Matt C. Abbott
March 18, 2015
Employed conservatives and the pitfalls of social media; Controversy in Boston
By Matt C. Abbott

(A version of this column originally appeared at the American Thinker blog.)

Regarding the use of social media, I think it's safe to say that, in our current culture, if you're an employed liberal, you can "get away with" more than if you're an employed conservative.

Case in point (from Catholic World News):
    A Catholic school teacher in New Jersey has been suspended from her position after she came under fire for a Facebook post on homosexuality.

    Patricia Jannuzzi became the target of criticism after she charged that gay-rights activists 'want to reengineer western civ into a slow extinction.' She added: 'We need healthy families with a mother and a father for the sake of children and humanity!'
But get this: Once this teacher's pro-family conservatism was "outed," all hell broke loose. Even so-called celebrities entered the fray, as evidenced by a story in mycentraljersey.com (notice the obvious liberal bias in just the first paragraph of the article):
    An anti-gay rant by a religion teacher at Immaculata High School is drawing the ire of alumni across the country, including a former 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' cast member, and even grabbing the attention of New Jersey-raised Susan Sarandon.

    On her now-deleted Facebook profile earlier this week, the veteran private Catholic school teacher said gays or gay activists 'want to reengineer western civ (sic) into a slow extinction' as part of their 'agenda'....

    [Principal Jean] Kline said the school is reviewing its social media policy for employees. 'It is the policy of the school that all faculty and staff demonstrate respect and sensitivity to all people at all times and to avoid offending any individuals or groups,' Kline said.
Ms. Jannuzzi could have been a bit more thoughtful in her choice of words (maybe), but there was nothing vulgar about her Facebook post. It was certainly pro-Catholic – unless, of course, you support Nancy Pelosi's version of Catholicism.

When you consider the filth and venom that emanates from the Left on a frequent basis via social media, what Ms. Jannuzzi wrote is tame in comparison.

And yet, the pro-family conservative incurs the wrath of her bosses, who almost always cave in to pressure from left-wing activists and misguided proponents of political correctness. This doesn't seem to happen nearly as much to liberals in the workplace.

If there's a lesson to be learned here, I think it's this: If you're an employed conservative and use social media, be extremely – and I mean extremely – careful about what you post, lest you wind up in the unemployment line.

For Catholics in the secular workplace, make sure you praise Pope Francis. That way, your job will be safe – for the time being, at least.

And if you're openly gay, have no fear; that's a résumé-enhancer in most workplaces.



From TheMediaReport.com (excerpted; click here to read the report in its entirety):
    In January of this year, in an astonishing act of injustice, Boston's Cardinal Seán O'Malley forced the resignations of three individuals from a Catholic school in Revere, despite the fact that no one broke any law or did anything wrong....

    Like many urban Catholic schools, Immaculate Conception School in Revere (on the working-class outskirts of Boston) lacks adequate space, so it had been a 'common practice for a number of years' in the school for adults to use the student restroom so long as there was not a student already in there.

    Well, at some point at the end of last year, a mother called the school to report that her kindergarten-aged son felt 'uncomfortable' walking into the restroom and seeing the school's 64-year-old custodian using a urinal. (The restroom was just steps away opposite the janitor's office.)

    At no time did anyone ever report or even suggest that anyone had committed any behavior in the least bit sexual or criminal. Never.

    In other words, the boy walked into the restroom and saw what anyone would see if he walked into any public men's restroom – such as at the theater or Boston's Fenway Park.

    The school was at a loss at how to respond to the mother's phone call, but at some point, someone came up with the idea that the concern should somehow be reported to law enforcement. Big mistake.

    Overreacting, Cardinal O'Malley and the Archdiocese of Boston immediately forced the resignations of three employees of the parish and its school: Father George Szal, the popular parish priest; Alison Kelly, the school's principal; and an unnamed second-grade teacher.

    The cardinal's reason for forcibly removing the trio was that the group had somehow failed to report the issue to law enforcement and the archdiocese 'in a timely manner.' Shockingly, the archdiocese reportedly gave the three 'an ultimatum – resign or be fired.'

    Yet even after both local police and the local district attorney investigated the case and discovered that nothing even remotely criminal had occurred, Cardinal O'Malley still would not reverse his impetuous decision. The lives of four innocent people (the trio plus the custodian) would remain tarnished.

    TheMediaReport.com spoke to Revere Police's Sgt. Steven Pisano, a highly respected, 36-year veteran officer who worked on the investigation. Child welfare advocates have lauded Pisano in the past for his tireless work on behalf of child abuse victims, including victims of clergy abuse.

    Pisano not only confirmed to us that 'nothing criminal' occurred at the school, he stated that the entire episode was a 'non-issue,' a 'misunderstanding that got crazy,' and something that 'took on a life of its own it shouldn't have.'

    In addition, even the parent of the 'uncomfortable' child at the center of the episode has 'indicated that she had never intended to unlock such a maelstrom on the school' with her concern.

    We also learned that the second-grade teacher who was fired forced to resign was a young teacher who traveled a great distance and under great sacrifice to work at the school. And despite being paid a low salary – as opposed to the astronomical salaries at the cardinal's headquarters – she often spent much of her own money on school supplies for her students.

    Parents at Immaculate Conception School are naturally up in arms over the way Cardinal O'Malley and the Archdiocese of Boston have handled this incident, and they created a petition with 927 signatures demanding a meeting with O'Malley to address the matter.

    In typical bureaucratic fashion, over a month later, there has been no response at all from Cardinal O'Malley to the parents' petition. No letter, no phone call, no email. Nothing....

    Archdiocese of Boston spokesperson Terrence Donilon ($208,293 total compensation in 2012) did not return calls from TheMediaReport.com to answer questions about this story.
© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.


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