Dear Ms. Lyons,
I live in Wisconsin. I attended St. Mary’s College, Winona, MN, a Catholic university. I am a practicing Catholic who still believes that the Catholic Church has done something right since its beginning with Peter as its first Pope. By the very fact that the Catholic Church has survived for that period of time, gives me the satisfaction of knowing the Church has stood the test of time; it has survived a myriad of attempts at its destruction by man and nature. A handful of other religions have also withstood the test of time, but none has grown to the extent of the Catholic Church.
That very reality – to a person with advanced education – is significant. As a Catholic, one might even draw the conclusion that God’s hand has played a part in the survival of the Catholic Church. Or, could it be that Catholicism is simply a superstition continued by people who also believe in things like mysteries such as the Eucharist, The Virgin Mary’s many apparitions (Guadalupe, Lourdes, etc.)? Many in academia have become so knowledgeable with their extensive education, that they believe that they have grown much more intelligent than the generations of Catholic scholars such as Augustine. Aquinas and the late John Paul.
May I draw a conclusion? As then president of a Catholic university, you have been hired and your salary funded by a board that operates under a mission statement or by-laws of some sort that has as its purpose, the teaching of Roman Catholic principles. Is that correct? I hope so.
I understand academia’s need – perhaps generated by some sort of “spirit of fair play” — to expose students to all ways of life, even those ways that might be defined as deviant and contrary to Catholic teachings. But, may I ask you to ask yourself, to the best of your knowledge, based upon you education (Is it Catholic? Are you Catholic?), do you sincerely believe that Jesus Christ, while he was on earth (if you believe in Christ and his time on earth) would have been involved in activities that would have advanced actions that are contrary to Catholic teachings? It is true that Christ, while on earth, did get involved with people such as Magdalene, the Pharisees, the good thief on the cross beside him, but, if you believe, you will recall that Christ tried to show them, in the most kind way, how to follow Him and his teachings and turn away from their life that He deemed was contrary to the Ways of He and His Father.
Is allowing and exposing the most deviant behavior of what is known as “drag” something Jesus would have used as an example for Catholics to be exposed to? Or, would Christ have done what He did in other instances and tried to show these “drag queens” a different way of life that would insure salvation? I agree with you that all human creations of God are to be loved. I would vehemently disagree with you that all human creations of God are to be manifested in such a way as to give publicity or exposure if their lifestyle is contrary to Catholic teachings and deviant in nature. Ms. Lyons, why not use the resources of a Catholic university to teach and expose Catholic teachings and positive lifestyles rather than Catholic contradiction? Please reconsider avoiding and cancelling your Catholic University of San Diego Drag Show on Wednesday set for April 11, 2012.
How sad it is that Catholic leader such as you, now feel there is a need to lead people in a direction contrary to the teachings of the Church and Christ himself. Rather than expose young and vulnerable people to questionable behavior, why not influence their lives with positive example? Parent’s save and sacrifice so that their children can receive a Catholic education; it is wrong to deceive those parents and students with information contrary to Catholicism. Aren’t you deceiving and misleading people? Isn’t that false witness? I have every right to feel the way I do; my wife and I saved many thousands of dollars and sent our oldest daughter to a so-called Catholic college (St. Norbert’s, DePere, WI) . The Catholic education she received was so “indelible” that she is now a Presbyterian. We sent our youngest daughter to a state-operated school and she is a very strong Catholic. Go figure.
Ms. Lyons, please reconsider how you are influencing thousands of young lives. If you believe in a Final Judgment, you must also be concerned about how and, even, “if” you are directing young, influential people toward Christ. If I was in your position, I would give that a great deal of thought to that every waking moment. I will pray for you and your student body.
Happy Easter! May the kept-promise of the Resurrection influence your life in the most blessed way!
Dear Dr. Lyons,
I’m writing with reference to the “drag show” scheduled for later this month. I should start with some caveats: First, I’m writing on the basis mainly of the publicly announced information, so I don’t know exactly who authorized or who is promoting this event. Second, I’m not an Alumni, but my son is. We invested close to $250,000.00 in USD for a Catholic Christian Centered Education. Both his undergraduate Degree and his Law Degree are from USD. Third, I understand that operating an institution that aspires to be both Catholic and a university in a largely secular and pluralistic culture requires some difficult and delicate judgments.
