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Students voted that the agrarian lifestyle does not best support Catholic culture at the last Dumb Ox debate of the semester Sunday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gentile Gallery.
This debate addressed the motion “This house believes that an agrarian lifestyle best supports Catholic culture.”
Senior Luke Pipa was the first to speak in favor of the motion. Pipa said that agrarianism was localized and anti-globalist.
Pipa said, “(Agrarianism) is going to be a decentralized power system. So, agrarianism is going to be fundamentally against something like giant corporations or a globalized world or a really big government.”
Junior Nate Lamansky argued against the motion, saying, “This motion is like (a) lighted sepulcher — beautiful and based on the outside, but on the inside it’s full of dead man’s bones and cringe.”
He continued, “The problem with the motion is not that it praises agrarian lifestyle too much but that it does not affirm non-agrarian lifestyle enough.”
Sophomore Mary Therese Druffner spoke in favor of the motion. She said that agrarianism allows people to interact more intimately with each other and the environment compared to urbanization.
Junior Clare Young, who opposed the motion, said it contradicted history and all of Catholic tradition, which is that Catholics have been sent to live in a corrupt culture and not retreat from it.
“Jesus did not say to his apostles: ‘go and live an agrarian lifestyle (and) build your own Catholic culture because the Roman empire is too corrupt,’” she said, opposing Pipa’s stance that Catholics ought to build their own culture.
At the end of the night, attendees voted to oppose the motion.
Junior Michaela Costanzo said, “It was a lively debate for not having many people, and I appreciated the different perspectives on the issues that were brought up. There was lots of equivocation about agrarianism versus agriculture, and I wish that agrarianism had been defined more specifically.”
“I think it was a good and thoughtful debate on a pressing issue for Catholics,” added junior Monica Costanzo.
The debate was hosted by the Veritas Society.