Closed-minded Catholics at UD

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Christian Howard
Managing Editor

The University of Dallas prides itself on being “the Catholic university for independent thinkers,” and when I enrolled at UD as a freshman, I was so excited about what this meant: I was going to a predominantly Catholic community in which I expected the students to be open-minded, willing to listen and eager to learn.

But for the past three years, I have been shown how wrong I was. I have seen our so-called “Catholic identity” consume our prized “open-mindedness,” creating an atmosphere in which those who are different – and by “different” I specifically mean non-Catholic, especially Protestant – are avoided, mocked, misrepresented, proselytized and generally misunderstood.

Before I continue, let me tell you a little bit about my own background. My mother has been a Catholic all of her life, and until recently, my father was a Presbyterian. I myself have been raised as a Catholic. In fifth grade, however, my parents enrolled me in a non-denominational private school, which I attended through my senior year of high school. At this school, I was one of three Catholics and the only Catholic in my grade. There was, moreover, a great misunderstanding of Catholic belief at this school, resulting in many tensions. For example, I was approached on multiple occasions and asked why I worshipped Mary rather than Jesus, and several individuals took it upon themselves to point out that I was a vampire and a cannibal.

I must emphasize that, to their credit, those people who approached me with such questions did so in a genuine attempt to understand my beliefs – they did not seek to convert me to their own. Even those who engaged in name-calling did so not out of spite, but rather in jest, even though I myself felt those jests to be of poor taste.

So when I came to UD, I looked forward to being among a more open-minded group of people – yes, I would be predominantly among Catholics, but having seen how rich different Protestant traditions are, I was also excited to be at a school that celebrated its acceptance of other faiths.

But I have found instead an atmosphere very much akin to that which I faced in high school, if not in some respects worse.

In one of my first classes this semester, I sat through an hour of “Protestant bashing,” in which the professor – the professor, mind you – implied that Protestant denominations lacked doctrine and founded their beliefs entirely upon emotion. This generalized and sweeping assertion is wrong and would never be promulgated by an institution that is truly open-minded.

Moreover, many UD students, upon meeting a Protestant peer, respond in one of two ways. The first is to attempt to “convert” and “save” the poor deluded soul, and the second is to call the person a “heretic” – generally, it seems, in jest. However, this jesting is similar to the name-calling that I received in high school and does more to build a wall than put the individual at ease, for the individual feels foreign and unaccepted for who he or she is.

Having made the above remarks, I do want to emphasize that there are many Catholics at UD who are more open and more understanding of different beliefs. However, their voices are drowned by those over-zealous Catholics who feel that it is their duty to convert the world – despite the fact that they do not understand the world.

Moreover, please understand that I do not mean that students should not be witnesses; rather, I wish to point out that witnessing should come through actions, not necessarily through vocal chords. Reach out by seeking to understand, by starting a dialogue that does not involve proving the other person wrong. For this, I believe, is what it means to be an “independent thinker”: to consider others’ viewpoints apart from one’s own belief system. One should maintain one’s beliefs, certainly, but one should not allow those beliefs to prevent one from learning about others.

I seek, therefore, to make UD students more aware of their actions and of the implications of their words, which, when said in ignorance or in thoughtless jest, often communicate close-mindedness and an unwillingness to understand others’ beliefs. Therefore, I urge you, UD community, when speaking to others – be they Christian, Muslim or Buddhist – seek not, in the words of St. Francis, to be understood, but rather to understand.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry to be a bit cynical here, but did you seriously expect it to be any different? Independent thinking can come in a variety of forms. Sure, you have your charismatic Catholics who like to preach and teach and your hard line conservatives. But on the flip side, you have your college Democrats, your Atheists, your GLBT community (small as it it may be). But you have it. We all want to convince people to be a certain way and we all want to have everyone agree with us. Face it though, you do not always get alot of differences in opinion at UD, so a non_Catholic point is always great to debate with. Sure, you might think that they want to convert you and maybe they do, but you say it like it is a bad thing.

    It is not like these people are hounding you, asking if you want to be saved (the Fundamentalist Protestant caricature). They are not spraying you with Holy water. Are they?

    While at UD, I had a few friends who were not Catholic. But I sure did not ask them if they had swum the Tiber or saved their souls. My favorite professor (non-major) was a Buddhist! I certainly did not agree with the Philosophical and Theological points he brought up in class, but you betcha I was richer for getting to talk about those things with him and my peers.

