Friday, April 22, 2005

Yet More on Marquette and Amnesty International

Another response from Zach Corey to a post of ours:

I would like to respond to some of the points you made in regard to my first e-mail to you.

  • 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.
Our constitution will not/cannot change. When people join our Amnesty International group at Marquette it is clear that they are not joining Amnesty International, but an affiliated group that has to abide by the rules of Marquette University.

  • 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.
The sentence that you pulled out of the Amnesty document is simply descriptive and certainly does not “Quite clearly… look forward to the time when simply espousing the Catholic view of homosexuality as “intrinsically disordered” can land one in jail.”
The global trend towards granting explicit protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has become firmly established at national level. Canada, France, Ireland, Israel, Slovenia and Spain are just some of the countries where specific reference to sexual orientation is included in their anti-discrimination laws relating to areas such as employment, housing, public services and protection against defamation or hate-speech.
I looked for further clarification on Amnesty’s stance on hate speech against homosexuals and I could not find anything that makes the position more clear.

Most people would agree that “fighting words” like telling an angry mob, “Let’s kill these f**king faggots” is something that people should not be free to say. However, a Catholic saying, “I think homosexuality is immoral” is something that most everyone would agree should be allowed. The problem lies in the cases between these two extremes.

  • 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.
There is no inconsistency to not recognizing the Human Rights Campaign and recognizing Amnesty International because each organization’s mission statement relates differently to Church teaching.

The HRC Doctrine has nothing in common with Church Doctrine, so it would be impossible for the group on campus to conduct any activities. It is logical, therefore, to not recognize them as a student group.

Although there are parts of Amnesty International that fall outside of Church Doctrine there is still a substantial area that Amnesty International can promote on campus that is both within Church Doctrine and the Amnesty International Mission Statement.
  • 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.
For any conservative that is not in the moderate wing of the Republican Party, Amnesty International is an organization with whom they will most likely disagree on substantive issues (like the definition of human rights, stances on contraceptives…ad infinitum). For even the most right-wing person there will be many issues with which they will agree with Amnesty International. Amnesty International at Marquette, however, is intentionally working on stopping genocides, freeing prisoners of conscience, and ending torture. These issues should be important to both conservatives and liberals alike.

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