The Middle Ages and Academic Freedom

Tuesday, May 20, AD 2014

Medieval Students

 

 

During my time in this Vale of Tears I have listened to many commencement addresses, and I think I remember precisely one sentence from one address.  Forgettable exercises in throwing platitudes to students eager to get to the post graduate party, and parents still numb from considering how much it has cost them for their offspring’s brief appearance on stage in cap and gown, most commencement addresses are as ephemeral as the youth of the audience being given yet another boring lecture.  However, if Yale law professor Stephen L. Carter gave the commencement address below, a sharp satire on students not wanting to hear from speakers holding “heretical” views on politics,  I would have been very attentive indeed:

 

 

The literary critic George Steiner, in a wonderful little book titled “Nostalgia for the Absolute,” long ago predicted this moment. We have an attraction, he contended, to higher truths that can sweep away complexity and nuance. We like systems that can explain everything. Intellectuals in the West are nostalgic for the tight grip religion once held on the Western imagination. They are attracted to modes of thought that are as comprehensive and authoritarian as the medieval church. You and your fellow students — and your professors as well; one mustn’t forget their role — are therefore to be congratulated for your involvement in the excellent work of bringing back the Middle Ages.

Now, before I close, I would like to address those members of the Class of 2014 who might think that it’s wrong to ban speakers whose views you reject. Your reactionary belief in tolerance and open-mindedness is truly distressing. I beg you to remember that every controversial question has only one answer. You have absolutely nothing to learn from people whose opinions you dislike.

And now, graduates, before things go too far — before you run the risk of being thought to be on the road to becoming responsible adults — please, rise to your feet, and, speaking with one voice, shout me down!

Thank you.

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7 Responses to The Middle Ages and Academic Freedom

  • In today’s WSJ, Bret Stephens uses the phrase, “inviolable ignorance.” It seems as if “infallible ignorance” was already taken. Apparently on May 18, 2014, former Princeton, President Wm. Bowen “unloaded” on students as “Immature.”

    Money quote from Mr. Stephens: “Now it’s just a $240,000 extension of kindergarten.” TRUTH.

    For the post-modern, degreed dilettante, every issue is resolved by answering a multiple choice, SAT-type question. The choices being:
    A. Class.
    B. Climate change.
    C. Gender.
    D. Income inequality (new this year!).
    E. Race.
    F. Sexual orientation.

    All this infallible/inviolable ignorance extends the “shelf life” of the broken system that rewards “confidence-gaming sociopaths rather than competence; rewards misrepresentation, obfuscation, legalized looting, embezzlement, fraud, gaming the system, deviousness, lying and cleverly designed deceptions; selects leaders not for competence but for deviousness, spinning half-truths and propaganda with a straight face; and runs the cons that entrench the pathology of power.” (Zero Hedge)

  • I bet you’d remember this one, Don: an actual commencement address over the weekend that did much the same thing as Prof. Carter’s piece imagines himself saying:

    http://articles.philly.com/2014-05-19/news/49951650_1_birgeneau-haverford-students-haverford-college#x2lzHHceLoj7sey4.01

  • Yep Jay. I was going to post on that one until I decided to use Carter’s post to write about Medieval academic freedom.

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  • As someone who has to sit through at least one graduation ceremony each year, I see no reason why speakers should be chosen out of a hat, with no regard for what they say or represent. Frankly, if the Church in America were serious about implementing Ex Corde Ecclesiae, there would be no pro-abortion politicians giving graduation speeches at Catholic universities. There really is no principle that says that just anybody can or should give graduation speeches.

    Dang it, does everything have to be politics now? Does it always have to be “Hurray! We put one over on them by inviting Condoleezza Rice to speak!” or “Boo! They put on over on us by inviting Hillary Clinton to speak!”

  • The notion that the burning of heretics was a commonplace occurrence in the Middle Ages is simply untrue.

    In the year 1222, Archbishop Stephen Langton held at Oxford a provincial council, and of this council one result was that a deacon was burnt, burnt because he had turned Jew for the love of a Jewess. That is the first instance in English history of someone being handed over to the secular arm and burnt.

    The next recorded case is the burning of Sawtry the Lollard in 1400, also relaxed by a provincial council as a relapsed heretic, having some years before abjured the same heresies before the bishop of Lincoln. He was a priest and his bishop did not even suspend him after his abjuration.

