Attention is often directed at the number of professors who teach at Catholic colleges and universities who have nothing but scorn for Church teaching. However, too little attention is paid to the fact that many of the same individuals are politicized idiots. Case in point Michael Eric Dyson who teaches sociology at Georgetown. Dyson is a Baptist and on wife number three. The judgment of the man is demonstrated by his calling the scandal dogged Attorney General Eric Holder “the Moses of our time”.
In an outing this week on MSNBC, Dyson, in attacking Phil Robertson’s comments against homosexual conduct, said that heterosexual Christian men might be viewed by some as having an erotic attraction to Jesus Christ. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air gives us the gory details of this blasphemy;
The Phil Robertson/A&E flap has produced some silly commentary, but perhaps none quite so silly as this exchange on MSNBC earlier this week. Joy Reid filled in for Ed Schultz on his show last Monday and invited Michael Eric Dyson to discuss the contretemps over Robertson’s comments on homosexuality and religion. Dyson argues at the end of this clip that Robertson attempted to “us[e] Jesus in making Jesus co-sign all of this bigotry here,” and then almost in the same breath accused Christian men who profess love of Jesus as being, er … you know (via The Right Scoop and Truth Revolt):
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity and the rest of those folks ought to be ashamed of themselves. And gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual people ought to speak up and link their own fate to African-American people because ultimately we’re in the thing together.
JOY REID, SUBSTITUTE HOST: But what do you think of this attempt to recruit essentially Rosa Parks?
DYSON: Oh my God.
REID: Because this is something that has been done before on the Right.
DYSON: Right. Right.
REID: Like in anytime that something they say is taking as offensive by African-Americans or taken as offensive by the LGBT community…
REID: …you get, “Well, Martin Luther King, Jr. would’ve been on our side…
REID: . …or Rosa Parks or, you know, Phil Robertson is the next Rosa Parks.” What do you think of that as a tactic?
DYSON: I mean it’s — well, first of all, it’s scurrilous, but it’s the same as using Jesus in making Jesus co-sign all of this bigotry here. Jesus was a Jew who, around whom a religion was made. So the anti-Semitism of many of the Christians is ironic to begin with. And then secondly, the gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual stuff – look through the Bible. There’s a lot of interesting things. The same men who will stand up in the church of all men. “I put my God, Jesus, over all women. I love him more than I love her.”
Hmmm. Do you really? That sounds interestingly homoerotic to people who are outside your religious traditions. I’m not suggesting it is but I’m suggesting that there are some very interesting, subtle, narrative tensions within the Bible itself and within Christianity beyond that.
I tried to get offended by this argument, and ended up laughing every time I tried. I mean, it takes a lot of effort to take this kind of trolling seriously, doesn’t it? According to Dyson’s CV, he’s a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, a Catholic university, but he must be the first professor at Georgetown to have never studied the difference between agape, philos, and eros. Not all love is sexual, as even most people “outside your religious traditions” understand. Most normal people would scoff at the idea that a son’s love for his father would “sound interestingly homoerotic,” let alone that of sons for The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
This is the kind of commentary that only occurs in profoundly unserious circles, with MSNBC among the leading examples. I doubt that Dyson buys this schtick, which is just intended to tweak Christians who believe that Corinthians is scripture by using the “you guys are so gay!” insult, but it’s more an insult to his own audience. It’s the kind of ivory-tower sneering at those hoi polloi in the sticks that reveals more ignorance of the speaker than of anyone else. Exactly who does Dyson think would believe that professing a love of Jesus Christ equates to a homoerotic experience? Christians laugh at this, but perhaps it’s people “outside [our] religious tradition” who should be more insulted at Dyson’s assessment of their intelligence and common sense. Continue reading
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness:
Hattip to Matthew Archbold at Creative Minority Report. Well, for 40 grand a year Catholic parents can send their offspring to a “Catholic” college that is apparently ashamed of the cross.
The symbol of Saint Joseph’s College, the only Catholic college in Maine, has long been a seal with a cross on a shield with the motto “Fortitudo et Spes” meaning “Fortitude and Hope.” But the president of the college just announced in a letter to students forwarded to The Cardinal Newman Society that after an extensive marketing study, the college founded by The Sisters of Mercy will be removing the cross and motto from the logo.
It’s no secret to anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention to the state of Catholic higher education that it has drifted far from orthodoxy, and in some cases, from basic Catholic teachings. The list of examples that might be complied would be sufficiently ghastly to demonstrate that fact. Unfortunately I think a new threshold has been crossed, as nominally-Catholic schools become involved with Planned Parenthood. Thanks to CatholicCulture.org for these updates.
