FROM THE EDITOR: Georgetown Must Never Forget Its Half-Assed Catholic Identity
As I finish up my last week of finals as a Georgetown undergrad and prepare to enter the real world, I should be elated that it’s all over and excited about my new job as a junior associate in the exciting field of child-murdering / child-murdering-financial-services consultancy. But I’m not. I feel melancholic because I’m worried about this school that I love so much. So I decided my final editorial as Heckler editor would be my most important yet, and I’m sorry to say it: Georgetown may in fact be losing its half-assed Catholic identity.
Georgetown University has been an alma mater to many diverse people—those who are not Catholic; and those who put “Catholic” on their application, because that’s how they were raised and were pressured to do, but don’t really believe in it anymore. And maybe even, over the span of decades, there has been a legitimate Catholic student or two. But these days this openness is starting to come at the cost of our very identity as a sort-of, halfways, on-paper, at-least-in-the-eyes-of-long-gone-alumni Catholic university. And as soon as we lose those words next to “Religious Affiliation” on our Wikipedia page, the very idea of Georgetown will be destroyed.
Let me make it clear: In order to save ourselves, we must expel those who wish to rid Georgetown of its half-assed Catholic character.
If professors act this way, they need to be fired, because this means they are not fulfilling their obligations as professors. Professors must not keep from their students the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church that Georgetown sometimes acknowledges when those teachings are convenient. Professors must make occasional jokes about Jesuits so students know the weird things these doddering old men do. The handful of meaningless slogans that make up Georgetown’s half-assed identity are not meant to just take up space on posters, they are meant to become a meaningless part of the dialogue in the classroom. I realize that non-“Catholic” students may not believe in pretending to believe in cherry-picked parts of Catholic dogma like the need to engage in social justice, but Georgetown’s mission as a kinda-sorta Catholic university compels professors to present this sort of bullshit to them. They are then free to believe in these barely Catholic ideas or not.
We can never forget why we have a scant number of weird, reputedly belief-driven regulations like the ban on the sale of condoms on campus. This is who we are! Sure, we welcome people of all faiths at this school, but a token number of rules have to be in place that seem to maybe derive from Catholic morality. That token is a symbol of Georgetown itself, but a token is a very fragile thing; as soon as you take it away, there is nothing left. We have to keep the few tokens of our half-assed Catholicism close to our heart and never put them into the skee-ball machine of complete secularism.
In some buildings on campus today, there are dusty old crosses hanging on the walls of the classrooms in which the cross hasn’t fallen behind an overhead projector and been lost or hasn’t been ripped off the wall years ago by some miscreant. And today I am proud to call my self a soon-to-be alumnus of Georgetown University. But I worry that someday workers will come in to paint these classrooms and will absent-mindedly throw all the crosses in the garbage. And nobody at Georgetown will notice. That day, I can no longer call myself a Hoya. That day, I call myself a What.