For roughly 2,700 years, the Judeo-Christian tradition has maintained that while we human beings are all sinners, that fact does not give us license to excuse or condone our sin or the sin of others, and that certain sins are so evil they actually “cry to heaven for vengeance.” These sins include murder (Gn 4:10), oppression of the poor (Ex 2:23), defrauding workers of their just wages (Jas 5:4) and sodomy (Gn 17:20-21).

The idea that a university actively marketing itself as a pillar of this Judeo-Christian tradition and dedicated to “social justice” would fund research seeking to advance the practice of these extraordinary sins is preposterous.

Ø  “Marquette funds research seeking to lessen societal stigma against murder.” 

Ø  “Marquette funds research to identify best methods for oppression of the poor.”

Ø  “Marquette funds research into most effective means for defrauding workers of their just wages.”

Preposterous! Such research would be utterly contrary to Marquette’s stated mission. And yet … when it comes to the mortal sin of sodomy i.e. homosexual activity, Marquette seems not only to be funding research for its promotion, but rewarding and bragging about that research.

An August 14, 2017 news release from the University declared, “Marquette psychology professor receives Way Klingler Young Scholars Award.” In the release, Dr. Nicholas Heck, recipient of the award, explains his work: “We’re starting to develop tailored interventions for LGBT people to help them cope with stressors that are specific to their sexual orientation or gender identity.” Dr. Heck will be given $32,000 and a semester off to conduct this research.

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Dr. Heck is indeed a prolific young scholar. A quick scan of his Twitter and Facebook accounts also makes plain what will surprise no one at all: he is openly gay and a staunch leftist (i.e. pro-“gay-marriage”, pro-abortion, etc.) (If theTwitter and Facebook links don’t work, see still grabs below.)

We write this post not to criticize Dr. Heck nor his research. Rather, we write to ask: why is Marquette University funding—presumably with tuition dollars—let alone rewarding and bragging about, this particular research?

Given Dr. Heck’s personal and political disposition as well as his past research, it’s reasonable to assume his new research will serve to bolster what is known as “minority stress theory.” This theory maintains that homophobic bullying is the primary source of stress among “LGBTQ” individuals and thus the primary cause of the myriad physical and mental disorders disproportionally plaguing this population. Looking at the conclusions of a 2013 study Dr. Heck co-authored titled, “A Comparison of Sexual Minority Youth Who Attend Religiously Affiliated Schools and Their Nonreligious-School-Attending Counterparts,” it is also reasonable to assume that a major player identified in that homophobic bullying will be religiously affiliated schools — particularly Christian/Catholic schools that acknowledge homosexual activity as intrinsically disordered and gravely sinful.

If sexual minority youth who attend religiously-affiliated schools are facing increased minority stress above and beyond the health disparities already present within this at-risk population, then future research is needed in this area to document the risks involved with attendance at such schools as a sexual minority,” the 2013 study concludes.

Evidently, Marquette University is funding that “future research needed in this area.”

Some will ask, “So what’s wrong with researching ways to help LGBTQ kids suffering from stress and mental problems?” Well…

  1. The Catholic Church—from which Marquette continues to benefit reputationally and financially by association—has always maintained that while individuals experiencing same-sex attraction must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity, and that every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided, “basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” Catechism of the Catholic Church 2357 .In 1986, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s letter ‘On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,’ “We wish to make it clear that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral … Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church’s position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve” (emphasis added). Finding ways to make it less stressful for young men and women (homo, hetero or otherwise) to live in a state of mortal sin is NOT giving them the care they need and deserve.

    Even Pope Francis has some things to say about all this.

  2. There is considerable evidence—much of it conducted and compiled by Catholic sources—suggesting that the disproportionate occurrence of mental illness and self-destructive behavior within the “LGBTQ community” is not primarily the result of homophobic bullying, but rather symptomatic of pre-existing, unresolved psychological issues within individuals experiencing homosexual tendencies of which those tendencies are also a symptom.
  3. Marquette is already well down the path of “opposition to homosexuality is bigotry and will be punished.” This development constitutes a grave threat to religious liberty at Marquette and every faith-based university in the United States. It is highly likely that the conclusions of Dr. Heck’s research will be used to support the growing belief that Catholic teaching on sexual morality is itself an unjust stressor on LGBT people and must therefore be silenced.

That’s why.

Perhaps Dr. Heck’s research will serve to support Church teaching regarding sexual morality, uncover effective ways to address the actual sources of stress among “LGBT people,” and reinforce the realization that approval of sexual practices that are spiritually and physically destructive is the opposite of mercy and social justice. This would be the logical goal of research funded by a Catholic institution. But again, given Dr. Heck’s and Marquette’s past work and apparent point of view on these matters, this seems beyond unlikely.

So the question remains, why is a Catholic University with limited resources funding, rewarding and bragging about research likely to further demonize its own Catholic identity?

Please respectfully put the question to Marquette leadership: Dr. Michael Lovell, Dr. Daniel Myers, Fr. Thomas Krettek, S.J, Chancellor Robert Wild, S.J. (Their contact information can be accessed here).

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