Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Groups’ Views Run Contrary to Church Teachings

VIEWPOINT Groups’ Views Run Contrary to Church Teachings University Does Not Have Commitment To Sponsoring Every View By Christian Jenner

Georgetown recently announced that it has agreed to play host to a “progressive” career fair. It appears that Vice President for Student Affairs Juan C. Gonzalez was subject to two main lines of criticism before he kowtowed to the interests of a small minority. First, people argued that all voices should get a chance to speak on campus and encourage the free exchange of ideas. Second, people argued that the university should be consistent, and since it has permitted individuals to speak in the past on topics that have conflicted with the university’s mission, it should continue to do so.

To the contrary, a brief glance at the university’s mission statement reveals that Georgetown is “an academic community dedicated to creating and communicating knowledge,” and does not have a commitment to sponsoring every view of an issue. Some views are intrinsically contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church and thus should not receive university-funded benefits.

I answer that Georgetown should not permit such groups as the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and ChoiceUSA to use campus facilities to disseminate their propaganda. Neither organization is a student group; the interests of both are fundamentally incompatible with the Catholic nature of our university. For those individuals wondering what all the fuss is about, NARAL is “the political arm of the pro-choice movement and a strong advocate of reproductive freedom and choice,” according to their mission statement. Advocating abortion is clearly contrary to Catholic teaching, which seeks to respect all life, irrespective of whether it is born or unborn. One of the largest goals of the pontificate of John Paul II has been to end abortion, which is a critical part of his plan to foster true respect for the human person in the world.

Now let us reply to the first line of argumentation, which states that the university fails to give all voices an opportunity to speak on campus. Admittedly, opponents of the Catholic views on abortion are permitted to express their ideas in designated areas. Nevertheless, a member of the university community clamoring for RU-486 in Red Square is not the same thing as an outside organization intrinsically opposed to Catholic teaching recruiting in the Leavey Program Room. Allowing a group to use university space to encourage careers in organizations such as this is implicit – if not formal – cooperation with the goals of the organizations, and therefore cannot be permitted. It is not an explicit right of outside organizations to speak on campus, and the university is well advised to prohibit such activity where it is inconsistent with Catholic moral teaching.

It is also necessary to respond to charges that the university has been inconsistent with its restrictions, since it has allowed Larry Flynt among others to speak on campus. First, this charge of inconsistency is flawed, since I doubt that even past administrations would have permitted Hustler to recruit “models” on campus. Moreover, in considering the nature of his speech and disrespect for Catholicism, it is obvious that Larry Flynt should never have been allowed to speak on campus. Nevertheless, it is also clear that two wrongs do not make a right; therefore, simply because mistakes have been made it the past, we ought not make mistakes in the future with the interests of being “fair.” Indeed, up until this point, I have been proud of the current administration for stepping up to this challenge when previous administrations have failed to uphold their supposed commitment to Catholic teaching.

In considering the above, Gonzalez should be censured for permitting the career fair to occur with groups such as ChoiceUSA or NARAL in attendance, and he should not allow the fair to occur without the removal of organizations that fundamentally oppose the teachings of Christ and his church. Gonzalez’s approval of an event that conflicts with Catholic identity is quite blameworthy, and it is inconsistent with both reason and the noble tradition that we ought to protect.

Christian Jenner is a junior in the College and former grand deputy of the Knights of Columbus.

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