A few weeks ago I was delighted to hear that Catholic University of America made the decision to return to single-sex dormitories. I have blogged a good here at this site of horrible moral life on college campuses, and wanted to blog on the good news of CUA’s decision, but found others had beat me to it, and done a fine job in reporting it.
You most surely know my view on this topic and it is summarized briefly as “Bravo Catholic University!” Bravo CUA president John Garvey! The prevailing idea on most college campuses of putting young men and women in the same building, in close living conditions, with little supervision, is one of the most absurd things we could do. This sort of thing could variously filed under: “How could we ever have been so stupid?” or “Common sense takes a holiday,” or, “Your kidding right?”
And don’t tell me about the over 18, “they’re adults now” notions. Maturity doesn’t magically happen at 18. In fact, given the foolish climate at most colleges, maturity may even step backward for a few years for many college students.
Back in my parents day (they went to college in the early 1950s) the women lived in a separate dorm that had a reception area in the lobby with a receptionist. Young men were not permitted in the upper floors, and young ladies would come down and meet their dates, or other visitors, in those public areas. (I know there was some sneaking around, I am not naive, but the system was still more prudent than today’s open fornication culture).
I am not sure if Catholic will go this far, in implementing the new policy, but any steps in the right direction are most welcome.
Lawsuit looming? Now comes the news that, John Banzhaf, a professor at nearby George Washington University Law School, intends to bring suit to prevent CUA from implementing the change. Patrick Lee of the Wall Street Journal reports on this. Here is an excerpt:
John Banzhaf, a professor at George Washington University Law School, says he intends to sue Catholic University over the same-sex plan, Inside Higher Ed reports.
Banzhaf told the Law Blog that his argument rests on the District of Columbia’s Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, commercial spaces, housing and employment based on any number of factors, including sex, race, religion and marital status. Reinstating single-sex dorms would constitute gender discrimination, Banzhaf maintains.
The only exception allowed under the act is for “business necessities,” which means the Catholic University must demonstrate that it can operate the school and remain in business only by instituting a single-sex dorm policy, Banzhaf said. Given that the university has been offering coed housing for decades, it is unlikely the exception will apply in this case, he said.
The university issued a prepared statement in response to a Law Blog request for comment, saying it had not yet received or reviewed any legal documents regarding Banzhaf’s intent to sue and that it was “confident that the law does not require men and women be housed together in residence halls.”
The full article is here Sued over Single Sex Dorms?
Mr. Banzhaf apparently has too much time on his hands and wants to insert himself into a matter that is none of his business.
Here is yet another example of the attempt to erode religious freedom. Catholic University has a number of reasons to move to single-sex dorms, but chief among them is a moral vision flowing from our religious convictions. Fornication, carousing, drunkenness, lewd conduct, and so forth, are forbidden a Christian. Further, prudence, the avoidance of scandal and occasions of sin is incumbent upon the Christian individual and community. But Mr Banzhaf will have none of this, even if it does not directly involve him. Not only would he like to disagree with us (which is his right) but he insists on limiting our freedom to live as our faith directs. Once again the Church must go back to court to insist on our religious liberty. It is the same drip, drip, drip we have discussed before (e.g. HERE) as the secularists seek to erode our religious liberty.
For some reason, I am mindful of a line from St. Paul who had to endure interference in Christian matters as well. He wrote: Some… have infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, and to make us slaves (Gal 2:4). I do not know Mr Banzhaf’s personal motivation, but in the wider, highly secularized, (and I would add, neo-pagan) world, the presence of Christians is increasingly obnoxious. It would seem it is not enough for this world to abhor us and what we stand for, but they must also seek to restrict us from practicing our faith, publicly, and even in a our own institutions.
Increasing numbers want to limit severely our religious liberty and force us to observe secular norms as though we were bondsmen to the secular vision and state. But we are not bondsmen, we are free men and women in Christ Jesus. We also have the Constitutional right to practice our faith publicly and to seek to influence others to do so as well, by evangelization, both internally and externally.
Please pay attention to the drip, drip, drip of the erosion of religious liberty. Do not brush it off as no big deal. We may well win this one, but endless numbers of legal cases and legislative actions against religious liberty are already in the works, or soon to come. And we must be ready to fight every one of them.
This ABC News report isn’t exactly balanced. I personally know there is more support at CUA than this rather cynical report depicts:
UPDATE: Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J. Reilly appeared on Fox news today. Video is here, please also see relevant blog posts at the Cardinal Newman blog: Cardinal Newman Society