Tuesday, April 19, 2005

More on Marquette and Amnesty International

A response from Zach Corey to our earlier post about Amnesty International:
Dr. McAdams,

I wrote a response to the GOP3’s post on Amnesty International, but I will give you the same information:

Student organizations with a national affiliation or any affiliation are required to put this article into their constitution. The article must be written in exactly this manner (but instead of Amnesty International it must be the name of the proposed organization).

Article IX: Affiliation

This organization shall be affiliated with the Amnesty International and shall abide by its constitution and by-laws in all cases where there is not conflict between their constitution and by-laws and this constitution and/or the rules, regulations, or policies of Marquette University. In instances of conflict, this constitution and/or rules, regulations or policies of Marquette University shall take precedence over the constitution or by-laws of Amnesty International.

The reason Amnesty International was approved as a student rganization was because OSD realized that there are many other facets of the organization that we will/are acting on. Much like how College Republicans would not be allowed to do a “pro-death penalty event or table” we would not be allowed to have a table that gives out condoms. There are other aspects of each organization, however, that are congruous with Catholic teaching that each organization can advocate on campus.

As a recognized student group, we will live up to our part of the constitution and stay away from issues that are contrary to Catholic teaching.

Zach Corey
We were unaware of the requirement that student organizations renounce positions of their national organizations contrary to Church doctrine, and thank Corey for pointing that fact out.

Some issues still remain, however:
  • While we fully accept the bona fides of the current leadership of Amnesty International at Marquette, the general pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage thrust of the organization is an invitation to future problems. The Gay/Straight Alliance sold itself to Marquette on the grounds that it really didn’t violate Church teachings on homosexuality. But in fact, it is entirely dedicated to opposing those teachings.
  • Corey, and indeed anybody who cares about human rights, ought to be disturbed at the organization’s apparent endorsement of “hate speech” laws criminalizing criticism of homosexuality.
  • Corey hasn’t addressed the Administration’s apparent inconsistency in refusing to recognize the Human Rights Campaign, while recognizing Amnesty International. Perhaps this was something so simple as the unwillingness of the former group to include the relevant paragraph in its Constitution.
  • Corey hasn’t challenged our characterization of Amnesty as a sort of general-purpose liberal lobby, rather than an organization supporting some consensual notion of human rights. Of course, they have a right to be that if they want to be that. But everybody needs to know that their idea of “human rights” is a liberal/left one.
Finally, we will repeat what we wrote in a post that dealt with similar issues:
We have long viewed Student Development’s power to approve student organizations and events as an onerous burden, hard to use consistently and embarrassing when used inconsistently. Our tentative conclusion is that this is better than either of the alternatives, which would be (1.) to have Student Development approve everything, or (2.) to have them approve nothing at all. But “everything” isn’t an absurd position to take.

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