First there is the case of Alverno College in Wisconsin, which placed a student as an intern for Planned Parenthood, as can be seen on page 34 of this PDF. Alverno College states in its mission statement that “[s]ervice to the community, improving society by addressing educational needs, and working for social justice, especially for women, are core components of both the founding order and the college.” On the left, “social justice, especially for women” has traditionally meant the unrestricted right to abortion. It is sad to learn that a nominally-Catholic institution may be adopting that same view.
Next there is the case of Spalding University in Kentucky, where a “prominent administrator” has, in the course of her “community involvement” served on the board of Planned Parenthood. Some people might wonder what the big deal is, if she is only an administrator. Well, this same university co-hosted a conference with a CCHD-funded group called “Women In Transition”, at which a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest gave a speech. The topic? Here was the title of the presentation: “It begins with me: Confronting reproductive health issues.” A fitting title, since abortion is the height of selfishness, whether it is a woman choosing to dispose of her child or a father threatening, coercing, or encouraging the mother to do so. No, pro-aborts, it isn’t all about women.
The really tragic thing here is that there is, I believe, some good in the work these groups too. They wish to address poverty and genuine social injustice. But there can be no social justice as long as the innocent and weak may be murdered on a whim. I hope the Catholic students who understand this truth hold the faculty and staff of their schools to account.
Graduations are just around the corner, and I would assume that most high school seniors heading on to college next year have already picked their schools and are now navigating the treacherous waters of financial aid forms. However, ’tis the season, and with Catholic colleges somewhat in the news at the moment (and the realization that despite my thinking of myself as recently down from college I am in fact eight years out — with my eldest daughter likely heading off to college herself in eleven years) I thought it might be an appropriate time to assess the practicalities of Catholic higher education — or more properly, of higher education for Catholics.
In our social circle, I know a number of parents who proclaim that no child of theirs shall ever go to any but one of 3-5 approved, orthodox Catholic colleges. (The contents of these lists vary slightly depending on the speaker, but Thomas Aquinas, Steubenville, Ave Maria, Christendom, University of Dallas and Benedictine are names one hears often.) I find myself less of one mind on the question, in part because my wife and I both actually went to Steubenville (class of ’01). My goal here is not to advocate one specific course as the only wise one for serious Catholics, but to lay out the advantages and disadvantages of all. I think there are basically two sets of concerns that parents have in these discussions, moral and academic. I shall begin with the moral.
The University of Notre Dame announced today that President Obama will be the commencement speaker this year and receive an honorary degree. Leaving aside the spit in the face insult to Our Lady that this invitation constitutes, the bishops of this country* spoke on this point in 2004:
“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
I hope that faithful Catholics will do their best to persuade the administration of Notre Dame to rethink this invitation. If the administration does not, I hope that enough faithful Catholics show up on May 17, 2009 to make the protest of the speech a memorable one. I also trust that the students of Notre Dame who take their Faith seriously will also find means during the speech to express their displeasure over the choice of speaker known.
* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or USCCB
Update I: As usual, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is on top of the story.
Update II: Totus chimes in.
Update III: For those of you who would like to make your views known to the president of Notre Dame, click here.
Update IV: Good. There is a website set up to organize resistance to this invitation.
Salvete AC readers!
Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:
1. Unlike many bishops in America, Coadjutor Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati prayed the Rosary with other protesters outside an abortion mill on Wednesday, March 4. Archbishop Schnurr will replace Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk upon his retirement. Among the protesters came this comment referring to Archbishop Schnurr’s presence:
“It’s tremendous,” Ferraro said of Schnurr’s presence. “He’s the head of the flock. It certainly affirms (the church leadership’s) commitment.”
For the link click on Archbishop Schnurr’s name above or here.
Updated: Archbishop Pilarczk actively leads Rosary prayer vigils in front of abortion mills as well!
2. Doctors who performed and directly assisted in the abortion of twins to a nine year old rape/incest victim have been declared excommunicated by Archbishop Jose Sobrinho of the Archdiocese of Olinda e Recife in Brazil. The nine year old girl was not excommunicated for many reasons, most likely due to her age. Where are these bishops in America? Probably hiding behind the USCCB Faithful Citizenship document thus failing to lead their flocks.
Dr. Ed Peters volunteered his sentiments on this case, “as for the perpetrator of the rape, there isn’t a mine shaft deep enough on this earth for him.”
For the link click on excommunicated above or here.