Two gay seniors who said they felt alienated by the Newman Center's controversial priest will launch a campaign this week to force him off campus.I already know how this story plays out. Fr. Shaffer will be dinged for speaking the truth but not in charity. It's well and good to uphold the teachings of the Church, but the way he does it makes some students unhaaaaapy. The mission of the priest is to be tolerant and inclusive and to affirm us in our feelings and only preach sunshine and rainbows and goody goody gumdrops. I'll be astonished - pleasantly so - if this campaign to stamp out crimethink fails. I was particularly amused by this:
At least a dozen students, including seniors Damian Legacy and Blake Bergen, say they have left the Newman Center in the last several years because Father Greg Shaffer’s strong anti-gay and anti-abortion views are too polarizing. Shaffer, a Roman Catholic priest, has spent five years preaching to GW students.
The former Newman Center members are creating a video with testimony from 10 other Catholic students, who cite Shaffer as the reason they left the chapel, hoping to inflame a largely liberal campus and force University administrators to act. Legacy and Bergen also plan to file a formal complaint with the University and hold prayer vigils outside the Newman Center until Shaffer is removed.
The students lambasted Shaffer’s counseling sessions, in which he said he advises students who are attracted to members of the same sex to remain celibate for the rest of their lives. They also criticized the priest for a fiery blog post he wrote last May, calling gay relationships "unnatural and immoral" after President Barack Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage.
GW's Office for Diversity and Inclusion is already reviewing the case, after Legacy submitted a report last semester that outlined how other schools vet religious leaders before bringing them to campus.Not just an office but a Vice Provost for diversity and inclusion? Nice work if you can get it.
New York University approves all religious affiliates by reviewing backgrounds, credentials and letters of recommendation from the faith community, as well as qualifications that indicate they can work with college-aged students. Legacy said GW would benefit from a similar system.
Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Terri Harris Reed declined to comment on specifics about the report, saying that her office is in the “early stages of a review” of the Multicultural Student Services Center, which oversees religious life, “so it is premature to speak about the possibility or feasibility of any changes.”