Students at DePaul University, a private Catholic university in Illinois, are circulating a petition demanding the elimination of a Christian group after it posted a Q&A on its now-deleted Instagram page denouncing LGBTQ lifestyles, student newspaper The DePaulia reported.
Signees called on DePaul University officials to ban the group “from meeting on campus and promoting discrimination against members of the LGBTQIA+ community,” according to the petition titled “Eliminate Vessel.” Vessel is not an official student organization on campus and appears to have deleted their Instagram page soon after sharing that they are a “non-affirming” group and “do not agree that the LGBTQIA+ lifestyle is supported by biblical text. Below are verses which support this,” according to a screenshot obtained by the DePaulia.
DePaul sophomore Brigid O’Brien was sitting inside local coffeehouse the Bourgeois Pig Cafe Wednesday evening with her roommates, senior Alexandra Murphy and junior Grace Lewandowski, when her attention turned to an instagram post on Murphy’s phone.
O’Brien’s eyes widened when she saw the post on screen. It was a post by a group with the username “vessel.oncampus,” which goes by “Vessel,” that included messaging both O’Brien and Murphy categorize as harmful. O’Brien herself identifies as bisexual.
“We were super pissed,” O’Brien said.
Vessel, a Christian group meeting at DePaul, addressed the group’s view on LGBTQ+ “lifestyles.” The post stated as follows:
“We are non-affirming. This means we do not agree that the LGBTQIA+ lifestyle is supported by biblical text. Below are verses which support this.”
The post then cited 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, an excerpt from the Bible that in many versions says, “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves … will inherit the kingdom of God.”
The messaging immediately upset the trio of roommates, who all felt a need to act. Still in the coffee shop, O’Brien and her roommates drafted a Change.org petition with the goal of barring Vessel from meeting on campus. It quickly garnered more support than she anticipated.
These Karens — who, mind you, chose to attend a private Catholic university — responded to the existence of a group whose fidelity to Scripture and the magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church by seeking to have the Christian group banned from campus. That’s so typical of America today, especially of that Jacobin generation.
Here’s what set them off:
Wait till the Karen Trio reads the Bible! If they read the Bible, I mean…
DePaul says the group hasn’t asked for university recognition, so it can’t do anything about it. The Karens and their queer allies are MAD:
On Sunday evening, Spectrum DePaul, a community-based queer student organization posted a statement to its Instagram in response to Vessel’s Wednesday night post. In the post, Spectrum said it is “ashamed by the people in the DePaul community who would attempt to form an organization with values based on exclusion and bigotry.”
While O’Brien and Murphy both hope the petition and its accompanying support garners a change in policy regarding the kind of language Vessel used, they cannot help but be disheartened by the use of it.
“In some way, with the quoting of the Bible verse, I think to an extent, that is still discrimination,” Murphy said. “Regardless of it being outward harassment necessarily, or being like, ‘you cannot come to our group,’ it’s discrimination.”
Irony is dead with these people. We hate this group’s policy of exclusion — ban them from campus! And even better: The Bible is discriminatory! Keep the people who quote the Bible off of our Catholic campus!
It tells us something, though, about the state of Catholic catechesis in America today that the Three Karens and all those who signed their Change.org petition see nothing particularly wrong with demanding that a student group whose belief in the moral status of homosexuality is consonant with Scripture and explicit, binding Catholic teaching is intolerable. You watch: five years from now, progressive Catholic universities will be citing Pope Francis to justify banning actual believing magisterial Catholics from campus.
DePaul, incidentally, hosts an annual drag show, and a “Queer Halloween” party.
A reader e-mailed about something I posted on my Substack concerning cultural clashes between Europeans and Americans. It applies to this controversy at DePaul:
What struck me 40 years ago as a student living in Europe for four years was that Americans were relatively intolerant. That is, as a culture we tended either to paper over differences or to get upset that someone disagreed with us–with an inclination to take it personally. In Europe people seemed more resilient to disagreement and so disagreements could be followed by (or accompany) a meal or a drink.
It caused me to think that Americans had come to equate tolerance with agreement or indifference because making truth claims risked offending the other person. As if saying something was true was taboo because it implied the other person was wrong and therefore (implicit to this system) ignorant or bad (and hence the ensuing personal upset). The working assumption was that saying “you’re wrong” couldn’t be a neutral declaration of an error or mistake but had to carry a negative moral judgement.
In comparison, Europeans weren’t shocked to find truth claims expressed and contested.
Since then we’ve taken the false assumption “you’re wrong = you’re bad” and forged it into a hammer for smashing opponents and demolishing any aspect of society that gets in our way. We won’t now even allow the thought that “you’re wrong” could mean “you’re sincere but mistaken.” The latter assertion would be denounced as a microaggression and, likely, a sign of some sort of privilege.
The reason for this development (actually decay) is that we’re no longer assuming that the truth is out there to be discussed and discovered, with space for compromise as we journey together. Rather there is only power, the ability to craft and impose a narrative on others. Such a culture by definition tends toward win-lose situations since there is in theory no appeal beyond the contestants; there’s only taking the hill and “owning” the opposition.
I believe this is an important part of the reason Europeans see Americans (even very liberal ones) as puritanical (i.e., thinking we know what’s best and are right to impose it) and falsely optimistic (deep down every good person will want what we want once we show them). It makes us in our own way a culture as prone to Messianism as the Russians. By comparison, the British Empire seems modest. It only claimed to be bringing civilization, we’re inclined to think we’re saving the world (as did the Russians in their communist phase).
It’s the one way many Democrats and Republican still think alike, though their paths are increasingly incompatible.
So, that’s DePaul.
And then there’s the University of Notre Dame’s latest obscene stunt. This is from today’s issue of Rod Dreher’s Diary, which is where you will find me after this blog says farewell to TAC after the end of the day on Friday. (Subscriptions are $5/month, $50/year, for daily posts and a full comments section.):
The series at the university, titled “Reproductive Justice: Scholarship for Solidarity and Social Change,” is sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s gender studies program and the university’s Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values. Several other bodies within the university and several external groups also provide support.
The latest event, “Trans Care + Abortion Care: Intersections and Questions,” is scheduled to be held on Zoom on March 20. It aims to address “the intersections between trans care and abortion care” followed by questions and answers with the audience, according to the website of the university’s Gender Studies Program.
One speaker is Ash Williams, described as “a Black trans abortion doula, public intellectual, and abolitionist community organizer.” Williams is based in North Carolina but is a decriminalizing abortion resident at Project Nia, a Chicago-based advocacy group that favors “restorative and transformative justice” instead of criminal incarceration.
National Public Radio profiled Williams in an October 2022 report. As an abortion doula, the report said, Williams “provides physical, emotional, or financial help to people seeking to end a pregnancy.”
Williams, who identifies as a transgender man, has had two surgical abortions and has a forearm tattoo of a tool used in the abortion procedure known as a manual vacuum aspiration, National Public Radio reported. Williams praised the abortion procedure, saying “it’s one and done. It’s quick.”
This, at the University of Notre Dame. Things sure have changed there. I’ve been hearing more and more about how the Great Awokening is displacing Catholicism there. When I first went to the university about a decade ago, I was shocked by the huge rainbow Pride flag hanging in front of the student center near the chapel. Seems quaint now. Anyway, I doubt Brandeis or Yeshiva would invite Dr. Mengele’s lab assistants to give presentations on campus. But those colleges know who they are supposed to be.
But hey, maybe the kids and their teachers are vanguards. Pope Francis just named Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, who recently described the Church’s longstanding teaching on homosexuality as “false”, to be in his inner circle of advisors. They sure don’t make heretics like they used to.