"Do you know how insulting it was to call someone a Mick at one time?"

Straus mentioned that a Vietnamese chaplain at Seton had wondered out loud to students: "What do you say about me when I'm not in the room?"

Today, Straus will tell you that the sit-down with those kids at Seton was transformative.

He is not talking about himself.

Without Straus, without students who'd been trained by the ADL, the Jew taunt could have passed without remark.

It is always easier to say nothing.

And Catholic schools, like their secular counterparts, do not have a code of self-reporting. Far from it.

Eileen Fisher, the doyenne of the eponymous clothing line for women of a certain gravitas, remarked in a recent New Yorker profile, "I was fairly traumatized by the Catholic schools I went to. I think it is a part of my silence thing, of just always feeling it is safer to say nothing than to figure out what you think and what you want to say. It was always risky to speak at school."

Fisher must be forgiven for thinking that silence is a particularly Catholic burden.

Again and again, public school students who have been through World of Difference training gratefully confess that peer training helped them find their voice, encouraged them to speak up.

Here's how Carmen summarizes her experience: "As a freshman, I was ignorant of so many things. One of these was bigotry. I never, before ADL, realized the amount of bigotry in my home, my school, my extracurricula — in short, I was blind. ADL opened my eyes. Soon, I was really listening to people and evaluating what they said — how 'Jew' and 'nigger' and 'faggot' and 'retard' were all used as insults, and just how devastating that was.

"ADL is a slow progression, but a progression nonetheless. I have achieved removing 'homo' as an insult, from my father's vocabulary. I have achieved little things like this with a few of my friends, as well."

You may question whether a student's finding his voice is a good thing if it encourages kids to go around jacking up their parents. And you would be correct; this can come off as preachy. It is very close to a kind of cloying political correctness.

But, in Arizona, we are never too distant from a reminder of how we got to the point of training children to find strength in their voices.

In August, President Obama came to Phoenix to explain reform of an ailing mortgage industry. Obama chose a high school, Desert Vista, to stage his remarks.

He was met by picketers.

Matthew Whitaker, founding director for the Center for Study of Race and Democracy at Arizona State University characterized the protesters as "an angry horde . . . openly reminiscent of the Jim Crow South."

Demonstrators hooted at Obama's race by singing, "Bye, bye black sheep." They called the president "47 percent Negro" and a "half-white Muslim."

It was in this Arizona that teenager Lindsay operated. And, for her, race wasn't just the evening news of President Obama visiting the Valley. She dealt with it at home.

"My grandma is very racist," Lindsay observes. "And I have always known she was wrong in the things that she said; I just didn't know why she really was wrong. Since peer training, I have called my aunt [who also attends this school] on racist issues, and I hope she has become more aware because of me."

The song "It's a Small World" works well in Disneyland, where differences do not spark hostility, but the reality is more challenging.

Consider: According to the ADL, in 1997, Greenway High School had five languages, other than English, as the primary language at home in a student body of nearly 1,600. In a mere six years, in 2003, the number of languages, beside English, spoken in the homes of Greenway students had grown to 29.

Over the schools he monitors, Straus records an average of 40 to 50 incidents of school-based bigotry a year.

In the past year, a Jewish teacher had a red swastika painted on her door.


Bill Straus spoke at Seton Catholic in 2008. A year later, in 2009, the Catholic diocese kicked him to the curb.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted terminated the acclaimed national program of decency in Phoenix Catholic high schools because of personal malice.

In puissant posturing with Jewish leaders, the bishop banned the humanitarian training by the Anti-Defamation League from Seton Catholic, as well as from Notre Dame High Preparatory School in Scottsdale. And the cleric canceled plans to open an ADL program at St. Mary's Catholic High School in Phoenix.

Olmsted's action was driven by abortion politics and was entirely unrelated to the teaching program, which aims to instill civility in juvenile savages.

In fall 2009, the ADL decided to honor Marybeth Mueller, superintendent of education for the diocese, for her assistance with the peer-training program .

Invited personally by Straus to break bread at the ADL's annual fundraising banquet, the bishop, instead, drew a red line by confronting the Jewish community with a pastoral message about abortion that Olmsted wrote for an ad in the dinner's program.

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89 comments
miss_msry
miss_msry topcommenter

It's their church and school, they are going to do what they want.

