Support Natural Marriage at Notre Dame? Watch Out For the Cops!

Barb Wire

One might think that a group promoting Roman Catholic doctrine would be welcome on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. But that would be a very misguided assumption, especially when we’re talking about the subject of natural marriage. The blatant suppression and censorship of anyone holding to this historic Christian teaching is now the policy on any college or university campus where perversity is celebrated as diversity. And that apparently includes a so-called Catholic university like Notre Dame.

When the volunteers of the Tradition Family Property  (TFP) Student Action group arrived to promote traditional marriage in April, they were shockingly ordered to “cease and desist,” despite having received official permission from the university. John Ritchie, spokesman for TFP Student Action, told The Christian Post that their Notre Dame event was part of “a seven-day tour for marriage in three states: Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.”

“Permission to have a table had been granted through an officially recognized on-campus student group,” John Ritchie continued. “But that permission was revoked for some odd reason. Police officers arrived soon after we started giving out pro-family literature and cut the event short, informing us that we were no longer welcome to talk to students about the importance of preserving the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, which fully agrees with 2,000 years of Catholic teaching,”

Working through the proper channels with the Orestes Brownson Council, the display table was reserved outside DeBartolo Hall for April 24. TFP arrived on the scheduled date and set up their table to hand out printed materials to any students that passed by. The group was distributing literature entitled 10 Reasons Why Same-Sex “Marriage” is Harmful and Must be Opposed when they were unceremoniously booted from Notre Dame.

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“Two police officers suddenly arrived and told us we had to pack up and leave. They stated that our permission to be on campus was not official enough,” Ritchie stated. However, the Notre Dame Student Activities Office later said that the group’s removal from the university premises was the result of an unfortunate “misunderstanding” and gave them approval to return the following day and set up their display. During this second opportunity, homosexual activist students reportedly ripped up their flyers, shouted profanity and encouraged people to throw the flyers away without reading them.

Ritchie explained, “This time, a round of emails had been sent around, advising Notre Dame police officials that we would be returning in the morning. Everything seemed OK. I even called the campus police department before setting up and was assured that it would be ‘absolutely’ fine.”

“But apparently it wasn’t fine,” Ritchie said, “Because the table was shut down again. This time, the police said the table had approval, but not the people with the table.” And what sense does that make? How in the world could the TFP volunteers pass out their literature without being present?

“I’m still trying to fully understand why the event was shut down. I was hoping to find a more supportive environment for the Catholic position on marriage” Ritchie wondered. “Marriage is the cornerstone of the family, the foundation of society, the future of America. But still, anti-family activists want to silence our voices and muzzle 2,000 years of Catholic teaching. It won’t happen.”

Afterwards, university officials claimed that TFP Student Action was forced to leave the campus because their display was not in accordance with university policies. A spokesman, Dennis Brown, said, “Our policies explicitly state that only members of the university community may organize or lead such events on campus. When university officials learned that, contrary to our policies, the student group made this request on behalf of an outside organization, we asked that they leave.”

So, which was it? TFP’s permission wasn’t “official enough?” Or were they not allowed to personally man their table? Or is it actually against university policy for outside organizations to “lead such events?” Sounds to me like the school was grasping at straws, looking for any reason whatsoever to remove the group from campus. And any false pretense would do.

The Unversity of Notre Dame has come under fire in the past for awarding President Barack Obama an honorary degree despite the fact that he ardently supports abortion and infanticide, denying medical care to babies who survive an abortion.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Jeff Allen is both a senior editor and columnist for BarbWire. He also serves as senior pastor in a mainline Christian church in Indiana. He is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. Jeff is involved in several community ministries.

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