Robert Graf -
Not Your (Grand) Father’s Military
surrenders his weapons
St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, became a “soldier of Christ,” laying down his worldly weapons before the statue of the Black Madonna at Montserrat and exchanging his royal clothes for the rags of a beggar. Both before and after his conversion, he was a Catholic; but only after his conversion was his first loyalty to Jesus and not to the state.
The modern Jesuit university, Marquette University being one example, is doing the reverse. It is taking up the weapons of war at the request of the government and is adapting its Christian values to accommodate military education and training. It still calls itself Catholic, but has made itself beholden to the governing authority, with its immense military establishment, and in the process is marginalizing the teachings of Jesus and of the Church.
In 1968, at the height of the civil rights and peace movements, Marquette gave in to the pressures of students and society and opened it’s doors more widely to minority students. However the same year when many of the same students who had worked for civil rights began resisting the military presence on campus, Marquette held it’s ground.
Since that time, Jesuit universities have increasingly permitted the militarization of education. The military presence today on Jesuit campuses makes what was permitted in 1968 pale in comparison.