    Two executions in the 800 years, from St Augustine’s mission in 597 to the Statute De Hæretico Comburendo in 1400 – I leave open the question of whether Sawtry was burned at common law or under that statute; the sources are unclear. Bracton, a lawyer writing for lawyers in the late 13th century, on the basis of the 1122 case, says burning is the penalty for apostasy; he does not even mention heresy.

    In Scotland, the first person burned for heresy was John Resby, an English Lollard, in 1407. He taught that no one not in a state of grace could exercise any authority, ecclesiastical or temporal – Heady stuff. In 1433, Paul Craw or Crawer, [Pavel Kravař] a Bohemian physician and a Hussite, was burned. That really marks the endo f the mediaeval period..The next burning for heresy was of Patrick Hamilton, a Lutheran, in 1527. Thereafter, there was a spate of burnings of Protestants..

  • What a great satire. I wonder what the general student reaction was.

Free Speech For Me But Not For Thee

Friday, August 19, AD 2011

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  I guess some public schools must not be quite clear on the First Amendment.  Jerry Buell is a 22 year veteran social studies teacher at Mount Dora high school in Florida, and he was teacher of the year for his school district in 2010.  However, after offending the gods of political correctness, he will not be in the classroom when school begins this year.  On July 25, 2011 he posted these comments on his Facebook page:

“I’m watching the news, eating dinner when the story about New York okaying same-sex unions came on and I almost threw up.  And now they showed two guys kissing after their announcement. If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool of whatever. God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable?”

“By the way, if one doesn’t like the most recently posted opinion based on biblical principles and God’s laws, then go ahead and unfriend me. I’ll miss you like I miss my kidney stone from 1994. And I will never accept it because God will never accept it. Romans chapter one.”

The school district suspended Buell because they are afraid that a homosexual student might be frightened or intimated by him.  Go here to see a video report of this farce.

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15 Responses to Free Speech For Me But Not For Thee

  • Democrats are practitioners of freedom only when you agree with them.

  • Democrats/liberals/progressives: You are either on the bus or you are under the bus.

    Brave new world indeed.

    I hope Mr. Buell is lawyered up.

  • Sadly, not just schools– although schools are probably why it’s spreading.

    I just lost a friend over what he would call “politics”– when I shared an article on facebook that pointed out the top 1% are earning 20% of the AGI and paying nearly 40% of the income taxes, he attacked my math skills and said of course lower taxes on those who make more will get more income, it’s only fair that people “give” more….

    Remember, attacks, be they personal, physical, or on folks’ ability to get a job are fair game…if it’s for the right cause.

    *sad*

  • One way to put it is to say that Democrats are Platonic while Republicans are Aristotelian. The Democrats know from an elitiest vantage point what’s best for everyone else. So they have a right to make that happen and that regardless of the means. Republicans think individuals make choices and should make good ones because it’s their responsibliy. So it’s a war between Platonists and Aristotelians.

  • There was a time when the ACLU would have had the back of a man like Mr. Buell.
    Sadly, the ACLU no longer seems to be in the business of fighting for the preser-
    vation of civil liberties. T. Shaw was correct in his post above– Mr. Buell should
    lawyer up.

    It’s amazing that the school district suspended this otherwise sterling teacher not
    because of anything that he actually did, but because a homosexual student
    might be frightened or intimidated by him because of what he had posted
    on Facebook. No student actually complained about Mr. Buell.

    Would it be consistent with the dubious ‘logic’ used by the school district to call
    for the suspension of those officials responsible for Mr. Buell’s suspension? After
    all, Christian staff and students might be frightened or intimidated by
    them because of how they punished Mr. Buell for voicing his religious and
    political beliefs outside of the school. Just sayin’.

  • Pat,

    I need to break out my philosphy primer because I don’t remember ever having heard Plato and Aristotle reduced to those points? Could you elaborate?

  • As I recall, in the famous painting, The School of Athens, Plato is pointing to the heavens and Aristotle to the earth. Plato represented the ideal, Aristotle the “real world.” Choose your philosophers.

    As for Mr. Buell, Bravo! I hope he sues the pants off the school district on 1st Amendment grounds.

