By Nathan Schmidt
This week, Campus Ministry delivered a punishing sentence upon a student found guilty of atheism, condemning her to be awkwardly shunned by her Catholic peers. The student, Samantha Leon ‘22, was discovered to be atheist after one of her friends asked if she ever goes to Mass, whereupon she replied by revealing the grim truth of her non-religious outlook.
“This is kind of shitty,” said Melissa Hubert ‘22, Samantha’s roommate and general-purpose social buddy. “I knew Sammy never went to Mass or anything, but I figured it was just because she was Protestant. Now whenever we’re out places, we can’t talk about Jesus or break into spontaneous hymns or anything without it being all weird. I just … if you go more than fifteen minutes in a conversation without mentioning God, are you really doing the Jesuit university sorta experience?”
When asked for comment, Campus Ministry’s Rev. Arnold Nelson offered a much different point of view. He spoke with Stagnation reporters while contemplatively walking in a slow circle around the outdoor sculpture of St. Francis of Assisi, as though emulating St. Francis’ legendary reputation of ministering to the birds. He was also walking backwards, as though emulating his own reputation of being basically nuts.
“Let’s get something straight. We in Fairfield University are Jesuit scholars. The Society of Jesus was formed in the 1500s as part of the Counter-Reformation to fight the spread of Protestantism. But we also live in the real world, and all arguments about religious freedom aside, it’s sort of anarchy out there. You can worship nothing if you want. I mean, heck, you can worship Dionysus if you feel like it, see if I care. I’d bet most of you townhouse dwellers already do.”
Leon herself met her sentence of social ostracization grimly, saying, “Well — on the outside of Canisius Hall, it does say ‘theology,’ not ‘religious studies.’ It’s one of those things you just have to live with on a campus like this one. Like, the social cross-section for atheists is probably mostly in the closet. I’ll just see how everyone’s doing when we get to drinking age and the students all convert to worshiping Dionysus. That should be a fun break.”
“At least there’s the Rational Association of Free Thinkers,” Leon added, before looking more closely at the RAFT poster and realizing that there were no meeting times listed on it.
At press time, Leon’s peers had agreed to deal with the sentence of awkward shunning by taking uncomfortably long to answer her text messages.