Religous Discrimination-Not sure, tell me what you think.

  1. So everyone tell me what you think about this. It's kind of lengthy and I apologize in advance.

    My 11 year old sone has decided that he wants to be a professional football player when he grows up. He has been asking to join one of our little league type football teams for the last few years. We tried one a couple of years ago, but it is very cliquey (?). We were told at the time that all of the boys started playing young and moved up with the team, and as a result there are no spots for him on the team. So sorry, try again next year, yeah, they same guys will probably play again next year so it is doubtful there will be a spot for him. So I refuse to try last year. This year he has been begging me to sign him up since fall.
    About 2 weeks ago he comes home with a flyer from a Catholic Church that they are starting a new team and need lots of players. They are inviting boys in the area to come join the team. I think this is great it's the answer we have been looking for. It says on the bottom that it is part of CYO, but no mention of what that stands for, and gives the price for Parisoners and NonParisoners.
    So sign up is this past Tuesday. I go to sign him up. Sign the proper forms, write the check for over $100 for the pleasure of letting him play and even have a long conversation with the woman there about the fact that they need a medical person at the home games, yada yada, yada. So then the woman asks me what Parish I belong to, I tell her I don't. She then asks if I am a registered Catholic, to which I answer No, I am Baptist. She then says "oohhh, I'm not sure if your son can play with us. This is for the Catholic Youth Organization and he can only play if there aren't enough catholic boys that sign up". She tells me to hold on and she will ask the coach. The coach agrees and says that he has to go to Detroit and get permission from the priests at the CYO before he can join. There is a dad there with the same problem and we both say that it wasn't on the flyer, to which the Coach says "I know, I did that on purpose"

    I am livid. I have a problem with this on many levels.
    1). If this was a Baptist organization and we would not allow a child to participate because he was Catholic we would be dragged across the coals.
    2). This flyer was distributed throughout the entire school district. Again, if this was a Baptist organization, the schools would not have allowed it (seperation of Church and State and all that), so why would the Catholic church be allowed to?
    3). I was told by a co-worker who is a devout Catholic that the Catholic church formed this organization because the Catholic children were left out of so many things, I want to know what. I have never heard of Catholics being disallowed from anything because of their beliefs.

    This whole situation has broken my heart, because I then had to try to explain to my child why our religon was not considered good enough to be allowed to play with the other boys. If the CYO wanted to maintain it to only Catholics, shouldn't the flyer have been passed out to the Catholic Parishes in the area first or at the very least the flyer should have made mention of the fact that preference would be given to registered Catholics. Obviously, I am very upset about this. I have never faulted anyone about their beliefs, whether, I agree with them or not. I feel as if we are being faulted by this organization because of the way we choose to worship.

    Oh and yes, I am trying to find my son another football team to play on while I wait for the CYO to decide if my son will be allowed to play. I don't want to pull him just yet, just in case I can't find another team and on the off chance that they will let him play. I really don't want him to play for this team now, but if this is his only option, I don't want to take it away from him. Playing football means so much to him. I am so frustrated I could scream or cry.
  2. 37 Comments

  3. by   fab4fan
    If they are not getting any type of gov't funding, then, unfortunately, they can make it exclusive...think about the golf club in GA where they hold the Masters' Tournament...they won't allow women to join.

    Is it right? No. Is it an example of how Christ would act? No. Unfortunately, they can do it.

    Making someone feel "wrong" for what he/she believes is not right. I can speak from personal exp. on this one.
  4. by   LasVegasRN
    This is a true shame. All that should matter, is that all of you are Christians. That's what it should boil down to, and even then, it shouldn't have to boil down to being a Christian or not - it should be open to everyone.

    That's the biggest problem I have with religious sects - all this holier than thou bull crap. I think Christ would be ashamed.
  5. by   passing thru
    Do you think the first group discriminated against you? It seems to me they were just as discriminatory. What both groups are telling you is: The teams usually are formed when the boys are 5-6 years old. they start playing "Flag" football at that age. So, the boys have been playing together 5-6 years already. The boys and their parents have "paid their dues" through the years, rather expensive too in terms of time put in at the snack bar, paying or acting as coaches, referees, keeping up with practices, reserving/renting a field, and all the other things that are part of a neighborhood/ city sports league. When a new kid moves into the area, especially a new older kid, frequently there isn't a spot available. It helps if the wannabe family goes to the games, meets the parents, volunteers at the snack shop, (making hot dogs and snow cones, etc.) and maybe, when someone moves away, gets sick or injured, misses a game, your child is added as a backup player, coming in thru the back door.
    It happens all the time.
    Re: happens all the time too. MYF..for Methodist youth..who can say it is discrimination? The parents are volunteering their time and energy to provide Christian experiences for their kids. Don't the Baptists have the same thing?
  6. by   CountrifiedRN
    So sorry that this happened. The way it was advertised/handled was not right. You should definately write a letter of complaint to the church, although it probably won't even get you an apology.

