Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Campus Debate: Howard Dean vs. Liz Cheney

Note Update Below.

From an e-mail from Young Americans for Freedom:
Former DNC chairman and Presidential candidate Dr. Howard Dean will be debating Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and former State Department official. The topic: the Role of Government in a Free Society. This event will be moderated by Kent Wainscott from WISN 12 News in the Weasler Auditorium at 7 p.m. on October 30th.
You can register for tickets (they cost nothing) here.

The Young Americans for Freedom is a conservative organization which has scheduled a debate featuring both a very prominent conservative speaker, and an equally prominent liberal speaker.

Kudos to them for that.

[Update]

Hurricane Sandy Delays the Great Debate at Marquette University

Liz Cheney and Howard Dean debate moved to Thursday

Milwaukee – As Hurricane Sandy dumps inches of rain and strong winds on the east coast, a debate scheduled for Tuesday is postponed. The daughter of a former Vice President and a former DNC Chairman will take on the issues in a debate sponsored by the Young Americans for Freedom - Marquette University on Thursday, November 1st at 7:00 pm instead. Liz Cheney and Howard Dean will jab over the “Role of Government in a Free Society.”

Hurricane Sandy has grounded almost all air traffic to and from the Nation’s capital making it impossible for the policy heavyweights to make their scheduled joint appearance.

A venue change has also been made to Marquette’s Marquette Hall Room 300 located at 1217 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee.

The event is free and open to the public; however, printed tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved at www.yafmarquette.com. Parking is available in the Wells Street Structure located at the corner of 13th Street and Wells.

For attendees with reserved tickets, those tickets are still valid and notifications have been sent.

[Further Update]

The location has been moved to the Alumni Memorial Union, particularly the Ballrooms upstairs.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Intolerance of Christians in . . . Guess Where?

From Real Clear Politics:
As an ancient Christian minority in a mainly Muslim society, Coptic Christians have often been persecuted and marginalized.

Even so, Coptic believer Nadia Eweida was startled at the blatant discrimination she encountered in her job at the national airline. While Muslim women around her freely wore headscarves to fulfill their religious obligation, she was forbidden to wear a cross openly while working. Even Jews and Sikhs received more consideration: the policy was directed solely and explicitly towards Christians. When Nadia complained, political authorities and news media were grossly unsympathetic.

We might wonder why Nadia did not simply give up the unequal struggle, and move to a country like Great Britain, where Christianity is not just tolerated but which actually has an established national church. Why would she continue to tolerate the systematic injustice of an aggressive Islamist regime...

Oh wait, my mistake. Is my face red!

It turns out that although Nadia Eweida really is a Coptic Christian, she was living in England at the time, rather than Egypt, and that her job was with British Airways, at Heathrow. It was her British employers who concluded that public expressions of Christianity were unacceptable, in a land where the Queen is head of state, and the Supreme Governor of the Church by law established. British government lawyers defended that situation before a European court. One suggested that if Christians did not like the situation, they should find other employment. And why so much fuss about the cross, they objected? Wearing it is not an actual requirement of the faith, as opposed to an individual whim, so you can’t insist on any right to do so.

British Christians are not persecuted. Around the world, Christians are massacred, tortured, subjected to bogus show trials, starved into submission, and reduced to penury on the grounds of their faith. That’s real persecution, and nothing like that happens in the United Kingdom.

But it is legitimate to point out that in contemporary Britain, aggressive secularism on a wide variety of fronts is making life very difficult for conservative or traditional-minded Christians. Notionally, such an anti-religious campaign should be targeting all supernaturally-based faiths equally, but British secularism is accompanied by a multi-cultural principle that acknowledges some religious expressions as legitimate manifestations. Hence the tolerance for Muslim headscarves or Sikh turbans in the workplace.

Unfortunately, that respect does not extend to the beliefs or practices of Christians who often come from other non-European cultures -- to a faithful Coptic Christian like Nadia Eweida, or to African or Afro-Caribbean Pentecostals. Most media coverage of thriving African churches in Britain involves ludicrously exaggerated charges of witch-hunting and even human sacrifice by these supposedly primitive fanatics. It’s good to know the old idea of the Heart of Darkness is alive and well in the former imperial metropolis.

