Saturday 16th October 2021

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Free Speech For Me But Not For Thee

October 30, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By MIKE MANNO

I was intrigued by a recent article in the Daily Princetonian written by a junior philosophy major, Ryan Born. It was an argument against free speech — at least for conservatives. It was a reflection on what is wrong on university campuses today.
Now I don’t know the young man who wrote the article, and I am sure he is sincere and a good student, but it is his ideas that I have trouble with, especially in today’s current politically correct climate. A climate that says some conservative views, whether on religion or politics, have no business being heard.
“I am not arguing that conservatives do not expect intellectual opposition to their content; instead, I am arguing against their right to be heard and accepted,” wrote our student philosopher.
“Conservatives would have you believe that their insistence on free speech is related to a desire for intellectual diversity and openness or discussion. When conservatives appeal to ‘free speech,’ it is actually a calculated political move, designed to open up avenues of political discourse while shaming others from moving in active political opposition. I argue that when conservatives resort to this move, they can be safely ignored, as they are appealing to a right that does not exist. In my belief, when conservative ideas are opposed, there is no right that is being infringed,” he wrote.
Of course this shouldn’t come as a surprise to many. All too often we see conservative speakers on college campuses either being interrupted and shouted down, or their invitations to speak withdrawn by college administrators.
Fears of violent protest against conservative speakers have caused some colleges to charge unreasonably high rental fees from sponsoring organizations to cover “security costs,” others cancel speakers due to the fear that overly sensitive students will face some psychological harm if exposed to some nefarious idea from the political or religious right.
Case in point is a recent withdrawal of school sponsorship of a debate on the pros and cons of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and President Trump’s plan to rescind it, pending congressional action.
The law school at Seattle University had agreed to sponsor the event in conjunction with the student chapter of the Federalist Society, a conservative/libertarian legal group. The program was to have been conducted as part of the school’s Social Justice Mondays series which had sponsored such programs as “Refugee Roundtable” and “Reproductive Justice.”
According to the website The College Fix, the law school’s Direct Action Committee organized an online petition to cancel the event. The petition read:
“We refuse to sit by and let hateful xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric be a part of the culture/message/speech of Seattle University School of Law and Seattle University as a whole. We demand the school act on behalf of its undocumented students, and instead of cosponsoring programming which is harmful to them, they should foster an environment which is safe for them and for everyone else on campus.”
It worked. Dean Annette Clark withdrew the school’s sponsorship saying that Mr. Trump has “generated great fear within vulnerable immigrant communities and has caused real harm, making discussions of immigration policy that include a conservative viewpoint even more painful and anxiety- and anger-producing for those individuals and families who are at risk (and for their allies).”
While the program was allowed to continue under the sole sponsorship of the Federalist Society, the dean scheduled an alternative pro-DACA event. That the pro-DACA program was acceptable, but a pro/con debate — for law students, of all people — apparently was not, is only one example of how thought control and free speech are handled on many of today’s colleges.
“I fail to see the basis for the withdrawal of the sponsorship as well as the apology by [Dean] Clark for holding a balanced debate on an issue [with] great national importance,” said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, adding: “The debate reflects precisely the mission of higher education to encourage debates on issues that divide our country,” according to The College Fix.
Another example which flew under the radar was reported at See Thru EDU, a publication of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. In September the academic journal Third World Quarterly published an essay by Professor Bruce Gilley of Portland State University, entitled “The Case for Colonialism.”
Shortly after the article was published over 16,000 college professors signed a petition demanding that the article be retracted, and it was.
According to See Thru EDU’s George Leef, “The scholars who signed the petitions were not disagreeing with Gilley. They were demanding that he be silenced. They also wanted apologies from both [Gilley] and the journal. Just as totalitarian regimes of the last century insisted that dissidents acknowledge their errors before being sent off to ‘re-education’ camps, so do our contemporary progressives insist that people who say or write ‘offensive’ things bow down before them.”
He closed by stating, “Shouting speakers down and demanding retraction of ‘incorrect’ writings are the hallmarks of authoritarianism. It is deeply disturbing to see how far it has spread into our higher education system.”
In Wisconsin the Board of Regents recently voted for a new policy that imposes punishments ranging from suspension to expulsion for students who violate free speech rights on campus. One regent who opposed the policy objected to the language that a student “alleged to have engaged in violent or other disorderly misconduct that materially and substantially disrupted the free expression of others” could face discipline.
Campus Reform reports that Regent Tony Evers claimed the new policy, which targets activities used to close debate, will chill speech on campuses. “Proponents of this anti-free speech legislation argue liberal biases have overwhelmed our college campuses, but then cannot provide one single example of a conservative speaker being unable to complete their remarks at any college or university in Wisconsin,” Evers is reported to have said.
The Economist reported last year that there is a growing belief by many that people and groups have a right not to be offended. It cites, as an example, an action taken by the University of California saying that calling “America a land of opportunity” is a “racist micro-aggression” since it could be interpreted that those who do not succeed have only themselves to blame.
Are we starting to understand now how our Princeton philosopher comes by his understanding of free speech? And what cost is it to the mission of the university?
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has found that a majority of students now self-censor their classroom comments, support disinviting campus speakers who hold beliefs with which they disagree, and do not know that hate speech is largely protected by the First Amendment.
“[Fifty-eight] percent of college student think it’s important to be part of a campus community where they are not exposed to intolerant or offensive ideas,” FIRE reports. “In class, 30 percent of students have self-censored because they thought their words would be offensive….Very liberal students are 14 percentage points more likely than their very conservative peers to feel comfortable expressing their opinions in the classroom.”
“There is clearly a partisan divide in how students perceive free speech on college campuses,” said FIRE Executive Director Robert Shibley. “This further solidifies the importance of FIRE’s mission. Free expression is too important to become a partisan issue in higher education.”
The well-known Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, agrees. He told Fox Business News, “Classrooms have become propaganda vehicles where captive audiences of students are told not how to think but what to think, particularly about sensitive issues like the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli conflict, gay rights, Black Lives Matter, and they are graded on what they think, rather than how they think.”
The issue is so prevalent that the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has opened a new website as a resource for students facing attacks on their speech rights. ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox, director of the Center for Academic Freedom, said:
“Today’s college students are tomorrow’s judges, legislators, teachers, and voters. Yet public universities are not only failing to educate the next generation about their First Amendment freedoms, they are actively violating those rights and teaching the next generation that freedom of speech is too dangerous to permit.”
We’ve come a long way from the 1965 Supreme Court decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District allowing students to wear black armbands in school to protest the Vietnam War, and the 1969 Supreme Court decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio allowing the Ku Klux Klan to rally, to now where “safe spaces” are common and students at Kellogg Community College in Michigan can be arrested for handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution and To Kill a Mockingbird can be banned from classroom discussion in a Mississippi school district.
The danger, of course, is that free speech is the bedrock for all of our freedoms: Press, religion, assembly, petition; without it our democracy will wane and so will freedom of thought, for if you can control speech you can control thought. “Newspeak” taught us that, but unfortunately we are coming to the point where our institutions dedicated to training our future leaders have missed the thrust of Orwell’s message.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Pro-Life Group Calls for Removing Fauci After He's Caught Funding Aborted Baby Parts - https://t.co/kqxQXGgoG8