    Finally, and I am sorry for saying this, but if you want to be more like St. Francis, then why are you explaining yourself to us, asking to be understood?

    You can be hard set in your beliefs and still be an open minded, independent thinker. All it takes, is shutting your mouth and replying to questions.

  2. In response to the last comment, “Sitting in Church doesn’t make you a Catholic anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a car.”

    Maybe the author of the first comment was only trying to “convert” the author of this article to a more fuller understanding of the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism. The author point that a UD professor asserted that “Protestant denominations lacked doctrine and founded their beliefs entirely upon emotion.” While an over simplification of the issue, the fact remains that someone who does not agree with what the Church of Rome is doing is, by definition, a Protestant. Certainly UD is not ignoring what the Church teaches about “elements of truth” being found in other faiths, but UD not only wants to teach about commonalities, but also about definitions. It is not what we have in common that defines who/what we are. A fruit fly and a human being have 99% the same DNA, but that 1% is obviously what makes us human. So kudos to UD for teaching what it means to be Catholic, for teaching definitions, and calling things by their proper names.

  3. As someone who was born and raised a Protestant, my years at UD were challenging. However, I did not find the student body to be oppressive, nor did I ever find the professors to be ungracious. Granted, I suppose things might have changed in the past couple years since I graduated (’09), but I doubt that things have changed that much.

    On the whole, I found that the only people who were genuinely offended were the people who seemed to walk into UD and be amazed that it was a conservative and Catholic university. I don’t know what those people expected. Of course everyone is Catholic and thinks that you should be too. (And of course everyone is conservative and thinks you should be too.) But if you come in expecting those things, then there is no reason to get offended by it.

    To me, the most frustrating Catholics I met were those who felt like they either had to apologize for their faith or those who didn’t really know what they believed. Being Catholic is a beautiful thing (can I say that as a Presbyterian?), and I think that it is tragic when Catholics don’t love their Catholicism.

    Sure, there were the occasional remarks of pure ignorance, but when you realize that they are growing out of mere ignorance, then they aren’t nearly as offensive. When I came to UD, I was under the impression that Catholics were a bunch of Mary-worshipping idolaters, so you can imagine my surprise at discovering how wrong I was. On the other hand, I don’t really think that I should be shocked and offended when Catholics think of Protestants as a bunch of superficial “I just got saved and asked Jesus into my heart” folks. It’s the Protestant’s responsibility to help people to understand Protestantism, because most of the Catholics at UD seem to have grown up Catholic and had Catholic friends. Of course they don’t understand Protestantism.

    My Catholic professors–who spent their classes defending Catholicism and pointing out the flaws in Protestantism–were incredibly influential and important to me, and I love them all. I wish I could have taken more classes with them. I spent hours in their offices, talking through different ideas and issues, and I always found them gracious, helpful, and understanding. It was largely through the influence of being challenged to think harder about my faith and understand better what I believed that I am where I am today–a Reformed Protestant seminarian in my third year towards the first of several degrees. Here at seminary, I have been asked to write papers on my own sense of calling to the ministry, and every single time I mention my time in UD theology classes and my time in Rome.

    And yes, I still harass my Catholic friends about burning me at the stake because of my convictions. I hope that they aren’t offended by my ignorance. The reality is that I think that the church is united through the one person of Jesus Christ, which means that I can believe passionately my own theology and still be gracious to those who disagree–even those who disagree and mock my beliefs. It’s quite all right. I can say as a Protestant that I hope that UD doesn’t change its approach to Catholicism too much–except that I think that they should all become Reformed Presbyterians like me. 😉

  4. The author of this article touched upon many specific ideas and experiences in order to justify his point, and I think they have only ended up fomenting a more complex discussion than needs to be had.

    If you go to school at UD, and take the time to meet people from across the spectrum of the whole student body, I think you would be hard pressed to disagree with what I’m about to say. Simply put, UD Catholics, however strongly we may be so, NEED to be better representatives of our faith.
    Yes, this means continuing to participate with fellow Catholics in exercises (social and educational) that strengthen our shared faith–something we do better than most Catholic colleges already. However, it also means developing friendships with those that not only don’t share our attitudes, but those that behave differently as a result. I believe it’s entirely legitimate to hold certain beliefs concerning other peoples’s attitudes and behavior–to even condemn those attitudes and behaviors, however, I see a massive rift growing in the student body between tradition practicing Catholics and those with a casual approach to their faith. This rift should not, and does need to exist. We’re taught to live within the world, but not be of it, and at UD it’s a lesson we aren’t fully living up to.
    Trust me, I don’t think practicing one’s religion should be a casual endeavor either, however, there are few things more casual than avoiding contact with non-believers or casual believers because you don’t get along with them. Everyone has something to offer, and if people can’t learn to be friends even though they disagree, this situation will only grow more serious.