Legal cases resulting from religious discrimination have generated vast media attention in Britain. The Eweida affair apart, some other employment conflicts involved nurse Shirley Chaplin, ordered not to wear a cross on her ward duty; or Lillian Ladele, a marriage registrar who refused to conduct same sex civil partnerships. Relationships counselor Gary McFarlane was fired because his religious beliefs prevented him offering sexual therapy to same-sex couples. McFarlane and Ladele, incidentally, are both black.

In the United States at least, a clash between gay rights and the rights of religious believers would normally mean walking a delicate legal tightrope. Not in England, though, where the senior judge Sir John Laws -- the amazingly titled Lord Justice Laws -- proclaimed in the 2010 McFarlane case that in any such clash, religious rights would, and must, always lose out. As he said, “The promulgation of law for the protection of a position held purely on religious grounds...is irrational, as preferring the subjective over the objective. But it is also divisive, capricious and arbitrary.”

You can actually spend a good while dissecting Laws’s prolonged shriek, which also noted that “in the eye of everyone save the believer, religious faith is necessarily subjective, being incommunicable by any kind of proof or evidence.” So much for a few thousand years of theology and apologetics -- Christian, Jewish and Islamic.

So much, too, for the British courts, who have moved beyond parody.

The only hope left for the dissident Christians, then, is the European Court of Human Rights, which in recent years has come to occupy a position in European countries parallel to that of the US Supreme Court. And that is where Eweida, McFarlane and the others are now headed. If nothing else, the cases will contribute to shaping the European Court’s developing stance on religious rights, a topic that has caused fevered debate over the past decade. The Court is at what Americans might call a John Marshall moment, deciding the proper limits of judicial power over an emerging constitutional system.

Who would have thought that in the 21st century, Europeans would still be grappling with defending the basic rights of religious believers who still, after years of secular drift, make up a sizable majority of the continent’s population?
The elites that dominate Europe, of course, are the sort of elites that attack religious freedom here in the U.S.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Communications Faculty Did Not Like The Warrior

From the Marquette Tribune comes news that The Warrior, an independent student publication, is shutting down, at least temporarily.

Running a campus newspaper that isn’t subsidized by a university is always a struggle, and the wonder is that The Warrior survived so long, mostly do to a very dedicated group of students.

But rather dismaying is the fact that the faculty of the College of Communication was hostile to the enterprise all along. From a Tribune op-ed:
I wrote for The Warrior for four years while I was a journalism student at Marquette. I was its news editor from 2008 to 2009 and Editor-In-Chief from 2009 to 2010.

The recent announcement about the paper shutting down indefinitely is a huge loss for the students and open discourse at the university. It means Marquette will lose a forum for a truly independent student voice.

I always felt that my experience with The Warrior exemplified what journalism should be: hard work, asking tough questions, being persistent in the face of adversity and being critical of the status quo.

One of the biggest disappointments about my time with The Warrior was the response the paper got from the faculty and staff in Marquette’s College of Communication, which houses the school-funded paper, The Marquette Tribune.

The way I see it, journalism professors and student newspaper advisors in the College of Communication actively tried to dissuade students from joining The Warrior, telling them they would not get internships or full-time jobs with experience from an independent, less supervised newspaper.

During my time at Marquette, The Warrior was not considered a legitimate student news source on campus. We were not included in any university-sanctioned journalism events, discussions or other opportunities afforded to student media. The school would not let us distribute the paper on school property or put bins on campus.

In my experience, professors would not consider clips from The Warrior to count as writing clips for their reporting classes as they did for the Tribune. What many Marquette professors told their students about the experience The Warrior offered simply was not true. I know firsthand.

One of The Warrior’s primary goals was to rally for administrative transparency and efficiency while encouraging a true discourse of ideas. Its existence is critical because it gives students an opportunity to hold accountable the leaders who spend their tuition money and guide their education.

The College of Communication’s response to The Warrior was, and still is, baffling. I could never understand why the very people who were guiding and training the next generation of journalists wouldn’t applaud and embrace the initiative and passion of some. These were the students who cared so much about journalism and true watchdog reporting that they would work long, unpaid hours, trying to make a go of an uncensored, independent newspaper.

Because of my experience with The Warrior, I interned with news organizations in Washington, D.C. for two summers, got a five-month business internship with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel my senior year and got a full-time job as a reporter with The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., right after graduation. I was at the N&O for two years and am now in graduate school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill but plan to go back into journalism after I’m done with my Master’s program.

