One by one, like falling dominoes, Catholic universities nationwide seem to be shedding their Christian ethos and abandoning their religious teachings.
They’re embracing, instead, ever-expanding social justice curricula and worldviews that prioritize race, class, gender, and sexual orientation — concepts that serve to divide rather than unite people.
A situation at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., is apparently the latest instance.
Alliance Defending Freedom alleged recently that Georgetown, the country’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university, not only misappropriated donations intended for the pro-family student organization Love Saxa, but illegally deposited those funds into the accounts of various LGBT groups on campus instead.
On February 1, ADF sent a letter to Georgetown President John J. DeGioia calling for a “thorough investigation” into the matter.
The amount of the donations was only a few hundred dollars. But the matter is still weighty in significance, said ADF Center for Academic Freedom attorney Travis Barham, who is ruling out the possibility of an inadvertent oversight or two.
“This misappropriation appears to be part of a continuing campaign to punish Love Saxa for peacefully expressing its views,” Barham told LifeZette. “Georgetown first investigated the group for weeks and questioned them for hours before finally realizing that kicking a group off a Catholic campus for expressing views that align with Catholic teaching would be a bad idea. Immediately thereafter, it began misappropriating Love Saxa’s funds, sending these donations to its ideological opponents. The full extent of this problem remains to be seen.”
Barham added, “The fact that this happened repeatedly, even when donations were received in different ways, suggests that the problem is systemic, not a mistake.”
ADF is hoping for a response from Georgetown University by Feb. 9, 2018.
In the meantime, university spokesperson Matt Hill sent LifeZette the following statement: “All gifts to Love Saxa have been identified and are being deposited to Love Saxa’s account. When the university receives a gift designated by donor for a student group with access to benefits, the gifts are allocated with a designated work tag that ensures they reach the intended recipient. Because a fall 2017 gift was the first donation of its kind to Love Saxa, no established path existed. As always in these cases, we corrected the mistakes, have developed a path to ensure that funds are routed properly in the future, and have communicated to the student group and the donors that the gifts have been properly allocated.”
The statement from Georgetown University, however, does not specifically address why Love Saxa donors received donation receipts with references to various LGBT groups. Follow-up questions pertaining to this statement were not answered by the time of publication.
And sadly, there could be much more at stake here than an alleged misappropriation of funds due to Love Saxa, including an attempt to surreptitiously erode the civil liberties of students who hold unpopular — in this case, Christian — views.
“Universities are supposed to be a marketplace of ideas, not an assembly line for one type of thought,” said Barham. “Thus, universities should not punish student groups simply because of their religious or political views. Georgetown’s actions — both by investigating Love Saxa and nearly kicking it of campus and by misappropriating donations — undermine and fundamentally contradict this ideal.”
Elizabeth Economou, a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor, is based in Seattle. Follow her on Twitter.