    To my fellow Catholics: sinfulness exists. Engage it’s perpetrators in a discussion of faith, “use words if you must”, but if nothing else, take no action that leads the casual believers and non-Catholics among us to believe that they are anything other than what our faith teaches us they are: friends in Christ.

  5. I would just like to point out that if we all “shut our mouths” and only “replied to questions,” then only those bold enough to defy the norm would be heard. Good luck to the reader who thinks that silence is golden. The rest of us live to challenge, even our own faith, in order to learn and grow in it. In pursuit of progress and knowledge, scientists question the world and the way it works. We are scientists of faith while at the same time, we recognize the inferiority of the capacity of the human mind.
    Getting back to the point, I agree with the author of this article that students and faculty at the University of Dallas tend towards close-mindedness. Upon graduation, when they can emerge from “the bubble,” students will soon realize that the world may not always want to hear what they have to say. If they have practiced a closed-mind philosophy throughout their years at the University of Dallas, they will be unable to adequately communicate their faith to the people who may need help the most.
    The people that truly make a difference in the world are the ones that can communicate. Notice, that putting down other people’s faith is not an intelligent form of communication. If you have confidence in the truth of your faith, then you will realize that a simple explanation will manifest Truth. Sitting in a dark corner, grumbling will get you nowhere.

  6. My own experience as a protestant at UD was very good. I came to UD expecting to be doubted, prodded and maybe even a bit hated, but once my own shock wore off I was soon welcomed.

    In my opinion, if you are looking for problems in others then you are going to find them. Simply put, we are all human regardless of our faith and it is possible, and probable that you will be disappointed.

    My advice to you is to step up and be the person you expect others to be. You are that “light in the world” for those whom are left out and misunderstood.

  7. If by “open-mindedness” you mean behaving respectfully and charitably towards members of other religions, valuing the virtue of prudence, and not gnashing one’s teeth at those of differing beliefs at the drop of a hat, then I completely agree. Christians are–or should be– distinguished by their charity towards others, and the dignity offered to other fellow human beings through the means of action AND speech. But if by “open-mindedness” you mean hastily accepting the opinions of said dissenting Protestant faiths (there are 38,000 different denominations, so you have quite few to choose from), then that is silly.
    If looking at it from its strictly definitional meaning, a Protestant is, unfortunately, a literal ‘heretic.’ A “protestant” is any one who protests (specifically, any doctrine promulgated by the Catholic Church). Heresy, as St. Thomas Aquinas describes, is “a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas”. “The right Christian faith consists in giving one’s voluntary assent to Christ in all that truly belongs to His teaching. There are, therefore, two ways of deviating from Christianity: the one by refusing to believe in Christ Himself, which is the way of infidelity, common to Pagans and Jews; ***the other by restricting belief to certain points of Christ’s doctrine selected and fashioned at pleasure, which is the way of heretics.***” (emphasis added) Protestants, who have restricted their beliefs to the few choice doctrines they find palatable (have you noticed the change in the beliefs on contraception and abortion in certain Protestant denominations between the years of 1960 and 2000? No Christian denomination accepted these things prior to 1968 {Google “Winnipeg Statement”}) and who have tweaked a few others, fall quite comfortably under the category of “heretics.”
    None of this is not to say that your classmates and teacher were right in retorting the label in a moment of jest and mockery (again, prudence and charity in all things), but, to use a common phrase “throwing out the baby with the bath water” is also qutie prudent. One should not totally avoid, at all costs, calling a thing by its name, claiming what is in fact true, even if using vocabulary that might appear harsh. Jesus Christ, Paul the Evangelist, and countless early Church Fathers utilized harsh speech to get the truth across to the Pharisees and other dissenting believers of the early Church. Harsh speech helped eradicate the early Church heresies claiming that matter is inherently evil, Christ was not actually God, Christ was only God and therefore not human, there is secret, “unknown” knowledge yet to be discovered within Christianity, etc.
    If it takes a harsh title to make clear the importance of compliance with the truth of the Catholic faith, it shouldn’t be hastily labeled as “closed-minded.” While those quick to use hard-to-swallow titles such as “heretic” and “denominations lacking in doctrine” should be mindful of the virtues of charity and prudence, it is equally as necessary for those quick to push aside differences of beliefs, at the expense of the truth, to be equally mindful of the theological virtue of faith. “Heresy is a sin because of its nature, it is destructive of the virtue of Christian faith.” If others are lead to sinning against the virtue of faith through an example of dissent from the Seat of Truth, the Catholic Church of Christ, then by applying harsh words like “heretic” to any one person or institution who publicly promulgates such dissent, i.e. Protestantism, one can help deter vulnerable souls from those faltering philosophies rooted in ignorance and falsehood.