Marquette’s response to The Warrior represents the hubris of journalism academics in trying to contain student journalism in a university-sanctioned bubble. It is also symptomatic of an opaque administration trying to control information and preserve a prescribed public image.

I love Marquette and I cherish the time I spent there. That’s why I think it’s so important to have an outlet for students to write uninhibited and participate in an open discourse to express their views and ask tough questions of the university. I hope The Warrior comes back online bigger and better than ever before.

Katelyn Ferral College of Communication Class of 2010
What’s the explanation for this? The simplest, and one that doubtless is a large part of the story is ideological bias. Communications faculty, like academia generally, are liberal and leftist. Further, there are fewer and fewer old-time liberals who worked as reporters and have a rather broad-minded and tolerant view of political conflict. Rather, Communications as a discipline comes to look more and more like the humanities.

Of course, there might be additional aspects to this. Communications schools have a mainstream media bias (with the exception of faculty who are hard leftists and think the mainstream media too conservative). They identify with the New York Times, the Journal-Sentinel, ABC, NBC, CBS and NPR, and rather dislike insurgent media (except for insurgent media on the left). Just who are, after all, these upstarts who think they can challenge the established gatekeepers and scorekeepers.

Since the Tribune is rather docile, and ultimately under the control of the College of Communications — and also staffed by people with a mainstream media orientations — it can be accepted.

The really good innovative journalists, the ones who will challenge the cozy journalistic status quo, won’t come from places like the College of Communication.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Marquette’s Very Gay Campus Ministry

With a hat tip to Badger Catholic:



Don’t try to find it on Twitter now. It’s been taken down.

The Campus Ministry has long been on board with the gay political agenda. This is just one of many cases.

It would be one thing if the Campus Ministry wanted to minister to gay people on the basis of their facing particular temptations and particular challenges in leading a chaste life. But in fact these university bureaucrats believe that the only problem is that many people disapprove of homosexuality.

[Update]

We just called the Campus Ministry, asking to speak to the person who handles the Twitter feed. The person who answered offered to forward our call to that person, but refused to give us the person’s name. The call forward did not go through, which happens all too frequently with the new phone system.

[Further Update]

We just got a call from Mary Sue Callan-Farley, Director of the Campus ministry, who explained that the Twitter post was put up by a student “who did not have full permission.” It was then taken down by Thomas Anderson, S.J., who handles social media for the office, on the basis of the judgment that it was inappropriate. Callan-Farley said the student in question was “just trying to help her fellow students.”

But of course, we wonder, is endorsing homosexuality a way to “help” anybody?

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

A Catholic Theologian Not Enamored of Obama

While left-leaning “Catholic” theologians have signed on to support the Obama reelection campaign, other voices in the profession are not so taken with our incumbent president.

One of those is Marquette theologian Mark Johnson, who has posted a detailed deconstruction of Obama’s Democratic Convention speech.

One particularly cogent passage:
Charity, in the Catholic context in particular, is the love we have directly for God first and foremost, and for his Images (i.e., us humans) precisely in our likeness, our family resemblance, to him. It is this devotion towards God’s human creatures that commands us care for their basic needs: whatsoever you do...

But this vocabulary and these virtues I learned in church and through the myriad ​rivulets of my Catholic religion. It is not the task of government to instruct me on the proper love of God, or of God’s people. My priest does that, your rabbi or imam does that.

The President is not my pastor.​

My ultimate concern is that, in President Obama’s take on things, nothing seems to lay outside the scope and possible command of the federal government​. The federal government is in charge of protecting the American personality, of protecting “who we are” (the President’s trump card when he is at a loss in arguing for why we should not allow something: “it’s not who we are”). The federal government is the protector of charity and love. What’s left for those of us who aren’t in the government?
As Johnson is aware, Obama is guilty of the same misbegotten notion that the leftist theologians now getting signatures for a letter attacking Paul Ryan are: the notion that charity is the purview solely of the Federal government, and not other levels of government, nor the Church, nor families, nor neighborhoods nor friendship groups.

It’s a notion that embodies the “one-sided centralization” that Catholic Social Thought has always condemned.

It’s a misbegotten notion typical of secular leftists, which is what the anti-Ryan theologians are, notwithstanding any religious rhetoric they may spout.