Candida13
Candida13

Michael Lacey is nothing but a huge Judas! The next time I see him at Saints Simon & Jude, sitting there at Mass like a wolf amongst sheep, what should I do? Give him the sign of peace or flip him the finger? Our Holy Bishop Olmsted would teach me to give Michael Lacey the sign of peace. Even though Michael Lacey claims to be Catholic but has no Catholic beliefs. Or should I say, he has only a few distorted beliefs of what Catholicism is? And it's not because he is ignorant! It's because Michael Lacey is what JPII coined as the antichurch within the Church. So for all you ignorant people who think Michael Lacey is so great..... he is not....he is just a sad, self centered, elitist, heretic that is very good at deception. Bishop Olmsted is a brave, holy and true shepherd who sacrifices himself to protect his flock. Michael Lacey and all you haters will just have to get over the fact that this holy Bishop has the strength and power from God to resist all of your anti-Catholic beliefs and stop you from infiltrating Catholic schools and organizations. On second thought maybe Michael should keep coming to Mass at Saints Simon & Jude and continue to sit through the Bishops homilies and maybe, just maybe one day, Michael Lacey will open his heart to some orthodox Catholicism instead of his own delusion. Get over it Michael Lacey. The Bishop is the authentic teacher of Catholicism and you are not. What the Bishop teaches is real and true orthodox Catholicism and you are just another heretic.

dooly13
dooly13

Let's start out by saying that info3713 is a lying sack of Teabagger shit.

info3713
info3713

A short review of the ADL's FBI file reveals plenty of direct experience in bullying, but it is clearly not the right organization to present this type of training given its history.

Fortunately, the group did not invent, nor does it hold a patent on such training.  The best advise: get qualified trainers, not the ADL, to conduct such training.

fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

Bishop Olmsted and Julie Smith are self-righteous moral scolds using their authority to bully others. Sanctimonious Catholic church executives and aspiring TeaBagger politicians are toxic to education. His mind is closed, her mind is absent and the students are deprived of a beneficial program.

johnsmith123
johnsmith123

I shall cease casting pearls before swine.

olsonandko
olsonandko

I'm waiting for the new Pope removes this bigot from his position.  That would be the hoot of the year almost as joyous as the removal of comrade Joe.

zele44
zele44

Bishop Olmstead's actions described are disgraceful and mean. Hardly the example he needs to set.

boardman990
boardman990

Is this the same ADL which is sponsored by B'nai B'rith (Brethren of the Cut) which is a primary freemasonic coven?

frankpiccioli
frankpiccioli

Leaving the crux of the story behind for now, this has to be one of the worst written stories I have ever read. Not the subject matter but the absolute horrible style of writing. I love the New Times but some basic journalism writing techniques should be employed.

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

Great article. It's no surprise Olmsted would stop anything good like racial and religous understanding and love.  Bishop Olmsted's spiritual growth ended decades ago. The man cares not about the sick, hungry or suffering. He preaches and promotes his anti-abortion rhetoric while not giving one God Damn about the children once they are born.  He promotes hate against the GBLT community while teen age catholics struggle with a doctrine telling them they are headed to hell for being born a certain way. When those very teen agers pray to change and Olmsted's God doesn't deliver-he shames them. That is both spiritual and child abuse and it's pure evil.  

For years, many  Catholics  have begged him to speak up against Arpaio's years of racial profiling and separating families.  He absolutely refuses to but when it comes to birth control-he'll be at the Capitol protesting against Obama-care allowing it.  

Stephen
Stephen

Pathetic article. The writer doesn't even feign objectivity - claiming malice without proving it on the bishop's part. Overlooking elements of the ADL program that caused the diocese concern. Getting paid by the word to go on and on.

Lisa Kaiser
Lisa Kaiser

The bishop owes the ADL an apology for his offensive ad. He did not have to do that. JPII, BXVI and now Francis have all made great strides in repairing the RCC's relationship with Jews. The bishop has not gotten the message. He is not pastoral, or compassionate or kind. As a result of the bishop's pettiness, the losers are the kids in RC schools who do not have the benefit of what the ADL can teach. Jews and RCs have much in common, have much to say to each other, and working together we can do much good. The bishop is an obstacle.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

I was a little put off by the writer's understanding of "PC".   In my mind, it means POLITE CONVERSATION rather than the term he used.  Political Correctness is a term used to indicate that the person using that word is a rude SOB whose speech and should be moderate by MORE polite conversation. 

Here's another organization which should be consulted by the author in researching his use of the term "PC".

http://federationforjustcommunities.org/

johnsmith123
johnsmith123

The writer of this article has a complete and fundamental lack of understanding of all things Catholic.  The Bishop not welcoming those of a political and moral persuasion antithetical to Catholic teaching?  The thought!  The use of the word "homophobic" in describing those who disagree with the militant homosexual agenda is in itself bullying, but acceptable to the new 4th Reich of progressive politics.  Your taking the Pope's statements completely out of context is also indicative of your bias.  Pope Francis did not say we disagree with abortion, but don't do anything to express that disagreement.  Pope Francis is Pope to the whole world.  In a culture such as America, where the billion dollar abortion industry murders millions of babies each year as a constitutional right, I think the Pope would support our Bishop praying the Rosary at one of these abortion mills.  They are in fact today's version of the Nazi gas chambers.  You object to self imposed racial segregation but support the abortion industry that specifically targets such "undesirables" as we find in the African/American community.  You are the hypocrite, the white washed tomb rotting in side.

