E-mail complaint from student about UI religion instructor
This past semester, a friend of mine took RLST 127: Introduction to Catholicism. Throughout the semester, he would consistently tell me how the teacher, who I believe is a priest at the Newman Center, would preach (not teach) his ideology to the class. Many times, my friend (whom I wish to remain anonymous) said the instructor would say things that were inflammatory and downright insensitive to those who were not of the Catholic faith–it should be noted that my friend and I were both brought up Catholic. Anyways, my friend informed me that things got especially provocative when discussing homosexuality. He sent me the following e-mail, which I believe you will agree is downright absurd once you read it.
I am in no way a gay rights activist, but allowing this hate speech at a public university is entirely unacceptable. It sickens me to know that hard-working Illinoisans are funding the salary of a man who does nothing but try to indoctrinate students and perpetuate stereotypes. Once again, this is a public university and should thus have no religious affiliation. Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing. Declaring that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another. The courses at this institution should be geared to contribute to the public discourse and promote independent thought; not limit one's worldview and ostracize people of a certain sexual orientation.
I can only imagine how ashamed and uncomfortable a gay student would feel if he/she were to take this course. I am a heterosexual male and I found this completely appalling. Also, my friend also told me that the teacher allowed little room for any opposition to Catholic dogma. Once again, he is guilty of limiting the marketplace of ideas and acting out of accord with this institution's mission and principles.
I have Cc'd Leslie Morrow, director of the LGBT Resource Center, on this e-mail as well as (name redacted), former features editor at the Daily Illini (I'm sure they'd like to hear about this), and Siobhan Somerville, a former teacher of mine and the founder of the queer studies major.
I didn't go to Notre Dame for a reason,