Rosary Club: The “Truth” Behind the “Holy Hamily”
This semester’s new group of clubs brought with it the infamous Hamilton College Rosary Club, a subgroup placed under the Newman Council, an organization under the Chapel. Its first email designated itself as the home for Catholics who want to join the “Holy Hamily,” and “revolt against the modern world through spiritual warfare.”
Rosary Club quickly found itself the subject of student critique (and derision) across Instagram and Jodel. While a small portion of it included anti-theistic commentary, the vast majority of it concerned itself with the bigoted and self-victimizing nature of its emails and posts.
In only its second email to the campus community, Rosary Club hailed itself as a believer in the “Sanctity of Life,” complete with a link to anti-abortion religous pamphlet. Following suit, the club’s Instagram bio called for the overturning of Roe v Wade, as pictured below. They even have a saved Instagram story section for the anti-abortion posts they reshare, really emphasizing their belief in life at conception.
In the middle of the Supreme Court hearing for an anti-abortion case that had the potential to the right to abortion in the United States, the Rosary Club made its stance extremely clear to the campus community. In doing so, the organization took a stance not simply against abortion, but against accessible, life-saving, healthcare access to those who are capable of having children. With or without a federal ban or limitation, abortions will happen, and those who are at most risk when abortions are banned are poor, people of color, who are unable to travel to different states or pay for legal abortions.
At the outbreak of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the club decided to send out an email praying for peace, and yet urging folks to learn about the Second Secret of Fatima, which essentially argues that if people continue to not believe in God, then war itself will continue and only worsen; of course, implying in a roundabout way that the invasion of Ukraine was partly brought upon Ukrainians and Russians not believing enough in God.
According to their last campus-wide email, their most recent meeting was dedicated to discussing “the restoration of authentic love between men and women.” The emphasis on “men and women,” of course, automatically excludes LGBTQ+ relationships. The language of authenticity and the implication that queer love is inauthentic is used heavily by homophobic Christians to argue that queer relationships go against the Bible. Authentic Love is often understood as love between men and women specifically, and that understanding love as anything else is a misunderstanding of that love.
As is demonstrated by their previous Instagram that’s pictured above, the leaders of Rosary Club are also incredibly preoccupied and focused on any and all critique it receives; in an almost self-aggrandizing fashion, it hailed itself in another Instagram bio as the “most hated club on campus,” and even told perspective members in another email that they can meet with the club more privately if they’d like, because the leaders “know it can be scary to publicly affiliate with advocate of the Truth.” The “Truth,” which they also mentioned in their second email when they made sure everyone knew that the “Truth” includes being anti-abortion.
Although the jokes made about the absurdity of the club can be entertaining at moments, it’s incredibly alarming to have an organization on campus that uses religion to openly embrace harmful politics and beliefs like misogyny and homophobia. The presentation of the organization feels almost satirical (especially the hyper-white depictions of Jesus and Mary on their Instagram), but it is far from it; when Rosary Club presents itself as a host for Truth, advocates for life-ending healthcare policies, and utilizes right-winged dog whistles, its leaders are being 100% serious, and as such we must take seriously the harm the organization presents to community members.
Corrections (3/9/2022): Changed "it's" to "its."