Tim Drake

12 Catholic colleges to host obscene play The Vagina Monologues this year

Tim Drake
By Tim Drake

February 12, 2013 (CNS) - The Cardinal Newman Society has confirmed that at least 12 Catholic colleges and universities will be hosting on-campus productions of the play The Vagina Monologues in 2013. That number is up from nine last year.

Proceeds from performances at the University of San Francisco will support a group that advocates “reproductive justice” and homosexual rights. The V-Day organization reports that students at Marquette have plans for a performance benefiting Planned Parenthood.

Catholic bishops and college presidents have pointed out that The V-Monologues distorts human sexuality and celebrates sinful behaviors, including lesbian activity and masturbation. One scene even declares a lesbian rape of a teenage girl her “salvation” which raised her into “a kind of heaven.”

In 2004, the late Bishop John D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend wrote in protest against the University of Notre Dame’s performance of the play:

The Vagina Monologues is offensive to women; it is antithetical to Catholic teaching on the beautiful gift of human sexuality and also to the teachings of the Church on the human body relative to its purpose and to its status as a temple of the Holy Spirit. The human body and the human person, in the tradition of the Church, must never be seen as an object.

This play violates the truth about women; the truth about sexuality; the truth about male and female, and the truth about the human body. 

In 2006, Providence College President Father Brian Shanley, O.P., explained his opposition to the play:

A V-Day presentation of The Vagina Monologues is not appropriate for a school with our mission. Far from celebrating the complexity and mystery of female sexuality, The Vagina Monologues simplifies and demystifies it by reducing it to the vagina. In contrast, Roman Catholic teaching sees female sexuality as ordered toward a loving giving of self to another in a union of body, mind and soul that is ordered to the procreation of new life. The deeper complexity and mystery lies in the capacity of human sexuality, both male and female, to sacramentalize the love of God in marriage.Any depiction of female sexuality that neglects its unitive and procreative dimensions diminishes its complexity, its mystery and its dignity. Moreover, to explore fully the dignity of woman requires not only a consideration of female sexuality, but also of the capacity of women for intellectual, artistic, moral and spiritual activity; none of these dimensions are featured in The Vagina Monologues.

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But some on Catholic campuses disagree.

“I think the ability to pursue truth and discuss things is important,” said Nick Kaplan, contact person for the play and assistant professor of Spanish at Michigan’s Siena Heights University, where a student group is sponsoring two performances of the play.

The play is often promoted as supporting the end to violence against women, and is used as a fundraiser by many schools to support women’s shelters.

But for more than a decade, The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) has opposed performances as inappropriate vehicles for fundraising, even for a worthy cause.

“The dirty dozen Catholic colleges that are hosting The V-Monologues this year are out of step with the rest of American Catholic higher education,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “The play is vile and corrosive, with no academic value.”

CNS has monitored the internet and campus publications for evidence of Catholic colleges and universities hosting The V-Monologues since 2001.The number of campuses with performances of the play reached a high of 32 in 2003.

CNS has contacted each of the colleges and asked them to confirm whether or not the The V-Monologues are indeed taking place. In the end, CNS confirmed that 12 Catholic colleges and universities have been identified as hosting the play.

The following Catholic institutions were listed either on the website VDay.org or elsewhere online, and/or confirmed to CNS on the phone or via email as hosting The V-Monologues in 2013:

Bellarmine University has the play on both March 23 and March 24 at Hilary’s in Horrigan Hall. The calendar for the Office of Multicultural Affairs says that the performance is independently funded by the performers themselves.

“Bellarmine University does not sponsor or host the event,” said Arielle Danielle Clark, the contact for the play. “A group of students who happen to attend Bellarmine University perform the production every year. Bellarmine University does not endorse, and is not in any way connected to The Vagina Monologues. In our advertisements, our production is known as ‘The Vagina Monologues at Bellarmine University’…so that people who are interested in seeing the monologues know the location of them.”

The College of the Holy Cross’ Women’s Forum is sponsoring performances on Feb. 25 and 26 in the Hogan Campus Center Ballroom. Cristal Steuer, manager of Communications and Media Relations, confirmed that the performance is taking place.

Dominican University is hosting a student-directed production of the play on Feb. 14 in the Priory Campus Auditorium, sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies Program. Daniel Armstrong, public relations manager, confirmed the performance.

The Georgetown University website lists at least four performances between Feb. 21 and 24 presented by Georgetown University Take Back the Night.

