Friday, April 29, 2011
Prominent Academics: Don’t Call Your Pets “Pets”
Animal lovers should stop calling their furry or feathered friends “pets” because the term is insulting, leading academics claim.
Domestic dogs, cats, hamsters or budgerigars should be rebranded as “companion animals” while owners should be known as “human carers,” they insist.
Even terms such as wildlife are dismissed as insulting to the animals concerned – who should instead be known as “free-living”, the academics including an Oxford professor suggest.
The call comes from the editors of then Journal of Animal Ethics, a new academic publication devoted to the issue.
It is edited by the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, a theologian and director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, who once received an honorary degree from the Archbishop of Canterbury for his work promoting the rights of “God’s sentient creatures”.
In its first editorial, the journal – jointly published by Prof Linzey’s centre and the University of Illinois in the US – condemns the use of terms such as “critters” and “beasts.”
It argues that “derogatory” language about animals can affect the way that they are treated.
“Despite its prevalence, ‘pets’ is surely a derogatory term both of the animals concerned and their human carers,” the editorial claims.
“Again the word ‘owners’, whilst technically correct in law, harks back to a previous age when animals were regarded as just that: property, machines or things to use without moral constraint.”
It goes on: “We invite authors to use the words ‘free-living’, ‘free-ranging’ or ‘free-roaming’ rather than ‘wild animals.’
“For most, ‘wildness’ is synonymous with uncivilised, unrestrained, barbarous existence.
“There is an obvious prejudgment here that should be avoided.”
Prof Linzey and his co-editor Professor Priscilla Cohn, of Penn State University in the US, also hope to see some of the more colourful terms in the English language stamped out.
Phrases such as “sly as a fox,” “eat like a pig” or “drunk as a skunk” are all unfair to animals, they claim.
“We shall not be able to think clearly unless we discipline ourselves to use less than partial adjectives in our exploration of animals and our moral relations with them,” they say.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Anti-Walmart Activists: Punishing Shoppers For Living in Liberal Cities
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Michael Coren: Catholics Are Right
We happen to be Protestant, and so have no pressing need to defend the Catholic Church.
But fair is fair, and Coren debunks a variety of notions that are the stock-in-trade of anti-Catholic types, including a lot of people who call themselves Catholic.
Obama Budget Plan
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Understanding the Jesuits
At a press conference one day last summer, a newspaper correspondent asked me how I could combine being a Jesuit with being a cardinal. I at first imagined that she might be alluding to the fact that as a cardinal I might have to compromise on my vows of poverty and obedience to my Jesuit superiors, but then the true meaning of her question became clear. She explained that cardinals are supposed to support the teaching of the Pope, while Jesuits belong to the intellectual opposition, secretly if not publicly contesting the official doctrine of the Church. Are they not cleverer and wiser than the hierarchical Church, the subversive vanguard of the future Church?It is, of course, the younger group that holds out the hope for a vital Catholicism among the Jesuits.
I replied that she had been guided by the chauvinist myth about the Society of Jesus, but not by the reality. The Jesuit order, I explained, has been from its origins at the service and disposal of the papacy. With its headquarters in Rome, it has a long and distinguished record of collaborating with the Holy See and of rendering assistance in the preparation of papal and conciliar documents....
Many of the works of the Jesuit order are prospering. Its universities in the United States have larger enrollments and more academic prestige than ever before, Jesuit high schools are attracting large numbers of excellent students, and some Jesuit publications and parishes are very successful. The quality of young men joining the Society is as high as ever, but the number of new recruits is dramatically down, and the decline is bound to have a negative impact on traditionally Jesuit apostolates.
Many blame the dominant “consumerist” culture for the downturn in vocations, which has in fact affected most religious orders and diocesan churches in Europe, North America, and Australia. But some religious orders, even in the United States, are increasing rapidly, and some dioceses are attracting large numbers of seminarians. The vocations seem to be there, but the Jesuits, at the moment, are getting too few of them....
If a wake-up call is needed, we have it in Passionate Uncertainty: Inside the American Jesuits, a new book by Peter McDonough and Eugene C. Bianchi. It contains an abundance of useful information, even though it is in many respects a flawed study.
The thesis of the book may be summarized roughly as follows. The Society of Jesus is caught in a bind. The hierarchical Church is a rigid institution striving in vain to bring the behavior and ideas of its members into line with traditional orthodoxy. Especially under the “restorationist” regime of Pope John Paul II the Church has stubbornly rejected the democratic reforms that are needed. The bishops are impotent creatures of the Vatican. Jesuits, for the most part, are to be praised for deploring the repressive structures but at the same time pitied for their inability to change the situation. As a religious order, the Society is bound to preserve at least the appearance of conformity. Even among Jesuits, therefore, dissent has for the most part gone underground.
For my part, I can say that I recognize among Jesuits, as among other priests and religious in the United States, the various trends reported in [the book’s] survey. The opinions of traditionalists, moderates, liberals, and radical reformers are dutifully recorded-even to the point of tedium. Some distinctions are made between older and younger Jesuits. But little light is thrown on the inner dynamics of recent decades, which have affected not only Jesuits but other religious orders, diocesan clergy, and laity.
