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When people look back on this period of U.S. history, it won’t be called the Era of Emotional Regulation.
Case in point: At the University of Portland recently, an open meeting was held over the antics of Catholic priest/Professor Dan Parrish.
The group convened due to statements Dan had made about the Pride flag.
From student paper The Beacon:
A crowd of over 150 gathered in the Lund Family Hall on April 5 for what was supposed to be a mediated conversation with…pastoral resident and tenured business professor, Fr. Dan Parrish, but ended up being a platform for many to voice their grievances with him.
Dan — who lives in the hall — doesn’t support a rainbow flag and statement of inclusivity that were put on display.
Reportedly, he emailed two resident directors asking them to consider its removal.
His reason, as expressed at the meeting:
“I said that, if [the inclusion statement] is going to be posted, I encourage them to make sure that they wrote something that aligns with our mission values as an institution. In my opinion, the Pride flag is used not only for inclusive purposes, but in a variety of different ways to support causes that do not align with Catholic teaching.”
Why would adherence to Christian doctrine apply? Because, despite its name, the University of Portland is a private Catholic college.
Nonetheless, now-former Lund Assistant Hall Director Mary Markham — who Dan emailed — recalled she was perplexed by his idea:
“I was thrown off by that email for a lot of reasons, but part of the reason is that that has not been my experience with a relationship with a pastoral resident. I think that he was using his theological beliefs and conflating those with policy.”
Mary “personally got the flag printed in August” and hung it herself.
As for the manner in which the priest presented things, Mary’s not a fan:
“That’s not how you start a conversation in a loving and caring and healing way. Those words are extremely painful to read and really harmful to me as a person.”
Per The Beacon, his October email “argued…that the primary sign of inclusion is the crucifix.”
And students are upset:
Many…in the crowd felt similarly to Markham, and pointed out that there is a lot of trauma associated with the cross and the Catholic religion. Students felt that he did not properly address this concern.
Additionally, they’re grief-stricken over things Dan has “liked” online:
Screenshots taken by students of Parrish’s Twitter account show him liking content that these students describe as sexist, transphobic and racist, as well as posts against masks and mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. Similar actions resulted in a formal report submitted a year ago, stating concerns about Parrish’s social media activity. He has deleted all but 41 of his tweets since then.
Students also “pointed to a lack of professional resources on campus for LGBTQ+ students in light of these events, saying that it falls on students to be the ones offering support to this community on their own.”
Enrollees were so broken up, they were literally in tears:
Boxes of tissues were passed around the room as the night went on. Emotions were high, and students of all backgrounds came to speak their minds.
Eventually, Dan delivered a mea culpa:
“I do apologize, and I’ll be very careful what I’m apologizing for because I do not mean to signal anything about my beliefs through these likes (on social media). That was not what I was trying to do. … The fact that anything I’ve done intentionally or unintentionally has hurt someone makes me feel terrible. I hope, I wish, I pray that every student feels loved and welcomed here. We have more work to do to make that happen.”
The best I can tell, many Americans are operating with the understanding that all people should always affirm them in all things. And according to the cultural consensus, if that doesn’t perfectly occur, “harm” is the result.
In times past, the opposite was believed — it is harmful to always be affirmed.
Another notion which previously persisted: Who cares what other people think?
These days, we must be of one mind.
Therefore, more from The Beacon:
Several students have suggested that, because of his beliefs, [Dan] is not fit to be a pastoral resident or to support LGBTQ+ students.
As stated by a sophomore named Chloe, diversity of thought isn’t something to which she agreed:
“I chose to come to the University of Portland because of what they say about inclusion and community and how they feel about people of color, sexuality, etc. This is not what I signed up for… I think that Fr. Dan needs to be held accountable for his actions and if that means taking a leave of absence to further educate himself, then so be it.”
Concerning contemporary Christianity, the country’s not on course for “some of that old-time religion”:
And related to emotional regulation, if America had been founded upon the premises of our present perspective, we’d have run out of Kleenex a long time ago.
Hopefully, they’ll get everything figured out at the University of Portland.
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Source: This post first appeared on RedState