LifeNews.com - The Pro-Life News Source

.

LifeNews.com

Load More...

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Vatican observes ‘Earth Hour’

On Saturday, along with the Vatican, symbolic monuments of cities all across the globe turn off their lights, to demonstrate the serious global climate crisis. By Vatican News staff writer Vatican City State took part in the traditional international initiative Earth…Continue Reading

House passes bill setting up path to citizenship for millions of Dreamers

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Thursday passed an immigration bill that would create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Adopt A Center

Today . . .

Cdl. Müller: COVID-19 is ‘dangerous’ but ‘mortal sin is more dangerous’

In a yet unpublished manuscript given to LifeSite, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, insists that the Catholic Church not lose sight of her supernatural mission, pointing to the “uniqueness and salvific universality of Jesus and the Church.” He also discusses the coronavirus and its dangers, saying it is indeed “dangerous,” but that “mortal sin is much more dangerous.”

">Must See Video!

Cdl. Gregory ‘grateful’ for Pope’s support of Communion for pro-abortion politicians

Thu Sep 30, 2021 – 11:57 am EDT VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) – Washington’s Cardinal Wilton Gregory has once again supported giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, saying that bishops are “not there as police,” and praising the Pope’s recent restrictions on the Latin Mass. Gregory spoke to assembled members of the press on September 27, while in Rome to take possession of his titular church, Santa Maria Immacolata in Grottarossa.

