Here’s a small thing, but a sign of the times: it’s the same-sex wedding announcement for the head of Fordham University’s theology department. A reader who teaches at a different Catholic university, and who sent this to me, says, “No future graduate student or faculty hire at Fordham will be able to dissent. It’s how the Jesuits work. ”
Well, we’ll see. It will be extremely interesting to see how the new era dawns on Catholic university campuses. Friends who teach on one such campus tell me that it would be dangerous to present the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality, even in a neutral, “let’s analyze this” way, because to do so would risk being brought up on charges of homophobia if a student felt attacked in some way by the subject.
Understand what I’m saying: at at least one Catholic university I know of, it is considered too risky even to bring up authoritative Catholic teaching on homosexuality. My friends tell me this is largely true of sexuality in general, given how central sexual desire and expression has become to the the identity of students today.
I suspect this sort of thing will be happening more and more around the country — and at Evangelical institutions as well. It’s only scuttlebutt so far, but insiders at various Evangelical colleges, schools with a reputation for conservatism, are telling me that there are strong movements among faculty and administrators to change the school’s policy on same-sex marriage and gay rights. Some of the names of these schools will shock people when and if they flip.
Are you a teacher or administrator at a Christian college or university? If so, be anonymous if you have to, but let us know what’s going on at your campus in this regard. Do you anticipate a liberalization of policy? What will happen to orthodox Christian dissenters?