A Faithful Alum’s Response to USD’s Position on Allowing the Drag Show


1.   Rationale:  The event is intended to “foster students’ understanding of, and empathy for, the complexities of gender non-conformity.  Not surprisingly, the drag show event is being singled out by those concerned as an indication that our university is advocating or promoting a lifestyle and behaviors inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Catholic identity of the University of San Diego. Of course, this is not the case.”

      Response:  The drag show is being singled out because, far from exhibiting sensitivity and empathy to the complexities of gender non-conformity and discrimination, it makes sport of the challenges those with gender identity disorders face.

In addition, such entertainment greatly disrespects the dignity of the human person, making a mockery of our sexual identity.  In stark contrast to this behavior, it is the teaching of our faith that our call to communion as husband and wife,  in a free, faithful permanent, life giving union of persons, makes visible the invisible nature of God, and images Christ's union with His Church.  It is a holy, sacramental act in which we most closely imitate God.  Neutralizing our understanding of gender obfuscates our understanding of God Himself, our relationship with Christ, and our call to covenant union as man and woman.

Finally, all of us are born with concupiscence because of our fallen human nature.  Yet we are all called to holiness, and are empowered to overcome our disordered tendencies through the grace Christ won for us on the Cross.  Allowing an event that showcases disordered sexual behavior and invites students to join in the fun indicates tacit approval and makes a mockery of Christ's passion and death and our universal call to holiness.  

2.    Rationale:  California law requires USD to allow this event.

       Response:  California law is intended to prevent unjust discrimination.  It does not require the endorsement, promotion and encouragement of immoral behavior. The people promoting this event are doing so to improperly push their personal agenda on an unreceptive – or a poorly catechized – USD student body.

3.    Rationale:  Catholic social justice requires USD to allow this event.

       Response:  This is a  misuse of the phrase "social justice.”  Social justice demands that, with charity, we bear witness to the truth when it comes to the value and dignity of the human person.  On important issues of faith and morals Professor Kirkley stridently stands against the Fathers and Doctors of the Church and the Communion of Saints in Heaven.  Our Lord said that if we love Him we should keep His commandments. Therefore, it is a misuse of the concept of Christian "love" to "tolerate" breaking our Lord's commandments, especially when it comes to issues concerning sexual morality. In contrast, Christian love would dictate that the University educate and form our students on the Church's beautiful teachings on marriage and human sexuality, and host events that would motivate them to transform our culture for Christ.

4.    Rationale:  Other Catholic universities have held drag show contests.

       Response:  Sadly, it is true that USD is not the only "Catholic" university that has agreed to host such events.  The USD Religious Studies Department should be the crown jewel among its various fine colleges and academic programs.  Unfortunately, as with other so-called Catholic colleges and universities, dissident theology professors are abdicating their responsibility to teach the Catholic faith and instead pursue their own personal agendas.  In doing so, they are doing a grave injustice to the students and to the reputation of the University.  They have scoffed at Blessed John Paul II's call in Ex Corde Ecclesiae for them to take the Mandatum by which they would pledge fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Instead, they are continuing to disobediently lead unwitting students away from the Truth and their best hope of happiness in this world and eternal salvation in the next. This is beyond irresponsible.  It has resulted in a spiritual crisis that is weakening our Church and destroying our nation. Therefore, the magnitude and consequences of this spiritual crisis simply can not be overestimated. The time to return USD to its Catholic roots is now – before it is too late.

5.    Rationale:  Because this is a student sponsored event that followed approved policies and protocol, it would be discriminatory for the University’s Administration to cancel it.

       Response:  It is the job of the Administration to preserve USD's Catholic identity and uphold its values.  If this type of event meets the University’s  guidelines for student-sponsored events, the guidelines need to be modified.  USD is private property, largely built and supported by the faithful Catholic community that expects it to uphold Catholic values and inculcate them in its students.   It is not discriminatory to do so.

6.    Rationale:  Cross dressing is not “immoral.”

       Response:  It is clearly disordered behavior which can lead to sinful behavior.  It is often a reflection of a psychological or sexual dysfunction associated with  Gender Identity Disorder.  In almost all cases it is scandalous and not spiritually neutral.  It does not elevate the mind, body or spirit and has no proper place on the campus of an authentically Catholic university.

7.    Rationale:   A drag show is like the Japanese art of Kabuki.

      Response:  This borders on the absurd. One performer is engaged in an ancient, cultural and artistic form of dance that is not sexually provocative.  The other, as readily evidenced by the website of the emcee of the USD drag contest, is depraved and has no redeeming social value.  The fact that USD students are supposed to engage in such offensive behavior in order to become a "drag queen superstar" is shocking to the enlightened conscience.