.- Three Jesuit universities are facing criticism for hosting events promoting sexual license, cross-dressing and homosexual ideologies just as Lent begins, with Georgetown University being accused of promoting only the orthodoxy of âsexual liberation.â
Georgetown University is hosting âSex Positive Weekâ from Feb. 23 to 28, an event sponsored by feminist and homosexual student clubs such as GU Pride, United Feminists and Georgetown Solidarity.
The Cardinal Newman Society reports that a Monday session featured a speaker from an organization that âprovides a forumâ for activities such as fetishism, cross-dressing, and bondage.
A talk on Ash Wednesday, âTorn about Porn?â advertised itself as including a discussion about âarguably alternative forms of pornography that are not supposed to be exploitative.â
A Saturday talk from a pornographic filmmaker addressed the topic âRelationships Beyond Monogamy.â
GU Pride political chair Olivia Chitayat explained the purpose of the week, saying to the Georgetown Voice:
âThe focus of this week is to introduce the idea of Sex Positive, and thatâs really about acceptance of a wide range of desires and sexual expressions as a way of understanding one another.â
âPeople have sex, and if they donât, it still impacts them. This is encouraging a dialogue in a way that people donât feel ashamed about engaging in it or not engaging in it.â
David Gregory, Editor-in-Chief of the Catholic-focused student publication The Georgetown Academy, said he was âabsolutely furiousâ that the Student Activities Commission funded the event.
âI think about Gaston Hall and you have âWisdomâ on one side of the ceiling and âVirtueâ on the other side,â he told the Georgetown Voice, referring to a campus building. âAnd a discussion like the one that took place there on Monday does not promote a healthy view toward human relationships. Iâm so upset [because] there was no one to counter this anything-goes point of view.â
Georgetown University political science professor Patrick Deneen also commented on the event at writer Rod Dreherâs BeliefNet blog âCrunchy Conservative.â
He said observers should not assume that Christian teaching about human sexuality is made known at Georgetown.
âIt is not,â Prof. Deneen charged. âThe university feebly attempts to pretend to be concerned about matters of sexuality, but addresses them in terms of âhealth.â Students who are required to take two courses in Theology are rarely, if ever, introduced to something like Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. The only orthodoxy on campus is sexual liberation.â
Noting that the university had established a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning âResource Center,â he said there is no comparable center on campus dedicated to âan expressly Catholic teaching on human sexuality.â
âSo what is the message being sent to today's students? Sex, like everything else, is a matter of preference, choice, personal liberty and utilitarian pleasure. It is largely consequence-free recreation. We should recognize that the same moral climate that contributed to the devastation of the worldwide economy is the same moral climate that informs âSex Positive Weekâ,â Prof. Deneen argued.
He accused Georgetown of wanting âdesperately to be accepted on the terms set by the broader culture.â
âRather than taking a part in attempting to shape, even change that culture, Georgetown is shaped in its image,â he said.
âParents and university caretakers have been deeply complicit in what goes on in today's universities. They have largely reneged their responsibilities to set a proper tone as their young make the transition from childhood to adulthood, instead offering them a responsibility-free zone for four years at the same time when most cultures have elaborate rituals and practices to assist young people in that difficult and dangerous transition.â
At Loyola University of Chicago on Tuesday, the universityâs Student Diversity and Cultural Affairs Office presented a film about a homosexual African-American who is transported in time to âcavortâ with the supposedly homosexual writer Langston Hughes, the Cardinal Newman Society reports.
The film is part of a semester-long âColor of Queer Film Seriesâ sponsored by the university. Another upcoming film in the series concerns a 12-year-old boy who falls in love with a male police officer.
At Seattle University, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the student Trans and Allies Club are sponsoring âTransgender Awareness Weekâ which includes a session on supposedly transgender Bible heroes and heroines. The week also includes âCriss-Cross Day,â which encourages students to âcome dressed for the day in your best gender-bending outfit.â
âThese obscene abuses of Catholic values come just as Christians begin a holy season of penance, fasting and almsgiving,â said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J. Reilly. âFaithful Catholics have good reason to be outraged and heartbroken.â
âThat Catholic universities would permit these events on their campuses at any time of the year is unthinkable, but to do so during the holy season of Lent is unconscionable,â he added. âThe saddest part of this story is that there is no indication that these universities are ashamed or embarrassed by what is taking place on their Catholic campuses. Parents and potential students might begin to wonder how these universities can in good conscience consider themselves Catholic when they allow such perverse distortions of Catholic values to take place.â