  • Well, E-Veg, I meant it only on the most general level, in the sense that Republicans do acknowledge the world as it is. Demoncrats have a vision, think of the world in terms of that vision, and demand that it materialize.

  • The Democrat vision is murdered unborn babies, and homosexual filth sanctified as marriage.

  • So that’s the opposition I meant to clarity. Democrats have got a vision that’s impracticable given human nature, and they try to impose that vision anyway. Republicans acknowledge human nature for what it is and go from there. God has promised a New Jerusalem. But he never said that it would come about through human effort. It would arrive from outside and beyond. Nevertheless, secular and religious ‘Calvinists’ are always trying to implement it in their own power. Silly. Silly. Very silly. Not to mention all the harm they do, whether it’s Oliver Cromwell or Hillary Clinton.

  • When you’re young you’re a Platonist. As you age you turn Aristotelian. You get afraid. You see how people really are. You know that some things can’t be done. You deal with reality as you find it and go from there. Can’t impose that vision; the material you have to work with just isn’t fit for it. Further, you learn it’s not your job. People have to be respected for their individuality and choices. Share the light you have. But don’t think you can impose it after your fashion.

  • The crowd now ruining the country has no experience and so no knowledge (I’m being charitable not charging them with intentionally destroying the USA, which they hate) that think they know everything.

    Camus: “All attempts to create Heaven on Earth result in Hell on Earth.”

    Part of destructive plan is polarization. Name one policy or goal that d’rats push which benefits, or asks for sacrifices from, the entire citizenry as a unit.

    Question for whomever on that Bd. of Ed.

    What will you do when normal (not sexual vampires) children living in fecund, sanctified households feel frightened, intimidated and threatened by the school’s imposition of sodomy on them? We know what Stalin would do.

  • Well you hit on something interesting…there are people who think we ARE the problem in the world. There are folks who think America stands in the way of a better world. It’s rediculous, of course. But they beleive that. They beleive that if the world had our money and we had their brains we’d have universal peace. Silly. But they DO believe it. And remember, as in psychology, reality is ninety-nine percent perception. If someone believes a thing, they’re acting in accordance with that. So you get this political type, a certain kind of Democrat or whateverf, that sees America as bad and the rest of the world as benign and victimized by us. This democratic type really believesthat, and you’d best acknwoledge it. They’re acting on that perception!

  • What’s the difference between America and the People’s Republic of China? In America, government coercion is used to force people to pretend sham marriages are real. In China, government coercion is used to force people to pretend sham ordinations of bishops are real.

  • A follow-up question to T. Shaw’s for the whomever on that Bd. of Ed.

    What will you do when homosexual children feel frightened, intimidated and threatened by the school’s imposition of an expection that they must someday marry upon them – and sue that Bd. of Id.?

Faculty Committee Finds That Dr. Howell's Academic Due Process Rights Were Denied

Thursday, October 21, AD 2010

 

Faithful readers of our blog will recall the case of Dr. Kenneth Howell at the University of Illinois.  I have posted on his firing and subsequent rehiring here, here, here and here.  Briefly, Dr. Howell taught a course on Catholicism at the University of Illinois under contract between the Newman Center at the University of Illinois and the University since 2001.  Dr. Howell describes the events which led to his firing:

This past semester was unusual. In previous years, I had students who might have disagreed with the Church’s position but they did so respectfully and without incident.  This semester (Spring 2010) I noticed the most vociferous reaction that I have ever had. It seemed out of proportion to all that I had known thus far. To help students understand better how this issue might be decided within competing moral systems, I sent them an email contrasting utilitarianism (in the populist sense) and natural moral law. If we take utilitarianism to be a kind of cost-benefit analysis, I tried to show them that under utilitarianism, homosexual acts would not be considered immoral whereas under natural moral law they would. This is because natural moral law, unlike utilitarianism, judges morality on the basis of the acts themselves.

 After the semester was over, I was called into the office of Robert McKim, the chairman of the Department of Religion, who was in possession of this email. I was told that someone (I presume one of my students) sent this email to the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Concerns at the University. It was apparently sent to administrators in the University of Illinois and then forwarded on to Professor McKim. I was told that I would no longer be able to teach in the Department of Religion.

