“Catholic Fundamentalist” and other offensive slurs

Calling people, to their faces or behind their backs, terms of disparagement, ridicule, and mockery because of their race, sex, or religious belief is condemned at LMU.  An unfortunate exception to this rule is to speak of someone as a “Catholic fundamentalist.” What does the term mean?  No Catholic is a fundamentalist in the Protestant sense of accepting as fundamental that the Bible and the Bible alone is the sufficient and inerrant guide of faith. No Catholic is a fundamentalist as the term is sometimes used of Muslims to denote someone who advocates violent jihad against non-Muslims.  No Catholic is a fundamentalist as a matter of self-description, and no Catholic takes it as a compliment to be called one.  So what does the term mean? If you agree with Pope Francis rather than the New York Times editorial board about marriage, life, or “gender ideology,” you too may count, in the eyes of some, as a “Catholic fundamentalist.”  The term “Catholic fundamentalist” is used as a way to marginalize, stigmatize, and ostracize people with Catholic religious beliefs about controversial issues.    This hateful slur is a way of shutting down rather than stimulating dialogue.  If LMU is serious about creating an inclusive learning environment, if LMU is to become a place welcoming to all, then “Catholic fundamentalist” will go into the category with other charged epithets which are never said by loving and just people.  LMU’s rhetoric is inclusive.  Is LMU’s practice inclusive?

2 thoughts on ““Catholic Fundamentalist” and other offensive slurs

  1. An Inclusive Gathering Song for the Whole University Community

    (Sung to the tune of “All are Welcome” by Marty Haugen; written by StatusquoLMU.)

    Let us build a house where progressives speak

    Where Truth is ‘true for you’

    Where no conservative dares to seek

    A professorship at L.M.U.

    Take their money; suppress their viewpoint

    Open checkbooks; close their mouths

    We want their cash, not their input

    All are welcome, all are welcome,

    All are welcome in their place

    Let us build a house where liberals dwell

    But all can freely give

    A place where atheists and dissenters tell

    The students how to live

    Our shared Catholic mission

    Means whatever you want it to mean

    We welcome all to make a donation

    All are welcome, all are welcome,

    All are welcome in their place

    Let us reinforce the status quo,

    If you call Pope John Paul Great

    You are welcome here to donate dough

    But forget the professorate

    Built on faithful Catholics’ money

    Seeking to serve the Catholic faith

    Here we deconstruct what they held holy

    All are welcome, all are welcome,

    All are welcome in their place

  2. Slurs don’t fall off trees.

    So where does “Catholic fundamentalist” come from?

    Here’s part of the answer—in context. The comic Will Rogers, when asked to comment on the latest brouhaha, would often sayy “Well, all I know is what I read in the papers.” His point was that if that was all one knew, one didn’t know much.

    “Catholic fundamentalist” is newspaper shorthand for a Catholic who believes what the newspaper thinks a Catholic should not believe, that is, what the Church teaches.

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