Monday, February 14, 2005

“Hiding the Evidence?” – II

Various bloggers and pundits (including yours truly) were dismayed when the Marquette administration shut down the College Republicans’ “Adopt A Sniper” fund raising table in the Union, claiming it was in conflict with the “Catholic Mission” of the University. It didn’t take long for a certain Mike S. Adams to search the web and find several things on various Marquette web sites at odds with Catholic teaching. One of the less important, but still significant, was a passage on the Raynor Library site that appeared to endorse Planned Parenthood.

Adams’ story appeared on this past Friday, and was discussed on the Charlie Sykes show. I wrote a piece based on the story and posted it late Friday afternoon.

Saturday, I found that the entry had been changed, and instead of a favorable mention of Planned Parenthood, there was a favorable mention of the American Cancer Society! The site had been sanitized.

What happened is as follows: this particular passage was brought to the attention of Dean of Libraries Nick Burckel on Friday. Burckel told the Marquette Warrior Blog that it was “. . . called to my attention, and I went and looked at the site and decided it was inappropriate for a Marquette website.” Burckel then directed Julie O’Keeffe to change the text, and she did so promptly.

Burckel was not put off by the fact that Planned Parenthood is controversial. Students may well need to study and analyze controversy. Rather, it looked to him (as it looked to us) that the language appeared to be a full-bore endorsement of the organization.

Credit Burckel with a prompt and sensible response to an issue that was brought to his attention. It’s still a bit bothersome that the language endorsing Planned Parenthood was on the site for well over two years. And there are some much more important issues for Marquette to deal with if it expects its protestations of loyalty to its “Catholic Mission” to be taken seriously. This is especially true if it’s going to use such protestations as an excuse to silence student organizations.


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