November 12, 2019

Be Afraid; Be Very Afraid

Did you ever hear of Sheridan School? It’s a K-8 school in northwest Washington D.C. It’s private, and if you want to send your child there, it will cost you over $36,000 per year. Not exactly a place for the indigent to get an education.

The school made the news lately went it sent a letter to parents to inform them that their students would no longer play sports at Immanuel Christian School. Immanuel’s teams could come and play at Sheridan, as they have done in the past, but not the other way around. The reason for this decision is that the faculty at Sheridan, and apparently some of the students, believe that Immanuel would not provide a safe environment.

Now the reader might be thinking that Immanuel is located in a very dangerous neighborhood, and the concerns of the Sheridan people are valid. But that’s not the case. Well, then, perhaps the Immanuel students are dirty players and seem to enjoy hurting their opponents. But that’s not the case, either. So what would create such an unsafe environment that a school refuses to go there?

According to Sheridan Headmaster Jessica Donovan, Immanuel is unsafe because it “bans LGBTQ parents, students or even families that support LGBTQ rights.” On its face, this statement is false. Any of the groups mentioned in the previous sentence could visit the school without incident.

Then why the letter? Donovan elaborates:

Forcing our children to choose between an environment in which they feel
unsafe or staying home was not an option. So we decided that we would
invite ICS to play all the games at Sheridan. Since ICS declined our offer to
host, we will only play our home games and will not go to ICS to play.

Immanuel requires that all employees reject homosexual or lesbian actions and are required to accept monogamous heterosexual marriage. It also rejects transgender identity and will expel any employees or students who publicly object to a biblical lifestyle endorsed and taught by the school.

Interestingly, Sheridan has played Immanuel several times in the past without any apparent problems. Then why this new policy? The answer is that one of the part-time faculty members is Karen Pence, the wife of Vice-Present Mike Pence. When the tolerant left learned that Immanuel believed in biblically-based virtues and that Mrs. Pence was going to teach there, the school became the target of a number of LGBTQ-supportive groups, such as the Human Rights Campaign and the Trevor Project.

So, it should come as no surprise that a social-justice warrior like Ms. Donovan should feel compelled to write her letter and reaffirm her dedication to the LGBTQ cause. If you think it is unfair of me to label her a “social-justice warrior,” here is an excerpt from the Sheridan School Diversity Vision: “We offer a curriculum that promotes social justice and challenges prejudice within a school culture that embraces and celebrates difference.” I rest my case.

But the truth, of course, is that neither the school nor Ms. Donovan really cares about celebrating difference. If that were true, wouldn’t they celebrate the fact that the Immanuel Christian School sees the world with a “different” perspective? Ah, there’s the rub. You see, it’s the wrong difference. Being a homosexual or a transgender is a good difference. Obeying the word of God is a wrong difference. Henry Ford once said about his Model T: “You can have any color you want as long as it’s black.” At Sheridan, it’s “You can have any view you want as long as it’s the same as ours.”

The Sheridan letter is arrogant and insulting. If I were the principal of Immanuel Christian School, I would pen the following letter:

Dear Immanuel Parents:

As you know, the administration of Immanuel is dedicated to providing a superior education for our students and, more importantly, instilling a love for Christ and his Word. At the same time, we must make sure that our students are safe from physical assaults.

To ensure that safety, we have decided that our athletic teams can no longer travel to Sheridan School to play their teams. After all, Sheridan is a Godless campus that promotes activities and lifestyles that are contrary to God’s Word.

For example, since homosexuality is celebrated at Sheridan, can we be assured that not one of their male athletes will “hit” on one of our male athletes? Or can we be assured that not one of their lesbian athletes will “hit” on one of our female athletes? And can we be assured that our athletes will not be accosted by a “transgender” in a bathroom that has no designation as either “male” or “female”? I’m afraid that we can get no such assurance and, thus, we must act accordingly.

I do not know the principal of Immanuel Christian School, so I don’t know if he would write such a letter. But I can dream, can’t I?

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Written by
Thomas Addis

THOMAS ADDIS is a retired high school teacher and published author, most recently authoring a children's book, A Gift of Light, which is available at Amazon. An M.A. graduate of Oakland University, he is Associate Editor of Catholic Journal. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and cycling.

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Written by Thomas Addis
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