For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelley Freeman, (614) 441-9588 x101
Atheists demand the end of discrimination at Catholic universities
COLUMBUS, OH - A new article at Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Daily brazenly advocates for religious discrimination against atheist, agnostic, or otherwise secular students. The article makes the claim that secular student groups represent a ‘danger’ to students and calls on Catholic Universities to deny those students' freedom of assembly and religious expression. The Secular Student Alliance calls for the end of discrimination against non-religious students at Catholic universities.
The article in question points to three current Secular Student Alliance affiliate groups at Catholic universities and states that these organizations’ “disrupt and undermine the community by acting for contrary goals or goods.”
“Our group's main goal is to give students a space to explore their beliefs without judgment and without anyone being pushed to affiliate with any one belief system,” stated Nora Marren, President of Dominican University’s Secular Student Alliance. “We welcome both non-religious and religious students alike to join us in our discussions. Excluding non-religious students from representation on campus would be going against Dominican's mission statement by preventing the creation of a just world.”
“Religiously affiliated universities and colleges should welcome atheist groups, and all faith groups, in the spirit of cooperation and acceptance. In the end, we're all striving for the same thing: a better world. No one single group of people can succeed in attaining such a goal without the support of others,” stated Arthur Wawrzyczek, former leader of DePaul’s past Secular Student Alliance affiliate.
Though there are Catholic institutions with Secular Student Alliance affiliates, groups at other Catholic universities have been denied. Notre Dame University, Duquesne University in Pennsylvania, and the University of Dayton have all rejected attempts to establish Secular Student Alliance affiliates.
“Catholic universities should remember that they are not just Catholic, they are also universities. Universities should be places where people of diverse identities fearlessly exchange ideas,” said August E. Brunsman IV, Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance. “These Catholic universities try to recruit students of all stripes with statements about how much they embrace diversity and celebrate intellectual freedom,” Brunsman continued. “We want them to live up to that ideal and welcome Secular Student Alliance groups as part of their diverse communities.”