And this obvious click-bait attack was served up, mind you, by one purporting to be a “conservative” arguing--incredibly!--that Christendom’s holding of the morality bar high only leads to sexual assault off campus. Huh? (How this is substantively different from the old pro-abort canard where baby killing is concerned—better to make abortion safe and legal, rather than risk abortions in back allies—is anyone’s guess.)
The terrible thing that happened in this case to one Christendom student—who’d driven her accused rapist to a remote area, up into the Blue Ridge Mountains and far from the Christendom campus—cannot in justice be considered in isolation from the overall track record at Christendom for the past half century, i.e., thousands of students educated in an environment of beautiful symmetry with Catholic moral theology and thus where immorality itself (the first cause of rape) is taboo within the campus culture.
In her effort to grind her great big axe, Christendom’s eager critic demonstrates what appears to be a singular lack of concern for the massive spiritual threat so prevalent on college campuses nationwide (where the date rape problem, by the way, is completely out of control, even despite administrative rejections of Christian moral standards. Go figure!).
Christendom is fighting against that culture out of concern for both body and soul of its students. Their policies against PDA, immodesty and coed dorms--so reviled by this neo-Catholic critic--were in place when my wife and I first met as Christendom College students. Were there violations of the rules? Were sinners counted among Christendom’s student body? Of course! But Christendom’s fundamentally Catholic campus life did more than merely discourage immoral behavior, it caused such behaviors to be regarded as politically and socially incorrect among the student body. The result was a fostering of the wholesome maturation process so conducive to a healthy and truly Christian learning environment. Ultimately, this led to countless marriages among Christendom alumni and a veritable explosion of large Catholic families in the Shenandoah Shores, Front Royal, and all around the country.
As Christendom College graduates, my wife and I are forever indebted to the faculty and administrators of Christendom who had enough concern for the souls of their students—including ours, back in the day—to commit themselves entirely to building a truly Catholic college campus, where students at least had a fighting chance of withstanding the barrage of assaults served up by a Godless society that was out of control back then and that truly defies all reason and standards of decency today.
Serious differences of opinion notwithstanding, God bless Christendom College and shame on Simcha Fisher. – Michael J. Matt
The past two years have been full of unexpected surprises. 2016 saw the surprise election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America and the “Brexit” of the United Kingdom from the neo-Stalinist EU. 2017 saw the defeat of ISIS and, instead of the toppling of the Bashar al-Assad regime as the next in line after Iraq and Libya, we saw Assad regain control of his country through the open cooperation of Russia and the quiet help of President Trump who cut off Obama funding for ISIS--I mean the “Free Syrian Army.”
2017 also witnessed the emergence of the #metoo campaign. However, while the left desperately has tried to seize the narrative of #metoo as an attack on the “patriarchy” and evil men, their efforts have largely failed. The overwhelming majority of men accused of unwanted sexual advances in the media happen to be liberals; some of them, like Harvey Weinstein, major Democratic Party donors.
Moreover, as the British magazine The Tablet and even the notorious comedian Larry David pointed out in a Saturday Night Live monologue, many of the acts of abuse very likely stemmed from the racist and anti-Christian bias of many powerful men who preyed on young women who came to them looking for work.
This catastrophe has not stopped one “conservative” Catholic blogger from jumping on the #metoo bandwagon and using instances of alleged abuse to attack Catholic institutions. The Neo-Catholic feminist, Simcha Fisher, has recently scribbled a series of articles attacking Christendom College for not protecting the women on campus
Fisher is in many ways a typical “John Paul II generation” internet personality, whose writings and social media presence are loaded with erratic behavior, decorated with all kinds of detritus from pop culture and pop psychology, and seasoned with the “soft” modernism of neo-Catholicism.
On the other hand, Fisher is unique in a field of often cartoonish characters that populate the remnants of conservative Catholic media. Due to her extremely vulgar online comments, Fisher was fired from The National Register along with the unrecognizable (as Catholic) Mark Shea.
Fisher, happily a convert from Judaism, nonetheless markets her Jewish identity in a manner that is offensive to both Christians and Jews. On her Twitter account, she uses the notorious and crude (((echo parenthesis))), developed by the Alt Right to denote names that were Jewish or at least appeared to be Jewish. Secondly, identifying Hanukkah as a way for Jews to “push back” against Christmas, Fisher, in a 2012 Register article, argues that she celebrates Hanukkah as a means of fighting back against attacks on the Church online. It is difficult to understand how the celebration of Hanukkah is a way to fight against the Church’s enemy if Hanukkah is, according to Fisher, a way for Jews to push back against Christians.