The distinction, I believe, is not between older and younger Jesuits-the categories most often used by the authors-but rather between those whose attitudes were shaped by the ideological revolutions of the 1960s and the rest of the Society. For the most part, the Jesuits who had completed their formation before Vatican II have remained faithful to their previous vision of the Church and the Society, and were able to integrate Vatican II into that vision. But then came a group who belonged to the restless “baby-boom” generation. Like many of their contemporaries, they became wildly optimistic about secularization in the early 1960s, and then in the early 1970s deeply involved in protests against the Vietnam War and in fighting for various social causes. They interpreted Vatican II as a kind of “palace revolution” in which the bishops put limits on the papacy, decentralized the Church, and transferred to the laity many powers formerly reserved to priests. The Council, some believe, renounced the high claims previously made for the Church and put Catholic Christianity on a plane of equality with other churches and religions. It also ostensibly embraced the modern world and the process of secularization.
Armed with their “progressive” reading of Vatican II, American Jesuits of this transitional generation became more committed to the struggle for social reform than to the propagation of Christian faith. They saw little but evil in pre-conciliar Catholicism. Drifting from historical consciousness into historical relativism, some of this generation questioned the current validity of the accepted creeds and dogmas of the Church. At the present moment members of this intermediate age group hold positions of greatest power and influence in the Society, but they no longer represent the cutting edge. A younger group is arising, much more committed to the Church and its traditions.
But it’s the “baby-boom” generation that has power today, especially in supposedly Jesuit universities like Marquette.
A few Jesuits in their fifties and sixties believe that the Church “as we know it” is destined soon to collapse. This group tends to be critical of Pope John Paul II and his alleged attempts to silence dissent. Some express perplexity about the sacerdotal aspects of the Jesuit calling. Especially in the theological schools, which have a large enrollment of women students, Jesuit faculty members are reluctant to bring up the topic of priestly ordination. Some formation directors seem to have been infected with a critical attitude toward hierarchy and priesthood. One is quoted as saying:You may wish to read the remainder of the essay, and Dulles’ rather optimistic conclusion.I see the hierarchical Church’s direction today as different from but not antithetical to that of the Society. The hierarchical Church is often concerned with orthodoxy, clerical advancement, maintenance of church power, univocal thinking, and being right. I think these concerns hurt the whole Church.Ignatius might indeed want to restrain the craving for clerical advancement, but he could hardly be imagined making light of orthodoxy. He would have swiftly removed any formation director who showed hostility to the “hierarchical Church.”
A new generation of seminarians and religious is arising, not only in the Jesuits but in the nation at large. This generation is not interested in denigrating the past or in liberating itself from the shackles of orthodoxy. On the contrary, it consists of young men eager to retrieve the tradition of former centuries and to serve the hierarchical Church as it exists today. This generation receives little recognition in the McDonough-Bianchi study, but some indications are nevertheless given.
The testimonies of Jesuits under forty are encouraging. A thirty-seven-year-old Jesuit says, for instance, that “our order, by its very constitution, cannot ever separate itself from the Catholic Church.” It must always be in union with Rome. We cannot be a “church within the Church” or an “alternative church.” A thirty-six-year-old theology student has this to say: “I entered to help support the direction that Pope John Paul II has given the Church. The Society has a mixed response to this direction, and the confusion it causes will ultimately hurt the effectiveness of the Society.”
In the same vein a thirty-year-old student of theology is quoted as saying, very perceptively: “If the stance of the Society is widely perceived as anti-institutional hierarchy, anti-Vatican, anti-pope, and if political and politically correct norms are used to select candidates for the Society, most of those who wish to serve Christ’s Church will go elsewhere.” On reflection it should be evident that it makes little sense to take vows and seek ordination in a religious order unless one is committed to support and serve the hierarchical Church.
Besides the cancer of opposition to hierarchical authority, another disease that needs to be cured is the ambivalence about priesthood. A thirty-one-year-old Jesuit complains: “In the two theologates that I attended . . . I didn’t find anyone providing a cogent explanation of ordained ministry and its relation to lay ministry.” Still another, aged thirty-five and already ordained, writes:I find much of our energy is spent in fighting the battles of the immediate fallout of Vatican II (battles which have left deep scars on many professors but which are not the pressing issues for Jesuits of my generation) or preparing for life in an idealized, politically correct church that does not exist now and is not likely to exist in my lifetime.The authors of Passionate Uncertainty themselves recognize that “the gravest problem is almost certainly disarray over the role of the priesthood as it pertains to ministry. This is particularly worrisome for an activist, apostolic order.” Worry as they may, McDonough and Bianchi do not help to solve the problem.
Tellingly, the word “priesthood” is rarely mentioned in our classes. In fact, this year when the third-year theologians . . . gathered in Boston, most men from all three centers reported that they had spent the last two years either ignoring or apologizing for the fact that they were preparing for ordination. Such is life in the ideologically insulated and trendy city-states on the self-proclaimed cutting edge of theology.
In addition to the difficulties of some Jesuits with hierarchy and priesthood, a third problem is prominent. Jesuits are conscious of a displacement of religion by psychology and of a move from the apostolic to the therapeutic understanding of the religious life. At least some of the younger Jesuits seem to be more interested in personal fulfillment than in service to the Society and its mission. “Therapists,” one young Jesuit reports, “are accorded the kind of authority and deference that was once reserved for spiritual directors and superiors.” The recent turn toward human affectivity and personal fulfillment may be connected with the alleged increase of homosexual tendencies among younger members in the Society of Jesus as well as in other religious orders and diocesan seminaries.
