Christopher Jay studied at a faithful Catholic college and gained valuable understanding of the human person and God’s design for sexuality, but he never thought that one day he’d be fighting against a “drag queen library hour” at a New Hampshire public library. Yet, that’s exactly where he found himself just recently, not long after graduation.
“People knew that they were opposed to drag queens targeting children, but they couldn’t enunciate why,” says Jay. “They knew that this was wrong and damaging, but they haven’t received education that would enable them to analyze what is and what is not ‘freedom.’”
Jay graduated from Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., in 2012 and from Ave Maria University School of Law in Naples, Fla., in 2018. After passing the bar, he worked with Cornerstone Action and Policy and the Massachusetts Family Institute as a legal advisor and lobbyist for pro-life and pro-family causes.
For Jay, the drag queen event was a “shocking ‘cultural thermometer’ incident.” “I issued a public records request and discovered that the drag queen, who also performs pornography, was suggesting that he and the library should hold a similar future event targeted at 2- and 3-year-olds.”
“One of the more eye-opening things about that situation was experiencing the ‘emperor’s new clothes’ dynamic — where everyone, both opponents and supporters, knew exactly what this was about, but almost no one would talk candidly about it, either because they were afraid of backlash or because they supported a disordered view of human sexuality,” Jay continues.
“Most ended up trying to oppose the event by pretending they had some purely procedural objection (‘this is a waste of taxpayer money,’ etc.) instead of being able to articulate moral dimensions that underpin the enacted policies and laws,” he says.
Wyoming Catholic, a faithful Catholic college recommended in The Newman Guide, teaches students to “read a text, analyze it, challenge it” and involves “critical thinking over and over again.” These are the same skills that are needed for law school and for work as a lawyer, Jay explains.
His senior-year classes on Catholic social teaching and political philosophy opened a “profound philosophical arena” for him and were “central” to his decision to start working in the public sphere.
He also values the conversations he had with the College’s Dr. Jeremy Holmes about “integrating his classical learning with raising a family.” Jay married a Wyoming Catholic classmate, and they are expecting their fourth child. “Everything you’re doing should be ordered towards your vocation.”
The College’s wilderness immersion program also played an important role in Jay’s formation.
“The wilderness experience brings you back down to earth and forces you to come to grips with reality,” Jay explains, remembering some “stressful situations” outdoors that led to community building.
He may never have expected that a drag queen library hour would become a part of his reality soon after graduation, but it has emboldened Jay and taught him that there’s “no such thing as a ‘neutral’ process or human action that can be arbitrated on its own by ‘pure reason.’”
“Every procedure, principle, or policy can only be understood in relation to that which we regard as good and evil,” he said. Mainstream secular education can actually “inhibit” our “ability to understand the world.”