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Sunday, October 07, 2012

Leftist “Catholic” Academics Plan Another Attack on Paul Ryan

The following is from an e-mail sent out to Marquette Theology Faculty:
From: Theological Studies Editor

Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2012 6:48 PM

To: Theo-Faculty Subject: FW: statement in advance of the Ryan/Biden debate--please sign if you can

From: Charles Camosy [mailto:ccamosy@gmail.com]

Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2012 12:16 PM

To: Charles Camosy

Subject: statement in advance of the Ryan/Biden debate--please sign if you can

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Please consider signing the following statement (via the link below) that Vince Miller, Jana Bennett, David Cloutier, Meghan Clark, and I put together this week. We worked hard to give this document the best chance we could to be signed by a diverse group of Catholics. It is not an attack on Paul Ryan, and we are careful not to make judgments about his personal character or honesty, but we do believe that this coming week presents an important teachable moment when it comes to Catholic Social Doctrine.

We’d like to get it out (in a signed form) a couple of days before the Vice Presidential debate, so please sign soon if you are able--and please also pass it onto others who fit the description below and you think might be interested.

Thanks so much,

Charlie

This statement is intended primarily for theologians and other Catholic academics knowledgeable and concerned about Catholic social thought and doctrine.

If you would like to sign, please click on this link:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dEtjY0dleWhRVFU3NGJFLTFCZWxpdmc6MQ

***

We write as Catholic theologians, academics and ministers concerned for our nation and for the integrity of the teachings of the Catholic Church. We write to hold up aspects of the Church’s social doctrine that are profoundly relevant to the challenges our nation faces at this moment in history, yet are in danger of being ignored.

A Tipping Point:

America is at a tipping point where the traditional commitment of our government to protecting and advancing the common good is in very real danger of being dismantled for generations. Members of the “Tea Party,” libertarians, Ayn Rand followers and other proponents of small government have brought libertarian views of government into the mainstream; legitimating forms of social indifference. After decades of anti-government rhetoric and “starve the beast” tax cuts, some even appear to exploit predictable fiscal problems to establish a privatized, libertarian order that reduces society to a collection of individuals and shrinks the common good to fit the outcomes achievable by private, for profit firms.
And it goes on from there.

The point, quite clearly, is to put up some flack that can be used against Paul Ryan in advance of his debate with Joe Biden. It has apparently been sent out to academics all over the country in the hope of gaining a lot of signatures.

The letter invokes Catholic Social Teaching to attack Ryan, accusing him of having too little concern for the poor.

Of course, Catholic Social Teaching does insist on concern for the poor, but whether the trillion dollars the U.S. now spends on means-tested programs for the poor is too little, about the right amount, or too much is not something that Catholic Social Teaching can specify. It’s a matter of prudential judgment.

Paul Ryan’s judgment is not that the amount should be cut, but that increases should be limited. In the eyes of these leftist academics, that makes him a bad Catholic.

But as we have pointed out, the people who sign these kinds of letters (and most certainly the people who signed the previous anti-Ryan letter) seem to have a commitment to Catholic Social Teaching only when it can be used to attack Republicans. If the issue is abortion, or gay marriage, it’s a very different matter.

Interestingly, the e-mail was sent out to Theology faculty by the journal Theological Studies. Is it appropriate for that journal to endorse a partisan polemic? That’s something we’ll follow up on tomorrow.

[Update]

David G. Schultenover, S.J., editor of Theological Studies, has e-mailed us saying “I don’t know how this solicitation got sent out with my return address. Theological Studies is not endorsing this solicitation.”

It would be grossly inappropriate for the journal to do so, and they did not.

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Saturday, October 06, 2012

Campus Speaker is Incendiary Race Hustler

We learn that Marquette is having an “anti-racism” speaker on campus, sponsored by all the politically correct leftist suspects: the Office of Student Development, MUSG, the Office of Residence Life, the Division of Student Affairs and the College of Education. We are told for “more information, contact Carla Cadet, assistant dean for multicultural affairs. . . .” So that office must be involved too. The speaker is a fellow named Tim Wise, and he claims to be “anti-racist,” although in reality he is, like all the politically correct crowd, an anti-white racist.

