Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Marquette’s True Agenda

Local radio talk show host Jeff Wagner comments on the “Sniper” controversy:

As a starting point, it must be noted that Marquette University has routinely hosted events for militant pro-abortion political candidates and embraced groups advocating what some would describe as an aggressive gay rights agenda. While controversial in some circles, this strikes me as appropriate for a college campus. After all, exposing students to a diversity of ideas is what the college experience would seem to be all about. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine how some of the positions advocated by these groups are consistent with typical Catholic values.

The reality is that the current dispute is less about Catholic values than it is about political values. It is no secret that Marquette University is run by a group of left-leaning administrators who are clearly troubled by current U.S. foreign policy. Undoubtedly these administrators were both shocked and appalled to find students raising money to support front line military personnel who serve as snipers. This however does not justify their knee jerk reaction of shutting down the table and confiscating property of the students.

Part of the reaction of the Marquette Administration was probably steeped in ignorance. If Marquette had done even a cursory investigation, it would have learned the Adopt a Sniper program is a legitimate, nationally recognized organization. The fact that they chose not to investigate before shutting down the fund raising activity shows a callous disregard for both the free speech rights of the students and the truth.

Ignorance alone however does not fully explain Marquette’s action. Having learned what Adopt a Sniper really is, Marquette still refuses to allow the students to raise money to support the group. It therefore seems that while Marquette says that it supports the troops, it really means, at best, it only supports some of the troops.

. . .

In its rush to worship at the temple of politically correct pacifism, Marquette would do well to remember that picking and choosing between which soldiers it will support and which it will not does not seem to be very, for want of a better word, Christian.

In attempting to justify its actions, Marquette relies almost exclusively on the fact that one of photographs on the table included a bracelet with the motto “1 Shot 1 Kill No remorse I decide”. In the first place, this is a military motto. Does Marquette also object to the phrase “Semper fi”? More importantly though, Marquette had many options short of shutting down the fund raising activities and confiscating all the materials. In particular, if there were one or two things on the table that officials found objectionable, wouldn’t it have simply been easier to ask the students to remove these specific items? The fact that officials shut the table down in its entirety without first speaking with the organizers demonstrates the true agenda that drove Marquette's actions.

Warriors and Snipers and Golden Eagles - Oh My! by Jeff Wagner

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