Dear President Snyder,
Recent news stories reported that a professor in LMU’s Department of Theological Studies forces his students, on penalty of reduction of their grade, to include their personal pronouns next to their name in their classwork. This practice must stop immediately because it is a direct violation of LMU’s mission.
Forcing students to declare their pronouns violates the promotion of justice because it violates the right of free speech. The right of free speech, which LMU says it protects, includes the right to remain silent, the right not to say something that you do not want to say. Compelled speech is not free speech.
Forcing students to declare their preferred pronouns also violates the education of the whole person because it violates privacy. Some students may want to remain private about their gender identity. It is invasive and inappropriate for a professor to force his students to publicly declare their sexual orientation or their gender identity.
Forcing students to declare their preferred pronouns also violates the service of faith because it signals endorsement of what Pope Francis has called “gender ideology.” Gender ideology is a dualism that the ‘real me’ (male) could be trapped inside a (female) body, that biological males can become women, that an individual might be any one of 58 genders, and that sex and gender are mere social constructions. These views have been repeatedly and strongly criticized by Pope Francis. The Pope teaches that the human body, as male or female, is part of the good gift of God’s creation. Any university whose mission statement includes the service of faith should protect students of faith from being forced to act against their faith.
As the screenshots below indicate, not just one Theological Studies professor but your administration itself reflects and reinforces gender ideology. For example, Dean Robbin Crabtree of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, whose service to Planned Parenthood has been decried by alumni and under whose leadership “commitment to Roman Catholicism” was deleted, promotes the practice of declaring preferred pronouns. Moreover, your administration’s “Chosen Name Project” presupposes and reinforces the claims of gender ideology decried as “ideological colonization” by Pope Francis. That the “Chosen Name Project” includes a video shot inside Sacred Heart Chapel in front of the crucified Christ is particularly inappropriate.
To be crystal clear, we believe, as the Catholic Church believes, that all human beings deserve to be respected by everyone and protected against unjust discrimination. Indeed, we should love all human beings, including every person with gender dysphoria.
But respecting people does not mean adopting their ideology or their practices. Protecting people does not mean forcing other people to act contrary to their faith or their consciences. And loving all people does not mean speaking or acting contrary to the truth. As St. Edith Stein taught, “Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth.”
We respectfully ask you, therefore, to issue a public declaration and establish as official LMU policy that no professor is permitted to force his or her students to disclose their personal pronouns. We ask you to stop your administration’s institutional commitment to gender ideology, and to renew LMU’s institutional commitment to Roman Catholicism.
Anne (Rezzo) Rosen, LMU Alum 1985
To support this effort, please sign below and circulate the link to this petition https://renewlmu.com/ by emailing friends and posting on your social media. LMU’s President can be reached at 310.338.2775