In addition, Georgetown University Law Center also has a showing pending on Feb. 21.The Vagina Monologues funds were allocated by the Student Bar Association to the Law Students for Reproductive Justice.

Loyola University Chicago’s V-Day Club is planning performances on March 15 and 16 in the Mundelein Auditorium. The performances are being sponsored by the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, according to Steve Christensen, communications manager.

The Saint Mary’s College of California Women’s Resource Center boasts that its Feb. 15 presentation of the play in The Soda Center is its 10th annual.

Seattle University’s Society of Feminists student group is putting on a performance of the play on March 1, 2, and 3, in the University’s Pigott Auditorium. It is the fifth time the play has been presented at Seattle University, though Stacy Howard, media relations specialist, said that it is neither “hosted or sponsored” by the university.

A sorority at Siena Heights University in Michigan is sponsoring a performance on April 19 and 20. Nick Kaplan, assistant professor of Spanish at the university, who is listed as a contact for the play, confirmed that the performances are taking place.

The University of Detroit Mercy’s Women and Gender Studies Program and Theatre Department are co-sponsoring a production on Feb. 28 in the Student Center.

University of San Francisco’s The College Players plan to perform the play, which they describe as an “annual tradition,” on April 27 and 28 in the McLaren Complex. College Players’ student Terazia Jeanne confirmed the performances would be taking place. They will benefit the Alliance for Girls, a San Francisco organization that among other things promotes "reproductive justice" and homosexual rights. The keynote speaker for the Alliance's Feb. 28 conference will be Kate Kendall of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which works to legalize same-sex "marriage." And an upcoming Alliance luncheon with the ACLU of Northern California will celebrate "reproductive justice" including "a woman's right to choose."

Anne-Marie Devine, senior director of media relations at USF, said that she could not confirm the information.

“There is talk The College Players have selected that play, but it is not set in stone,” said Devine.

Xavier University of Ohio’s student group, Students for Women’s Progress, is sponsoring a production April 2 at Xavier’s Kelley Auditorium. “University administrators are working with faculty and SWP to ensure that information and viewpoints from an appropriate range of different perspectives will be presented, allowing students to pursue truth, all within the context of Xavier as a Jesuit Catholic University,” said Kelly Leon,director for strategic communication.

In addition to the 12 confirmed, three additional showings were either in the planning process or being performed off-campus by a campus student group. They include: 

Una – The Feminist Voice at SLU, a sanctioned student club at Saint Louis University, is sponsoring an off-campus performance on March 7 and 8.

As of publication date, the student group Empowerment at Marquette University had submitted a request to perform the play April 5 in the AMU Ballroom, but The Cardinal Newman Society was told by Andy Brodzeller, media relations specialist, that the request had not yet gone through the University’s approval process, and that it “would not be approved as submitted.” According to V-Day, the intended beneficiary is Planned Parenthood.

“As Marquette has done in the past, we will require that any production be sponsored and held by an academic program or department and not a student organization,” said Brodzeller. “This ensures any production is performed in an academic context,with appropriate discussion allowing multiple viewpoints to be heard, including the relevance of Catholic teaching to the issues raised.”

Finally, it’s not clear whether or not a performance is taking place at Loyola University New Orleans, but the V-Day website shows that someone registered for an event. Director of Public Affairs Meredith Hartley told CNS that she expected the Alpha Psi Omega national honors fraternity would be sponsoring a performance of the play again this year, as they have done in the past, but could not provide information on the dates, times, or locations of the performances. James Shields, communications coordinator, however, said that nothing is scheduled and there’s no indication the event will take place.

Reprinted with permission from The Catholic Education Daily.

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Fr. Mark Hodges

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NY court lets woman refuse vaccine made with aborted baby tissue

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

NEW YORK, September 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – An Orthodox Christian woman has won the right to refuse a vaccine developed using aborted babies' tissue, based on her religious beliefs.

The vaccine is for measles/mumps/rubella and is required by New York City law for all schoolchildren. It was developed from fetal tissue procured from abortions, hence the moral dilemma for practicing Christians.

The woman, who remains anonymous, said her Christian beliefs against abortion compel her to have nothing to do with vaccines made using aborted fetal tissue.

"Abortion is clearly a mortal sin and is [an] abhorrent act to any Christian," the New York mom said in her petition for exemption, according to the New York Post. "The vaccine manufacturers' use of aborted fetal cells in its products and research means that I cannot associate with them or support them financially (by buying their products), for such support would make me complicit to their sin."

New York State Department of Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia concluded in the woman's favor, explaining, "The weight of the evidence supports petitioner's contentions that her opposition to the MMR vaccine stems from sincerely held religious beliefs."

