Good News! You Can Still Be Catholic at Georgetown … At Least for Now

The two articles linked below tell the story of the trials of Love Saxa at Georgetown University.

Georgetown University is a university “in the Jesuit tradition.” It calls itself Catholic though, to be blunt, there are a number of Catholics in the U. S. who question Georgetown’s commitment to that designation. The trials of Love Saxa at Georgetown give weight to their doubts.

Love Saxa is a student organization at Georgetown that promotes and encourages healthy sexual relationships, especially among young people. Being a Catholic organization, what Love Saxa means by healthy sexual relationships are those whose practices are in line with the moral tradition of the Catholic Church. That means no sex outside of marriage, fidelity within marriage, shunning pornography, and no same-sex marriage.

That last point caused outrage among a couple of Georgetown University students. They insisted that Love Saxa, being outspoken in their opposition to same-sex marriage, was in violation of Georgetown’s policies for student organizations. Georgetown’s policy prohibits groups whose “purpose and activities foster hatred or intolerance based on  . . . sexual preference” from receiving school funds and recognition. Naturally, it seemed to the two students who complained, being openly opposed to same-sex marriage is the same as fostering hatred and intolerance against LGBTQ persons. Why? Because in today’s culture of identity politics and identity morality, where one’s dignity as a person is no longer based on simply being a person, but is based on one’s social, racial, sexual, economic, ethnic, gender, etc… identity, to think differently than others is the same as hating them. So, naturally, the two student “activists” demanded that the Student Activities Commission revoke Love Saxa’s funding and it’s official recognition as a student organization.

Just to be clear, let’s lay this out: a Catholic student organization that promotes and encourages adherence to Catholic moral teaching on sexual relations is being threatened with losing it’s funding and recognition at a Catholic university specifically for promoting and encouraging adherence to Catholic moral teaching on sexual relations.

The majority of SAC  members voted against revoking Love Saxa’s funding or it’s official recognition as a student organization. Apparently, it is still safe for a Catholic student organization at Georgetown University to be wholly and faithfully Catholic. For how long, who knows? It should not be lost on readers that the basis on which the SAC voted in favor of Love Saxa’s continued funding and recognition was free speech, and not the fact that Georgetown is a Catholic university and that Love Saxa is promoting Catholic morality. Those SAC members who voted against Love Saxa did so on the basis of their belief that free speech does not protect intolerant speech. Of course, if the First Amendment does not protect intolerant speech, then it protects no speech at all, for almost all speech can be interpreted in a way that is intolerant to someone.

While Love Saxa’s victory is a happy thing, the very fact that a complaint was lodged against them and that this complaint was taken seriously, and that Love Saxa was put in the position of having to defend it’s Catholic identity at the oldest Catholic university in America, is cause for concern. The demand that all submit to the moral tenets of identity politics is troubling enough. The fact that such demands are even given a hearing at a Catholic university is more than troubling. It suggests that, at least in the case of Georgetown, defending the credibility of Catholic moral principles is secondary to extending credibility to the demands of the culture of identity politics. The fact that the SAC founded their continued support for Love Saxa on First Amendment grounds suggests that something other than Catholic moral principles are of priority at Georgetown. If a Catholic university cannot find room to support a Catholic organization on the basis of Catholic moral principles, then Catholics have cause to wonder if those in leadership in the Church will have their backs when the dementors of identity politics attack and attempt to suck the soul out of their faith.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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