This letter is in response to Richard Connerney's May 13 letter ("Zubik Overreacted") regarding what he called Bishop David Zubik's "overreaction" to the Carnegie Mellon University student's bottomless behavior. I see no parallel between martyrdom and this embarrassing episode.
This is Pittsburgh, where we still maintain basic standards of decency, and most of us here find it shocking for a woman to expose herself. Someone needed to speak up on behalf of decency, and Bishop Zubik did, as should our religious leaders. And he spoke compassionately, explaining that he "gets it," that often young people are not mature enough to discern what is acceptable and what is not.
Of course, the student's goal was to shock and be "on the cutting edge" of art, but when this "art" insults and mocks religious beliefs, it ceases to be art and devolves into bigotry. This is not rocket science; we teach our children in kindergarten to display good manners and not make fun of others.
Thank you, Bishop Zubik, for not being afraid to speak out and to speak out in a kind and caring manner. Many can stand idly by and watch a young woman offend a religious belief and embarrass herself, but Bishop Zubik had the courage and compassion to stand up against what is wrong. It is not whining to speak up for standards of civility. It is an important role of our spiritual leaders to do so. This is a matter of human decency around which all people of good will can rally.