The unfortunate reality evident in our discourse about sexuality is that we have all bought into the lie that human worth and dignity is pendant upon our ability to have others approve of our sex life.
I write not to laud or condemn the Resident Assistant from St. Joe’s, but rather to expose the detrimental reality wrapped up in our experience of this situation. Conversations about sexuality touch the heart of their participants more deeply than almost any other topic that has graced the stage of the public forum. This is entirely understandable, as sexuality is an incredibly intimate and personal topic; but it seems that we are allowing our cultural temperature to limit our worth to a reality that we have no control over.
I write to you in the hopes of encouraging my peers, whom I love, to stop falling victim to the horrible lie that “the love you need to sustain you only comes in the unanimous acceptance and encouragement of society/other people.”
No! No, your worth, your dignity, your value, your being loved in a way that is wholly sustaining is not dependent on the fickle, critical, judgmental eye of society. You are loved wholly, entirely, sufficiently, and abundantly by One greater than society, greater than the administration of this college, greater than your RA. Your dignity and worth come from the reality that the Person who is greater wanted you to exist.
Your dignity is NOT dependent on another recognizing it.
The administration of this school has made a grave mistake in allowing the germination of the idea that love, diversity, and inclusion are in conflict with Catholicism. What I have just suggested about the essence of human dignity is fundamental “Church teaching.” All this means is that the Church has agreed to publicly state that, no matter what happens in the world, no matter what anyone says or does, that this is a true reality—not because the Church makes it so by proclaiming it, but rather proclaims it because it is simply and utterly true.
Your dignity, worth, and being over-abundantly loved is exogenous of what society or those around you say.
Please, I beg you, my friends: know this and internalize it. Your pain breaks my heart, and particularly so because it need not be so. When you experience adversity in those things so close to your heart, take solace in this. Do not let it disrupt your heart to such a place where the only outlet is increased hatred and violence. This topic is so intimate, so beautiful, and it touches us so deeply, and for these very reasons it should be discussed with great reverence and respect.
Engage each other, as we must. Talk about why or why not the view opposing your own is respectful or proper to the beauty of sexuality. If someone disagrees with you, know that this doesn’t decrease your dignity and worth; show them the love in your position and let that love speak for itself; try to find the love in their position and engage that to the fullest. “Love begets love” – Virgil
I love you, my friends, and I am so sorry that you are hurting. I love you, my friends, and I am devoted to the Catholic Church and the Truth to which She is espoused. I love you, my friends, and I would gladly struggle through the questions surrounding the difficult teachings on this topic with anyone who wants to engage it with me.
Your sister in Christ,
Annie Rodriguez, ’18
Anscombe Society President