ReggieVV
ReggieVV

You are the one with delusions of mindless, unquestioned slavery to the spiritless, rule mongering Olmstead, a true Pharisee, as described in the Bible.

Reggievv
Reggievv

Right, the same one that was on the Grassy Knoll with Hillary Clinton.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@frankpiccioli  

It reads as if he spent too much time on it, constantly tweaking the tone to the point that the message of the piece is drowned out by the words "pretentious" and "trying too hard" that keep popping into my head.

MsMariose
MsMariose

@frankpiccioli Absolutely right. An interesting topic made nearly incomprehensible by the author's muddled writing style.

dannyboy5
dannyboy5

And what exactly makes you an expert, Goober? This story is great.

frankpiccioli
frankpiccioli

I do agree with you however that the Bishop has ignored many social justice issues like the Sheriff's treatment of immigrants and the demonizing of labor unions. Both clearly spoke about in Church teachings on social justice.

frankpiccioli
frankpiccioli

Please study the Catholic churches teachings on homosexuality. No one says a gay man or woman is going to hell. Educate yourself please.

ReggieVV
ReggieVV

@dennis20 Absolutely correct. But you must act by voting with your wallet in the Phoenix Diocese.  I acted by sending my money to St. Joseph's Hospital.

dannyboy5
dannyboy5

It's "commentary," you biased, brainwashed dumbass! Look on Craigslist and see if any brains are for sale.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

@gjbevil ,

I'll bet the Ayatollah Cathi Herrod gave you an A+ for that one and from the way your writing skills deteriorate the more you rant, you must have been jumping up and down and spraying spit when you wrote that last sentence.

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

@gjbevil When catholics start giving a damn about children already born, then and only then will I listen to political hyperbole about Abortion.  Anti-Abortion crusaders are just lazy activists who can't handle  the issues that effect people and racism is one of those issues.  They can't emotionally deal with issues like child abuse, rape, hunger or poverty so they hide behind the abortion argument and use it as an excuse to ignore what is really going on. Their fake moral outrage is easier than trying to make this a better world. If you truly want to stop abortion, start making sure children have enough to eat and are safe from being molested by your priests.  Show absolute commitment and love for all the children-brown, black, muslim, jewish and atheist. You do that and you wont have the abortion issue because every birth will be a blessing to this community.    


Reggievv
Reggievv

@gjbevil   Olmstead has failed as a moral leader, since, all his teaching has failed to bring the whole State to his anti choice message.  Thus he has to call on the Civil, political authorities to enforce his vision, when his mere message cannot enforce it.  If the Diocese of Phoenix would spend as much time and energy attacking poverty, discrimination, wars and violence as much as they spend on telling people what their reproduction choices should be, we would all be very impressed.

frankpiccioli
frankpiccioli

Well I happen to have a degree in journalism, perhaps that helps. And again, I am not criticizing the story but the way it was written. As a side note, can you not post a comment here without resorting to 6th grade school yard vocabulary and bullying? 'Goober'? Seriously? Please grow up and then come back to engage in discussion.

frankpiccioli
frankpiccioli

Well considering that the Catholic Church runs more orphanages and adoption clinics across the globe than any other private or public entity I do tend to think that the Catholic Church does care.... (okay, I corrected my two grammatical errors. Now please explain to me that by stating that the Catholic Church runs more orphanages on this planet than any other entity is somehow 'ranting' and 'spraying spit'. I was simply stating a fact, just because you are anti Catholic and bigoted does not justify such a response.

dannyboy5
dannyboy5

You are so stupid that I sincerely hope you don't procreate. You really should shut up... You are an embarrassment to even delusional Catholics.

frankpiccioli
frankpiccioli

Well considering they the Catholic Church runs more orphanages and adoption clinics across the globe than any other private or public entity I di tend to think that the Catholic Church does care.

johnsmith123
johnsmith123

Your ignorance abounds! There is no institution doing more charity for the poor than the Catholic church! None. But even if your vile lie were true, you argue that unless the Catholic Church is willing to care and support you, you have no right to live. Truly diabolical.

johnsmith123
johnsmith123

Nobody says you don't have a right to "reproductive choice." Problem is when you choose to abort a baby it's to late; you've already reproduced. The time to responsibly choose not to reproduce has passed. Now you're just killing the innocent result of your irresponsible and evil behaviour.