    *Reference above: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07256b.htm

  8. Yet another reason I will never give a cent to UD, and have discouraged everyone I talk to from considering it as a prospective college for their kids. Glad to have left that place far behind.

    • Disgruntled, apparently you did not leave University of Dallas all that far behind, because you joined a rather obscure comment thread on the internet, and had to read it to respond. Thus, there is something about UD, and what it embodies, that attracts you, which I would submit is a good thing. I pray that your journey in the life continues to bring you to the good, whether at UD, or wherever God leads you.

  9. Surely the behaviors described and so perfectly exhibited in this letter aren’t the result of younger generations being raised on the internet where the only public discourse is base and argumentative….
    You may have missed the point of UD.

  10. You respond to what you seem to think are sweeping generalizations against protestants, by making sweeping generalizations against Catholics and University of Dallas students? Don’t worry – that doesn’t at all undermine your point.

    “In one of my first classes this semester, I sat through an hour of “Protestant bashing,” in which the professor – the professor, mind you – implied that Protestant denominations lacked doctrine and founded their beliefs entirely upon emotion.”

    You may find this insulting, but there is an argument to made for it. At the very least, you do have to admit that Protestant dogma and teaching is simplistic and insufficient. If you don’t, then why are you Catholic?

    Open-minded and independent thinking are two separate things. Further, we as Catholics have no responsibility to be nice to the intellectual tradition of the Protestants, especially as anything that is wholesome in their culture is derivative of their historical Catholicism.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is… stop whining.

  11. I am Catholic and love my faith. I was also ashamed at the behavior of several students and occasionally a professor or two. I am not ashamed or apologetic and I know what I believe. I am not a cafeteria Catholic – my faith guides my life. That said, although there are many people who are strongly definding UD, the fact is it is not a perfect place. It attracts the type A, extremely conservative and vocal Catholics, as it should. I just wish they would leave thinking and behaving a little more independently than they tend to.

    No bashing or hating my faith here. Just the opinion that I saw several shameful displays of intolerance and ignorance during my four years there.

  12. I do appreciate the author’s attempt to mitigate what can, let’s admit, sometimes turn into an in-group. College-age students who suddenly get together with a ton of other people who largely agree with their (not exactly common) beliefs can get a tad carried away.

    What I distinctly don’t appreciate is the author’s conflation of “being close-minded” with attempting to “convert” people. As someone who came into the Church while I was at UD and specifically transferred to the University to learn more about the Catholic faith (as well as, frankly, pretty much everything) I cannot overstate how much I appreciated the fact that at UD people felt free to TALK about their faith, to live it openly, visibly, and in a way meant to draw others into it. I was invited to things, I had things explained to me, I could see the Catholic faith lived and spoken of in almost every direction. I cannot explain how frustrating it was that most people in the world walked around, it seemed to me, hoarding their thoughts and beliefs without sharing them with anyone — without seeming to take them seriously enough, or care about me enough, to want to help me know them. If you don’t cherish a hope that those that you know and love will come to the fullness of the truth, either you don’t love them as deeply as you need to, or you don’t believe it’s the truth. Or you’ve bought into the stupid mass-culture idea that “getting along” is more important than getting to know Christ.

    When I read “Catholic university for independent thinkers” I didn’t think that meant “a place where people don’t try to push their beliefs on people who disagree or [like me] are ignorant” — I took it for what it says: a place where people are given all the information, required to actually think, and encouraged to come to conclusions that are not the way everyone else in the world assumes things to be! And that’s what I found.

