Mary Margaret Olohan
Class of 2018
On Wednesday night the CUA student body was badly embarrassed by the intolerant opinions of members of the CUA community. Matt Walsh came to campus to give a talk titled “Pay Attention Christians. They’re Coming After the Churches Now,” a talk discussing his opinions on the encroachment on Christian rights in our age. The event was presented by CUA’s Counter Cultural Society (a new conservative group interested in discussion of conservatism in media) as an intelligent discussion for conservative students, and was widely attended by many diverse student groups, including many who disagreed with Walsh and had no patience or tolerance for his opinions.
Walsh’s stance called on Catholic doctrine as well as the Constitution to attest to the fact that no Christian should be discriminated against by being forced to go against his or her religious principles (as in the instances of Christians being forced to bake cakes or provide services for gay marriages). Walsh particularly stressed the fact that those who were forcing Christians to provide these services on the basis of discrimination were actually discriminating themselves. He firmly reminded the students of Catholic teaching on gay marriage; namely, that it is against Catholic teaching.
Many of the student body were outraged by these facts, and sought to provide laughs for the rest of the audience by making snarky or quick comments during the Q and A session, which Walsh had hoped would provide helpful discussion. Several students informed Walsh that they were only there for “extra credit,” and had no interest in his opinions. One student even went so far as to claim he agreed with Walsh, was a faithful Catholic, and then proceeded to harshly rebuke Walsh for being “hateful” and not showing more “love.”
This student perfectly embodied what Walsh ardently encourages us NOT to be. Walsh called on The Catholic University of America students to stand up for their beliefs and prevent the secular world from forcing Christians to partake in any activity that they cannot conscientiously join in. He urges us to make use of our extreme privileges and blessings here at The Catholic University of America to prevent the government from taking away any more of our rights to religious freedom.
Walsh was met by many students afterwards to thank him for his passionate stances and for his bravery in speaking up about topics that many will harshly criticize him for. Numerous students felt the need to apologize for their peers’ behavior, and spoke of it as not only an unmitigated embarrassment, but also a gross misrepresentation of the student body.