Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mary Elizabeth Williams on Sister Jane Dominic Laurel: A Long History of Controversial Anti-Gay Remarks

Not in the least unrelated to what I have just posted about my dealings with the former bishop of Charlotte as controversy erupts in Charlotte following Sister Jane Dominic Laurel's anti-gay remarks recently at Charlotte Catholic High School: at Salon today, Mary Elizabeth Williams reports that Sister Jane Dominic has a long history of making such remarks:

What's remarkable about the recent events that led Sister Jane Dominic Laurel to take a sabbatical from her teaching post at Nashville’s Aquinas College isn't that she found herself in hot water after a controversial lecture last month at Charlotte Catholic High. It's that her incendiary speech appears to have not been a random case of going rogue. It was just that she finally found herself challenged on an incredibly dubious line of educational thought.

And then she writes,

Sister Jane's remarks at Charlotte Catholic High were not recorded, so all we have to go on are the reports from students. But if you're curious about the nun’s vision of "freedom and peace," you're welcome to peruse her videos on “The Rich Gift of Love” from the Newman Collection, in which she explains that "If [a boy] didn't receive the acceptance, the physical affection, the encouragement from his father, he's going to have an emotional void… He's going to be longing for masculine affection…. What can happen is that the lines can get crossed and a man's desire for his father's love, his father's affection, can become sexualized and he can begin to think that he has a sexual desire for another man when in fact he doesn't. It's that he’s missing his father's love." She then goes on to discuss sexual abuse, explaining that "Sexual abuse can cause a man to want do to another, act out in violence, in the sense of getting revenge or somehow psychologically resolving this problem of abuse. He can somehow try to make it right or get revenge for it in homosexual acts." She adds that "There was this one girl who found herself having a lesbian attraction. The reason was that her mother never really loved her." After watching the video, you can answer true or false questions like, "In Stage 2 we know one of the greatest difficulties and sadness that children can face is sexual abuse. This can cause confusion in Stage 3 and could lead to a man wanting to have intercourse with another man" and "Difference is the foundation for attraction." Another quiz asserts as "true" that "Oral sex is not part of the natural love between a man and a woman. It was actually imported by the homosexual culture." (PS Thanks, homosexual culture!)*

And Mary Elizabeth Williams adds,

And here's the thing. If you, as a conservative Catholic educator, want to peddle a narrow and traditional view of the roles of men and women and say that’s how God wants you to roll, that’s bad enough. If however you're telling teenagers flat out nonsense, pushing a fictitious view that, for instance, gay people are gay because they were damaged in childhood, you do not deserve to call yourself an educator. You do not deserve to get up in front of kids and talk to them. This isn't about morality or opinion or advice; it's about straight up intellectual dishonesty. The real mind boggler is, how had she been getting away with it for so long?

I hadn't realized until reading Mary Elizabeth Williams's article that Sister Jane Dominic has taken a sabbatical. As Williams says in conclusion, wouldn't it be grand if she spent some of her sabbatical time listening to some real life gay people?

You do know, don't you, that the chaplain of Charlotte Catholic High School who invited Sister Jane Dominic to speak, Father Matthew Kauth, teaches at the very same Benedictine college that ended my career as a Catholic theologian in 1993, Belmont Abbey College? Here he is being interviewed, with a mention of his position at Belmont Abbey.

* The final link embedded in this paragraph of Mary Elizabeth Williams's article now leads to a page stating that it contains "private" course material for which one must long in.

The eye-roll gif is by rainbowmonkey9 at deviantART.

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