Letter to the Editor: Namesakes
The opinions reflected in this OpEd are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of staff, faculty and students of The King's College.
The decision to remove Ronald Reagan as a namesake at The King's College strikes me, after some thought, as good. King's is a Christian college, and, despite Ronnie’s many qualities and achievements, the man never exemplified Christianity per se — and when the bigoted words of a folk hero are unearthed, who can fault students for such a reaction?
At first I had reservations about the decision to declare President Ronald Reagan a villain. My heart went out to the house alums who were not consulted, or were looped in just barely. My mind turned to the current students who admire him, thinking they would receive their new role as community scoundrels somewhat uneasily. But, on second thought, I was inspired by the College’s hard neglect for their feelings and brushed them off just as lightly. I found myself suddenly invigorated by the College's brave stance against the bigots and Reaganites of this community.
In that spirit, I polled my (albeit small) Twitter following to see if they might favor re-naming the now-anonymous house after one of four Catholic saints, in the belief that now was the time — in this moment of ardor and retribution — for the College to repent of its dug-in resistance to Catholicism.
The poll received only fourteen votes in total, true. But that's almost as many as those who weighed in on poor Ronnie’s fate, so let that sway no one's opinion of the result.
The voters chose Pope Saint John Paul II as the preferred house namesake, which is a good choice, because, even more than the president, he was a heroic challenger of state tyranny and atheism, and was a holy, humble man who offered his entire life to Christ. Plus, as the Office of Admissions is so fond of stating, supposedly the number of Catholics in the student body is growing. If true, this would serve them well.
“But, on second thought, I was inspired by the College’s hard neglect for their feelings and brushed them off just as lightly. I found myself suddenly invigorated by the College's brave stance against the bigots and Reaganites of this community.”
- Michael Tuscano
Would the College ever seriously consider changing the former House of Reagan to the House of Saint John Paul II, or is anti-Catholicism the one bigotry it won’t drop? If so, may JPII be installed in the same way that Ronnie was deposed. Swiftly, secretly, coldly. Only such would be a sign of the College’s carefulness, openness, and warmth.
But what I know of the mind of the faculty gives me doubts. Anti-Catholicism is the bigotry it loves best.
Perhaps the College prefers a House of Pete Buttigieg — a new Christian statesman more in line with the current student body — or, in light of the College’s deeper feelings, a House of Thomas Cromwell?
House of Dietrich Bonhoeffer?????
Class of ‘08