Prejudice, bigotry, intolerance, selfishness, fear, hate………………all the things that make conservatives stand out in a crowd.

  3. sigh… This story reminded me of the only time I’ve really enjoyed eating lamb – it was at an interfaith Passover meal at my Catholic grammar school.

    (Of course, my Catholic grammar school was a bit weird in that among my grade there was at least one Jewish kid, one Hindu kid, several Protestant kids and a couple of non-religious kids, plus the parish was constantly in hot water for having girl “altar boys” and one mass a week that, while not officially designated as such, was clearly known as “the gay mass” – the parish was in the heart of Chicago’s “boys town.” Not surprisingly, when there was a small fire in the church, the diosesces jumped at the opportunity and finally took up the adjacent hospital’s long standing offer to sell off the land for hospital expansion…)

    A friend of mine is a junior-high history teacher in a rural school district outside of Dixon, IL. For his students, roughly 13 year-olds, the events of September 11, 2001 have simply “always been” as part of their psychological landscape. At the beginning of each school year, he asks his new students about 9/11 – not surprisingly, many (most?) of them aren’t clear on what actually happened or even where. Of course, like most Americans, the students generally have no idea who generally was responsible for the attacks. (People from Saudi Arabia? Is that a city? A continent?)

    I wonder how many of the parents at this school have anything like a reasonable knowledge of what happened on 9/11 or who the attackers were?

  4. Martin, ((*_*))
    Seems to me the folks who yell the loudest about how Christian they are behave it the least. Of course this is from the religion that gives you ‘it is ok to be a pedophile priest, as long as we just keep[ moving you around to other schools where you have access to children.”
    (Yes I know it is not all Catholics – and this is true in both instances, the article and the pedophiliacs.)

  5. Reminds me of a pastor who reported he came into the congregation of 120 people, and after faithfully preaching the gospel for a year and a half, got it down to 20.

  6. Yes Virginia, there is a Grinch……

    I wonder how these folks would feel if Christmas was cancelled….It was a floating Holiday for a few century’s, to wit: January 5th, January 6th, March 25th, March 28th, April 19th, April 20th, May 20th, August 21st, November 17th and November 19th.

    Finally, December 25th was made as Christ’s birthday in 354 AD/CE called the Calendar of Filocalus or Philocalian Calendar. In addition to listing the 25th of December as the Natalis Invicti, which means “Birth of the Unconquered (Sun),” the Calendar also names the day as that of natus Christus in Betleem Iudeae: “Birth of Christ in Bethlehem Judea.” Hence, we can see that people of the fourth century were clearly aware of the association, if not identification, of Christ with the sun, as they had been in Cyprian’s time and earlier, since Jesus is claimed to be the “Sun of Righteousness” in the Old Testament book of Malachi (4:2).

    Advancing a Millennium century and a few century’s…

    In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, “cancelled” Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

    The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

    After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America’s new constitution. Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.

    Washington Irving reinvents Christmas

    It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday?

    The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.

    I have read this book in the hard form and if you’re looking for some heaving light reading…I suggest the same…

    You know the internet is a wonderful tool…..


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