Saturday, July 22, 2006
Loyolas New Theology Chair Teaches Gay Love is Just as Good as Heterosexual; Condemns Heterosexism; Says Churchs Moral Law Will Ultimately Change to Reflect Her Views
Fidelity to Bible Doesnt Mean We Should Replicate All 1st Century Morality, Says Dr. Patricia Beatty Jung, Celebrated Speaker at Gay Rallies.
[Another article from The Wanderer, the nations oldest national Catholic weekly.
By Thomas F. Roeser
CHICAGONo sooner did the institution calling itself the nations largest Catholic university. DePaul, establish academic minor called Queer Studies: 101 then Loyola University of Chicago named as chairman of its theology department a woman Ph.D who supports a system of morality at wide variance with Church tradition. She wants to get the Church and the nation to give equal respect to the cause of homosexual love and says the Churchs moral code will change to reflect hers.
Which means that while the authenticist Catholic Citizens of Illinois petitions Rome to either make DePaul conform to Church teaching on sexual morality or strip it of its Catholic designation, Jesuit Loyola has promoted a woman who says since morals evolve anyhow, one day the Church will join her. Meanwhile, she says, her formal academic interest is centered on the moral evaluation of pleasure and sexual diversity.
Pleasure and sexual diversity: 101? Not yet, but her barrage against exclusive heterosexual morality has enlivened many campuses where she has guest-lectured, including St. Marys at Notre Dame, Indiana.
The new Jesuit chairman of theology is Patricia Beattie Jung. According to Loyolas web-site, she runs a department that has long been interested what it describes as the critical appropriation of personal faith and sympathetic appreciation for the beliefs of others. (It is also greatly interested in appropriations from the taxpayers, about which more later).
Dr. Jung is deeply engrossed in what she calls Christian sexual ethics
which to her involves concentrating on the discrimination homosexuals and lesbians face for insisting on advocating and performing practices that have been banned in Judeo-Christian theology for five thousand years. She herself is not a lesbiannot that there is anything wrong with that as actors portraying players in our nervously politically correct culture say on the TV comedy Seinfeld. And she doesnt knock heterosexuality; she supports monogamy, frowns on promiscuity. But she thinks homosexuality should not be disparaged. And she is married to an equally open-minded Ph.D who has joined her as co-author in at least one book. They have three sons and a daughter-in-law and will mark their 30th wedding anniversary next year, the university catalog says.
All very normal except she believes that in our cultural context, fidelity to the Bible does not require that we necessarily replicate the particular judgments of the First Century and earlier. A breathtaking introduction to theology for young men and women attending this purported Jesuit school.
Dr. Jung explains that she is a militant critic of the discrimination that society has exerted in condemnation of homosexual actscriticism not only by the Catholic church but by Judeo Christianity. She does not exclude the contempt that cropped up following the tale in Genesis of Sodom and Gomorrah. In particular, the famous passage where the men of Sodom clamor for Lot to produce the two angels in human form whom he was sheltering so they can have sexual relations with them.
That passage produced the term sodomy, described in Websters Second International Dictionary as carnal copulation in any of certain unnatural ways. Dr. Jung opposes that definition as well. Agreed, Websters description of homosexual acts as unnatural means that Dr. Jung has a job on her hands of changing not just Websters but moral attitudesa task that is truly Herculean (to be disgustingly sexist about it).
Moreover she has an added burden of confronting biology. Heterosexuality is anchored in the contention since paleo centuries that male and female sexual organs complement themselves harmoniously. Then there is the archaic (to her) view that male-female coupling is superior because they produce babies who replenish society.
But let us get Dr. Jung right. In an address to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of the Episcopal Church entitled Heterosexism: An Introduction she laments that what she calls heterosexism, the view that heterosexuality is to be preferred, pervades our culture and shapes a wide range of social phenomenon and public policies.
Catholic theology believes thats good. But Loyola theology department chairman Dr. Jung most is more nuanced. Shes not against heterosexuality, understand, since she practices it herself. But she condemns heterosexism because it favors sex between men and women and tends to discriminate against same-sex couples. Speaking to the Episcopalian LGBTs she denounced a system where heterosexuals are given access through marriage to a variety of benefits: to spousal immigration rights, to the proxy privileges automatically attributed to the `next of kin in regard to medical decisions and funeral arrangements, to many economic benefits (both direct and transferred) from Social Security, Medicare, veterans and other pension plans and to the spousal benefits associated with life and health insurance policies. She was warmly received. And her book (co-authored with Ralph F. Smith) Heterosexism: An Ethical Challenge was favorably reviewed.
Dr. Jung began her lecture by first using the word gay (an ancient word whose original meaning was lively or spirited) for homosexual inclinations but then lapsed into the term queer. By this usage she is at one with DePauls Queer Studies: 101 by which is commonly understood to not just abolish discrimination but to achieve public favor for their acts and ultimately abolish reference to tradition that condemns homosexuality. Activists see the next step as equating public and pulpit condemnations of homosexuality with hate speech. In some Canadian provinces there is civil penalty against such speech.
