I’m annoyed. Too annoyed to make any sense or write coherently. You’ve been warned.

I think I may be a bit sadistic. Just a smidge. For example, I can’t seem to stop reading Katherine Kersten’s blog in the Star Tribune. She routinely angers me, so I shouldn’t be surprised that today’s installment, Battle for the Soul of St. Thomas Takes A Turn for the Worst, once again made my blood boil.

Kersten loves taking shots at St. Thomas, my alma mater, almost as much as I love using the phrase alma mater. And I really love using the phrase alma mater. Her whiney “It’s just not catholic enough!” battle cry is both ironically correct for reasons that she would never understand, and incredibly incorrect for reasons she would never admit to.

First, why Kersten is right for reasons she doesn’t get. St. Thomas is shockingly low on traditional Catholic morals; there was sex to be had, alcohol to be drunk, drugs to be taken, judgment to be passed, tiny clothes to be half-worn, greed to be…greeded…everywhere! I’m not complaining; I definitely had the sex, drunk the alcohol, past the judgment, and greeded the greed (seriously, what’s the word I’m looking for here? Gred?). The school, like the rest of the world, was an advertisement for the seven deadly sins. (Again, not complaining. By the way, read Dan Savage’s Skipping Towards Gomorrah; it’s awesome!) It’s almost as if St. Thomas was a college or something, largely populated by the 18 to 22-year-old set.

Religion certainly wasn’t intertwined within all the curriculum, either. All of my English professors (except for that one priest, I guess) were incredibly liberal and wonderful. For my three required theology classes I lucked out in getting a very art-centric former nun for my Theo 101 class (we spent the majority of the class discussing renaissance art and stained glass windows), a British history professor for my second class (the whole class focused on the history of Sir Thomas More and the history of England in the late 1400s – early 1500s) and my third class, the Old Testament, was taught by a wonderful woman who focused on reading the bible as literature. All three classes were incredibly interesting and educational and in no way biased or Catholicism-skewed. And this at a Catholic school! What is the world coming to? Ms. Kersten wouldn’t approve, I’m sure.

Of course other folks I know had different experiences in their theology classes; experiences that would make Kersten dance in glee, the vile woman. And thus leads me to how Katherine Kersten is straight up wrong. And a poo head. (Why yes, I am willing to lower myself down to immature name-calling.)

Religion rears its ugly head at St. Thomas. (Although with a bit of searching and perseverance, one is able to find some wonderful groups of people there. More about that in a different post.) There was a lot of judgment and narrow-mindedness in the name of religion, bright and shiny in the spirit of Katherine Kersten and her blog. There were theology professors who focused more on shaming their non-religious students than teaching them. There were students who were so threatened by one of the clubs I was in my freshman year, The St. Thomas Alliance of Humanists and Free Thinkers, that they shut the group down. There were groups who gathered to protest outside of Planned Parenthood clinics. There were many mini-Katherine Kerstens running around loudly spouting their opinions with their ears plugged and brains closed to any open dialogue. Congratulations, KK, St. Thomas isn’t as bad as you think.

All of this aside, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at St. Thomas and I wish Katherine Kersten would find a new topic to focus her evil energy on. Go on, Katherine, leave us alone. Some of us were just trying to get an education.

Advertisements