Sammamish Forum Jan. 15

January 17, 2014

By Administrator

Zmuda’s firing was wrong


Carrie Vasko’s letter to the Sammamish Review provided the first bigoted view I’ve heard since the dismissal of Mark Zmuda from his duties at Eastside Catholic.

If she wants to base employment on the ultimate authority in the Bible and Catholic teachings, it would be much more beneficial for the school to dismiss those who use contraceptives or have been divorced.

I imagine there are a lot more of those people employed at the school, endangering the lives of the students.

There weren’t any accusations against Zmuda to indicate any student was in harm’s way by his employment. What Vasko implies in her bigoted comments is commonplace among those who would equate being gay with being a pedophile.

There is a lot of research available on this subject that she could learn from.

It’s disingenuous of her to completely minimize the actions of many of the student body who believe in equality and truly appreciated Zmuda for being a great teacher, coach and vice principal.

In the same edition, another letter was written by Kevin Owens about this situation. I hope Vasko had a chance to read it.


Bryon Stargel



Eastside Catholic

was within its rights


Eastside Catholic had the right to fire Mark Zmuda. This was a contractual matter.

But was the school morally justified as Carrie Vasko suggests in her recent letter? Unlike strict contract law, this requires a judgment subject to moral opinion. Each person must decide that for herself.

You and I may hold and act upon our opinions without any rational basis or religious justification. However, once we step into the realm of science or creed, we risk the danger of letting our prejudices taint our selection and honest interpretation of the evidence.

In reading the Bible, we inevitably have to decide which verses we agree with and which we discount on a wide variety of subjects.

The Bible contains a large number of proscriptions that we not only ignore but also, in many cases, would be horrified if enforced today. We understand them to be a product of their time.

Christian leaders have evolved their beliefs and behaviors over the ages.

They have done this because they recognize that the verses in the biblical text do not necessarily represent the immutable word of their God but rather are attributable to the minds of men within historical and cultural contexts.

A scholarly study of the Bible and its history makes this very clear. It is unfortunate that some of us inordinately revere the content with which we agree, for it is no more valid than the passages that we discard.

In his book “Love Wins” Rob Bell, the former leader of the Michigan Mars Hill Bible Church explains his conversion to a loving Christianity.

We also need to move beyond biblical justification for our prejudice and be much more open to understanding how important marriage equality is to our gay and lesbian family members, friends and neighbors.

Let’s acknowledge how meaningful it is to their families and their children.

If we sincerely try to appreciate life from this perspective I think we will also conclude that firing Zmuda, though within the school’s rights, was the most immoral act that could have been performed.


Michael J. O’Connell


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