Students Learn Their Catholic Priest Professor Doesn’t Support the Pride Flag, Get Together and Cry – Opinion

When people look back on this period of U.S. history, it won’t be called the Era of Emotional Regulation.

An example of this is the University of Portland’s recent open meeting on the antics of Professor Dan Parrish, a Catholic priest.

Because of statements Dan made regarding the Pride flag, Dan convened the group.

The Beacon is a student newspaper.

A crowd of over 150 gathered in the Lund Family Hall on April 5 for what was supposed to be a mediated conversation with…pastoral resident and tenured business professor, Fr. Dan Parrish ended up becoming a place for everyone to express their dissatisfaction with him.

Dan — who lives in the hall — doesn’t support a rainbow flag and statement of inclusivity that were put on display.

He reportedly emailed two residents directors to request that they consider the removal of it.

The meeting was a discussion that led to his reasoning:

“I said that, if [the inclusion statement]If they are going to post something, I urge them to ensure that it aligns with the institution’s mission values. In my opinion, the Pride flag is used not only for inclusive purposes, but in a variety of different ways to support causes that do not align with Catholic teaching.”

What is the point of adhering to Christian doctrine? Because the University of Portland is not a Catholic college, despite its name.

Nonetheless, now-former Lund Assistant Hall Director Mary Markham — who Dan emailed — recalled she was perplexed by his idea:

“I was thrown off by that email for a lot of reasons, but part of the reason is that that has not been my experience with a relationship with a pastoral resident. I think that he was using his theological beliefs and conflating those with policy.”

Mary “personally got the flag printed in August” and hung it herself.

As for the manner in which the priest presented things, Mary’s not a fan:

“That’s not how you start a conversation in a loving and caring and healing way. Those words are extremely painful to read and really harmful to me as a person.”

Per The Beacon, his October email “argued…that the primary sign of inclusion is the crucifix.”

Students are also upset

Many…in the crowd felt similarly to Markham, and pointed out that there is a lot of trauma associated with the cross and the Catholic religion. This concern was not addressed by Markham, according to students.

Additionally, they’re grief-stricken over things Dan has “liked” online:

Screenshots taken by students of Parrish’s Twitter account show him liking content that these students describe as sexist, transphobic and racist, as well as posts against masks and mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. Similar actions resulted in a formal report submitted a year ago, stating concerns about Parrish’s social media activity. Since then, he has deleted only 41 tweets.

Students also “pointed to a lack of professional resources on campus for LGBTQ+ students in light of these events, saying that it falls on students to be the ones offering support to this community on their own.”

Enrollees were in such a state of disarray that many were literally crying.

As the night progressed boxes upon boxes of tissues were handed around. The atmosphere was electric and all students came from different backgrounds to express their opinions.

Dan eventually delivered a mea-culpa.

“I do apologize, and I’ll be very careful what I’m apologizing for because I do not mean to signal anything about my beliefs through these likes (on social media). This was not my intention. … The fact that anything I’ve done intentionally or unintentionally has hurt someone makes me feel terrible. It is my hope and prayer that all students feel welcomed and loved at this school. We have more work to do to make that happen.”

According to my best knowledge, Americans generally believe everyone must affirm the truth in all situations. And according to the cultural consensus, if that doesn’t perfectly occur, “harm” is the result.

In times past, the opposite was believed — it is harmful to always be affirmed.

A second notion that was once held true: It doesn’t matter what others think.

We must all be in the same mind these days.

The Beacon has more to offer:

Many students suggested to him that he be a part of the “Religious” movement. [Dan]is not able to act as a pastoral resident.

As stated by a sophomore named Chloe, diversity of thought isn’t something to which she agreed:

“I chose to come to the University of Portland because of what they say about inclusion and community and how they feel about people of color, sexuality, etc. This is not what I signed up for… I think that Fr. Dan needs to be held accountable for his actions and if that means taking a leave of absence to further educate himself, then so be it.”

Concerning contemporary Christianity, the country’s not on course for “some of that old-time religion”:

Christian Church Leads Prayer to the ‘God of Pronouns,’ the ‘Great They/Them’ Who Breastfeeds

For Lent, a Chicago Church is ‘Fasting From Whiteness’

Catholic University Speaker Calls for Christians to ‘Crucify Their Whiteness’

And related to emotional regulation, if America had been founded upon the premises of our present perspective, we’d have run out of Kleenex a long time ago.

Hopefully, they’ll get everything figured out at the University of Portland.



You can find more of my content here:

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Check out all of my RedState work Click here.

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