This is not to fault Fisher for celebrating her Jewish heritage; rather, it is to note that the manner in which she argues and presents herself is usually haphazard and often offensive.
Having been chastised by the conservative Catholic media for her vulgarity, Fisher has rebranded herself also as a sort of feminist fighting against the uptight and oppressive conservative Catholic patriarchy. On her blog, for example, she has as her totem figure, one of the oldest Indo-European artefacts, the Viennese Venus, Photoshopped into an easy chair.
Bitten by Catholic authority, Fisher has now taken aim at one of the most notable conservative Catholic colleges in the country: Christendom College. In “Are Women Safe in Christendom College’s Bubble,” Part I and Part II, Fisher exploits the cases of young girls who have claimed to be assaulted by Christendom boys but ignored by Christendom authority, to wage a war against, not only Christendom College, but traditional Catholic modesty and decorum in general.
Before addressing Fisher’s article, I want to make a few points clear. First of all, sexual assault is an extremely serious matter, and those found guilty of it by proper authorities should be punished according to the full extent of the law.
Secondly, in regard to the cases that Fisher brings forward, I have no personal knowledge, and thus I am not in a position to make any judgement on them or the manner in which Christendom College handled them. Rather, I intend only to address how Fisher presents her case.
In her attack on Christendom, loaded with unnecessarily graphic detail, Fisher mocks the college as a “sheltered” “bubble,” and, quoting a student, a “prison,” insulated from the outside world. The implication here is that Christendom unjustly shelters students from the morass of contemporary pop culture which could enrich, nurture, and strengthen them. However, it is this gross, violent, racist, and ultimately Satanic Hollywood culture that, ironically, has inspired the #metoo campaign.
Why would Christendom want to break the bubble and expose its students to the prevailing and vile Hollywood culture?
In addition to being a “bubble,” Christendom is “rigid,” and, again citing alleged statements by students finessed with Fisher’s own words, “the school’s sheltered, highly structured campus culture actually facilitates sexual assault.”
Quoting an anonymous student, Fisher further laments that there was “no touching” or closeness allowed between the sexes. The implication here is that sex crimes happen at Catholic colleges because they are too strict. According to this logic, under the heavy patriarchal hand of the Catholic establishment, students are pressured into bad behavior. If only Catholic authorities would “loosen up” and allow for more relaxed and intimate interaction between the sexes, then abuse would not happen with such frequency.
This pseudo-Freudian deconstruction of millenia of Christian custody of the sexes crept into the Church back in the heydays of the Old Liberals (during the 80s and 90s, conservative seminarians were routinely dismissed for being “rigid”), which sadly have been revived under Pope Francis and which, by the way, were rife with sexual abuse.
Finally, Fisher takes aim at Christendom as an oppressive, male-dominated institution, which is part of the “notorious boys club” of Front Royal, Virginia. Quoting an anonymous student, Fisher writes that girls were unfairly subjected to “hours and hours and hours of talks on modesty, dress code, how to act, how to keep boys chaste, all of those things.” Again, your author has no way of verifying whether or not this is true, but Fisher’s implications are that conservative patriarchal institutions (like the family, the Catholic Church, and the Indo-European Western Civilization that produced Fisher’s totem Venus) are essentially corrupt and need to be deconstructed and equalized.
In the end, we can hope and pray that these situations at Christendom College are clarified and that justice is done for all parties involved. Furthermore, we pray that the #metoo campaign as a whole continues its efforts of exposing how both men and women are routinely abused by (largely leftist and “male feminist”) predators in the media as well as in the political establishment. On the other hand, we cannot allow the left and its useful stooges like Simcha Fisher (who masquerade as conservative Catholics) to turn the #metoo campaign into an attack on the Church.
It is, ironically, the Western Christian tradition of chivalry, itself rooted in the Gospel, classical culture, and the Germanic warrior code, that has protected and exalted women for millennia, and it is only by a return to the traditional Christian values of chivalry that Christian women will be protected from predators inside the Church and out.