Drag queens and Jesuits

By Declan Leary

About a year and a half ago, it came time to inform my family where I had decided to go to school. None of them had ever heard of John Carroll University, so their first question was, “Is it Catholic?” and I could only think of one appropriate response: “No, it’s Jesuit.”

At the time, I was only half serious, but then I got here and began to realize that my joke hadn’t been far from the truth at all. Every Sunday, at a Mass where I wasn’t allowed to kneel (because reverence for the Eucharist runs counter to our equality at the convivial meal, or some commie mumbo-jumbo like that), I sat through a 20-minute homily whining about the president and saying nothing about the Lord. In theology classes I received, at best, a vague, watered-down, progressive sort of Protestantism and at worst a self-righteous and entirely delusional liberal secularism. And about a month into my freshman year, I realized just how far the Society of Jesus had fallen when I started noticing posters for JCU’s annual drag show.

I can’t help but wonder who thought it would be a good idea to hire grown men to dress up as women on a Catholic campus for the deviant entertainment of misguided young people. It is a terrifying testament to the decay of our faith and our University that, throughout the approval process for this event and the six years for which it has now continued, not a single person in a position of authority stood up (or at least stood with sufficient strength) to suggest that perhaps such a flagrant celebration of sexual perversity might just be wrong.

This offense, and the many like it being perpetrated on other nominally Catholic campuses across the world, is more than just a deviation from doctrine, though that in itself is sufficient cause for condemnation. It is an assault on the dignity of the human person and the divine gift of ordered sexuality. Even further, it is a scandalous attempt at the corruption of Catholic youth by the very priests and laypeople charged with their education.

It’s bad enough that the Society fails to properly educate its students in the ways of the Church. But when it descends into deliberate actions of sexual deviance in its educational institutions, it has crossed a line that cannot be ignored. They are not who they say they are. It is time for John Carroll University either to radically alter its actions and its character, or to admit the obvious and unfortunate truth that it is no longer Christian.

Michael Johnson, in his first year as president of the University, has some important decisions to make. Chief among them will be whether to redeem the muddled Catholic character of this institution or to continue its descent into heathenry and heresy. If he chooses the former, his most important task will be to purge this place of the evils which have invaded it in the names of tolerance and progress. He should start with the drag show, for which there can be no rational justification, and focus our community’s efforts and attention on much more important matters.

Our Church and our world are plagued by sexual sin, demonstrated clearly by the recent news coverage of abuse scandals. In the face of these tragedies, many traditionalists have suggested that we desperately need a return to a conservative sexual ethic of chastity and respect for the divine construction of our nature. The Jesuits and their progressive allies, on the other hand, seek to redefine our nature in order to conform to the culture of sexual perversion, instrumentalization and commercialization which has so ravaged the human soul and body. We cannot be immoral, they seem to be saying, if we redefine our morals to justify our sins. This cannot be the solution. We are terribly, terribly lost, and our salvation will not be found in watching troubled men make fools of themselves in mini-skirts and stilettos.