Action Alert!

not-so-free speech on the Catholic campus

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 14, 2008

In San Antonio, devout Catholics complained to the archbishop when St. Mary's University hosted a campaign rally for Senator Hillary Clinton. Clinton's support for abortion, same-sex marriage, and embryonic stem-cell research are a matter of public record, they pointed out. The archbishop was sympathetic. The university was not. The rally went ahead on schedule.

St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus appeared at another Clinton rally and put his own support for abortion on the record. Devout Catholics were scandalized. The archbishop was appalled. But the Jesuit-run university said it was no big deal; Majerus was entitled to his own views.

So it's interesting that in Washington this week, Catholic University stepped in to squash an entire lecture series because some speakers "appear to espouse views that are contrary to the mission and values of Catholic University." What prompted such a decisive response?

The speakers scheduled to appear at Catholic U. were E. Michael Jones, the editor of Culture Wars magazine, and John Sharpe, founder of IHS Press. Both are Catholics-- admittedly of a controversial stripe, but Catholics nonetheless. So what was the complaint against them?

The Southern Poverty Law Center-- a leftist group that has often criticized Catholics-- charges that Jones and Sharpe are "raging anti-Semites." A spokesman for the group claimed: "A simple Google search will show you the frightening ideology of these men."

Go ahead. Try the Google search. Are you convinced? Do you see compelling evidence of anti-Semitism? Anything as clear as Hillary Clinton's voting record?

The question here is not whether you and I agree with Jones and Sharpe, but whether their views are demonstrably at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you're finished with that question, ask yourself why it is that officials at Catholic universities will ignore the plaintive cries of the Catholic laity, but leap to respond to a left-wing pressure group.

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