Clearly, Dulles’ observations about the “baby-boom” generation of Jesuits explains a lot about Jesuit higher education today. A generation of largely-liberal priests, regardless of their rhetoric, is fundamentally more comfortable with secular norms about things like sexuality than with traditional Christian norms.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Embarrassed UN Panel Backs Away From Blundered Forecast on Global Warming Refugees
Six years ago, the United Nations issued a dramatic warning that the world would have to cope with 50 million climate refugees by 2010. But now that those migration flows have failed to materialize, the UN has distanced itself from the forecasts. On the contrary, populations are growing in the regions that had been identified as environmental danger zones.It has since disappeared from the Google cache, but we have retrieved both the map and the web page from Archive.org.
It was a dramatic prediction that was widely picked up by the world’s media. In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations University declared that 50 million people could become environmental refugees by 2010, fleeing the effects of climate change.
But now the UN is distancing itself from the forecast: “It is not a UNEP prediction,” a UNEP spokesman told SPIEGEL ONLINE. The forecast has since been removed from UNEP’s website.
Official statistics show that the population in areas threatened by global warming is actually rising. The expected environmental disasters have yet to materialize.
In October 2005, UNU said: “Amid predictions that by 2010 the world will need to cope with as many as 50 million people escaping the effects of creeping environmental deterioration, United Nations University experts say the international community urgently needs to define, recognize and extend support to this new category of ‘refugee.’”
It added that “such problems as sea level rise, expanding deserts and catastrophic weather-induced flooding have already contributed to large permanent migrations and could eventually displace hundreds of millions.”
In 2008, Srgjan Kerim, president of the UN General Assembly, said it had been estimated that there would be between 50 million and 200 million environmental migrants by 2010. A UNEP web page showed a map of regions where people were likely to be displaced by the ravages of global warming. It has recently been taken offline but is still visible in a Google cache.
‘What Happened to the Climate Refugees?’True believers in anthropogenic global warming will insist that silly forecasts coming from a UN panel don’t really cast doubt on “the science” of the issue.
The UNEP spokesman said the map had been produced for a newspaper “based on various sources.” He said the map had been taken off the UNEP website “because it was causing confusion and making some journalists think UNEP was the source of such forecasts.”
Given the UN’s warnings of a tide of environmental refugees, the Asian Correspondent, a news and comment website, published an article this month titled “What Happened to the Climate Refugees?”
Scientists have been claiming for years that some 25 million people have already been displaced by adverse environmental conditions. Drought, storms and floods have always plagued parts of the world’s population. The environmentalist Norman Myers, a professor at Oxford University, has been particularly bold in his forecasts. At a conference in Prague in 2005, he predicted there would be 50 million climate refugees by 2010.
“As far back as 1995 (latest date for a comprehensive assessment), these environmental refugees totalled at least 25 million people, compared with 27 million traditional refugees (people fleeing political oppression, religious persecution and ethnic troubles),” Myers said. “The environmental refugees total could well double between 1995 and 2010.”
“When global warming takes hold,” he added, “there could be as many as 200 million people overtaken by disruptions of monsoon systems and other rainfall regimes, by droughts of unprecedented severity and duration, and by sea-level rise and coastal flooding.” Myers’ report may have been the basis for the UN statements in 2005.
Forecasts in Doubt
But Myers’ forecasts are controversial in scientific circles. Stephen Castles of the International Migration Institute at Oxford University contradicted the horror scenarios in an interview with SPIEGEL in 2007. Myers and other scientists were simply looking at climate change forecasts and counting the number of people living in areas at risk of flooding, said Castles, author of the “The Age of Migration.” That made them arrive at huge refugee numbers.
Castles said people usually don’t respond to environmental disasters, war or poverty by emigrating abroad. That appears to be confirmed by the behavior of victims of last month’s devastating earthquake and tusnami in Japan. Many survivors are returning to rebuild their ruined towns and villages.
The UNU statement from 2005 highlights the difficulties involved in predicting the impact of global warming. The Yemeni capital Sanaa was cited as an example of the threat of climate migration. Sanaa’s ground water was falling “by 6 meters a year and may be exhausted by 2010, according to the World Bank,” the statement said.
In 2010, the IRIN news agency, a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reported that Sanaa “may run out of economically viable water supplies by 2017.” Meanwhile the city’s population has increased: between 2004 and 2010, it expanded by 585,000 people to almost 2.3 million. Nevertheless, there is no sign of an exodus resulting from a shortage of water.
The same applies to other nations that were classified as particularly endangered on the UNEP map of the world, such as Bangladesh, the Cook Islands and Western Sahara. In these countries and others, the population numbers have increased, according to official data. Even the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu still has its 10,000 inhabitants, even though their relocation had already been planned. The reason may be that many low-lying Pacific islands are actually increasing in size despite the rise in ocean levels, because of a build-up caused by coral debris eroded from reefs and deposited on the islands by storms and sea currents.
Outlook for 2020
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which regularly issues a report summarizing the latest research, is vague when it comes to diagnosing environmental change. For example, the change in precipitation in the African Sahel zone has so far shown no clear trend. But the forecasts based on climate simulations for the next 90 years indicate drought for the region.
The UNEP spokesman said land degradation, the loss of forests and other environmental changes were accelerating, and that UNEP was concerned about the “impact such trends will have on lives and livelihoods and movements of people.”
Meanwhile a new forecast is doing the rounds. At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in February, Cristina Tirado, an environment researcher at the University of California in Los Angeles, warned of 50 million environmental refugees in the future. That figure was a UN projection she said — for 2020.
But of course, average citizens, even rather well-informed ones, don’t know the science, they only know the media hype, including media hype coming from the United Nations. Learning to discount this hype is an excellent first step toward sanity on the issue.