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Christianity has always opposed abortion, from the time of the New Testament.  The Bible teaches that from conception, the womb holds a human person, calling pregnancy "to be with child" (Isaiah 7:14). Many biblical individuals are explicitly described as called or known from the womb, such as Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:4-5), Isaiah (Isaiah 44:2;  49:1), Job (Job 10:8-12), Paul (Gal. 1:15), and John the Baptist (Lk. 1:15). The New Testament also condemns abortifacients (Galatians 5:20;  Revelation 9:21, 18:23, 21:8, 22:15).

Other early Church documents condemning abortion include the Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Epistle to Diognetus, the Apocalypse of Peter, St. Athenagoras's writings, the letters of St. Clement of Alexandria, the Apostolic Constitutions, Tertullian, Hippolytus's Apostolic Traditions. Additionally, every early Church council says likewise. 

Every ancient Christian leader unequivocally wrote that abortion, without exception, is against Christian belief and practice. Those who wrote extensively on the topic include St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Augustine, St. John the Faster, and the sixth worldwide Great Ecumenical Council (691).

This conviction continues to the present day. The Congress of the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America stated, "The Orthodox Church has a definite, formal, and intended attitude toward abortion. It condemns all procedures purporting to abort the embryo or fetus, whether by surgical or medical means. The Orthodox Church brands abortion as murder, that is, the premeditated termination of the life of a human being.  Decisions of the Supreme Court and state legislatures by which abortion is allowed, with or without restrictions, should be viewed by practicing Christians as an affront to their beliefs in the sanctity of life."

Thus, New York admitted that the woman's beliefs were in line with her religion.  Nevertheless, pro-abortionists say the First Amendment's assurance of the free exercise of religion should not include parents choosing whether to vaccinate their children.

Pro-abortionists sharply criticized the decision. "If we allow people to opt-out of vaccination, it puts other people's children at risk," says Sharon Levin of the pro-abortion National Women's Law Center.  "I think this decision is just one can in a crate of a can of worms that have been opened since the Hobby Lobby decision."

Levin was referring to Hobby Lobby's legal attempt to opt out of Obamacare's mandatory abortion/sterilization/contraception coverage, which violated the family-owned and operated corporation's religious convictions.

Yahoo Health writer Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy reports that undercover Planned Parenthood videos "have pushed questions regarding fetal tissue-based biomedical research to the forefront."

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. Gage Skidmore / Flickr
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‘It’s absurd’: Rand Paul blasts Kim Davis’ jailing over gay ‘marriage’

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By Ben Johnson

ASHLAND, KY, September 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has been arrested and taken to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples this afternoon. After repeatedly refusing to give such a license to gays and lesbians, a federal judge found her in contempt of court and sentenced her to jail time rather than assessing a fine. 

As she was escorted out of the courtroom to jail, homosexuals began chanting, "Love won! Love won!" 

As the scene played out, her U.S. senator, Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul, said the decision was unwarranted, violated religious liberty, and would further polarize the country on the issue of same-sex "marriage."

"I think it's absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty," Sen. Paul, R-KY, told CNN. "If you want to convince people that same-sex 'marriage' is something that's acceptable I would say try to persuade people" instead of using state force.

He also warned such heavy-handed tactics would backfire on LGBT activists. "If we're going to use the federal government, and we're going to get involved in every state and locality, you know what's going to happen? It's going to harden people's resolve on this issue," Paul added. "There's going to be no open-mindedness on this."

"I think it's a real mistake to be doing this," he said.

He said if state force continued to be exerted against Christian believers, "I think what's going to happen as a result of this is states and localities are just going to opt out of the marriage business completely."  

U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning - a George W. Bush appointee and the son of former moderate Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky - had ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples but was repeatedly rebuffed.

"The court cannot condone the willful disobedience of its lawfully issued order," Judge Bunning said in issuing the arrest order. "If you give people the opportunity to choose which orders they follow, that's what potentially causes problems."

Bunning ordered Davis imprisoned, rather than imposing a fine, because he said her fellow believers would take up a collection and pay her fine. 

Similar tactics were applied when Christians who refused to participate in same-sex "marriages" tried to raise funds via crowdfunding platforms.

Paul's rivals for the 2016 Republican nomination - Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, and Marco Rubio - have also voiced their support for the now-incarcerated Davis. 

"We should seek a balance between government's responsibility to abide by the laws of our republic and allowing people to stand by their religious convictions," Rubio said yesterday. "There should be a way to protect the religious freedom and conscience rights of individuals working in the office."

