It seems that the outrage over the publishing of a pro gay-bashing cartoon in the student newspaper, along with the continued refusal of the administration to allow an LGBT group on campus or include non-discrimination protections for LGBT students, hasn't taught Notre Dame anything.
The school has invited Melinda Selmys to headline its "Edith Stein Project," an annual event and speaker series that examines what it means to be "authentic women and men." The glaring issue? Selyms is an ex-gay activist who promotes praying away the gay and debunked anti-gay "science." From our friends at Change.org:
In three columns for the National Catholic Register in 2007, Melinda Selmys wrote that she gave up her lesbian relationship when she decided to be Catholic, and accepted the Virgin Mary as a seminal role model of femininity. But the juicy bits don't stop there. Selmys says that gay men have a hard time accepting God because he reminds them of their own harsh father figures.
I guess that baseball bat from the Observer cartoon can be both literal and figurative at Notre Dame when it comes to gay bashing...
This event isn't an academic debate, which some might argue have a place on campuses. It's a speaker series- with no opposing views to Selyms ex-gay rhetoric. Funny that the mission of the Edith Stein Project is:
Our goal for the conference is to promote fruitful dialogue on issues of human dignity, with an emphasis on the dignity of women. We foster a spirit of openness while remaining rooted in the Catholic Church's teachings on authentic personhood--to provide a forum for discussion that is not reactionary, but positive and optimistic.
Doing so empowers us to make truly free and conscious decisions that will reflect our inherent dignity and help us become the people we are meant to be.
This conversation is especially fitting at Notre Dame, because it is a Catholic university that is committed to the search for truth, the mutual importance of faith and reason, and the formation of moral citizens for society.
I guess the inherent dignity as moral citizens of society doesn't include LGBT people, unless they have "converted" to ex-gays by way of Catholicism, as Selyms seems to promote:
For more on Melinda Selmys, check out these links, including her advice on how to evangelize the homosexual, or why it's right for the Catholic Church to view sexual orientation as just a tendency and not an inherent human trait.
You should click over to Change.org and see where Selyms has engaged in the comment section, defending her positions as trying to get the Catholic Church to be more "sensitive" to gays and lesbians (while at the same time trying to "de-gay" them) and how she doesn't really take much stock in what science says (who needs the American Psychiatric Association, American MEdical Association, or the American Psychologists Associations, who have all studied and commented on the dangerous of promoting "ex-gay" ideas and conversions?), because her faith and philosophy are what informs her.
Elevating someone who promotes ex-gay conversion in an academic setting is bad enough, but combine that with both the recent and historical troubles at the university and you are heating up an already dangerous atmosphere for LGBT students at the school. This is wrong on many levels, but more importantly it is dangerous.
One-sided, debunked speakers aren't academic discussions. It's prosthelytizing and shoving down an already endangered and beaten segment of the student population.
That's some "formation of moral citizens for society"- Right, Notre Dame?