Students at Indiana University-Bloomington recently went into panic mode at the sight of a Dominican friar, who they mistook for a Ku Klux Klan member. Funny? Yes, but also sad. It is a further sign of the state of our universities, and what is and isn’t being taught.
For starters, let’s get this on the blackboard: For a really long time, there have been religious guys in robes, flatly unmistakable in their appearance. This year, 2016 A.D. (Anno Domini, Latin for “In the Year of Our Lord”), just happens to mark the 800thanniversary of the Dominicans. The Dominicans, named for their founder, Dominic de Guzman, a Spanish priest and contemporary of another giant of the faith, Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscans, long pre-date the KKK. These “orders” preceded Luther’s Reformation by three centuries, and themselves were a vital reform in rekindling and sustaining the faith against some significant heresy.
(A related funny-but-sad story on the Franciscans: A Franciscan friar told me about an encounter he had on the New York subway. A young woman looked at him in his garb and smiled and said: “Okay, I get it—you’re a Jedi Knight, right?”)
The Dominicans far pre-date the American university. Not unrelated, our universities once taught what we commonly call “Western Civ,” or “Western Civilization,” where students learned the elemental facts of their Western world, and where contemporary campus oddities like religious figures were not alien to their mind’s eye. But such is not the zeitgeist of the modern university, where today’s typical student is enmeshed with a thoroughly secular worldview where a trinity of race, gender, and sexual orientation account for what is held sacred. They are carefully trained to be ever-vigilant for the slightest whiff of racism, sexism, and “homophobia” or (the latest rage) “transphobia.” Their “education” is such that an ancient religious order is utterly unrecognizable.
That brings me back to what happened at Indiana University-Bloomington.
Read more at Catholic World Report.