Many institutions of higher education have been particularly hostile to Catholicism. Just recently, the league addressed problems occurring at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, the University of New York at Stony Brook, Hofstra University and an off-campus newspaper at the University of Wisconsin.
The problem at Friends concerned the school’s hosting an exhibition that featured anti-Catholic art. We objected to “Our Lady of Immaculate Martini” by Nancy Schwan; it shows a woman with a halo around her while indulging in a martini. Friends University was founded as a Quaker institution and is now known as a Christian school.
Stony Brook not only hosted the anti-Catholic play, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, it advertised the play in an unusually coarse and vulgar flyer. The president of the university, Shirley Strum Kenny, responded to a league complaint with the typical “we are committed to respecting diversity of opinion and expression in art and religious matters, just as we respect your right to disagree with the content of the ad and play.” The president sent a copy of the league’s letter of protest to the Theater Arts department for consideration, saying that she was “sorry” that we found the matter offensive.
Hofstra, a private Long Island university, released a student publication, Nonsense, that was not only virulently anti-Catholic, it even boasted of its animus. The editor-in-chief, Francis Rizzo, wrote that he was first attracted to writing for Nonsense because it was “Short, funny, and not too hard to understand. Oh, yeah, and slightly insulting to Catholics, too.” After hearing from the league, the Director of Student Activities promised to discuss our concerns with Rizzo.
Finally, an off-campus newspaper at the University of Wisconsin, the Onion, drew a protest from the league for printing an extremely derogatory “satire” that was aimed at Pope John Paul II.
These incidents show that “diversity” is being used as an excuse to bash Catholics on campus. It also shows the cowardice of many administrators, hardly a new phenomenon.