ESTES: Disarming Accusations of Hate



The editorial released by the Hoya on the matter of Love Saxa is disappointing, due to its willingness to quickly embrace censorship of speech and categorize views held by Georgetown as hateful. Now, I believe these notions of hate have already been soundly rejected by the Knights of Columbus on campus, who provided a very thoughtful reflection on the subject. For this reason, I shall focus on the other facets of the issue currently being debated, namely, the attacks on free expression, and the Catholic institution of which we attend.


In their piece, the Hoya attempts to claim that the issue at hand “is not one of censoring free speech,” yet censorship is exactly what they go on to seek. The editorial writers recognize that Georgetown, and other Catholic groups on campus, hold a traditional view of marriage, yet they cede this as acceptable only because these groups are not “actively advocating” this view. Thus, the Hoya patronizingly deems that the, so called, “bigoted” views of the Catholic Church, which inspired the founding of our school, may be held behind closed doors in secret. However, the moment one attempts to speak out on these beliefs, they must be shut down. This is censorship (see Merriam Webster’s Dictionary) at its finest, and it is sad to see “Georgetown’s Newspaper of Merit” take such an anti-speech stance.


In fact, Love Saxa has not even had to take any tangible action in promotion of its beliefs to inspire censorship, for the only event it has held this year has been on the dangers of pornography. The group has yet to hold a discussion of its position on marriage, so the Hoya’s claims of active advocation seem pretty foundationless, especially as this sole point in the eyes of the editorial board limits Catholic groups, and the University itself, from being equally derided.

Now, if the Hoya wishes to categorize Love Saxa as a hate group on campus for the upholding of its beliefs, they are welcome to do so, because I do not advocate for censorship of opinions counter to my own, but they must recognize the true ramifications of their actions. We must draw their reasoning to its logical conclusion. If any person who holds or speaks in favor of the opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman is hateful and intolerant, then the Catholic Church is hateful and intolerant, then the entire Jesuit community is hateful and intolerant, then Georgetown is hateful and intolerant. Either all promote hateful communities, or none do. I wonder how the reasoning applied by the Hoya and opponents to Love Saxa could not equally be applied to undermine all facets of our University? Why not tear down the entire fabric of this institution if its beliefs are inherently corrupted by a supposedly vile foundational belief?


While the matter at hand is over a relatively meager sum of $250, the symbolism of this story is much larger. If the suppression of Love Saxa is carried out and the application of claims of hate are validated, then it seems sensical that we shall see an ongoing dismantlement of Georgetown’s Catholic identity. I fear the day, which is actively coming into fruition, where I am unable to practice my Catholic faith on a Catholic campus, without being called hateful, because my opinion defies the orthodoxy of the student body. Perhaps it was indeed altogether fitting and proper that the Hoya released these attacks on Love Saxa on Parents’ Weekend, because if more parents and alumni knew the state of our campus, then I believe we would see greater pressure on the administration, and thus a greater willingness to uphold that truth which is professed by our school.