But her opponents say they demand nothing unreasonable of her. ACLU attorney Heather Weaver said, "Its not making someone a martyr to ask someone to do their job and follow the law."

Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, and Carly Fiorina have agreed that clerks who have deeply held religious beliefs must enforce the law. Christie underscored his resistance to finding any accommodation for public officials.

The prospect of jail does not frighten Davis, a born again Christian, who says iron bars cannot separate her from the Savior Who dwells in her heart, nor does prison compare to the punishment that she believes awaits should she participate in legitimizing sin.

"I've weighed the cost and I'm prepared to go to jail," Davis told Fox News yesterday. "This is a Heaven-or-Hell issue for me and for every other Christian that believes. This is a fight worth fighting."

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Hundreds of thousands of people join the 'Manif pour tous' march in Paris supporting natural family in 2014.
Gabriele Kuby

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Alarmed report details Sexual Left’s agenda to defeat surging European family movement

Gabriele Kuby
By Gabriele Kuby

September 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- The world-wide operating Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is the intellectual activist centre of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) which presently governs Germany in a coalition with the Christian Democratic Party under Chancellor Angela Merkel. As their publications and conferences reflect, the FES pushes for same-sex “marriage,“ reproductive rights, biotechnology, sexual diversity, gender equality, and sexual education. It also publishes reports with the intention of “naming and shaming” individuals, organizations, parties, and networks which work on behalf of life and the family.

The FES’s latest publication takes an international approach, describing anti-gender activists and actions in France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Titled Gender as Symbolic Glue: The position and role of conservative and far-right parties in the anti-gender mobilizations in Europethe report was published by something called the Foundation for European Progressive Studies – “with the financial support of the European Parliament” and the Budapest branch of the FES.

The authors are alarmed over the growing resistance to ‘gender politics’ seen at the grass-roots level (e.g. La Manif pour tous movement in France and Demo für alle in Germany) and expressed in referendums held in several countries across Europe. In addition, they cite the opposition of political parties at the local and European levels, and the ‘anti-gender’ declarations of Bishop’s Conferences. What is seen as a dangerous development by the sexual left is really a testimony to the success of the pro-life and pro-family movement in Europe. The authors say:

Anti-gender movements want to claim that gender equality is an ‘ideology’, and introduce the misleading terms ‘gender ideology’ or ‘gender theory’ which distort the achievements of gender equality … This phenomenon has negative consequences for the legislation on gender equality.

The Symbolic Glue report then provides “policy recommendations for the progressive side to stand up against fundamentalist political activism.”

The individual country reports on the “reactionary backlash” against gender politics in France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia give a good overview of the situation in each country and the positions of the conservative and right-wing parties. In contrast to previous publications from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, which tried to defame and stigmatize conservative individuals as right-wing radicals, bigots, and family-fundamentalists, the Symbolic Glue report largely refrains from such slanderous language. In fact, the authors sound worried that conservative activists are acquiring dominance in public debates, and are influencing party politics and legislation by: 

  • coining the terms “gender-ideology” and “genderism”;
  • giving “scientific” evidence against “gender ideology”;
  • mobilizing at the grass-roots level through “fear-managing language”;
  • making use of “authoritarian themes” such as the polemic against the French schoolbook Tous à poil (All naked);
  • creating “moral panic” that “allows socialist officials to be accused of … jeopardising the future of society”;
  • re-articulating “parent-power” or parental involvement in “promoting the parents as actors of the restoration of authority and traditional values at school”;
  • the “gradual subordination of educational institutions to Christian conservative worldview, carried out by local authorities in cooperation with the Catholic Church and religion-based organisations”;
  • utilizing “hate-speech towards Gender Studies” (as an academic subject) and relying on “freedom fighter rhetoric”;
  • pointing to the EU as a “cultural coloniser”;
  • leading successful constitutional referendums for defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Symbolic Glue also analyses the deficiencies of the sexual left. It is difficult to say whether this self-critical stance is a tactical device to arouse sympathy and motivate people to engage in the anti-anti-gender battle, or whether it is really dawning on the authors that anti-gender movements can have “grave consequences not only to women’s and LGBT rights but to the emancipatory promise of the Left altogether.”

The sexual left, according to the authors’ own evaluation, seems to be missing ‘symbolic glue’. They see:

  • “difficulties of building an ideological response to conservatives”;
  • “lack of public campaign against the anti-gender discourse”;
  • “the inability to articulate a progressive agenda in the concrete experience of “ordinary people”;
  • the counter-reactions of leftist parties to the anti-gender mobilisation being “one step behind those of extra-parliamentary forces”.