Professor McKim and I discussed the contents of the email and he was quite insistent that my days of teaching in the department were over. I offered that it would be more just to ask me not to address the subject of homosexuality in my class. In fact, the other class I regularly taught (Modern Catholic Thought) never dealt with that subject at all. I also averred that to dismiss me for teaching the Catholic position in a class on Catholicism was a violation of academic freedom and my first amendment rights of free speech. This made no difference. After that conversation and a couple of emails, Professor McKim insisted that this decision to dismiss me stood firm.

The Newman Center and the Diocese of Peoria did not stand behind Howell initially, seeming to want to avoid a conflict with the University.  Dr. Howell contacted the Alliance Defense Fund which contacted the University and threatened to file suit.  Catholic bloggers raised a huge hue and cry about the firing.  Eventually the firing decision was reversed, and Dr. Howell was re- hired to teach Introduction to Catholicism in the fall semester of this year.  However, the contract between the Newman Center and the University of Illinois was ended, and Dr. Howell would simply teach the course as a regular adjunct professor of  the University.

The faculty committee has finished its examination of the firing of Dr. Howell.  Inside Education has obtained a leaked copy of the report, and a story on the report may be read here, along with a link to the report.

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6 Responses to Faculty Committee Finds That Dr. Howell's Academic Due Process Rights Were Denied

  • Donald – Thanks for all the work you have did posting on this topic. It was/is very helpful. Thank you.

  • I confess. I am one of the (primally evil) Americans that opposes politically correct censorship, coersion and show trials.

    One of the more notorious perpetrators of the so-called enlightenement said something to the effect, I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend (to the death?) your right to say it.

  • That was Voltaire T. Shaw. I doubt if he meant it.

  • That was Voltaire T. Shaw. I doubt if he meant it.

    Ha!

    Don, Do I recall correctly that you have a book of quotes you collected or am I thinking of someone else? If so, you need to put your own quote in there. Perfect!

  • Thank you RL, and I have do have quite a list of quotes I have stol…, that is borrowed, from others over the years.

  • Catholics fought back, and that is the most important lesson from this affair: the necessity for Catholics to stand and fight when they receive bigoted treatment.

    Exactly. Helmet to helmet, put ’em down hard.

Firing of Dr. Kenneth Howell to be Reviewed By University of Illinois Committee

Wednesday, July 14, AD 2010

Last week I wrote here about the firing of Dr. Kenneth Howell who had the audacity, in a class about the Catholicism, to actually state Catholic doctrine about homosexuality.  There has been enough of a furor since that the University of Illinois is acting, according to this story in the Chicago Tribune:

A faculty group at the University of Illinois’ flagship campus will review the decision to fire an adjunct religion professor for saying he agreed with Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.

Urbana- Champaign campus Chancellor Robert Easter said Monday he hopes to have a decision on the firing of Kenneth Howell from the Faculty Senate’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure by the time fall classes start. The review is to determine whether Howell’s academic freedom was violated.

“We want to be able to reassure ourselves there was no infringement on academic freedom here,” new university President Michael Hogan told members of the Faculty Senate on Monday. “This is a very, very important, not to mention a touchy and sensitive, issue. Did this cross the line somehow?”

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10 Responses to Firing of Dr. Kenneth Howell to be Reviewed By University of Illinois Committee

Anti-Catholic Bigotry Alive and Well at the University of Illinois

Friday, July 9, AD 2010

I am an alum of the U of I.  I obtained my BA in 79 and my JD in 82.  My wife is also an alum of the U of I, obtaining her MA in Spanish in 82.  Our eldest son will be entering the U of I as a freshman in August.  I therefore found the news that  Professor Kenneth Howell, an adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois, has been fired for teaching in a course about Catholicism  basic Catholic doctrine on homosexuality quite alarming:

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39 Responses to Anti-Catholic Bigotry Alive and Well at the University of Illinois

  • Looking at the e-mail from the student to the administration, and the original e-mail from Howell, two things seem clear:

    1. Neither the student nor his “friend” have a clear understanding of the purpose or content of Howell’s e-mail. They clearly cannot distinguish between advocacy and presentation of a fairly standard-issue argument in Catholic moral theology. I might expect this of high school students. College students should know better.

