Anybody who has been following the latest pratfalls at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles — a nominally Jesuit Catholic school — knows that the Catholic identity of this once-great university is all but gone.
ChurchMilitant.com reported in April that it has stooped to its lowest levels, suspending an employee for standing up for the Catholic faith. She was afterwards investigated by the university for an alleged hate crime. What was it? Saying there are only two genders: male and female.
Since then, the university has silenced her, suspended her for the last three weeks of school, and allowed a politically correct public outcry against her to take place on campus in which the university and several Jesuit priests took part.
She has given her side of the story to ChurchMilitant.com, knowing that up until this point she hasn't gotten a fair hearing from her university employers, the student newspaper or the public. This is the first time she's been able to give her side of the story in a public forum.
She has asked that we not use her name, so we will refer to her as "the employee."
As a faithful Catholic woman employed in the Alumni Relations department for the last 15 years, she has seen much over the years to indicate the Catholic faith is no longer welcome at the university, but what she witnessed Thursday, April 14 was a move too far. She spotted signs near her office promoting pansexality as a "third gender." She noticed other signs promoting homosexuality and bisexuality throughout the campus earlier in the week but didn't see any close to her office until then.
The signs depicted a pink, gold and blue flag and described the symbolism of the gold color to represent a "third gender," reading, "The third-gender includes those who are intersex, genderqueer, transsexual, androgynous, and other who identify as being both genders."
She comments, "The messaging was very anti-Catholic and a direct hit against the principles of the Faith. Every time I walked by them I experienced great sorrow and an aching pain within the very depths of soul. My conscience was telling me this is not right."
She reasoned that the signs were inappropriate for a Catholic university, and since they didn't have the official stamp, she took them down and put them behind the garbage can.
Around 1:00 p.m. as she was sitting at her desk engaged in a short phone conversation with an alumnus, she saw three female students retrieving the signs from behind the garbage can and reposting them. She put the phone down — leaving the caller on the line — and asked the students if they had permission to hang up the signs.
The students claimed the signs were for Rainbow Week, a yearly event at LMU celebrating homosexuality. They said they had permission from the Office of LGBT Student Services (LGBTSS) and said that "no one ever comes up to us to dialogue about this. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. We welcome the dialogue."
ChurchMilitant.com was provided with the employee's recollection of the conversation.
Employee: I told them after reading the signs, I was taken aback on what the signs were stating; the signs were offensive. One of the signs stood out the most that grabbed at me — "pansexual" — I didn't even know this word existed. I stated it must be a made-up word. The definition is concerning to me and I believe leaves a confusing impression. It seems very wrong and an untruth.
Students: The signs give statistics, and identify and define the different gender orientations.
Employee: Okay. I find the signs offensive, again in particular the pansexual sign. The definition expresses being open to just about any kind of orientation that one might identify with whenever and however. That's concerning as a Catholic on a campus whose mission statement is grounded in Catholicism. You know this is a Catholic university and given that, it would have been nice if there are going to be signs like this being marketed, to consider having signs that have the other side of the story so that people are fully informed about the truth of the male/female make-up.
Students: Then maybe you should get Campus Ministry to consider it next year.
Employee: I agree you're right. I will ask Campus Ministry about this.
Students: So you don't like girls? I am a lesbian and am attracted to girls. I Identify with the same sex. So you don't love women. You are offending me by that.
Employee: I am not trying to offend you. I respect your choice if that is what it is. I am fine if that is your choice. Yes, I do love women, but not in a sexual way, and I love men too. I am called to love everyone no matter their choice, which I do. I love all three of you and again respect you and whatever you decide to choose. But I don't have to agree with what is being stated on these signs. I am offended by what the signs are marketing; they are just not right, especially knowing what the university professes as being a Catholic campus and they cause confusion for our youth, our freshman. These signs do not speak to truth. Again, the pansexual signage says it all. There are no parameters, no pillars; it's about whatever you feel or want. It is marketing untruth. The next thing will be bestiality and man-boy sex.
Students: Man-boy sex is already happening.
Employee: There you go. See how confusing this is?
Students: I am a biology major. ... You know we are part of the animal kingdom?
Employee: If you say we are then we are the highest beings of the animal kingdom God created. We have the ability to reason, to speak, to —
Students: Do you know that there is a difference between gender and anatomy?
Employee: I didn't think there was a difference. I thought anatomy was the structure of the person, male/female, and gender identifies it.
Students: That's your opinion. I studied theology and nowhere in Scripture does the term "homosexuality" come up.
Employee: Maybe not directly, but I could find that for you. But Scripture does state the wrong in fornication, adultery and so on, which applies to all of us, not just one person or group. The term "homosexuality" is a fairly new term in this era.
Students (agreeing): I identified that I was gay at a young age [three].
Employee: I doubt that, but if you say you did then I have to go along with that. Typically, children don't know their sexuality at that age. It's around the age of puberty (12/13) that we begin to really identify with our sexuality, and if we are not given the right information, then we seek it from peer to peer and the media with its misinformation. That's what's happening today to our kindergartners. They are being given misinformation at an age that they should not be taught the sexual orientation concept. It becomes confusing for them.
Students: I am happy they are teaching that in kindergarten. If it was taught when I was that age, I wouldn't have had to go through what I went through trying to understand who I was. So do you agree with transgender?
Employee: No, I don't. You can't change the way you were created no matter how much you try anatomically or whatever. But that doesn't mean that I would disrespect that person; I wouldn't. You can't change the natural order in life, which is male/female. God made man and he made woman, perfect beings.
Students: Yeah, I know they complement each other.
Employee: Yes, correct.
Students: I identify as gender neutral. So are you are telling me I am a sinner and going to Hell?
Employee: No I don't make that judgment, nor would I want to. God makes that judgment. I am not called to judge you but to love you, which I do. Again, I respect each of you for what your choice is, and am not here to judge you. I just don't agree with the signage that is being marketed, especially given this is a university grounded on Roman Catholic principles, on "Catholicism." I am offended by what the signs state because they are not truthful.
Students: That's your opinion, and you are entitled to it and stop saying truth.
Employee: You're right, it is my opinion, but I can't help but say the truth.
Students: Again, do you know the difference between gender and anatomy?
Employee: The truth is we were made male and female. All of us here are females made up of the same construction and gender, anatomically and internally. Can we agree on that? [Students agree.] You know the campus is grounded in Catholicism, correct?
Students: Yes. My mom is a strong Catholic and she might not agree with me, but she loves me.
Employee: Rightfully so. She is called to love you and shepherd you through life. When she lets you go, if she finds you wandering, or off the wrong path, she is called to shepherd you back on the right path. But she is called to love you even if you choose a different path. Before we part, I want to be sure you are okay with our conversation.
They all thanked one another, shook hands and exchanged names. The employee invited them to continue talking later on if they wanted to. She noted:
At no time was any one of us hostile to each other. The dialogue never got heated or out of control. No one asked to stop or indicated they were being "hated" on or hurt. The girls engaged me in the dialogue. I answered their questions and gave my opinion, and they gave me theirs.
Throughout the conversation between the employee and the students the phone receiver sat on the employee's desk with the alumnus on the other end listening to the whole thing. He fully corroborates the employee's account.
Part Two of this article will describe how the employee's conversation has been blown out of proportion by LMU LGBT Student Services and by the student newspaper.