The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Georgetown Should Lead and not Bar the Way

Back in the early sixties I attended Georgetown University for all of one year before receiving a congressional appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Now...let me say from the outset that my year at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service was a lot more fun than the subsequent four years at Annapolis. Indeed, there was really no comparison. After all, in those days the Naval Academy was severely lacking in some of the basic necessities that motivate the average college-age male -- e.g., beer and girls -- particularly during the monk-like existence of a midshipman's plebe (aka, freshman) year.

Now, don't worry, this deacon is not going to get all confessional on you and reveal the failings that marked "my salad days, when I was green in judgment..." Yes, I enjoyed myself while at Georgetown. And yes, I downed my share of cold beers at the 1789 and at Mac's Pipe and Drum at 34th and M, and I enjoyed the company of a number of lovely young ladies who attended Georgetown or other Catholic colleges in the DC area. But life was different 48 years ago, even life on a college campus. Despite occasional slippages, we were essentially moral young people. We certainly had no trouble recognizing immoral behavior in ourselves or others. We repented and went to confession frequently, and attended Mass on Sunday morning. And the university actually encouraged and supported us in this. Yes, it was a different world.

I mention all this because of what seems to have happened at Georgetown University in recent years. Our nation's oldest Catholic university has, in essence ceased being Catholic. Here are just a few examples from the university's recent record. Draw your own conclusions. I will begin with an event that almost boggles the mind:

Sex Positive Week. Last year GU hosted what was billed as "Sex Positive Week" during the first week of Lent. The event was hosted by the school's feminist and homosexual student clubs. It was quite an event and included forums on fetishism, cross-dressing and bondage. On Ash Wednesday there was a talk on "non-exploitative" pornography; but, wait, that's not all. One of the highlights was a talk by a pornographic filmmaker who spoke on “Relationships Beyond Monogamy." On and on it went...and also included theater, sex-positive poetry readings, and homemade pornography. Now, keep in mind, this is all being held on campus at an ostensibly Catholic (Jesuit) university and funded by the Student Activities Commission.

A Georgetown blog, lists details of some of the week's events. (If you're easily bothered by details on such subjects, I suggest you scroll down a ways.) I include the links just to show you I'm not making this up. The following is straight from the blog...

  • Tristan Taormino. The self-proclaimed “anal sexpert,” author, and pornographic director will be speaking in ICC 115 on Saturday at the event “Relationships Beyond Monogamy.” Her racey bibliography includes Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships and True Lust: Adventures in Sex, Porn and Perversion
  • Jenny Block. The author of Open: Love, Sex & Life in an Open Marriage will be speaking at the same event. But If the first chapter of her book (PDF), which sincerely discusses the difficulties of modern women, is any indication, she’ll won’t be anything like Taormino.
  • Last night’s “Torn about Porn” event, a discussion about whether images from No Fauxxx shown in a slideshow are “Sex Positive”—that is, affirming rather than objectifying or exploitative, like sex-negative porn. I attended this for tomorrow’s article. While you can construe the ten or so images in the slideshow as ‘offensive,’ the conversation was grounded, with most students concluding that porn is porn, and these images in particular are just “porn with hipsters in it.’
  • Mitzi from Black Rose, a D.C.-based bondage and discipline, sadism and masochism organization “that hosts, among other things, educational classes revolving around BDSM activities, issues, and safety.” She spoke at Monday night’s “Sex Positive … What’s that?”
  • Ricci Levy of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, a group which “educate[s] the public on the importance and value of sexual freedom and counter the arguments of groups seeking to restrict sexual rights”  (think Lawrence v. Texas) and “oppose[s] abstinence-only sex ‘education’ and endorse an age-appropriate, comprehensive approach to sex education.” She also appeared at Monday night’s “Sex Positive … What’s that?”
Isn't all this wonderful?

Cross Cover-Up. Back in April of last year, when President Obama selected Georgetown as the site of a policy speech, the university covered the Christian symbols (a cross and the letters I.H.S.) behind the president's podium, thus hiding the university's supposed affiliation with the Church.

The photo at left shows the IHS and Cross (circled) in their usual location. In the photo below, they have been covered up for the president's speech.

It seems a bit reminiscent of what took place in the courtyard of the high priest 2,000 years ago when Peter denied Our Lord.

Hey...Every Religion's Cool. From the Georgetown website:

Protestant, Jewish and Muslim worship takes place on campus [at Georgetown] in services organized by the Office of Campus Ministry and student groups. Bible studies, daily retreats and three Sunday worship services in the Protestant tradition take place on campus. The Jewish Chaplains and the Jewish Student Association hold a Shabbat dinner each Friday. A Muslim prayer room in Copley Hall is used for Islamic prayer and worship daily and there is a large Muslim community worship service each Friday. On Tuesday evenings there is an Orthodox prayer service in Copley Crypt.
In other words, religious services of other religions are offered on a Catholic campus, and this in Washington, DC where such services are available at numerous locations throughout the city. It's just another example of the relativism and syncretism that Pope Benedict XVI has consistently warned against.

Georgetown, of course, isn't alone. It activities and policies are mirrored by most of the other large, Catholic colleges and universities throughout the country. But as the nation's oldest Catholic institution of higher learning, Georgetown should lead the way in the New Evangelization by strengthening and not weakening its students' faith. And more importantly, it should certainly not be promoting and financially blatant immorality on campus.

Now when folks tell you that schools like Georgetown are no longer Catholic, you'll know what they mean.

Pray for our Catholic schools at every level.

No comments:

Post a Comment