OK, I admit it. I get distracted from time to time by the headlines that pop up on my screen. I’m sure that never happens to anyone else, but, to my eternal shame, it happens to me from time to time. So here it is Halloween morning, and the Washington Post publishes a story about William Peter Blatty who forty years ago wrote the Exorcist, a story about demon possession.
Now personally, I don’t do horror stories. And I absolutely, positively, definitively, and incontrovertibly don’t do horror movies. I am the proverbial scaredy-cat when it comes to horror movies. Never been to one and never plan to go to one. (Zombieland doesn’t count.) But you simply couldn’t have been alive forty years ago and over the age of eight and not have been aware of Blatty’s book and, a couple of years later, the movie by the same name. They defined a generation of horror.
So I admit it, I read the Washington Post article, and I found an interesting nugget at the end. Blatty graduated from Georgetown University but has taken issue with his alma mater because of its lurch into secularism. The university is ostensibly Catholic and, more particularly, Jesuit. I have often thought that if any long academic tradition aligns fairly closely with Gutenberg, it would be that of Jesuit colleges and universities. So I thought it interesting that they are having such a discussion.
The final straw for Blatty was Georgetown’s inviting Kathleen Sebelius to be a commencement speaker last year. Sebelius is an outspoken advocate of abortion, both personally and in her capacity as secretary of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as “Obamacare”) with its requirement that even religious organizations must provide for abortions in their health insurance plans. Since the Catholic church opposes abortion, Blatty is suggesting that the church should either bring Georgetown back into conformity with Catholic teachings or cut its ties to the university. The Washington Post interviewer writes that Blatty, “his voice trembling,” described “in graphic detail” a particularly grisly abortion procedure and then said, “That’s demonic!”
We see again how far modern day academia has drifted from any moorings in helping students to understand and embrace a moral framework in concert with that of the Creator God of the universe. Secularism currently rules the day.