By passionately arguing against heterosexisma word she appears to have coinedwhich under traditional Judeo Christian standards involves condemnation not of people but immoral acts, Dr. Jung has won entrée as a popular speaker at pro-homosexual rallies. She appears at seminars where she cites her book with the captivating title, Good Sex: Feminist Perspectives from the Worlds Religions for which sales at the sessions are brisk. A familiar theme is the one she stressed in an article for the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, is to assail privileged status for heterosexual people. She declared that heterosexism connotes prejudice against bisexual, and especially homosexual, people.
She is particularly good at coining other names which seem to have no basis in most psychological studies and invests them with academic jargon. For example, there is the word procreationism which she defines as defining ones status as a `real woman or `real man [that] hinges significantly upon ones reproductive potential and/or performance. Audiences understand quickly that she is against procreationism.
All the same time, Dr. Jung clings to the title Catholic, celebrates heterosexual marriage but in equating homosexual acts with heterosexual ones, wanders far from theology into her own private brandalthough she expects times will adapt to her view. She also likes to capitalize words in her talks. In preparing this article, this writer read from her text which says the key premise of those who wallow in heterosexism is that heterosexual sex is the ONLY form of good sexrests on a set of interrelated convictions.
She continues, With the first of these convictionsthat God delights in the faithful, loving communion of personsmost who oppose heterosexism have no argument. But the two further claimsthat such a love can be enjoyed only by people who are open to procreation and whose genders are complimentarymost who oppose heterosexism find deeply problematic. [Italics supplied]. If she counts herself among the majority that she has enumerated, Loyolas chairman of theology has indeed propounded a theology for a new church. Which means that naïve early students of theology may get a two-fer from her coursesan education as to what is bad about traditional sexual morality and an introduction into a new theology as envisioned by Patricia Beatty Jung, Ph.D. Parents who forego material needs to pay for their progenys education at a so-called Catholic university will be astounded to learn that in all probability they have regularly committed the sin of heterosexism.
By lamentable secular university standards a professors views, no matter how strange, should not be criticized lest their academic freedom be interfered with. And As a former Loyola adjunct professor, this writer has found it wiser to take the case for change to the university heads themselves. The question parents and donors should ask is this: how did someone of Dr. Jungs heretical beliefs get to head Loyolas Theology department when by the norm of Ex Corde Ecclesiaes a proper Catholic ethos should be maintained by the university, faculty, administrators and students?
Thus the same problem that besets DePaul now confronts Loyola, a problem that reverts like a ricochet to the desk of over-worked Francis Cardinal George whose staff doesnt exactly snap-to when he issues an order. But the rationale of authenticists who oppose Dr. Jungs misinterpretation of theology might well be this: If Loyola University of Chicago wants to maintain an open, total dissent from the Church that is central to its reputation, fine. But then it should stop calling itself Catholic and be honest with its students and their parents and all who are squirreling hard-earned money to pay tuition costs and fees. Truth in advertising deserves nothing less.
Consequently, public pressure that is exerted on Cardinal George concerning DePaul will come to him also regarding Loyola and the same archbishop in the Vatican who has thus far so studiously ignored CCIs protest even to the extent of neglecting to respond to his mail.
Why does Loyola and other so-called Catholic universities persist in thumbing their noses at traditional church teaching while following an aggressively heretical, secular creed? The answer: Follow the money. Loyola may dissent from Church teaching, may have a chairman of theology who is in full opposition to 2,000 years of Church teaching but it has been buttoned-up tight with the very nominal largely Irish Catholic Democratic party mafia that has run the politics in this town for more than seventy yearsa mafia that is willing to throw theology and philosophy under the bus to make easier its role in winning absolution for its pro-abortion, pro-gay rights views by dispensing of contracts, tax breaks and conferring paybacks.
Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan, arguably if not the first at least the second most powerful official in the state, whose views on social issues are to say the least negotiable, got his law degree from Loyola as did his favored and highly prized step-daughter, Lisa. She has found that to be pro-abort and pro-gay rights is required to win her partys nod as state attorney general. She has been honored by Loyola law school, no matter the criticism the school has received from Catholics.
Lisa Madigan is the Democratic heir presumptive to the governorship, a seat held by a pro-abort, pro-gay rights Serbian orthodox ex pizza delivery man Democrat whom most regular Democrats including the Madigans wish would evaporate. But officially opposing him for reelection would not do, so Poppa Madigan is chairman of the governors reelection committee, all the while hoping that the pro-abort Republican candidate, nominal Catholic Judy Baar Topinka will win, will serve one term, will keep her tacit promise whispered on the sly to Democrats in order to get their under-the-table support to raise the state income tax and decline to seek reelection after one term, leaving the way open for daughter Lisa.