And unfortunately, the people who “know the science,” climate scientists, have shown themselves to be badly biased. Not only do they have a vested interest in global warming, they constitute a rather closed community with strong community norms. That’s what Climategate showed.
The fact that the true believers have acted like an Inquisition, threatening and punishing people who dissent, also does not engender confidence. Don’t people who are confident in their position usually seek to debate and engage, rather than stiffle opposing opinions?
Monday, April 18, 2011
Vagina Monologues Will Be On Campus
We blogged, a few weeks ago, about plans by the feminist campus student group Empowerment to perform “The Vagina Monologues” on campus.
The play, quite simply, flatly contradicts Catholic teaching on sexuality, and Student Affairs’ longstanding policy holds that no events by a student group contrary to Church teaching will be approved.
However, Student Affairs has no control over academic departments in the University, and Chris Miller, Vice President for Student Affairs, informed the representatives of Empowerment that sponsorship from an academic unit would be possible. When the play was performed on campus in 2007, the Honors Program sponsored it.
This time, it will be Social and Cultural Sciences. Roberta Coles, Chair of that department confirms that the play will be performed in the Weasler Auditorium on April 30, at 8:00 p.m.
According to Coles, there will be a talkback session with the cast and faculty after the performance. Apparently, no tickets will be required. According to Coles “it’s free and it’s a good-sized venue.”
Empowerment, by the way, was one of the selected organizations that met with lesbian academic/activist Ronnie Sanlo, when she was invited to Marquette to hold secret meetings with groups on campus considered sympathetic to the gay/lesbian agenda.
The play is morally questionable in an easy half-dozen ways, anti-male sexism being only one.
The play is ultimately insulting to women. The best analysis comes not from any conservative source, but from the liberal Slate website.
The first thing that will strike nonideologues is Ensler’s clumsy prose, which ranges between bad Rod McKuen (“It was a mouth. It was the morning.”) and the very worst of Henry Miller (“Then the quivering became a quake, an eruption, the layers dividing and subdividing”). While Ensler would call this a work of desacralizing, it’s ultimately a work of desexualizing. I take a backseat to no one in my enthusiasm for the vagina itself, but the Vagina According to Ensler is a combination between a bath toy and a household appliance. Its vision of female sexuality is at least as narrow and insulting as Henry Miller: A woman is a machine you work like a crank until you produce the desired quantity of fluid — from you and from her.Does that mean it should not be performed on the campus of an ostensibly Catholic university?
Not necessarily. Performing the play and having a critical discussion of it would be dandy. Unfortunately, the last time it was performed, only left-leaning feminists were on the panel that discussed it. It only got criticized by English professor Heather Hathaway for not being sufficiently politically correct in several ways. (In fairness, she did criticize it for being badly written and incoherent.)
So, in the “talkback,” will any genuinely critical comments, from a Catholic or other Christian perspective, be offered?
Or is it going to be another attempt to indoctrinate students into a warped feminist view of sexual liberation?
We will continue to report on this.
Leftist Protestors Curse, Attempt to Shout Down 14 Year-Old Speaker in Madison
Author of Heather Has Two Mommies to Speak at Marquette
Author Lesléa Newman will present the 2011 Starshak Lecture, “Heather’s Mommy Speaks Out: A Presentation on Homophobia, Censorship and Family Values,” Tuesday, April 26, at 3:30 p.m. in Todd Wehr Chemistry 121.Of course, Heather has no father. But gay political correctness demands that we overlook that.
Newman has written 60 books, including the children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies, and the award-winning short story collection, A Letter to Harvey Milk. She has received the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, the Continuing the Legacy of Stonewall Award and the Hachamat Lev Award. A book signing will follow the presentation.
The 2011 Starshak Lecture is hosted by the Marquette Gender-Sexuality Alliance. For more information, contact Dr. Ed de St. Aubin, associate professor of psychology and GSA faculty adviser, at 8-2143.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Marquette Represented at Gay Higher Education Conference
In order to advance pluralism, acknowledge a scholarly area of investigation, and deepen learning in higher education, as educational professionals we need to expand our circle of inclusion and broaden our definition of diversity by increasing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Studies.And then, the issues that are listed as “themes.”
In this conference, participants will not only address a variety of factors that have contributed to excluding LGBTQ issues from academic study and student life, but they will also explore strategies to make our campuses more inclusive for all students.
Although some colleges and universities have been incorporating LGBTQ studies for decades, courses and programs continue to be pockets of innovation rather than models of inclusion for all of higher education.
Colleges and universities need to encourage faculty members to teach and research a wide range of LGBTQ topics as well as support student life professionals in building inclusive campus communities.
In this conference, we will examine strategies and best practices that effectively integrate LGBTQ areas of teaching and research with student life activities. Faculty development plays a critical role in this integration: Faculty members, whether part of the LGBTQ community themselves or not, need to examine their own attitudes and feelings about LGBTQ issues as they seek to incorporate these issues more fully into their courses and curricula.
Expanding the Circle 2011 will be among the first national conferences in higher education focusing on LGBTQ issues by seeking connections across academic and student affairs, across kinds of diversities, across disciplines, and across LGBTQ subfields. Until we collaborate on LBGTQ studies and co-curricular activities within and across our colleges and universities, we cannot create inclusive and welcoming learning environments.
