On Oct. 11, the University of Notre Dame marked the annual “National Coming Out Day” observance with lectures on the sociology of coming out as well as makeshift doorframes set up around campus meant to encourage students to “come out” as whatever they want to come out as.
One senior at the private Catholic institution, however, has lodged his dissent against the observance. Michael Bradley, a philosophy and theology senior at the University of Notre Dame and editor-in-chief of its independent student newspaper the Irish Rover, writes in Public Discourse:
Notre Dame cannot host events the purpose of which is to tell its students who identify as LGBT that their identification as LGBT is worthy of celebration, while simultaneously aiming to form those students in the Christian sexual ethic. This would be akin to my former coach celebrating, and telling me that I should celebrate, my being a member of Notre Dame’s track team while simultaneously informing me that I should never race (or even lace up my spikes) and must constantly combat my desire to do so.
Notre Dame has no reason to celebrate patterns of same-sex attractions or bisexual attraction, or confused understandings of one’s sexual identity as male or female, as “beautiful.” These conditions are particular trials, more difficult than some but not as challenging as others, with which some people are burdened. To celebrate these attractions or understandings as unique and beautiful is morally problematic and pastorally catastrophic. …
Rather than celebrating NCOD, Notre Dame should labor to teach its students that “gay,” “bisexual,” or any other sexual descriptor should be used as an adjective and not as a noun, as patterns of attraction one experiences, rather than realities that comprise the concrete foundation of one’s very existence.
Read the full column here.