Madigans powerful wife, Shirley, who is Lisas mother and who enthusiastically supports her daughters socially liberal stance served prominently on Loyolas board, does no more but retains a keen interest in Lisas receiving Jesuit approbation for future campaigns, since being an Irish Catholic no matter how nominal gets votes big-time. Also on the board was Bill Daley, the mayors kid brother, an ex-ace lobbyist, now top official of Chase Bank, former Clinton secretary of commerce and ex-Gore campaign manager who echoed the former vice presidents views on gay rights and against the partial birth abortion ban. All are interested in keeping Loyolas favor tattered, stained by still valuable as a vestige of a once great Jesuit tradition. In addition to them, the litany of prominent lawmakers who have gone through Loyola and its law school looks like the A list of the Cook county Democratic party. Mayor Daley who didnt go to Loyola, for whom English syntax is a second language (and is lucky to have graduated from any school at all) but is nevertheless going to run for reelection while hoping by the strange alliance with George W. Bush that the feds dont indict him, is also enlisted.
So to no ones surprise, late last year, Chicago awarded Loyola up to $46 million in tax increment financing dollars for renovation of several of its buildings on their north lakefront campus. In May, the Democratic-controlled Illinois House, operating under the autocratic gavel of Speaker Madigan, appropriated $8 million for the same project. Loyola officials were never required to explain why they needed the additional $8 million or in what ways the state funding would benefit the state of Illinois. Miraculously, none of the usual liberal ACLU anti-church and state zealots uttered a peep of complaint to Loyolas largesse. The only way we know about it is because there was produced a memo of understanding between the governor with the not-alliterative name of Rod Blagojevich (pronounced: bla-goy-a-vich) and Speaker Madigan. It was produced because Madigan believes, correctly, that he cannot trust Blagojevich to keep his word. So the memo was typed and slipped into the state files.
And tucked into one memo of understanding which slipped by scrutiny of the mainstream press last May was an agreement to give $8 million to Loyola for capital costs associated with redevelopment of the Universitys Mundelein Center Skyscraper building,
In true Chicago style, no one is owning up as to whothe governor, the Speaker, the mayor or whomeverinitiated the Loyola handout. But theres no doubt it was the Madigans. The only thing anybody will admit is the obvious: the agreement signed by one Jan Grimes of the states Capital Development Board and Fr. Michael J. Garanzini, S. J., president of Loyola. Grimes stonewalled The Wanderer, sticking only to affirmation of the details of the grand. As from Fr. Garanzini, a St. Louis import, who is barricaded by legions of public relations officials from scrutiny, there was no return call to this newspaper. Whether cleric or lay official, its the old refrain: no comment. The so-called mainstream press is singularly uninterested in reporting the deal since with few exceptions they support the Madigans. Par for the course but it doesnt matter. News of the deal is on the street anyhow.
When pressed, Speaker Madigans spokesman said, A lot of people made a compelling case for this project. Hes undoubtedly right: a lot of people, unnamed. The memo of understanding states the project is in the best interest of the state because Loyola seeks to expand the horizon of its students understanding of themselves in relationship to the wider world. Hows that for specifics? But as The Reader, an alternative newspaper reports, taxpayers are paying about $54 million of an estimated $85 million construction project that benefits a private university charging $26,150 annual tuition and blessed with a growing endowment that now stands at about $200 million.
That vague open-ended poetic commitment to expand the horizon of its students understanding of themselves in relationship to a wider world sounds fittingly, Jesuitical. And it contrasts with those of other universities who have given specific details on what state money will be used for. Northwestern University got $8 million and has stipulated it will go to building a regenerative medicine wing at the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center with reams of papers attached. Even DePaul which rivals Loyola in the amount of taxpayers cash it garners through Democratic combined influence peddlers got its $9 million by stating it will go toward a new science center with many backup papers attached. When pressed, Loyola says its money will go to offer community drama and art programs. That will pay for a truckload of gay-oriented playwrights and drama coaches at its theatre which The Wanderer has earlier described as gay-oriented and brim-full of the theology of sexual pleasure as to specifically please the theology departments Dr. Jung.
The idea of TIF (or tax increment financing) is that tax dollars forfeited during 23-year terms will be offset by increased property tax revenues. Actually it can be justified and has been seen as responsible for the gentrification of the Loop and many neighborhoods. But on this matter, the city gets gypped. Loyola University is tax-exempt. And to make matters worse, the city will actually lose net revenue because a portion of the TIF funds are to buy a private office building for use by the school, which means taxable property is being converted into tax exemption. The city loses, the state loses, the taxpayer loses. But nobodys sad. The Loyola-Democratic coalition is firm even as Loyola winks at the Democratic partys firm espousal of sexual license. Follow the money.
Therefore, to paraphrase the famous inaugural words of one Irish Catholic Democrat in his inaugural (one whose rich daddy also made deals with pliable churchmen) : Ask not what you can do for Loyola but what Loyola, by conferring favor to candidates after being rewarded with tax concessions and subsidies, can do for you.