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  • The Left's Invasion of Private Christian Universities

    11/16/2012 2:08:52 PM Posted by Patrick Coyle
    Ann Coulter Speaks at Washington UniversityBy Brendan Pringle

    Private Christian universities are intended to offer more than their public counterparts by providing a higher standard of education and a moral compass for the academic world through their model.

    Yet the tide of liberalism has regrettably invaded some of the most prominent Christian colleges.

    Fordham University's bullying of a conservative club for trying to host bestselling writer and critic Ann Coulter to their university is the latest example of this frightening and destructive trend.  Although the university offered funding for the event, student activists felt the combined pressure of their administration and their peers (who organized a petition against the event).

    Shortly after they acquiesced, the president of the university, Fr. Joseph McShane wrote a letter scolding the students for wanting to host a speaker who uses "hateful" rhetoric. Ann is known for using sarcasm in her speeches, but this is part of her appeal. Her approach draws thousands of students from both sides of the aisle.

    To say that she engages in hate speech, however, could not be further from the truth.

    The president goes on to mention that her message is "aimed squarely at the darker side of our nature." Perhaps he was confused by the title of Ann's latest book (Demonic), but Ann has never appealed to ingrained prejudices or evils during any of her public appearances.

    It's a shame that Fr. McShane has such qualms about Ann Coulter, and turned the other cheek to the more dangerous judgments of his institution.

    As the Cardinal Newman Society notes, Fordham in 2008 "awarded their prestigious Fordham-Stein Prize in Ethics upon Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, whose rulings in favor of legalized abortion has placed him in a position of irreconcilable conflict with the teachings of the Church."

    The school also hosted pro-abortion rights/pro-gay marriage NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the official groundbreaking of the University's new Law School building-a building that has a floor named after the pro-abortion VP candidate Geraldine Ferraro.

    Perhaps most disturbing is that today, November 16, the university is hosting so-called ethicist Peter Singer, who is in favor of killing the aged and the unborn, and has defended bestiality and necrophilia.

    Campus conservative activists at Messiah College likewise faced resistance when they attempted to bring former Foundation spokesman and NewYork Times best-selling author Jason Mattera to their campus in an attempt to balance a two-hour speech by radical left-winger Francis Fox Piven. In this case, university professors, including the students' club advisor, pressured the club to rescind its invitation.

    And we can't forget President Obama's controversial commencement appearance on Notre Dame's campus. This event ruffled feathers, but despite protests from many students and faculty members, the university president refused to cancel the President's invite.

    Christian campuses have increasingly fallen victim to the tide of liberalism, placing political correctness over their own religiously-founded values, and appeasing the Left by embracing its most vocal proponents. Now, more than ever, these universities need to stand up against attacks from the Left. Rather than attacking conservative speakers on the basis of tone, they should embrace the appeal that these public figures cast on morally-established ideals.

    If this trend continues to plague these universities and permeate other Christian colleges like them, they will inevitably lose their credibility and their most cherished supporters.

    Brendan Pringle is a recent graduate from Cal Poly State University and currently a development officer for Young America's Foundation

     

    • Readers' Comments

    • Thank you for bringing to light that liberal social agendas are alive and well in Christian Universities. We are better equipped to convey the message of Conservatism when we have access to facts like these. Knowledge is power.
      Posted by Adriana Vahedy on 11/17/2012
    • Since when is Fordham a "Christian" university? Unfortunately, a large number of religiously founded institutions of higher learning have lost their moorings and haven't rightly been considered Christian for many years if not decades. Now if this had happened at Wheaton, Calvin, Taylor or Messiah, it would be news. In terms of Catholic schools, only a small handful (Steubenville, Catholic, Ave Maria, Christendom, a few others) still maintain a clear focus on faith.
      Posted by Cecilia on 11/19/2012
    • This article and the comments posted show so much ironic bias -- faith = the 2012 conservative agenda? This assumption is not supported at all in the article or the comments. Inviting the President of the US to speak shows liberal bias? Or not rescinding the invitation when a couple people complain? But I thought YAF stood for free speech? If you claim that Coulter was denied free speech, but you advocate that the President should be denied it, then you are not defending the Constitution. You are simply trying to silence speech you don't like and promote speech that you do like. Start acting like real conservatives and support free speech -- period. YAF is just a wing of the Grand Old white men's Party. You don't care about faith and the Constitution. You care about dirty politics.
      Posted by on 11/28/2012
    • Dear above commentator who didn't leave his name: you conveniently and completely missed Brendan's point. His commentary addresses the lack of principle and adherence to the tenets of the Catholic Church by Fordham and Notre Dame, Catholic universities. He is not advocating that the Universities separate individuals from their rights to free speech, but that they use their Constitutionally provide rights to make a decision not to highlight and promote speakers whose stance on issues is completely antithetical to the positions held by the church they supposedly represents and under whose banner they operate. Free speech goes both ways. You can choose to listen; you can choose to ignore. A university has a right to invite, it has a right not to invite. Somehow not inviting someone is trampling on their free speech? Really? I find that Liberals often miss the part that says "you have every right to say it but I don't have to listen." But it is inarguable, following your logic and the facts, that the students and faculty of Fordham did indeed try to separate Ann Coulter from her free speech rights. No matter what someone's personal position is on abortion, birth control or gay marriage, the question is whether an institution that is supposed to support those positions has been "infiltrated" by people who hold the opposite view. Mr./Ms Anonymous - you just proved Brendan's point. Well done.
      Posted by Kerri on 11/29/2012
    • Regent University is considered a premiere Christian college, but unfortunately some of the faculty is liberal. There is no conservative group on campus, and a small Republican club exists but hardly anyone attends. Most, not all, but most of the students are more liberal than I would have thought. The Dean is very conservative but they need to be more careful who they hire.
      Posted by Susan Morrison on 12/02/2012
    • My favorite reposnse on this website came from live4literacy. . . Garbage pure and simple. What all you choice and reform people disregard is the human elements beneficial to attending your neighborhood school. Things like growing up with the same friends for years, teachers knowing families and siblings well, parents having a support system for carpooling, afterschool play, and community work, being able to ride your bike to school, and having even activities with those in your community. That is hard to have happen when kids come from a radius of 25 miles.My son did that for a year and night time events were unheard of and parents generally didn't do play dates because no one lived close enough. My daughter has had the same group of friends since kindergarten, and I ,their parents and it has been tremendously helpful in terms of stability and support. For my son who was thrown out because of zoning and choice, his sense of stability has been completely undermined. And public schools could have a plethora of offerings to please all parents if we stopped defunding them and pouring money into for profit charters which have not been more successful than their public counterparts in the majority of cases. Public school curriculum is stifled by all he high stakes testing and now Common Core which sounds a little nationalist to me.Infact, as a teacher PRIOR to high stakes testing, that's exactly what school looked like a range of teachers and offerings. But we can no longer afford that given the copious amounts of money flowing to Pearson and for profit charters. We in the burbs really love our neighborhood schools and want them adequately funded and focused on a well rounded curriculum versus test prep and minutiae.Your timing on this, Dr. Ravitch, was perfect as I visited with community members where I live who don't believe their kids are in test manufactured schools and that charters are o.k. because they offer choice and are not for profit. I was so confused. But I live in a very wealthy suburb. . . this all makes more sense now.
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