2. But when it comes to identifiably religious universities — Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or anything else — this is even more clear. Loyola keeping a Catholic identity helps promote real intellectual diversity in American public life (and, again, I’d say the same as to other religious universities; I can imagine some religious belief systems that are so pernicious that, while they must be constitutionally protected, we can still say they hurt American life more than they help it, but I think that most of the traditions that found universities do have a good deal to contribute).
I think it would be unwise, and contrary to the intellectual freedom needed for serious universities to thrive, for it to try to suppress other religious messages from students, student groups and others. It might even make sense to accommodate such other religious groups in various ways, and it sounds as though Loyola does. But when it comes to Loyola’s own messages, including its holiday decor, I think it’s good for Loyola to maintain a Catholic identity, and not to “celebrate” religious traditions to which it doesn’t subscribe. If that would remind me, as a nonreligious person or as an ethnic Jew, that it’s a university that’s identifiably Catholic, and that it doesn’t endorse my views (again, even though it doesn’t punish me for those views) — well, I think I should have known that all along.