Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kansas religious school bounces basketball official for being (gasp) female

By Diane Silver

What century are we living in? Apparently, they haven't quite reached the 21st at a private religious school northwest of Topeka. On Feb. 2, the school refused to start a boy's basketball game because one of the officials was a woman, and as we all "know" it's wrong for a female to have authority over a male.

The Kansas City Star reports:

The game was at St. Mary’s Academy, a private religious school that sits on a sprawling campus about 25 miles northwest of Topeka. Before the game started, a school administrator approached (Michelle) Campbell’s officiating partner, Darin Putthoff of Topeka, and told him a woman could not serve as referee.

That would be putting a woman in a position of authority over boys, he was told — a scenario that was contrary to beliefs at St. Mary’s Academy.

“I was upset,” Putthoff said. “So I said, ‘You’re telling me you don’t have any teachers at the school who are women?’ ”

Campbell says she was “Dumbfounded.” Add me to that list.

Putthoff and a man who had just officiated another game refused to support such backwards attitudes and walked off the court with Campbell. The game went on when a school administrator and another official stepped in.

The Star says the school is " owned and operated by the Society of St. Pius X." The Catholic group was formed in response to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Pope John Paul II, who wasn't exactly known as a liberal, excommunicated the society’s world leader, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

I have no idea whether what St. Mary's did was legal, but I do know that it's frightening because this event reveals an incredibly -- to put it nicely -- "narrow" and prejudicial attitude being taught at that school. If you follow the line of thought of the St. Mary's official, should a woman even have authority over her own male child?


Anonymous said...

Looks like we agree on this one: The place is run by idiots.
Moreover, it's being run by people who have standards (which is generally a Good Thing) but apply them inconsistently. This isn't surprising, since the school claims to be producing good Catholics when its parent organization's founder, Archbishop Lefebvre, was excommunicated (a technical term which means "not a good Catholic" among other things). The Society of St. Pius X is one of the heretical groups at the fringes of the Church of Rome, having split off after Vatican II. My impression is that they're none too happy with the Council of Trent, either, but that's another question. A Wall Street Journal article about 15 years ago suggested that adherents of the society in the area were stockpiling weapons down in their basements, and even today the community is said to overlook denominational lines to support Him Of Whom We Are Sworn Not To Speak".
Of course there are female teachers at St. Mary's Academy. There are probably even nuns. From the rest of the story, it sounds like they may get their accreditation pulled by the high school activities association, but it sounds also as if they've already figured out that their AD's decision was pretty lame at best.
I wonder whether said AD would take that kind of position when he gets pulled over by a female Kansas State Trooper.

Raphael said...

So it's finally happened.

It was only a matter of time before St. Mary's Academy and College (SMAC - I like to call it St. Marys Asylum and Cult) would make headlines for its insanity.

I went to this school for 5 years, and can say that it was absolutely the most negative, destructive, mentally torturous experience in my life. I have a truck loads of emotional baggage, and am still incredibly bitter for having attending such psychotic, misogynistic school. I left St. Marys when i was 15, and am now 24 - and I'm STILL not over it.

This ref example is just ONE tiny incident compared to the crimes and abuses that go on at St. Marys every day. Other examples: we girls weren't allowed gym class because it wasn't feminine, girls couldn't take philosophy because we weren't intellectually capable of grasping it, a girl got expelled her senior year for waving at a boy, etc. Verbal beratements are a regular part of life at St. Marys (sometimes from the pulpit in church) - I'll never forget the headmaster calling me a "dispicable B****" in front of my classmates when I was 14. I can't begin to tell you all of my horror stories.

St. Mary's is a place run by fear tactics, conformity, and guilt. I truly believe it is a cult. Can you tell I am scarred for life?

There are lots of good parishoners there, but unfortunately when you are saturated in a certain environment, it begins to seep into you. Trust me, it happened to me and my family.

For everything I had to suffer, and my friends had to suffer, I hope this place ends up on 60 Minutes.

Anonymous said...

I married into a family of West Texas, white Southern Baptists, and I'd have to agree. The Church of Rome is Bad News. St. Mary's Academy is arguably even worse.