frankpiccioli
frankpiccioli

Wrong again little child, I have written for quite a few publications. And as you can see from other posts I am not the only one who feels the writing style is a bit awkward. 'Goober'.... Lol... What are you like 12 Years old. Grin. Your a funny kid.

zele44
zele44

Doubt anybody has ever hired you to do journalism... Right, Goober? Mike Lacey is a legendary journalist and writer. Get a clue! That aside, though, this is an expertly written story.

frankpiccioli
frankpiccioli

I'm stupid because I stated a fact? How interesting.

fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

@frankpiccioli - Just have to keep an eye on them so they aren't raping the orphans and selling stolen babies.

johnsmith123
johnsmith123

Centuries? Only in the past 50 years has the priesthood been infected by gay priests who committed most all of the pederasty which occurred. Once this malevolent and vile faction was rooted out, nearly all pederasty stopped. Oh, and by the way, it wasn't child "molestation". Almost all the victims were post adolescent males abused by gays. Ironic, you who hate the church for its telling the truth about the disordered nature of homosexuality, find your most gleeful criticism in the church being a victim of these very disordered homosexuals.

frankpiccioli
frankpiccioli

Yes bigotry... Sexual exploitation of children is a widespread evil and not limited to any religion or institution. And even your comment 'retard' shows not only your immaturity but again a bigotry. You should hold your head down in shame.

Jimbo77
Jimbo77

@frankpiccioli Catholic bigotry?! Priests have sexually abused children for centuries. Olmstead's predecessor protected many of them, along with Cardinal Mahoney out of L.A. Wake up, you delusional Catholic retard.

frankpiccioli
frankpiccioli

Danny... Nice to see Catholic bigotry is alive and well

dannyboy5
dannyboy5

That's so chicken hawk priests can bugger little boys...

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

@gjbevil  I don't need nor did I ask for your support.  I am just an ex-catholic fotunate enough NOT to be a victim of what you've covered up. Shame on you! 

The children you've harmed by protecting perverted priests need protection and support-but not from you either.. Don't brag about what you pretend you are doing.  Pride goeth before distruction.  Start doing what Jesus says or at least what Pope Francis says instead of Olmsted who is destroying the church.  It's mid evil closed minds like yours too proud to look at yourself that is truly diabolical. 


johnsmith123
johnsmith123

@rollin360 @hansome

Actually your understanding of the facts are wrong. But that is understandable given you heard them from the progressive propaganda news industry. In fact she had the same condition as my sister-in-law. She had to go on complete (and I literally mean complete) bed rest for the last three months of pregnancy and be monitored very closely. Both she and baby (my beautiful nephew) are alive and well. St. Joe's was agreeable to proceeding directly to abortion without trying this other mode of treatment first. Had they tried the bed rest plan first and derminating the pregnancy were still necessary perhaps the baby would have then had a chance with a C-section. At any rate, even if the baby had died after C-section delivery this would have been permissable since the goal of the procedure would NOT have been the death of the baby. But the liberal media want to slander our blessed Bishop. And besides, from the length of my response you can see how difficult it is to convey truth. Much easier to resort to slogans like "Bishop forbids abortion necessary to save life of mother!"

rollin360
rollin360

@hansome The mother's condition had one viable solution which resulted in the abortion of the fetus. The medical staff and hospital administration went to great pains in weighing options for the sake of the mother and fetus. The bishop's position, devout as it is in his ideology, would have resulted in the loss of mother and fetus. Religious hierarchy making medical edicts without the education, training or experience many would expect and even demand as a patient in a Level One Trauma medical center.

jbunny
jbunny

@hansome are you talking about people who have unprotected sex instead of making responsible reproductive choices, or are you referring to the many priests who have given in to their urges to sexually exploit innocent children?

frankpiccioli
frankpiccioli

The Church is against birth control... Not just the Bishop

hansome
hansome

How about not rutting around like wild pigs and being driven, always, by your urges?

hansome
hansome

Really?  You really think it was about killing the mom or perform an abortion?  In fact, there are other treatments that would have saved the life of both and, are less dangerous to the mother than the abortion!!

dannyboy5
dannyboy5

So Olmstead was right in the hospital case, right? Kill the mother of other children rather than abort the fetus? Now there's a charitable, Christian view.

Reggievv
Reggievv

The only problem is that Olmstead is against birth control also. He has people teaching in his pre-marriage classes, that if a woman uses the pill to prevent pregnancy, she is killing a baby every month. Now there is some wisdom.

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

@gjbevil  "Nobody says you don't have a right to "reproductive choice."  Oh Really? 

Whats Olmsteds beef with birth control? Who are you lieing to? Me or yourself? 

 
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