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Monologues threaten Catholic identity

Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, February 17, 2005

As a group of law students organized to work toward the culture of life, Jus Vitae (Notre Dame Law School Right to Life) is dismayed and disappointed that the department of film, television and theatre, the department of English and the program of gender studies have sponsored the Vagina Monologues again this year, as well as inviting Eve Ensler, a radical pro-choice advocate, to speak.

Ensler has affiliated herself with groups such at the YWCA and the S-O-S of South Bend, both groups which support and advocate on-demand abortion.

These departments claim that they sponsor the Vagina Monologues to try and help raise awareness of violence against women. Certainly, violence against women is a horrible societal problem we must deal with aggressively, and is one that concerns members of Jus Vitae, Catholics and all citizens of this world.

But the methods used by the Monologues do nothing but further contribute to the problem. The Monologues objectify women and present a radically distorted view of sexuality.

Notre Dame has a duty to its students. As a Catholic university, it has the obligation not only to teach its students in the respective majors, but to aid all students in their spiritual development and embrace the teachings of the Church.

What kind of mixed message do hosting events like the Vagina Monologues and the Queer Film Festival send? There is room for academic debate on campus – for example, reasoned debates regarding the issue of same-sex marriage or welfare policies of the United States. But there are certain moral truths that cannot and should not be denied.

Among these truths is the dignity of every human life, from the moment of conception until natural death. The Vagina Monologues degrade half of the human population by praising lesbian statutory rape and other sexual deviation. Further, Ensler denies the dignity of life that is present from the very beginning.

On these issues, Notre Dame must remain a bastion of consistency in the face increasing secularism and pluralism of America.

Ensler must be prohibited from speaking on this campus, and The Vagina Monologues must also be banished from campus. There is no room for hesitation with this matter. The play and Ensler are radically opposed to the truth of Catholic teachings, and provide no intellectual debate. Instead, they disgrace Our Lady’s university, the students, faculty, teachers and the Holy Church.

Notre Dame must stop these types of events, and change its policies with regard to events sponsored by academic departments. Otherwise, Notre Dame will lose its Catholic identity – the very thing that makes it special and unique in this world. That, indeed, would be a great loss.

Courtney Tawresey


Law School Right to Life

Feb. 16