- Curricular revision and expansion in the arts, humanities, and social sciences
- Interrelationships between LGBTQ and ethnic/racial/cultural identities
- Religious and spiritual issues for LGBTQ students
Faculty development programs concerning LGBTQ issues Transgender and gender issues across the campus spectrum
- Examples of LGBTQ research projects in higher education
- Counseling and support services for LGBTQ students
Off-campus community resources for LGBTQ students
- Professional training programs for resource professionals, administrators, and educators
- Campus dialogues and public forums addressing LGBTQ issues
- The role of higher education in the formation of public policy
- The new politics of inclusion
- Community support and networking opportunities for counselors, faculty, and student services professionals working on LGBTQ issues in isolation
- The role of faculty, staff, and administration as allies in supporting LGBTQ students
This is not the first time Marquette has sent representatives to a gay higher education conference. It happened back in 2005 when David Borgealt (Office of Student Development) and Fr. Patrick Dorsey (University Ministry), attended a conference called “Out There: The First National Conference of Scholars and Student Affairs Professionals Involved in LGBTQ Issues on Catholic Campuses.”
Marquette’s recent rush to embrace each and every element of the gay campus agenda is not really a response to the outrage of the campus gay lobby over Marquette’s failure to hire lesbian dean candidate Jodi O’Brien.
A fundamentally secular and politically correct administration has simply done what it has long wanted to do. The Jodi O’Brien affair was merely a pretext, an excuse.
Hat Tip/Cardinal Newman Society
We Know About Christian Rock, But Jewish Rock?
Marquette Tribune: No Right of Conscience for Pharmacists
Plan B, commonly known as the morning-after pill, is an emergency contraceptive that provides women with the option to prevent unwanted pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex. It is readily available to women in pharmacies across the country.That’s a stunning statement.
According to NBC Chicago, an Illinois judge recently sided with two pharmacists claiming that prescribing Plan B violates the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which protects health care providers from being forced to perform duties that conflict with their beliefs.
However, this freedom violates the rights of consumers who rely on pharmacies to provide them with emergency contraceptives if needed. Plan B, unlike the abortion pill, prevents ovulation or fertilization, not implantation, which would terminate a pregnancy.
The six-year-old state law requiring pharmacies to fill prescriptions without making moral judgments is now abolished, granting pharmacies the right to choose whether to stock them or not.
Regardless of religious beliefs, pharmacists have an obligation to their clients to fill their prescriptions.
Simply put, it is not the pharmacist’s choice. Imposing personal moral judgments on another individual’s life choices in the medical field is unprofessional and intrusive.
Pharmacists should not be granted so much power. The power of choice should belong to the individual making the decision. Consumers should not have the burden of worrying whether their prescription will be honored due to someone else’s beliefs.
Encouragingly, the state attorney general’s office plans to file an appeal in the near future. But, the moral argument still stands. An individual’s own beliefs cannot be imposed on others, especially concerning one’s medical choices. Personal beliefs must be kept in the background in professional settings, not interfering with decisions of others.[emphasis added]
It’s typical of liberals that they preen and prance and talk about the evil of imposing one’s moral beliefs on others, all the while imposing their moral beliefs on others!
When liberals talk about “choice,” they are always talking about people making choices they think are acceptable. Like the choice to have irresponsible sex with no consequences or the choice to have an abortion. Liberals don’t believe people should have a choice to own a gun, or drive an SUV.
The Tribune doesn’t believe medical personnel should have any choice to avoid dispensing medicines they think are immoral. The editorial doesn’t address this issue, but the exact same logic would say that doctors and nurses should be forced to perform abortions, or drummed out of the medical profession.
If the morning after pill is legal, women have a right to buy it from any willing seller. They don’t have the right to coerce an unwilling seller to provide it.
Consider, for example, Supreme Court decision Lawrence v Texas. It ruled that people have a Constitutional right to have homosexual sex. That’s bad constitutional law (although we wouldn’t vote, in a state legislature, to outlaw any consensual sexual activity among consenting adults). But suppose you can’t find a willing partner? You have to do without. It would be a very odd idea that your right to have homosexual sex means that somebody has to be coerced into having sex with you.
One expects young journalists to be liberals. Conservatives tend to self-select out of the profession, knowing that it will be hostile territory.
But a supposed Catholic university should have at least some fledgling journalists with a bit of respect for Catholic moral teaching, and tolerance for people whose consciences are formed by that Catholic teaching.
But Marquette isn’t really a Catholic university. Given the choice of siding with pharmacists whose consciences are formed by Catholic teaching, or young women who have engaged in slutty sexual behavior, the Tribune has sided with the latter.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Michelle Malkin at Marquette
Monday, April 11, 2011
Liberal Students Deface, Tear Down Posters for Michelle Malkin Speech
We didn’t expect any disruption, thinking that Marquette students are too polite to try to shout down a speaker, and indeed the two Public Safety officers on duty said that the only possibility of disruption would be from “outside” groups.
In fact the crowd was very pro-Malkin, with no hint of disruption.
But one student got up during the question and answer session to report a rather explosive fact: a friend of his had bragged about going around campus and tearing down flyers that advertised the Malkin talk.
The person was Law School student Steven Manders, who insisted his friend (whom he prefered not to name) was not just blowing smoke, and indeed Manders confirmed that Malkin posters had been torn down in the Wells Street parking garage, where his friend had been.