  13. Mr. Howard’s article is thoughtful, balanced, precise, and charitable. Even if the criticism does not hit the mark at all points, no criticism ever does; it should not, for that reason, be dismissed or ignored. An independent thinker sees the kernel of truth even in the most distorted of lies, and Howard does not seem particularly disingenuous. I myself have seen the casual or soft dogmatism that bedevils this university, which masquerades as love of truth but in reality is the merely the passionate expression of loyalty to what is comfortably familiar. No undergraduate in my experience is sufficiently well-read or experienced in theological argumentation to lauch the kinds of blanket accusations of heresy mentioned in the comments–at least, not without taking someone’s word for it. Catholics who wish to insist on doctrinal truth as an excuse to dismiss others should remember Paul, who withstood Peter (the Rock of the Church) “to his face”. And given the record of sexual predations and coverups in the Catholic hierarchy that continue to demoralize the faithful of all denominations, perhaps more self-criticism from the defenders of Rome would be more appropriate. The Pharisees were doctrinally correct too.

  14. “The more things change…”
    About 25 years ago, I wrote in the University News about UD’s then-chaplain helping to organize a small bible study group specifically open to Protestant students to read the Letter to Timothy together and discuss it. To my surprise, it created a small firestorm of controversy on the Letters to the Editor page, including some bemoaning that “their” Catholic priest would “bother” to have anything to do with “those people who don’t belong here.”
    Everyone needs to take a few deep breaths. Yes, Protestants should know and recognize that there will be pervasive Catholic ideas and ideals when they come to a Catholic school. But Catholic students and alumni and professors also need to recognize that excessive triumphalistic scorn is not one of the seven heavenly virtues. Temperantia, Patientia, Humanitas, and Humilitas, are among the set, the last time I checked, however…

  15. hahah. UD people are really goofy. Your names are Disgruntled, form, disgruntled, hmm, the voice of reason and owl. It’s really funny because, since UD is so small and tight, you guys all probably know each other really well.

  16. I wasn’t called a Protestant until I went to UD. I was raised Lutheran and primarily attended public schools with friends from all faith backgrounds. To me, “Protestant” was a term rarely used because it was too vague and covered too many different variations of Christianity. In my mind, there was a huge difference between a Lutheran and a Southern Baptist. Being labeled as a Protestant felt very strange (and still does).

    UD greatly improved my development as a Christian and I honestly believe that Christ sent me to UD to deepen my relationship with Him. I had never had my faith challenged before going to UD. My faith was pretty stagnant until I found myself having to defend my religious traditions in class. It reawakened my faith and my pride in my religious heritage and I am a better and stronger Christian today because of my time at UD.

    There were Catholics at UD who were frustratingly closed-minded. I knew several of them and they also frustrated the Catholics I knew who were open-minded! I was always open to debate and discussion, but I found many of the closed-minded Catholics were not interested in hearing my ideas. I learned very quickly not to let their ignorance and refusal to accept that people might be different from them frustrate me. I knew they were in a for a shock when they entered the real world. I can only think of one or two incidents in my four years at UD where I was openly mocked for being a Protestant and either myself or my Catholic friends always engaged the person in debate about their actions. I appreciated my open-minded Catholics friends and classmates who stood up for that fact that I was different and had valid viewpoints worth listening to.

    I made some fabulous friends at UD, many of whom I’m still friends with 12 years after graduation. Most of my friends at UD were Catholic and didn’t care that I wasn’t Catholic. Our friendships were based on mutual respect for each other, not on our faiths. I pray that you find such open-minded Catholic friends. If anything, they can help you deal with the frustrations of living in a community with others who are not receptive or welcoming to people who are different from them.

  17. Everybody just needs to have a beer and calm down. And then form a strong bond by mocking the Baptists who can’t drink beer because their faith is le most lame……..

    • I don’t see how having a beer could calm you down when that could actually mess up your brain….and how by mocking Baptists, you could form a strong bond….I don’t understand how such illiterate and ignorant people like you who have no moral and human values get accepted to UD or even any other good schools whatsoever! From your comment I assume you are not a Protestant (so I am thinking that you are Catholic and don’t have a through knowledge of the bible and hence your comment)….The bible clearly and explicitly says that DRUNKARDS will NOT inherit the kingdom of God…WILL NOT!!….I did not make this up…it is clearly written in the bible…so this is not a “Baptist belief” but it is a biblical belief..a belief based on the bible!…Just like someone else wrote earlier….”Just because you sit in a church does not make you a Catholic [or even a Protestant] anymore than sitting in a garage could make you a car!” You seem to be one of those people who go to a church so show that they are Catholics and once you leave the church premises you do all type things that are totally against the bible’s and the apostle’s teaching. I am not trying to preach religion over but your comment just couldn’t stop me from writing this. Please be a little more open minded and considerate towards humanity because with this ignorant, ultra conservative and narrow mindedness you will surely hit a dead end in your path pretty soon! Just so you know I am not a Baptist….but I wrote this because I couldn’t stand your ridiculous ULTRA conservative and arrogant comment….BUT I am a proud Protestant..!