The ultimate intention of the authors is to cure “progressives” of these deficiencies. But it is good that they also let conservatives know how they want to achieve this. 

Indeed, it is difficult to convince “ordinary people” of the notion of gender theory, and that the traditional identity of man and woman are restrictions on human freedom that must be overcome by voluntarily choosing one’s gender identity according to one’s feelings. Since the authors supply no definition for the concept of gender identity, we have to refer to the Preamble of The Yogyakarta Principlessince it is one of the rare places where a definition is given:

‘Gender identity’ … [refers] to each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of the body (which may involve, if freely chosen, modification of bodily appearance or function by medical, surgical or other means) and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms.

The solution to the incompatibility of gender theory with common sense – rooted in nature – is apparently to drop the concept of gender entirely. "Using the concept of gender as a technical category in the long run can be more self-destructive than useful while encountering this new political challenge." The progressives intend to move away from a “framework of identity politics” and reclaim the “real leftist values, using the language of solidarity” by “creating a counter-language, which reflects the emotional-fear language of the rightists.” Furthermore, “Instead of putting the emphasis on ‘human nature’ or ‘traditional values’, progressive actors have to take advantage of other aspects of ‘common sense’:  us/them distribution of power and wealth. Defining political antagonism is a pathway to hegemony.” The authors recognize that the opposition is composed of hard to control grass-roots movements and, therefore, advise progressive actors and left-wing parties to “strongly connect to grassroots [sic] organisations, local and individual initiatives.”

Furthermore, the public is to be provided “with concrete information about gender studies and policies through academic conferences, articles and statements from gender experts.” But in addition to conferences and a public dialogue between feminists and Catholics in order to “ridicule the anti-gender campaign”, an “e-learning course on … gender equality”, developed in Slovakia, is recommended as “best practice”, targeting administration staff, students, and the general public.

The authors of the Symbolic Glue report also sound somewhat startled to see a “paradigm change in science as we know it.” They describe the science they know as the “post-modern turn of modernity … where science became a moral and normative category acknowledging the positionality of the knower. This approach also questions the subject-object division and brings in new symbols, new myths and redefinitions.”

It is worth noting that with the exception of Andrea Petö who wrote the Epilogue, the report’s authors are all young women who belong to the “millennial” generation born around 1980. Several of them are in the process of obtaining a Ph.D., so their academic formation took place during the last ten years. This is precisely the period during which “gender studies” was established as an academic subject at the universities. (In German-speaking countries there are more than 200 professors for “gender” or “queer studies”, nearly all of them women.) “Gender studies” was and is a wide open door for female careers and a booming market for jobs.

These young women only know a “science” which is subordinated to the aim of effecting a political change in society – and academics is seen as an instrument for serving the cause of feminist and LGBT-interests. This so-called “science” has completely severed the academic commitment to the search for truth – which is – or was – the moving force behind the unfolding of European culture.

In general, Gender as symbolic glue, which was published by a foundation with a certain scientific claim, does not show the slightest intention of dealing with arguments on their merit; it just wants to pillory the enemy. Twenty-three individuals – perceived as enemies of the sexual left – are presented in an “Index” at the end of the book. (Wasn’t there an aversion to Catholic “indices” among enlightened liberals?)

In the end, the report says more about the weaknesses of the gender identity movement than about its opponents. The young authors must feel that their ‘intellectual house’ is built on sand, otherwise they wouldn’t express such worried dismay over the opposition they are facing. After all, international institutions like the UN and the EU – with their sub-agencies like the Fundamental Rights Agency and European Institute for Gender Equality – and national governments, with the superpower U.S. leading the way, as well as global corporations like Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook, and global NGOs like IPPF and ILGA, to name but a few, all with billions of dollars at their disposal, are on the side of the gender identity activists in this cultural war.

So why are these young women worried about the opposition of twenty-three people and a few comparatively tiny organisations with extremely small budgets? The answer is simple: Because they feel that the truth is on their side.

Gabriele Kuby is a sociologist, international speaker, and author of Die Gender-Revolution – Relativismus in Aktion, 2006, and Die globale sexuelle Revolution – Zerstörung der Freiheit im Namen der Freiheit, 2012. Both books have been translated into several languages and are referred to in the Symbolic Glue report. Die globale sexuelle Revolution will be published in the U.S. by Angelico Press in the fall of 2015.

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