The University of Notre Dame is offering a course for the upcoming spring semester that includes in-class preparation for a conference with indications of anti-Christian sentiments. The event in question, White Privilege Conference, includes a variety of lectures, which described Christianity as “punish[ing] the poor” and “promot[ing] injustice” as recently as last year.
The Notre Dame course, “White Privilege Seminar,” is a one-credit “preparatory class” that seeks to “educate and train White Privilege Conference delegation participants on the causes/effects of white privilege,” according to the class summary. Students in the class “will also participate in a 1.5 day pre-conference immersion experience in the White Privilege Conference host community.”
Timothy Bradley, executive editor of The Irish Rover and current Notre Dame student, “point[ed] out that paying for students to attend the White Privilege Conference could present a conflict of interest for Notre Dame, a Catholic university, considering that the conference itself is a harsh critic of Christian values,” reported The College Fix.
Recent workshops during the conference have contributed to the harsh criticism of Christianity, including a workshop from last year entitled “The Roots of Racism in Christian Hegemony: Decolonizing our Thinking, Behavior, and Public Policy.”
The workshop description accused Christianity of “punish[ing] the poor, destroy[ing] the environment, and contribut[ing] to our seemingly endless ‘war on terror.’” The description additionally stated that it was “imperative that we dig beneath the surface of Christianity’s benign reputation to examine how it undermines our interpersonal relationships, weakens our communities and promotes injustice.”
The conference also routinely features speakers associated with groups and organizations promoting “LGBT rights,” according to the conference biographies.
The Notre Dame course description also indicates that “[t]he goal for each participant is personal transformation: to leave the class and conference more aware of injustices and better equipped with tools to disrupt personal, institutional, and worldwide systems of oppression.”
However, Bradley also told The College Fix that “the attacks against Christianity and heterosexuality at the White Privilege Conference seem to share little or no common ground with the synthesis of faith and reason that is central to Notre Dame’s mission as a Catholic university.”
“As a Catholic university, Notre Dame should strive to do the best it can, through education and campus life, to promote the Catholic faith and educate the hearts and minds of students in light of the Catholic intellectual tradition,” he reportedly stated.
Reprinted with permission from The Cardinal Newman Society.