Covid-19: decree on rules for entry into the Vatican published

A General Decree signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, lays down rules for entry into Vatican City State in times of pandemic. The document concerns external employees and guests.

Cardinal Burke . . . Letter to Those Who are Praying for Me

25 September 2021 Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Thanking you once again, with all my heart, for your faithful and generous prayers for the recovery of my health, I write to update you on the progress of my rehabilitation. In thanking you, I thank, above all, Our Lord, who, in answer to your prayers, has preserved me in life. I thank, too, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and all the Saints through whose intercession you…Continue Reading

Are China’s Threats To Taiwan A Bluff?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Monday, October 4, four dozen Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s air defense zone, climaxing a weekend of provocations that saw nearly 150 sorties of China-based fighters and bombers.The U.S. State Department countered by issuing a stern statement warning Beijing about the adverse effect on regional “stability” of such “provocative military…Continue Reading

Terry McAuliffe Did Not Go To Government Schools

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY “You’re an Irish Catholic kid from Syracuse, from St. Ann’s school, right?” asked Hugh Hewitt.“Yes,” said Terry McAuliffe in that January 29, 2007, radio interview.At that time, McAuliffe had just recently become chairman of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. He would later go on to serve as governor of Virginia…Continue Reading

The Hand Of God At Work: St. Kateri Tekakwitha

By JAMES MONTI Our Lord has an uncanny way of putting us precisely where we need to be, precisely when we need to be there, to accomplish His purposes for us. He often does this through seemingly insignificant incidents, or even events that seem to us sheer misfortunes.In 1675, the French Jesuit missionary Fr. Jacques…Continue Reading

Democrats’ Ongoing Defense Of Child Sacrifice

By BARBARA SIMPSON (Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on WorldNetDaily on October 1. Barbara Simpson has a 20-year radio, TV, and newspaper career in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.) + + Abortion. It’s a battle that seems to have no end, neither in the realm of the law and the courts nor in…Continue Reading

The Real Crisis Of Education… Virtue And Love Or Cynicism And Hate

By PAUL KRAUSE The battles over schools and education are back in public attention. Not since the 1960s has the American public been so concerned over what is going on in America’s classrooms. As a graduate of Yale, I can say from experience that what you read in the news is worse on campus. Amid…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: We are starting a new series on Apologetics that is based on the book Catholicism & Reason. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. You can send them either to the postal mailing address or to the email address below, and…Continue Reading

Catholic Identity Confirmed At Conference

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK One of the most important events of the year is the annual Catholic Identity Conference. Big thinkers and writers from Rome and throughout the U.S. gather for liturgy, presentation of papers and talks, and to share news and ideas. Most important, as the name of the conference implies, they pray and work together to cement…Continue Reading

What Conscience Dreads And Prayer Dares Not Ask

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Pope posted this column on October 3 and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + The Collect (Opening Prayer) for this week’s Masses (27th Week of the Year), though directed to God, teaches us that our prayer is not always about things with which we are comfortable. It sometimes leads us to…Continue Reading

Participate In Christ’s Redemptive Work

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 53:10-11Heb. 4:14-16Mark 10:35-45 In the Gospel reading today, our Lord tells us that He came to serve, not to be served. This service is one of charity, the highest form of love. As such, He gives Himself freely without looking for or expecting anything in return. This…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. After reading a column in a recent issue of The Wanderer, I have to ask, was Mary Magdalene, the repentant sinner, the same woman as Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus? — B.R., via e-mail.A. What we do know for certain about Mary Magdalene is that Jesus cast seven demons out of her (cf. Luke 8:2), that she…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Lawrence

By DEB PIROCH This week’s column is particularly dedicated to all the cooks preparing for the Thanksgiving feast, less than two months away. In searching out recipes, one could do worse than remember the patron saint of cooks: St. Lawrence.St. Lawrence, despite having died as long ago as 258 AD, is among the most remembered of the saints, for his…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… What’s In A (Saint’s) Name?

By DEB PIROCH Why do we use a saint’s or other Christian name as our given choice? Early Christians took new names in Baptism, just as many of us are given these names at infant Baptisms. We also may take a saint’s name at our Confirmation (or stick with our Christian baptismal name), and religious often take another name when…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)