Friday, September 19, 2014

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Some Seton Hall Faculty Oppose Catholic Author Mary Eberstadt as Graduation Speaker

The Faculty Senate at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., met Friday with the provost to discuss faculty concerns over the University’s selection of a popular Catholic writer as commencement speaker, according to the student newspaper.

Mary Eberstadt is a Catholic author who has written extensively about the culture of life, the damage of contraception, and the need for families to focus on raising children in books such as How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization and Adam and Eve after the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution.

An email was reportedly distributed to several faculty members through Seton Hall Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Marianne Lloyd to detail concerns and gauge if others were concerned about the selection. The email was reportedly signed by several faculty members.

Mirabella said she was concerned that Eberstadt “takes stances against women who work,” according to the article.

She continued by saying Eberstadt, in an article titled “The Child-Fat Problem,” lays blame for obesity in children to their working mothers.”

Mirabella reportedly voiced her concern that expressing this opinion may be offensive because “many of the parents in our audience are single parents who sacrificed so much to send their children to Seton Hall, or are single parents themselves who worked hard to get their degrees.”

Eberstadt has said in the past that her writing is not made to make parents feel guilty. "The purpose of these pages is not to ask what any one woman or man has decided to do,” she reportedly said. “It is rather to ask what the accumulation of many millions of such decisions is doing to the children and adolescents of this society."

Eberstadt also reportedly said that she seeks to "replace our current low moral bar regarding nurture with a more humane standard acknowledging that individuals and society would be better off if more parents spent more time with children."

The email was reportedly signed by Mirabella as well as English professor Dr. Mary Balkan, psychology professor Dr. Janine Buckner, history professor Dr. William James Hoffer, biochemistry professor Dr. Cecilia Marzabadi, and philosophy professor Dr. Judith Stark.

Joan Guetti, Ph.D.,senior associate provost, assured The Cardinal Newman Society, "There has been no change of speaker. "

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