The Daily Beast asks: Is Georgetown really that Catholic?
Proliferation of chapels and crucifixes notwithstanding, we actually aren’t that Catholic!
Over on the Daily Beast, Kathleen Kingsbury has made it her mission to debunk “bogus college stereotypes.” Earlier this week she took on entrenched stereotypes like “Oberlin is all hippies,” “Smith turns girls into lesbians,” “Villanova is so white and preppy” and, best of all, “Georgetown is so Catholic.”
Georgetown University—an officially Jesuit-affiliated school—might really be Catholic? You don’t say!
[A]at its heart, this is a Catholic university (America’s oldest) and visitors are quick to realize that. Consider the crucifixes that adorn most classrooms, the theology requirement, and the parking spaces that read “Jesuit Parking Only.” Plus, as exacted by Catholic doctrine, stores on Georgetown property can’t sell condoms.
Ok, so maybe Georgetown being Catholic isn’t such a “bogus stereotype” after all, right? Not so fast! This one Jewish student didn’t feel weird about it at all!
What [Jill Herskovitz] and her parents found both on their initial visit and in her four years there, however, was a diverse campus with an active Hillel—about 15% of the student body is Jewish—and a full-time Muslim chaplain. Jill filled her theology credits with “Problem of God,” a survey of world religions, and a Jewish Studies course. “It was probably the best four years of her life,” says her mother Joan, who now counsels other hesitant prospective Jewish parents. “She’d go back tomorrow if she could.”
I don’t know where Kingsbury got that 15 percent Jewish statistic (The Student Commission for Unity report puts it at 6.5 percent, and the Jewish Students Association website says it’s “approximately twelve to fifteen percent” of undergrads), but nice to know that we meet the Daily Beast‘s standards for religious diversity!