Jesuitical 14: Fordham, Coulter and Singer
Part 14 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits. Fordham President Joseph McShane, SJ, knows who his real enemy is. Today Fordham is hosting the well known proponent of euthanasia and abortion Peter Singer at a conference charmingly entitled: “Conference with Peter Singer: Christians and Other Animals: Moving the Conversation Forward.” Singer is fine according to McShane, but he bitterly criticized the College Republicans recently at Fordham for sponsoring a speech by Ann Coulter. Robert Shibley, at Professor William Jacobson’s magnicent blog College Insurrection, gives us the juicy details:
After loudly proclaiming his “disgust” with the “hate speech” of conservative pundit Ann Coulter in an email to all students, in the process slamming the Fordham College Republicans—his own students—as immature bigots who lack character, Fordham President Joseph McShane, S.J., is now faced with defending his administration’s invitation to philosopher and infanticide advocate Peter Singer to participate in a panel on “animal ethics.”
Father McShane could have allowed the marketplace of ideas to function on its campus without engaging in an electronic temper tantrum. (To his credit, he did not ban Coulter from campus, although the College Republicans clearly saw which way the wind was blowing and canceled the event themselves—here’s one student’s reaction to that.) But he didn’t, and now Fordham is stuck trying to justify McShane’s statement.
In response to an email from a College Insurrection reader provided to us, Bob Howe, Senior Director of Communications at Fordham, penned the following response, attempting to explain why having Peter Singer advocating his positions on campus is totally different from having Ann Coulter advocate her positions:
Go here to read the rest. I have never had any love for Ann Coulter. I view her as a shameless self-promoter who has used conservatism as a path to fame and riches for Ann Coulter. I regard her arguments as usually big on volume and almost nil on substance. However, only someone who is deeply wedded to the left side of the political spectrum at a purportedly Catholic university could view Coulter as unacceptable as a speaker and Peter Singer, who is an outspoken advocate of the Culture of Death, as peachy-keen. The fact that the College Republicans backed down on inviting Coulter in the face of the attack by McShane helps explain how the election was lost this year. No fortitude, no victory.