Controversy Over Crucifixes in Boston College Classrooms
#11
Another take on it:

A little good news from among the bad... From the Boston Globe:
 
 
Catholic symbols stir diverse feelings at BC
Some protest, some applaud, and some don't notice
By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff / February 12, 2009

 
 
 
On the plaza in front of Higgins Hall at Boston College, there is a new oversized statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola, robes flowing and his hand over his heart. For the university's nearby Newton campus, a large statue of St. Thomas More is being designed.
 
On each side of the foyer in Lyons Hall is a new mosaic, one depicting Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic worker movement, and the other Pedro Arrupe, a former superior general of the Jesuit order.
 
And suddenly, in all 151 classrooms, there is a Catholic icon, in most cases, a crucifix above the lintel.
 
Students and faculty returned to campus after winter break to find that Boston College had quietly completed, without announcement or fanfare, an eight-year project to dramatically increase the presence of Roman Catholic religious symbols on campus. The additions are subtle but significant, as the university joins other Catholic institutions around the nation in visibly reclaiming its Catholic identity.
 
"The Christian art reflects our pride in and commitment to our religious heritage," said Jack Dunn, BC's spokesman.
 
Student reaction has been generally supportive, but among faculty, there is division over the appropriateness of the step. A meeting last month of arts and sciences department chairs turned into a heated argument over the classroom icons; a handful of faculty have written to the administration to protest, and some unsuccessfully circulated a petition asking to have crucifixes removed.
 
"I believe that the display of religious signs and symbols, such as the crucifix, in the classroom is contrary to the letter and spirt of open intellectual discourse that makes education worthwhile and distinguishes first-rate universities from mediocre and provincial ones," Maxim D. Shrayer, chairman of the department of Slavic and Eastern languages and literatures, said in an interview.


Quote:Originally Posted by Vox
"Contrary to the letter and spirit of open intellectual discourse" how? What a silly man.
 
But other faculty are delighted.
 
"Christian iconography and symbols permeate this place and always have," said the Rev. John Paris, a Jesuit priest who teaches bioethics at BC. Paris said he finds "offensive" the notion that a crucifix impedes the ability of students or faculty to think critically in a classroom and called the criticism "the narrow and bizarre musings of a few disgruntled folks."
 
"This is a small problem for those with small minds," Paris added. "This is not a serious controversy."
 
The crucifixes and statuary are also being lauded by conservative critics of Catholic academia. An organization called the Cardinal Newman Society, which routinely bashes Catholic colleges for straying from orthodoxy, praised BC, while the National Catholic Register, a right-wing newspaper, called the crucifixes "an unexpected move at Boston College."
 
A variety of conservative Catholic bloggers are suddenly thrilled with an institution they often deride. "Hope for Boston College," was the headline used by Kelly Clark, who blogs under the name "The Lady in the Pew." And Thomas Peters, who blogs as "the American Papist," wrote "Catholic stuff in a Catholic school?! What a radical concept . . . Now wait for the protest."
 
The subject of Catholic identity on Catholic campuses has been a contested issue for the last several decades, and many campuses, most notably Georgetown University, have launched public efforts in recent years to increase the presence of Catholic symbols on campus.
 
During the tenure of the current BC president, the Rev. William P. Leahy, the university has taken multiple steps that emphasize its Catholicness, strengthening its relationship with the Archdiocese of Boston, creating a new institute studying Catholicism in the 21st century, absorbing the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and even canceling classes once each fall for a campuswide open-air Mass.
 
But the school has also emphasized its diversity, establishing minors in Jewish and Islamic studies.
 
About 70 percent of the student body at BC is Catholic. Student leaders interviewed were uniformly supportive of the new emphasis on symbols, and Dunn said he has heard no complaints from students.
 
"The university has the prerogative to add the crosses, and I don't feel it should be a point of contention for people," said Christopher Denice, president of the undergraduate government. "Everyone here knows and understands that BC is a Jesuit, Catholic school. The addition of crucifixes does not change anything."
 
Patrick Fouhy - a former editor of The Heights, the BC newspaper - said he noticed the new crucifixes when he got back from winter break this year. He was pleased, saying that the university's Catholic identity was one of the reasons he chose to attend.
 
"Personally, I'm glad that the university decided to increase the number of crucifixes in classrooms on campus," he said. "Boston College welcomes students, faculty, and staff of all religious persuasions, but at the end of the day it is a Jesuit, Catholic institution and the crucifixes are a nice reminder of that."
 
And Elissa Klein, director of Jewish life at Boston College, said: "I spoke to several Jewish undergraduates tonight, who were all apathetic about the new religious art. It seems that many failed to notice it entirely. Others found it a minor change."
 

Michael Paulson can be reached at mpaulson@globe.com.
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#12
I can't stand a  wuss.  And most of the profs. quoted in this article sound like wusses. 
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#13
Doubtless there should have been an "intellectual" debate about whether to put crucifixes in the classrooms.  Preferably, one that included Jews, atheists, fundamentalists, feminists and those saturated with the "spirit of Vatican II."  Excluded, of course, should be bigots like traditional-minded Catholics who might think it quite appropriate for a school claiming to be Catholic to have crucifixes in the rooms.  The crux of the matter is that this is one more example of anti-Catholicism parading as something else (academic freedom, etc.).  Nothing will satisfy these complainers short of the Church simply ceasing to exist.  I am so fed up with the idiots occupying places of honor in colleges and allegedly professing something worth knowing.  My father used to call people like this "educated idiots."   They had a lot of schooling.  They just never learned anything.
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#14
I think the Apostle described it as "ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth." (II Tim. 3:7)

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#15
Odd I don't see Peter Kreeft quoted in any of those stories, he teaches there.
 In any case, good for them. I suppose its too much to hope that they might use the "issue" of the crucifixes to draw out the dissenters so they can be dispensed with.
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