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Student’s paper marked down for describing God as male

Student required to defend referring to God as male in footnotes to earn points back

A student at a private Catholic university recently had her final paper marked down for referring to God as male and had to defend that choice in a revised version of the paper to get full credit.

Cecilia González-Andrieu, a professor of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University, cited the “male-gendered language for God repeatedly” as the reason for the docked points, according to a screenshot of the grading rubric obtained by The College Fix.

The student, who asks to remain anonymous, had emailed a response to her professor Dec. 19 voicing concern over the docked points.

“Your comment that I referred to God as a male, I should not have gotten any points off for that,” the student argued. “MULTIPLE times throughout the Bible God is referred to as a ‘he.’ I feel targeted by your comment, as I was raised in the church with the belief that God is a male.”

Professor González-Andrieu responded: “As I indicated to the class community several times, in the footnotes you can have a conversation with other scholars. This gives you a way to highlight and support the reasons for your choices regarding multiple questions. Please resubmit your paper and add a footnote stating your reasons as a scholar to opt to preserve male language for God. I am sure you can do this well. That’s all you need to do and I will then review your paper once more.”

Neither González-Andrieu nor the LMU media affairs department have responded to The College Fix’s requests for comment.

The California College Republicans brought this issue to light as the student in question is a member of the Loyola Marymount University College Republicans. According to the California College Republicans, the student resubmitted the paper with the footnotes and González-Andrieu updated their grade to give back the points.

Nevertheless, the student “should have never been put in that situation,” stated Will Donahue, chairman of the California College Republicans and Loyola Marymount University College Republicans president.

“I am appalled by this blatant heresy coming out of the theology department,” Donahue stated. “This was a personal attack on one of my member’s freedom of religion, at a ‘Catholic’ school no less. This type of compelled speech cannot be tolerated by LMU.”

Donahue, in his statement, cited “other professors threatening to mark down grades for not listing gender pronouns.”

In November, another Loyola Marymount University professor made headlines regarding gender pronoun issues.

In that case, Assistant Professor of Jainism and Yoga Studies at LMU Christopher Miller required the usage of students’ gender pronouns in their blog posts, threatening grade deductions for noncompliance.

MORE: Government shouldn’t force teachers to use transgender pronouns: op-ed

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About the Author
Kyle Schmidbauer -- Montclair State University