That said, I would have thought that the goal of a Catholic university would be to promote mutual respect and compassion for all, as well as recognition of a diversity of beliefs, without actually celebrating and promoting ways of life that are not congruent with a Catholic and Christian outlook. In this respect, the university’s sponsorship of a “drag show” encouraging students to compete to be “USD’s first Supreme Drag Superstar” seems to me to show a serious and regrettable lapse in true Christian Values. I think this sort of event and policy makes universities like USD less able to perform the distinctive and valuable service that they are potentially able to offer the world. USD Faculty should be leading the discussion why this type of activity is so harmful and hurtful to our Blessed Lord Jesus. USD and especially you are in our prayers. Sadly,
Dear President Lyons,
As an active Catholic parent, I am writing to express my profound disappointment in USD for sanctioning the upcoming drag show on campus. I have read the university’s rationale for allowing the event, and find it seriously lacking. I am particularly disturbed that the university seems to have embraced some very problematic, and false, behavioral theories — specifically “gender fluidity” and “gender expression.” Such notions are not born of science or natural law — they are political statements designed to advance the homosexual agenda in society.
Unfortunately, the “gender identity” agenda goes well beyond inconsequential political correctness. It is causing grave damage to young children in the public schools who are subjected to instruction that children can choose their own gender. Indeed, in the Oakland public schools 4th graders are subjected to teaching from a “gender diversity” instructor that they can “choose” their own gender — they can choose to be a boy, or they can choose to be a girl, or they might choose to be both genders. In some provinces in Canada, children are taught in the public schools that there are actually six genders.
There are many problems with abetting this kind of agenda — as USD is doing by sanctioning the drag show. First, the notion that children choose their gender is patently false. Gender is chosen for all of us by God. Second, as a Catholic institution, USD has an obligation to teach the truth. The truth about gender is found in scripture. God created two genders — and only two — male and female. The drag show you are promoting not only allows activists to advance a false teaching, but it actually mocks the teaching of scripture and the Catholic faith.
It’s truly sad that you are sanctioning this kind of event. It is an abandonment of moral authority and a grave disappointment to those of us who have chosen a Catholic education for ourselves and for our children. It leaves me feeling that there is no remaining safe harbor where college students can be shielded from the lies of popular culture and be comforted by instruction in the truth of God’s word.
I hope you will give this event prayerful reflection and conclude that it is not a suitable activity for a university that is founded on the truth of the word of God to be sponsoring.
Thank you for considering my views.
Dear President Lyons,
My wife and I heard at a party that USD is hosting a Drag Queen Beauty Pagent. I fully understand that some of your students and staff identify themselves as gay and lesbian, but that does not mean that the university should condone a lifestyle that is counter to the teachings of our Catholic faith and counter to natural law.
We all need to help our gay brothers and sisters realize that same sex attraction is disordered and that true happiness is found in the freeing love of Jesus Christ. Hosting a transgender fashion show could make the lifestyle more attractive to a student who is struggling with the conflict between the truth given to him through the Church and a disordered tendency that he feels.
Would you host a beer tasting event in the name of academic freedom to promote the diversity of ales v/s stouts and then invite the campus’ AA group to attend? No. If our son is struggling with something that enslaves him… we help lead him to freedom… not tighten his shackles by encouraging him to be a more flamboyant slave.
Please keep our Catholic University here in San Diego from leading our kids into slavery.
A Concerned Parent,
Happy Easter Week
Dear President Lyons:
I write to express my strong opposition to USD’s drag queen show. I am a double graduate of USD law school, ’77 and ’82, but I cannot support a school that endorses this type of behavior. Such a show is not about love, education or tolerance. When I ask myself “what would Jesus do” I cannot arrive at an answer that includes promoting this conduct under any circumstances, much less at a Catholic university.
The scriptures tell us to speak the truth in love. Please take my opposition in that spirit.
Dear Dr Lyons,
It is with deep sadness that I learned of USD’s plans to hold a “drag queen”
contest, encouraged, explained. and promoted by an openly homosexual
professor. I suppose it is the latest in a sad series of slippery slope
events taking place with the permission and consent of the USD
Administration. As a member of the 1971 graduating class of the San Diego
College for Women, I grieve for the lost principles of the Catholic Faith.
As a member of the 1977 MA program of USD, I could see this all coming.
Would it be surprising to learn that I have prayed for courage and resolve
amongst the Administration? I have begged the Lord that the Administration
would have the determination to refuse all Federal dollars and to return to
the Catholic Faith. Other campuses in the US have refused Federal dollars,
and all the programs of diversity they require. These universities have
flourished. I am thinking of Thomas Aquinas College in CA and Hillsdale
College in MI to name just two.
Only on rare occasions have I returned to the campus. There is a spiritual
darkness on campus that strangers have described to me. I can confirm it.
I have cautioned friends and family members to avoid sending their children
to USD at all costs. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen is reported to say, it is
better to send a child to a public university where they must fight to
defend their Faith, than to send them to a “Catholic” university where their
Faith will be stolen from them.
For the love of God, all that is holy, and for respect for the Ten
Commandments and the Blessed Sacrament which is present there on campus in
several locations, cancel this contest, and fire your openly homosexual
professor. Return to the practice of the Faith. Return to the Ten
Commandments. Our Lord cannot be outdone in generosity. If you return to
Him, He will provide.