My dad always used to say that our actions reflected directly on them as parents. As a parent, I nowunderstand that a bit. My daughter is a bit too young to really do anything that makes me “look bad” but I am beginning to understand how the way our youth act is a reflection of their virtuous (or lack there of) upbringing. So I realize how important it is to raise virtuous children, not so that they dont “reflect badly” but so that they reflect the virtues of their parents and thereby the Catholic faith. What my dad was telling me, in his humorous way, wasn’t that he didn’t want to be embarrassed by my actions, but that he taught me and instilled in me a virtuous way of living and if I were to go against that, it would make it appear to others that we didn’t have these as a moral foundation.
When I came across a post on the Opinionated Catholic about an all boys Catholic school in Ohio chanting “We’ve Got Jesus!” after winning a game, I was curious to know the rest of the story. It appeared that this was one of those situations where kids act a certain way, and reflect the virtues and values of their upbringing. So I went to the story he linked at the Houston Chronicle, but it seemed to leave out certain elements and missed the point of the story. So I went to the original story in in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Apparently what happened is that a Catholic Boys School was playing a public school rival and ended up beating them in a pretty close football game. From reading the various reports, this was a pretty heated rivalry between Colerain and St. Xavier’s, and the game ended pretty closely in favor of St. Xavier’s. The Enquirer said that there were reports that after the game, the St. Xavier fans were chanting: “We’ve got Jesus!” after the win. This infuriated the Colerain Coach, Tom Bolden, and he went and shouted at the student section of St. Xavier. This report made “headlines” and it appeared that the St. “X” boys were out of line. Good thing the media was there to keep them in check, they shouldn’t be flaunting their faith, or using it as a “banner” of winning and victory. So what would you say to your child if they were part of a crowd shouting “We’ve Got Jesus!” After a win?
But wait… there’s more. Apparently this isnt the WHOLE story. Would your reaction to your child’s actions change if you knew that the chant, after winning, of “We’ve got Jesus!” was in response to the Colerain chant of: “We’ve got Chicks (girls)!”? Whole different story now… isn’t it? What about the coaches action? Or the action of the paper writing this story in the first place? Do you think if the ENTIRE story was known to the reporter, that they would have even bothered to print it? So what about all these actions towards a Catholic school who (I knot his from personal experience) faces all sorts of chants and actions against their faith, and they simply respond with a little bit of snarkiness and clever wit?
Who is in the wrong here? Where does virtue lie? Personally I have no problem with St. Xavier’s actions. Are they a little sarcastic and snarky? Sure! Could they have taken the “High Road” and not responded with anything? Sure could… but these are teenage boys, and honestly the fact that they responded in this way, shows that they are embracing their cross and bearing it. That Cross is Christ, and they are happy to do so it seems. We know the world will HATE us because of Him, so we might as well get used to it. There is no doubt the “We’ve got Girls!” chant (After a loss) came as a Gay-Slur. There is no other reasonable explanation, the whole “All Boys Catholic schools are full of Gays” is as old as time itself, so to respond with something positive like “We’ve Got Jesus!” is probably the best way they could respond.
What about the Coach on the opposing side that yelled at them? Has the paper sought an apology from him once the whole story came out? Of course not. Or how about the paper? They issued an “Update” but still left the original story as is. Like I said… I have no problem with the St. Xavier chant. Just another example of the world attacking Catholics… and occaisionally we have to respond to those attacks. These boys did that in a clever way, that both accepted and defended their faith.