Catholic League questions masturbation lessons at college chapel

James H. Mullen Jr.

William Donohue of the Catholic League sent a letter to James H. Mullen Jr PhD, the president of Allegheny College in northeastern Pennsylvania. In the letter, Donohue makes reference to lessons in masturbation offered on February 20 at the historic college's campus chapel. Sponsored by student groups, Marshall Miller and Kate Weinberg demonstrated masturbation techniques to giggling college students. Weinberg asserted that there is nothing sinful about masturbation, despite longstanding Judeo-Christian  prohibtions. The college chaplain, Jane Ellen Nickel, said she saw nothing wrong with the event, and expects students will feel comfortable attending Christian services there. According to The College Fix, Nickel said, "I don’t have a problem with it being held in the chapel. The program advocates responsible, respectful decision-making regarding sexual behavior, and includes the option waiting for marriage, a message that resonates with many students of faith."

 
 
Here is the text of Donohue's letter to Dr. Mullen: 
 
Last night, two sexperts arrived on your campus to teach students how to masturbate. Women were told that by “inserting a finger or fingers inside the vagina into the front wall of the body” they will experience orgasm. “If you’ve got a vagina, your genitals are tucked pretty neatly inside your body. It’s a pretty handy place to keep one’s genitals, really.” Such words of wisdom do not come cheaply: tuition is over $37,000.
 
Not surprisingly, this exercise in “academic excellence” was sponsored by the pro-abortion advocates (Reproductive Health Coalition) and the homosexual activists (Queers and Allies). None of this really concerns me, but what does interest me is the venue: Ford Memorial Chapel.
 
The Shafer Auditorium could have been used. So could have the Black Theatre, Quigley 101, Schultz Hall or the Tillotson Room. There are 13 board rooms on campus, as well as many classrooms, conference rooms and computer labs. So I am curious as to why a Christian chapel, which hosts Catholic Masses, was the selected site. You also have a Jewish Community Center and a place for Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu students (the Prayer and Meditation Retreat). Why weren’t they chosen? And why was this event selected to take place in a chapel during Lent?
 
I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this matter. Just do me the favor of not invoking academic freedom—that is not the issue. I think you know what is.


Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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