    2. This supposed college student’s grasp of standard English is most distressing. “Anyways”? Yikes!

    I am forced to question the Department Chair’s ability to notice the above.

  • In other words: Teach Catholicism, but don’t teach that it has anything to do with reason and reality. We must continue the lie that faith and reason are at odds, that the Church opposes gay marriage solely as a matter of religious faith, and that religion is purely a matter of private opinion, not public action.

    And this is supposed to “promote independent thought”? I’d wager that those students have never encountered any though quite so radical as Prof. Howell was exposing them to. He was doing exactly what they say they wanted.

  • Elena Kagan demonstrated how liberal pandering to any special interest group trumps your right to freedom to exercise your religion.

    Kagan on Whether Catholic Church Could Recruit at Harvard Law

    http://tinyurl.com/369nxwj

    This is precisely how Hitler took over Germany. It began with politically correct “thinking” which led to politically correct “law” and everything Hitler did was “legal”. This “judge” who never met a politically correct cause she didnn’t love and support (regardless of it’s standing the law) is about to take a seat on the highest court in the land.

    Yet she is touted for her “brilliance” and legal scholarship. They teach you all about the law in law school – they don’t teach you a thing about JUSTICE.

    ———————–
    “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    ~ President John Adams

    “Authentic democracy is possible only in a state ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person. It requires that the necessary conditions be present for the advancement both of the individual through education and formation in true ideals, and of the “subjectivity” of society through the creation of structures of participation and shared responsibility. Nowadays there is a tendency to claim that agnosticism and skeptical relativism are the philosophy and the basic attitude which correspond to democratic forms of political life. Those who are convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view, since they do not accept that truth is determined by the majority, or that it is subject to variation according to different political trends. It must be observed in this regard that if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.”

    ~ Pope John Paul II – Centesimus Annus

  • theory of Catholicism

    So now Catholicism is a theory and not a faith?

  • Just read the emails. I’m no natural law philosopher, but wasn’t the professor’s explanation of natural law a little weak? It was more about biology than teleology. Nor was his description of utilitarianism exactly correct.

    Still not grounds for dismissing him, however.

  • Does anyone else see the immediate bias by Kaler when saying “the theory of Catholicism.” This sums the issue up. Another situation of higher education punishing the religious guy.

  • I hope that it is starting to dawn on the “Catholic Church” that when you sleep with dogs you wake up with fleas. Amen!

  • TonyC,

    Are you referring to the U of I as dogs?

  • Do you think if he had taught what Islam tenets are in the Koran on morality and homosexuality and the handling of those of that orientation, he would have lost his post.

  • “When I joined the military it was against regulations to be homosexual, then it became optional. I’m getting out before it becomes mandatory.” GySgt Harry Berres, USMC

  • Guys, guys! Remember, you’re free to talk all you want about Catholicism, as long as you don’t believe it!

  • Very, very troubling indeed! May God have mercy on us. It is so hard for me to see the radical decay all around. May I work to be faithful, to pray for the Catholic Church and for men like this, punished harshly for speaking of their religious beliefs, that were once protected by the very Constitution that is now used to persecute them.

  • This is just awful. Kenneth Howell, in case you don’t know, is a former Presbyterian minister who converted to the Catholic faith — which of course, forced him to give up THAT job — and who has written several books on Catholic doctrine. He converted well BEFORE he took this job. He was hired by the U of I specifically to teach classes on Catholic doctrine, which have been offered, for credit, for decades. It should not surprise anyone that he agrees with Catholic teaching on homosexuality and other issues.

    What he said is not “hate speech” any more than, say, an observant Orthodox Jewish professor who teaches classes specifically on Judaism attempting to explain kosher dietary laws and having a student who raises hogs back home take offense at it.

  • Friend, huh? Might this ‘friend’ not be a student? Is it possible that someone just wants a politically correct elucidation of the theory of Catholicism without any of the truth of what the Church teaches?

    I am also curious, how does saying that sodomy is an unnatural act ostracize people with homosexualist proclivities? Any biologist would tell you that certain human orifices are for evacuation and not anything else, except in cases of medical testing. Should we outlaw the theory of biology?