Officers of the College Republicans confirmed that numerous posters had been torn down, and many other defaced. We got this from a College Republicans official:
As a follow up to our discussion this evening about Malkin posters being torn down and defaced, just wanted to tell you what I observed. No more than two days after the College Republicans spent several hours hanging posters for our event around campus, I began noticing several I had hung myself were no longer in the places I had put them. In O’Donnell Hall and Schroeder Hall specifically, I saw several folded up and on the ground. Others were ether flipped upside down or moved to an entirely different place on the info boards. At O’Donnell Hall, one of the posters had the words “F**K FOX NEWS” in big, scratchy, bold letters and the “Fox News Contributor” part in Ms. Malkin’s bio was scratched out. This poster was also on the ground. I put it back in the same place I had two short days ago, only to find it removed once again the following day, no doubt a result of the “offensive” language that had been written on it. I also observed that the poster at the O’Donnell hall front desk did not make it to the day of the event, but the “Sara Bareilles” concert poster sure did.Of course, not all liberals, and not even the majority of liberals and indeed not more than a small minority of liberals would do something like this. But two things much be pointed out. First, liberals have created a climate in academia where things like this can happen, even if most liberals would not personally tear down a poster.
This was just me, in two of the buildings I frequent on campus. I am sure this happened in other places as well.
[** inserted by blogger]
Second, even a single student who attacks a black person or a gay person can create a massive uproad on a college campus. But attacks on outspoken conservative females aren’t seen as particularly bad.
Friday, April 08, 2011
Michelle Malkin Will Speak at Marquette
The MUCRs have confirmed political pundit, author, and blogger Michelle Malkin will speak on campus Monday, April 11th at 7:00 pm followed by a book signing. This event is being supported by the MU Student Activities Fund as well as Young America’s Foundations Reagan 100 Speaker Series. Tickets are available in the Brooks Lounge on the first floor of the Alumni Memorial Union (1442 Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee). There is a limit of two tickets per person. The MUCRs are very excited about this event and to host another New York Times Bestseller this academic year. In November, Global Warming Expert Christopher Horner spoke to a crowd at Marquette.Malkin’s blog is here. Like all conservative women, she is the sort of person liberals love to hate. MSNBC’s Keith Olberman once referred to her as a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick.”
Anybody who elicits such a deranged response from Oberman is worth seeing, although admittedly that’s a lot of people.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Attacking Catholic Teaching About Sex at “Catholic” Marquette University
Discussion on human sexuality to take placeWhat’s the problem with this? The fact that the most secular and politically correct parts of the university are the sponsors is the giveaway.
A discussion on “The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Sexuality” will take place Monday, April 11, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Marquette Hall 200.
The discussion will be presented by Dr. Todd Salzman, professor and chair of theology at Creighton University, and Dr. Michael Lawler, professor emeritus of theology at Creighton University. Respondents will be Dr. Susan Ross, professor and chair of theology at Loyola University Chicago, and Rev. Bryan Massingale, associate professor of theology at Marquette.
For more information, contact Dr. Amelia Zurcher, associate professor of English and coordinator of the Women’s Studies Program.
This event is sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, the departments of English, History, Philosophy and Psychology, and the Social and Cultural Sciences McGee Lecture Series.
In September of Last year the U.S. bishops highlighted major defects in Salzman and Lawler’s co-authored book (The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology). It seems the authors approve homosexual behavior, premarital sex, contraception, and artificial insemination.
In fact, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops saw fit to critique the book at length.
How do Salzman and Lawler deal with scriptural statements about sexual behavior? They simply assert that such were merely reflections of the cultural biases of the particular time in history when the texts were written, and are not normative for us today.
That’s terribly convenient. It relieves one of ever having to confront current cultural norms and take unpopular stands.
The sort of people who take this position never have an inkling that today’s cultural norms may be arbitrary fashions with no fundamental moral grounding.
In principle, there is nothing wrong with discussion of Catholic teaching about sexuality at a Catholic university, including the voicing of opinions contrary to Church teaching.
Unfortunately, as is typical at Marquette, no opinions supportive of Catholic teaching are likely to be voiced. Marquette’s own Fr. Massingale is both a political and a theological liberal, and Dr. Susan Ross seems to subordinate any respect for Catholic teaching to her feminist views.
If discourse at Marquette is going to be one-sided, it should come down on the side of Catholic teaching. But balanced discourse is always to be sought in a university.
But how does one rationalize one program after another trashing Catholic teaching?
Marquette is not, in any serious sense, a Catholic university. That claim is just a marketing gimmick.
Monday, April 04, 2011
Politically Correct Fascism in Education Schools: “Dispositions” Litmus Test
Marquette’s College of Education, of course, has been implicated in this “dispositions” litmus test. Indeed, several of our students have complained about one-sided indoctrination there.
The Warrior Reports on Gay Domestic Partner Benefits at Marquette
“In our promotion of diversity and inclusion, we can confuse where a Catholic school teaches and stands for,” he said.After quoting a couple of liberal faculty members, the article cites the MUSG senator who sponsored the resolution passed by student government (as summarized by the writer) “saying that it was intended as a ‘step forward’ after the controversy surrounding the retracted O’Brien deanship offer and a part of student government’s larger mission of helping students feel a part of Marquette . . . ‘Inclusivity is a really high priority for MUSG,’” she said.
Kurz said that the Church, while it treats gays and lesbians with respect, does not support homosexuality—but that the new policy does.
“Respect first, tolerance yes, but not promotion,” Kurz said.
Kurz, however, said the potential hires most likely to reject Marquette over a lack of partner benefits would “be ideologically opposed to Catholic teaching” and could undermine the university’s religious mission.
“What does it mean to be a Catholic school, if we can’t be Catholic?” he asked.