He’s also anti-capitalist, anti-Catholic, calls the criminal justice system “racist,” has called Israel an “apartheid” state and favors reparations to blacks. A good collection of his fulminations is found here. Let us just repeat a few. Wise alludes to:
“the seeds of pure evil planted deep in every one of us [white people] by our culture. . . Better to blame the dark-skinned for our [whites’] hardship since we can take it for granted that they’re powerless to do anything about it. Whites, as it turns out, take most everything for granted in this country; which makes perfect sense, because dominant groups usually have that privilege.”
One can easily imagine the response if anybody said that blacks have the “the seeds of pure evil” planted in them. But anti-white racist is acceptable, even applauded, in academia.
“Indeed, persons of color know well that they will likely have to work twice as hard to get half as far or be considered half as good as whites; and they have known that since long before affirmative action came around. But at least with affirmative action they get the chance to work twice as hard and demonstrate their capabilities.”
Wise says that whites must work:
“individually and collectively to overcome that which is always beneath the surface; to overcome the tendency to cash in the chips which represent the perquisites of whiteness; to traffic in privileges not the least of which is the privilege of feeling superior to others not because of what or who they are, but rather because of what you’re not: in this case, not a nigger. . . . Fact is nigger is still the first word on most white people’s mind when they see a black man being taken off to jail on the evening news. The first thing we think when we see Mike Tyson, Louis Farrakhan, or O.J. Simpson (as in ‘that murdering nigger’).”
Of course, people like Wise prate about “institutional racism:”
“I view the U.S. as a nation in which racism has been interwoven from the beginning, and in which it continues to operate. But this racism is not principally the individual racism of ‘evil’ white people, let alone those out to ambush people of color due to some kind of boiling hatred, but rather the more impersonal racism of institutions, whose actors perpetrate unequal treatment often without deliberate intent to harm. If anything, it is my argument that white people are far less individually culpable than the institutions in which we find ourselves dominant, the policies and procedures of which continue to advantage whites to the detriment of people of color.”
These, of course, are the same institutions that (like Marquette) discriminate against whites (it’s called affirmative action) and provide massive social welfare support to the poor, who are disproportionately black. Indeed, the institutions that seem to do the most harm to blacks (the public schools) are the pets of unions, Democrats and the left.

On the Catholic Church:
“Finally, it appears as though the official Catholic Church has lost its mind. First, a Bishop in Colorado announces (and is followed by several others around the country) that the sacrament of the eucharist should be denied to any Catholic who supports reproductive freedom for women (i.e. is pro-choice). Then, the dottering pontiff himself (through his spokespersons) announces that the Church is moving to beatify some hallucinatory nun named Emmerich, who, in the 18th century and early 19th century, claims to have ‘experienced’ in visions the crucifixion of Jesus. She then proceeded, in her writings, to add to the already contradictory Gospels, her own spin on the Passion narrative, replete with a devil figure encouraging the ‘evil’ Jews (of course) to kill Christ, and the ‘evil’ Jews gladly doing just that. Emmerich was, as it turns out, the source of most all of Mel Gibson’s most controversial parts of his latest film — not the Bible, but a crazed nun, who had apparently ingested too much acid, or whatever they were taking at the convent back in those days. Then today, there is this. Apparently, Gays and Lesbians in Chicago who make clear their opposition to institutional Catholic and Christian heterosexism are now to be denied the eucharist as well. One wonders when Catholic churches will also begin denying communion to members of their flock who support war, support the death penalty, or who are insufficiently committed to ending poverty. . . . On the positive side, 5 dozen Catholic churches in the Boston area have been forced to close. Not enough money. Pity. Maybe if the Pope would sell some of his art in the Vatican, they could take care of that little problem...ah, priorities.”
We have long said that there is nothing wrong with extremist speakers on college campuses. We wouldn’t terribly mind having a Klansman speak on campus. Students might learn something, although it would probably be something about political pathology and not anything useful about public policy.

But what if various University officials brought the Klansman to campus with the clear implication that he had something worthwhile to say about race relations in America? And what if the University paid him a lot of money?

Wise, in fact, is no better than a Klansman. He simply believes nasty racist things that are fashionable in academia, rather than nasty racist things that are unpopular in academia.

And he hates capitalism and the Catholic Church to boot.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Obama: Evil Rich Favor Non-Violence

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Barack Obama: A Racial Chip on His Shoulder, or Just Pandering?