The tribute to Father Leahy done by Grace Dietrich in response to Michael Razis’ article titled, “Looking Forward to a Progressive Future” is riddled with inconsistencies. To begin, it is apparent that the use of religion as a platform to justify hate, homophobia in this case, is an overdone and pathetic attempt to disguise intolerance. The bible solely existing as a piece of literature notwithstanding, it is hypocritical to claim that traditional marriage is vindicated in the bible and therefore rationalizes oppression of marginalized communities. People like Grace Dietrich that reference the bible to promote and defend their abhorrence of people different from them must not have read the part that describes “The Greatest Commandment” in Mark 12:28-31 which says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I cannot seem to find an appendage to this commandment, perhaps adding, “…unless your neighbor is not straight and cisgender.” Likewise, I did not understand the Jesuit value of service to others to mean “men and women for others except people in the LGBTQ+ community.”
It is also troubling to me that Dietrich believes that citing the year “1863” has any relevance to her argument given the fact that 1863 was 154 years ago. I am assuming Dietrich is not aware of the fact that the Civil War had not yet ended in 1863 (at which time slavery also had “biblical justifications”). It is absurd to make the argument that since BC did not have an LGBTQ+ center when it was founded, that inherently means that it does not align with Jesuit ideals and therefore should not be a resource on campus.
While it is easy to disprove everything in Dietrich’s response to Razis’ piece, the statement with the least merit and substance is the last line that reads, “If BC students wanted to attend a school with a university-run LGBTQ center, they shouldn’t have chosen a Jesuit, Catholic university because those ideals clearly conflict.” This irrational proclamation is predicated on the notion that when choosing schools, people that already knew that they were a member of the LGBTQ+ community must only take one factor into account, whether or not there is an LGBTQ+ center, as if location, cost, campus, and academics, do not matter. This narrow-minded style of thinking is faulted in the fact that it perceives people of the LGBTQ+ community solely as their sexuality and assumes that is the only feature of who they are. It is also problematic because the polarizing rhetoric has no substance and aims to end dialogue with no argument. This “love it or leave it” mindset, adopted from nationalists during the Vietnam War, suggesting that a person should leave if they challenge leaders, policies, or institutions, is disturbing and is more similar to a dictatorship than an academic institution attempting to, in Father Leahy’s words, “educate a new generation of leaders…with a sense of calling, with concern for all of the human family.” ALL.
Annie Mahoney MCAS ’19