      • I was raised Southern Baptist, and found that comment pretty darn funny! 🙂 and even though you are right in Corinthians it does state that drunkards will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus himself was called a drunkard in Luke, and his first miracle was creating wine for the already drunk at the wedding at Cana! I believe that “chill out” was just making that comment in jest, and last time I checked Southern Baptists were more likely to be republican than Catholics… 🙂

      • I’m willing to bet money that “Proud to be a Protestant and a student at UD!” was a joke as well….

        …time for some wine!

  18. With a few exceptions, I could have written this column although I graduated over ten years ago. Has so little changed? And as a result of my years at UD, I went from a protestant who was very devoted to my religion to a very content and unapologetic atheist. And yet I am incredibly grateful for my experience at UD. I grew tremendously as a result of having to defend my faith and being preached to both in class and outside of class (so you mean to tell me I am going to hell according to you? Answer – a gentle, well-meaning “yes”). I adored my professors, even those that at times offended my principles and values. And now that I am fully-trenched in the working world, I truly appreciate my experiences there. I really believe I was taught to think and that most of the world is taught to follow. So overall, I don’t know. I will never give money to UD, because they by no means espouse the values I hold dear, but I do have a fond nostalgia and even love for the place – god knows why. Maybe it was all the dear friends I made, also left at the fringes at a place that refused to accept us.

  19. On one hand, there is some degree of animosity to be had. We’re human–that is–we all have a reason to find a Confessional, frequently if need be. I could go on and on about what that definitively means to whichever denomination, but the principal fact remains the same: we’re all sullied somewhere, and it is on us as people having free will under God to own our very faults and offer them up to Him. We wouldn’t need Jesus Christ if we really, truly, obtained perfection in all aspects and facets.

    As for the drunkenness bit–is is very clear, that one must not fall into it. Yes, there is a Scriptural passage, 1 Cor 6:9-11, and it deals with more than just the tendency to get a little crazy with the Cognac. Bear in mind, though: it is not as much an admonition as much as it is a Scriptural goad to get the tripe out of one’s life, as a parent would tell his/her child, “It would behoove you to get your messes straightened out.”

    Will there be intolerance in any theatre of life? You bet–no one ever said it was going to be a picnic. As Americans, I’d say that we’re doing well on that front, relatively speaking. When is the last time somebody here got physically burned at an actual stake, or ended up in the guillotine?
    The most I remember from my time in any capacity at UD was a collective shunning–no actual punches, no death threats, no broken car windows or slashed leather seats, nothing past a couple people fielding not-so-savory phone calls and a few hundred cold shoulders. Did it hurt? You bet. Did I have it coming? Absolutely. I tell you this: I sure found out who my friends were that day…and we still talk, years later.

    If we worried less about what the locals thought and employed a thorough, unbiased (if possible) examination of our own internal stuff from day one, we would be a lot better off and with something resembling a backbone. Had I done this then, I suspect that I would have nipped a few problem areas early, grown actively more sound in the faith, and become possibly better on the academic front.

  20. One of the problems our world has today is generalizing/stereotyping. A few close-minded Catholics at UD should not be the basis for a judgement on the campus itself. UD is a great place that teaches its students so many truths and values. It strives to educate the whole person. However, some of its students benefit from or understand these truths and values. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. These students should not be a reflection on UD or what it offers. I am not saying the author is guilty of this whatsoever. I simply wanted to give a friendly reminder that it is easy to over exaggerate or generalize when we are passionate about something.

  21. The great irony of UD was that the closed-minded Catholics, through their intolerance, ignorance, and blindness, forced the rest to become open-minded, independent thinkers. Surely not how they intended it to happen, but it worked, and for that I’m grateful.
    I came to UD as a confused yet devout Catholic – now I’m a very happy Buddhist. Go figure.

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