Prejudice Against Catholics

To the editors:

Avishai D. Don’s column on Feb. 24, 2010, “Sex, Love, and Purim,” is fraught not only with embarrassing and unconcealed ignorance of the topics on which he dilates, but also, more inexcusably, with a disdain for religious traditions that do not cleave with his poorly elucidated and insufficiently coherent view of “sexual ethics.”

Mr. Don is apparently open about his limited knowledge of Catholic theology and moral doctrine—he even insists, awkwardly, on using “the” before the title of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, “Humanae Vitae.” Yet what should be a point of humility for this amateur scholar of comparative religion inexplicably gives him license to teach not only Pope Paul and the Boston College theologian whose recent lecture he mentions, but also St. Paul and St. Augustine a thing or two about the proper moral attitude toward sex. Mr. Don is certainly entitled to his opinion, however uninformed and offensive it is to Catholics. But what should be impermissible—especially in a newspaper as intellectually rigorous and respectful of cultural differences as The Crimson professes to be—is the insulting and degrading finger wagging that Mr. Don directs at Catholics.

For if any Catholic, Muslim, or even atheist attempted to lecture Jews about how they should treat their own traditional theology and moral teachings, such an article would rightly be discarded as anti-Semitic garbage. In 2010, one would have thought that the old prejudices against Catholics would have disappeared at Harvard; it is unfortunate and sad to know that they still persist at The Crimson.



New York, N.Y.

Feb. 24, 2010

Christopher B. Lacaria ’09 is a former Crimson editorial writer and columnist.