So-called “homosexual marriage rights” made headlines at Creighton University (CU) when members of its Catholic Student Organization (CSO) objected to the Creighton Students Union Program Board (CSUPB) distributing free tickets to a concert by the rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
The Motley Monk isn’t “up to date” when it comes to matters associated with pop culture, but has learned that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis wrote the song "Same Love" which has become a semi-official anthem of advocates for so-called “homosexual marriage rights.” Since the release of “Same Love,” the duo has performed at a number of Catholic campuses, including Boston College, University of San Francisco, and St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Notice a pattern?
According to the Omaha World-Herald, CSO representatives sent a letter to CU’s President, the Rev. Timothy Lannon, SJ, and the CSUPB. Following up in a letter to CSO student members, the organization’s President, James Doyle, wrote:
We realize that not every act or performer that Creighton promotes
will be in absolute accordance with Catholic values, but when artists
so deliberately and outwardly advocate such a position, they should
not be publicly supported.
In a letter to the editor of the student newspaper, The Creightonian, two other students argued:
We understand not every act or performer that Creighton hires will
be in absolute accordance with Catholic values, but when artists so
deliberately and proactively advocate for a contrary position, they
should not be publically supported. CSU’s actions indicate that
Creighton endorses Haggerty and Lewis as well as their position
on same-sex marriage.
Creighton needs to take this opportunity to stand up for the Catholic
beliefs on which it was established, or the university acts in contradiction.
We pray that leadership on campus with the ability to change this event
do so in order to remain consistent with the university’s tenets.
We at Creighton pride ourselves on being a Catholic school with
strong Catholic values, and we believe we are still that university.
With concern for its integrity, we urge Creighton to resist popular
practice and instead hold itself to the highest moral standards.
This letter also made note of a video accompanying “Same Love” which features “two males in a same-sex relationship throughout their adolescence, adulthood, and old age.” Additionally, the letter noted that the rappers specifically have encouraged voters in some states to recognize so-called “homosexual marriage.”
In the midst of the controversy generated by the letters, CU administrators suspended the distribution of the tickets.
Unsurprisingly, the decision drew the attention of additional critics on Twitter as well as on CU’s Facebook page. Some praised the letter; others objected (with some stating that CU administrators should have blocked publication of the letter to the editor). The majority asserted that distributing the tickets should never have been delayed.
CU administrators then reversed course, allowing the tickets once again to be distributed.
Once again, the reversal drew additional critics.
CU administrators then released a statement to The Omaha World-Herald stating that this decision didn’t violate CU’s policy not to “endorse issues that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Instead, their statement asserted that CU has been focused upon educating students about social issues and that, “in the past, the university has hosted debates on the issue of same-sex marriage. We have had open sessions on this topic which centered on (Catholic) tenets of understanding and inclusion.”
What CU administrators didn’t state is that CSUPB has also sponsored:
- Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, who performed in 2004. Fergie has publicly agitated for President Barack Obama to do more to support so-called homosexual marriage.
- In October, a free concert for students featured 3OH!3. This band has been widely criticized for sexism and misogyny in its lyrics.
Insofar as The Motley Monk is concerned, whether CU administrators are pro or con so-called “homosexual marriage rights” is a non-issue. What is an issue are the principles CU administrators apparently are using to inform their decision-making process.
In this instance, the first principle appears to have been “Who feels most passionately about the issue?” The second principle appears to have been “being fair and balanced.”
How’s that for principled educational leadership that makes for a distinctive Catholic education in the Jesuit tradition?
Let the discussion begin…
To read The Omaha World-Herald article, click on the following link:
To read the article in The Creightonian, click on the following link: