A couple of days ago I had an experience that was a little disheartening for me.
I’m a graduate student in a fairly prestigious law program. Obviously, the law is an area where society and my faith tend to conflict quite a lot, and the school I attend would be considered quite “left wing”. I don’t shove my faith down anyone’s throat, but I also don’t shy away from expressing contrary opinions to the more controversial topics, like gender identity, medical aid in dying, reproductive technologies, abortion, etc.
In a class this past week we were discussing the issues associated with extending medical aid in dying to children and with refusing to assign children genders at birth, both of which are hot topics in children’s law right now. I gave my opinions, and I feel I was respectful. However, other students were not reprimanded when they were making disparaging noises when I said something they disagreed with - which I am sure would have happened had the reverse been true. Further, after class, one of my classmates approached me and thanked me for raising the issues I had brought forward because she agreed with me, but didn’t feel comfortable in that environment saying anything.
I hold firm to the idea that beliefs are beliefs. Mine are based on a faith and a 2000 year tradition, and theirs are based on whatever they are based on, but both are just beliefs. Respect means we respect each other’s right to hold our own beliefs.
I’m toying with the idea of going to the professor and sharing what was said to me (though not who said it). The professor is new and young, however, and is more on the side of those who were being disrespectful than me.
How would you respond? I did encourage my classmate and assure them that I knew where they were coming from and could sympathize with the challenge of being Catholic in this particular school.