LGBT Art Display Cancelled at Newman University

by David Nussman  •  •  January 17, 2018   

Faithful Catholics petition university, get Jan. 26 event removed

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WICHITA, Kan. ( - Newman University in Wichita, Kansas, is rescinding a pro-LGBT art display.

The planned art exhibit was titled "Rainbow in Reverse: Queer Kansas History." It features sculptures and photographs celebrating prominent members of the LGBT community in Kansas.

In an email drawing attention to the scandal, Catholic author Jean M. Heimann wrote, "First of all, why is it necessary to expose students to evil? Why do students need to be encouraged to learn more about a sickness in our society?"

As of Tuesday, the university has canceled the controversial exhibition.

Heimann invited fellow Catholics to write to Newman University voicing their distaste.

She also linked to a previous email thread between a concerned Catholic and a university spokesperson. The spokeswoman had written, "As a university, we understand that diverse perspectives are key to learning, and at Newman, we seek to provide an atmosphere of deeper understanding and appreciation of Catholic teaching, in [which] the human dignity of each person is respected."

Heimann's email asked rhetorically, "Why, instead, don't they have an exhibition of holy and beautiful artwork which represents the treasures of the Church?"

First of all, why is it necessary to expose students to evil?

While the exhibit has reportedly been canceled, Catholics are still concerned by the fact that the university has an official LGBT student club.

Ruben Lerma, a student at Newman, gave a speech and wrote an article in the student newspaper in 2016 calling on administrators to accommodate openly gay students.

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In spring of 2017, the university gave him what he wanted. A university committee met and established guidelines for the creation of an LGBT organization.

"Catholic" heterodox, pro-gay group New Ways Ministry celebrated the move at the time.

The committee in 2017 wanted to create the club but did not want to openly contradict the Catholic Church's teaching. The committee members played a balancing act.

They decided to imitate the pro-gay club at Notre Dame University, which gives lip service to the Church's teachings on chastity, even though some of its members dissent against Natural Law.

The local news, The Wichita Eagle, reported in April 2017, "The Notre Dame-type model included language that emphasizes that the club cannot contradict the Catholic view that LGBT students should be "chaste" because sex is condoned only in marriage between a man and a woman."

The report by New Ways Ministry complained, "The plan, unfortunately, reveals the compromises which LGBT students are often required to make in more conservative Catholic environments."


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