Apparently, “inclusivity” actually translates as “screw this Catholic stuff, we want to be up to date and trendy.”
How serious MUSG is about real “inclusivity” was shown when MUSG officers participated in a series of secret meetings with lesbian academic/activist Ronnie Sanlo, who came to campus to “advise” Marquette on LGBT issues.
Only student organizations and faculty members sympathetic to the gay agenda were allowed to meet with Sanlo.
Marquette student Joseph Dobbs asked rhetorically in The Warrior, “What makes the LGBT community better than me?”
The answer, of course, was very simple. People who didn’t have the proper politically correct attitudes needed to be excluded. Had they been allowed to speak, they might have complicated things with diverse viewpoints. And that kind of diversity is never welcome on a college campus.
Guest Editorial: Vote for Prosser
Tomorrow is Election Day in Wisconsin, and there is a very important race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court on the ballot.
I want to take a moment to encourage you to vote for Justice David Prosser for the Wisconsin Supreme Court tomorrow, Tuesday, April 5. Justice Prosser has served the people of Wisconsin for his entire career — as a prosecutor, a legislator, and for the last twelve years, a Supreme Court justice. He is an independent, fair justice — we don’t agree in every single case, but we share a common commitment to deciding cases as “judicial conservatives” — following the rule of law, deferring to the political branches as appropriate, and sticking to the text of the laws at issue. I also know him personally as a friend and mentor, and appreciate his lifetime of honorable service to our state.
Thanks for your consideration; however you decide in this race, please make sure to take a few minutes tomorrow to do your civic duty and vote.
Sunday, April 03, 2011
UCLA Professor Fired For Politically-Incorrect Findings on Pollution
For more detailed information, check the FIRE website.
What the professor (James Enstrom) did was to publish scientific research that was politically incorrect. He reported finding no correlation between particulate pollution and death rates. The ran afoul of the interests of the environmental lobby, and some of his colleagues.
He also discovered that the lead author on a study that claimed to find a large number of deaths from particulate pollution had lied about his Ph.D.
The analogy to the “global warming” issue is obvious, and has been discussed here.
We have indeed published politically incorrect research. When Democratic Governor Doyle appointed a commission to study “disproportionate” incarceration of blacks in Wisconsin, we did a study showing that all the “disproportion” was the result of disproportionate criminal activity.
We experienced some blowback from the usual suspects, but nothing serious since (1.) we have tenure, (2.) neither any of our colleagues nor anybody with power over us has a vested interest in the issue, and (3.) we violated the canons of racial political correctness, but not gender political correctness nor gay political correctness. The latter are what politically correct academics care about these days.
But this shows how fragile notions of “academic freedom” are. Professor Glenn Reynolds notes that:
A cynic might suggest, of course, that notions of academic freedom were developed in the first half of the 20th century largely in order to protect communists from being fired, and that since Enstrom isn’t a communist, academic freedom shouldn’t apply . . . .Clearly, academics are not a particularly tolerant lot, and the administrators who run academia have little vision, and at best do little to temper the authoritarianism of faculty, and at worst are fully on board with it.
Saturday, April 02, 2011
Blacks Leaving Liberal States
Two milestones in the long, painful decline of the blue social model were reached this week and reported, of all places, in the pages of the very éminence grise of the monde bleu: the New York Times.This story has some strong implications for the “social justice” crowd at places like Marquette.
The first was a piece of national and historical news: The Census reported that waves of blue state blacks fled the stagnant job opportunities, high taxes and rotten social conditions of the mostly blue northern states to seek better lives for themselves in the south.
The Census story is a shocker. First, according to the Times, the Blacks leaving tend to be the “younger and better educated.” Second, the three states Blacks left in largest numbers don’t just include snake-bit Michigan; the other two are Illinois and New York. Within those states, Chicago and the city of the New York (widely considered among the most successful cities in the country) are the places Blacks are deserting. 17 percent of the Black flight from Big Blue is from the Empire State; after almost a century of trailblazing social policy, New York State has succeeded in creating the most hostile environment for Blacks in the country.
It gets worse. One would think that the Blacks who choose to stay in the cold, unwelcoming North would cluster in the cities where more liberal and humane governance models mandate such generous policies as “living wage” laws and where all the beautiful features of the blue social model can be experienced at full strength.
But one would be wrong. Blacks across the North are fleeing the urban paradises of liberal legislation and high public union membership for the benighted suburbs. The Times interviewed a professor to get the straight scoop:
“The notion of the North and its cities as the promised land has been a powerful part of African-American life, culture and history, and now it all seems to be passing by,” said Clement Price, a professor of history at Rutgers-Newark. “The black urban experience has essentially lost its appeal with blacks in America.” [bold italics added]
When whites leave failing blue cities and states, the pundits call this racism: all those white Californians fleeing Nancy Pelosi’s utopia for less ambitious jurisdictions where ordinary people can do things like get jobs and buy homes are clearly pathetic trailer trash hicks too dumb, too selfish and above all too racist to understand the gloriously multicultural blue beauty of California today.
So what are we going to call the young, educated Blacks making similar choices? Dumb cracker racists?
The failure of blue social policy to create an environment which works for Blacks is the most devastating possible indictment of the 20th century liberal enterprise in the United States. Helping Blacks achieve the kind of equality and opportunity long denied them was more than one of many justifications for blue social policy: it was the defining moral task that has challenged and shaped American liberalism for the last fifty years.