    On second thought, write a letter to the local news paper, not only about the churches antics, but about the obvious discrimination going on within the little league (the same kids play every year to the exclusion of others???)
  7. by   kittyw
    Are there that many Catholics in your area that you can have a whole league to themselves?!?!

    I don't like it when one religious group claims to be better than another ... makes me want to vomit. Not at all what I think God wanted. But hey, that's my opinion... others can believe as they see fit - just as long as they do somthing to hurt / discriminated against my son!!! (Or I will bite!)
  8. by   caroladybelle
    CYO - I believe stands for Catholic Youth Organization.

    Yes, they should have advertised that non-catholics would only be admitted if there were not enough catholic players. But they didn't - and raised your sons hopes inappropriately. This should be brought to the flyer writer's attention. But restricting CYO events to catholics is not illegal-unless they receive government funds. CYO kids frequently have catechism together and do many things together. I would think that this might provide impetus for maybe someone starting a Baptist youth organization.

    As a matter of note, catholics did tend to set themselves apart - You are not suppose to take communion in their churches unless you are catholic in good standing. I was maid of honor at a catholic friend's wedding - a traditional 1 1/2 hour ceremony - there was a bit of a fuss - when I told the priest at the rehearsal that I was not catholic and could not take communion with the rest of the wedding party during the service. One of the lay people said that I should have kept quiet - they would have 'ignored' my non-catholicness, but then I told them loudly that I was jewish - I swear that they were debating whether I should be part of the wedding party.

    As far as discrimination against catholics goes - I do not know your age - but anti-catholic discrimination is very well documented, from the treatment of the Irish in this country and letters to the editor of any large paper during the campaign of John F. Kennedy. Until the 1970's, groups such as the KuKluxKlan and other "white" supremacist groups were very anti-catholic, though their primary focus now is against blacks and jews. And we have merely to look at Ireland, to see current religious strife between catholics and protestants.

    Please remember, your son is merely not permitted to play football for this particular group, he has many other opportunites in life. Many others have been denied the very right to live, because of their religion.
    Well, I don't pretend to know much about football, but if they're part of a league, who do they play against? Other schools, other churches?

    Then, he could play for the other team and kick their butts and make them WISH they'd let him play for them!

    Although it's a crappy and misleading practice, I also believe that unless they accept government funding, they can be as choosey as they please.

  10. by   Mkue
    CYO- Catholic Youth Organization, I think Lutherans have a similar organization and you must be a member. I don't think either are Gov't funded.

    Public schools will accept any denomination and it's usually much cheaper to participate in public sports.
  11. by   Stargazer
    I agree that what they're doing is not illegal. Nevertheless, their self-admitted "bait and switch" advertising is really unfair and unethical. I certainly think you could make a stink with the school district, since it is apparently supporting the CYO's deceptive recruitment practices by allowing it [CYO] to distribute these flyers in the schools.

    And if you don't get any satisfaction from the school district, I would try the local media. This isn't a good time for the Catholic Church to be inviting any more negative publicity, and they damn well know it.
  12. by   BellaTerra2002

    I'm so, so sorry this happened. I'm Catholic, and I just HATE this. I remember growing up on a block full of kids (you remember those times? ) ). I was the only one who went to Catholic School. The rest were various other religions and Christian demoninations and went to public school. When I was about 11 years old I put two and two together and realized that I was being taught that my non-Catholic friends were 'going to hell' when they died. I asked my mother if that were really true. She said that yes, if you weren't Catholic, you went to hell when you died. I KNEW (somehow) that God couldn't possibly be like that. From then on, I questioned EVERYTHING. I really wasn't very popular with the nuns who taught me. :roll

    Vatican II took care of THAT belief -- until this current Pope, about 2+ years ago, came out and said that if you weren't Catholic, your "salvation was in serious danger." Oh bother. Thank God no one listens much to the Pope.

    I don't care who you are -- if you're a good person, you're going to heaven. Period. Since I don't even believe in Hell, I don't know what happens to bad people, and that's not up to me anyway.

    As for your son, try to teach him to have some compassion for these people who have treated him so badly. I deeply apologize on behalf of my fellow Catholics. But I'm telling you that MOST western US priests, pastors and Catholics aren't like that.

    Also, BTW, the Ku Klux Klan were after Catholics for decades. If you were Catholic or Black, you were always in danger. And remember Kennedy? His presidential nomination was called into serious question because he was Catholic. We know what it's like to be discriminated against. But that isn't going to help your son. Again, I am so sorry.
  13. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by BellaTerra2002

    Vatican II took care of THAT belief -- until this current Pope, about 2+ years ago, came out and said that if you weren't Catholic, your "salvation was in serious danger." Oh bother. Thank God no one listens much to the Pope...
    Wow, did that take me back. 9th grade, religion class, we were studying the Vatican II rulings. Sister Mary Anthony said to me and the Hindu girl in my class, "The Vatican teaches us the non-catholic marriages are not considered valid in the eyes of God." So, Rasha and I looked at each other, and I asked the question: "So are you saying Rasha and I are illegitmate?" Sister replied, "yes you are, under the eyes of God and His church you are illegitimate children. God have mercy on your souls".

    I will never forget that.