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A Christian Acceptance

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Brad Duffy in his Feb. 17 letter “A Catholic university” exactly performs the “gay- bashing” that Notre Dame and blind Catholic followers all over the world profess to abhor. His response is a clear gut reaction to the topic of the mere discussion homosexuality at Notre Dame. Perhaps he didn’t read the first viewpoint closely enough, where the title “Queer Film Festival” is clearly displayed multiple times throughout the article, nevertheless he refers to the event as a “play” in the beginning of his second paragraph. No doubt this was a form letter response to attack the imminent Vagina Monologues Viewpoint debate that came a few weeks too early. Additionally, I’m sick of too many Catholics deferring to the “undeniable” teachings of the Catholic Church. This is a Catholic Church that initiated the Crusades, murdered more than a thousand innocents in the Inquisition, elected Popes over hundreds of years that openly bore children, initiated an admitted and massive cover-up of the Priest abuse scandal. The list goes on and on. If everyone can pretty much agree those were bad things, why will no one recognize that perhaps their teachings today aren’t necessarily infallible?

I consider myself Catholic, but moreso Christian, and let us look back to the head honcho of this Christian thing. Jesus Christ welcomed with open arms those outcasts of society that the Pharisees (read Catholic Church here) disdained and ostracized. If his loving acceptance of prostitutes – the Gentiles, Romans, etc. – isn’t a model for accepting and at least discussing ostracized members of society (read Queer Film Festival), then we truly aren’t following Jesus’ teachings. I have no strong feelings for or against homosexuality, so do not consider me defending their actions or lifestyle. I don’t want to start the nature vs. nurture debate either. But my main point is this, shall we believe “sacred Scripture,” which in Deuteronomy 25:11-12 commands “If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity?” Does that sound remotely Christian, even Catholic to you?

Christ dawned a new Kingdom of God on earth with his arrival and death. And the condemnations in the New Testament (none of which were in the Gospels) must be taken in context, where pedastery, for example, was a rampant evil. Also, the main point is those condemnations, if taken literally, are condemnations of acts, and not the mere discussion of them, which is the point of the Queer Film Festival. Also, the term Catholic university implies one must balance the Catholic nature of this institution with the latter part of the title, university, which demands academic discussions relevant to knowledge of the world.

Therefore, I implore Notre Dame as a Catholic and most especially Christian university to allow these discussion of these alternative lifestyles.

Steven DeLaurentis

junior

off-campus

Feb. 17