On Monday nights I take an oil painting class, which is hosted at a local Catholic elementary school. I really like the space: it's an old-fashioned building, but it has character, and its walls are full of the trappings of a vibrant community. This poster hangs in the hallway:
Every time I use the bathroom or stop at the drinking fountain, I see it. It is an expansive definition of violence, but probably more accurate because it is so. It makes me think each time I see it.
The Catholic Church, reeling for years under the weight of scandal, has stormed back into the public sphere to reclaim its moral authority with its stances on public health issues and same-sex marriage. But using this poster as a lens, the Church's strident, unyielding positions on these complicated issues strikes me as a kind of violence: an assault on the dignity and security of a certain class of people. I wonder whether the Church's hierarchy can re-learn this profound message that it is trying to instill into its youth.