Last year, when First Things listed University of San Diego as one of the five “least Catholic” (out of over 240) Catholic Universities in the U.S., I was skeptical. First Things is an intellectual, predominantly Catholic, politically conservative magazine, which I rather enjoy. I conjectured that maybe USD had adopted too much of San Diego’s beach culture and affinity for partying for the conservative — though not humorless — First Things. In terms of being robustly Catholic, I always knew USD was no Ave Maria University or Thomas Aquinas College. With a drag show scheduled tomorrow at USD, perhaps it has earned its place amongst the least Catholic universities in the U.S.
Personally, I think USD should take a page from a local politician who recently left the Republican Party. USD should make a youtube video describing its long struggle with being Roman Catholic. Then it should announce it’s going independent. I guarantee you USD would get lots of love from, say, Chris Matthews, David Brooks, George Skelton, etc.
The drag show has drawn many Catholic critics, including prominent San Diego Catholic Chuck LiMandri. Along with Philip Rivers, he helped launch San Diego’s Catholic radio station KCEO. LiMandri sent this e-mail on Friday:
Dear Fellow Catholics and Our Christian Allies:
As many of you already know, the University of San Diego, a Catholic institution, is scheduled to have its first Drag Show on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. Some of you who received my last e-mail about this important issue have asked to be kept informed of the status of the matter. Despite widespread opposition from USD alumni and the Catholic community, Mary Lyons, the President of USD, has thus far refused to cancel this depraved event. We have created a website concerning this matter so that you can learn more about why we are opposed to this unfortunate course of action. The website address is www.AlumniForaCatholicUSD.org
The website contains information on Catholic teaching and sets forth the administration’s misguided position as well as our response. It also contains links to news articles about the event and disturbing video links to prior “educational” drag shows at other “Catholic” universities. Finally, it provides the opportunity for you to take action one last time to lodge your objection to the drag show at USD. Please visit the website now and let your voice be heard in defense of our faith. We would appreciate your passing this message on to others who share our Christian values. In the meantime, thank you for your prayerful support and may God Bless the entire USD community.
USD Class of 1977