The Census tells us that in the eyes of those who know best, these well intentioned efforts failed. Instead of heaven, we have hell across America’s inner cities. Blue economic policy has cut the creation of new private sector jobs to a trickle in our great cities, while the high costs of public union urban services (and policies that favor government employees over the citizenry at large) impose crippling taxes and contribute to the ruinously high costs that blight opportunity. All the social welfare bureaucracies, diversity counselors and minority set-asides can’t make up for the colossal failure of blue social policy to create sustainable lower middle class prosperity in our cities.
Most Blacks of course still vote blue at the ballot box, but more and more of them are voting red with their feet. They are betting in massive numbers that southern Republicans will do a better job of helping their kids get good educations, police their communities more fairly (see this article, where NYT columnist Charles Blow blames the Black flight from New York on the racist police), offer more affordable housing and create a better business climate. Over time, this is going to affect the balance of power in Black politics and pull the Democratic Party (and the national consensus) to the right. Reapportionment is already pulling political power toward the South; New York today has fewer electoral votes than it did at the start of the Civil War and it is going to lose two more House seats in the next division.
You claim to represent blacks (and Hispanics and other minorities), but the policies you favor — high taxes and government spending, strong unions, government educational monopolies, overbearing regulation of business — stiffle opportunity.
But, by some strange coincidence, they help people like you prosper.
Are your motives really so pure as you want to believe?
Friday, April 01, 2011
Marquette Warrior Blogger Threatened, Bullied by Provost, Dean and Department Chair
This was the meeting we were summoned to by Pauly.
Pauly, in an e-mail to us, said the meeting was about “some of the ongoing potential conflicts between your role as Marquette professor and employee, and independent blogger-journalist.”
The bottom line: all three – Pauly, Rossi and McCormick – want us to entirely stop blogging about student organizations. Well . . . not entirely. Pauly made it clear that it is fine with him if we commend student organizations. That’s right: a former journalism instructor is demanding biased journalism!
Pauly claimed to have no problem with our blogging about faculty and administrators, but claimed our blogging about student affairs has been out of line. How much of this was a genuine concern (some of it probably was) and how much was the result of an ideological bias from liberal administrators toward a conservative blogger (there was almost certainly some of that too) we can’t say.
Two specific instances were mentioned. First, we called the listed home number of a student, talked to (apparently) her father and left a polite message asking for a return call, explaining that we were working on a blog post about The Vagina Monologues (the student was listed as the Marquette contact on vday.org). Apparently, the student’s parents freaked. All three administrators (Pauly, Rossi and McCormick) condemned the call saying that faculty should never call the parents of students. They said that the parents should have been in Fr. Wild’s office loudly complaining about it.
We replied that we were calling the listed number of the student (and had no way of knowing that she was living with her parents), and that’s it’s standard practice for a journalist to call a potential source at home. But Pauly, Rossi and McCormick explicitly stated that we should somehow have known that the parents would freak. We were accused of merely offering “rationalizations.”
All thee insisted that we don’t have any of the prerogatives of a journalist, since the role of a professor trumps that of a faculty blogger.
The other issue raised was the fact that we had mentioned a student’s research paper, and were accused of “criticizing” it. In reality, we did not mention the student’s name, and the point of the blog post was that “‘gender studies’ has been added to ‘women’s studies’ [which] signals a move toward a homosexual emphasis, as shown by one of the papers completed by a WGST fellow this summer . . . .” The blog post was, quite simply, a comment on the fact that the Women’s and Gender Studies program has begun to slip “queer studies” into the university.
Pauly, Rossi and McCormick lamely replied that people could find the name of the student (we included the title of the paper, which could be googled), and that some people knew that we had supposedly “criticized the student.” In fact, nothing was said that was favorable or unfavorable about the student.
McCormick, using a metaphor that was supremely insulting to students, insisted that student activities are a “sandbox,” and that faculty should never comment on what student organizations do.
We pointed out that, in the issues they brought up, Marquette as an institution had been the issue. The Vagina Monologues will be sponsored by Social and Cultural Sciences, and the post that “criticized student research” was about the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.
We further pointed out that when students do high-profile public things, there is a legitimate news interest in what they do. In fact, it serves students well to learn that when they do highly visible controversial public things in some official role, they might get criticized.
Further, what student organizations do has consequences for the University. When Fr. Wild announced that Marquette is going to provide domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian couples, he explicitly cited a resolution calling for that from Marquette University Student Government. If student organizations can affect Marquette University policy, it’s hard to see how they should be exempt from scrutiny.
As the meeting moved on, Rossi and McCormick became more ad hominem, Rossi accusing us of having a “blind spot,” and McCormick asserting that nobody he knew felt that our blogging about student organizations was acceptable. Since we’ve gotten multiple supporting e-mails, that says more about McCormick’s circle of friends than about what “everybody believes.”
All three implied (and sometimes stated) that we had been guilty of some violation of professional ethics, but could not explain what that would be, beyond McCormick’s “sandbox” metaphor, and the general notion that faculty should never publicly say anything negative about a student, even a student in a very public role doing something controversial.
We were willing to make only one concession: we assured the group that we would be more careful in the future about mentioning student’s names. (It typically isn’t that significant who the student is anyway.) But that wasn’t enough.
They hung tough with the position that we should never comment on student affairs, and we were threatened by both Pauly and McCormick saying that we would “be here [in a meeting like this] again” if we persisted in blogging about the activities of student groups.
Needless to say, we will continue to blog about activities on campus, and when the actions of student organizations have substantial news interest, we will report them. And we will be critical when appropriate.