God is a "He" — LMU Penalizes Student for Male-Gendered Language
The California College Republicans (CC) join our chapter at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in condemning Professor Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu for marking down a member of the LMU College Republicans chapter for referring to God as "He" on their final paper.
In the grading rubric submitted to the student, Prof. Gonzalez-Andrieu marked down points noting:
"Uses male-gendered language for God repeatedly." The student emailed in response, "I have some major concerns about points taken off my final paper... MULTIPLE times throughout the Bible God is referred to as a 'He.' I feel targeted by your comment, as I was raised in the church... at a Catholic university and in a Christian course you should not be able to take any points off for this." Professor Gonzalez-Andrieu responded, "As I indicated to the class community several times, in the footnotes you can have a conversation with other scholars. This gives you a way to highlight and support the reasons for your choices regarding multiple questions. Please resubmit your paper and add a footnote stating your reasons as a scholar to opt to preserve male language for God... That's all you need to do and I will then review your paper once more."
The chapter member resubmitted their paper with the footnote and Professor Gonzalez-Andrieu updated their grade to give back the points.
LMU College Republicans President, Will Donahue, had this to say in response: "I am appalled by this blatant heresy coming out of the theology department. This was a personal attack on one of my member's freedom of religion, at a "Catholic" school no less. This type of compelled speech cannot be tolerated by LMU. God is referred to as "He" throughout the Catechism and the Bible. Forcing students to use genderless language for God at LMU by marking down papers is completely unacceptable.
"We are in communications with the student and do not blame them for making the decision to protect their grade in the face of this blasphemy. They should have never been put in that situation.
In the wake of Planned Parenthood fundraisers and other professors threatening to mark down grades for not listing gender pronouns, more and more students at LMU feel that they cannot express their Catholic beliefs without grade penalties or social ostracization. We hope LMU responds appropriately this time, their actions this semester have shown utter disregard for their Catholic heritage and their students. Should any retaliation come to this student because they had the courage to speak out, all legal options will remain on the table."
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