    Apparently the school wants to teach the theory of Catholicism and disassociation themselves from what the Church actually teaches. Why? Does anyone really think the UI Religion Dept. is somehow associated with the Church or with Catholics in anyway? Why did his statement violate the ‘inclusivity’ policy? Was he banning homosexualists from his class? Did he tell them that Sodomites aren’t allowed to learn about the theory of Catholicism? Were they told they were not allowed to disagree with Natural Law? Since when does the Church or those who teach her truths believe that humans don’t have free will?

    Are we going to fire history teachers who teach the offensive act of killing Jews? How do you study Nazi Germany without addressing the wholesale slaughter of Jews, Catholics, etc.? You can’t. It is the truth. Nazis did kill Jews. It is offensive. It certainly isn’t inclusive. I seriously doubt that any history teacher worth their mettle thinks it is OK to kill Jews – but they teach it nonetheless, because that is what Nazis did and what they believed. No one has to agree with it. This is ridiculous.

    I wonder if its OK to teach about Nazism because most Nazis were Sodomites and not OK to teach about Catholicism because the Church teaches that Sodomy is not OK, despite the proclivities of a small number of her members – of course, we don’t talk about pederast priests, we talk about pedophile priests because if we addressed the real problem, we may have to indict Sodomy. Me thinks there is an agenda here and just like in the late Wiemar Republic it starts with the homosexualists.

  • I was tempted to say that this development would make Msgr. Edward Duncan, the VERY longtime U of I Newman Center chaplain (over 50 years, from the 1940s to the 1990s), “turn over in his grave”, but after doing a quick google search on his name it appears he’s still alive, or was as recently as 2008. Anyone know his status? I don’t doubt he would have a LOT to say about this.

  • They would never have pulled this Elaine if Duncan were still in charge of the Newman Center. He was a formidable presence on the campus and not a man to brook any insult against the Church, as I noted when I was at the U of I. Judging from the spineless reaction of the Newman Center to this outrage, I guess the University decided that Catholics would just take this slap in the face lying down. Time to prove them wrong.

  • Will they fire Muslims for taking the same position?

  • “spineless reaction of the Newman Center to this outrage”

    I just hopped over to Thomas Peters’ blog and read the actual letter from Dr. Howell himself, explaining his side of the story.

    After reading it, I’m almost as ticked off at the Newman Center and the Diocese of Peoria as I am at the university! It APPEARS that they told him “Sorry, can’t help you, and by the way, we no longer need your services either, so good luck and don’t let the door hit you on your way out.” What’s up with that?

  • Do I have this right? A man teaches the 2,000 year old teachings of Holy Mother Church in a U course on Catholicism and is terminated for hate speech.

    But Obama supporters call for murdering crackers and their babies; and that’s free speech.

    Go figure.

  • If the “Institute of Catholic Thought” for which Dr. Howell worked is structured in such a way that an instructor can no longer work for the Institute if they no longer work for the university, well, isn’t this living proof that the Newman Foundation and the Diocese had better do something about that? If they don’t, then I will have to take back all my past comments about the U of I being a more “Catholic” university (because of the quality of its Newman Center, and of the ICT classes) than some Catholic in name only schools are.

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  • As a no longer proud alum of U of I it shows me that the motto Learning and Labor has left the learning behind. Universities understand only one thing now and that is money. Don’t just write comments on blogs, write the president of U of I at [email protected] If you are an alumm tell him you won’t send them another dime until this is fixed. Send emails to all of your alumni friends. Post this on all of your blogs.

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  • Msgr. Duncan is still alive. His health isn’t so great anymore, but he occasionally makes appearances at St. Johns. I know he was there as recently as last fall for a special event.

  • This is simply further proof that the so-called Diversity Movement is about anything BUT diversity. It is about conformity to a set agenda with dogmas as entrenched as those of the Catholic Church with whom they are at war. Homosexuality and the praise thereof top the list of that agenda.

    I was particularly awed by the following excerpt taken from the email sent by the offended students “friend” and the mention of “independent thought” : “Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing,” the student wrote in the e-mail. “Declaring that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another. The courses at this institution should be geared to contribute to the public discourse and promote independent thought; not limit one’s worldview and ostracize people of a certain sexual orientation.”

    Who is genuinely aware of the meaning of true public discourse here? Who is promoting genuinely independent thought? Who is being ostracized? It certainly isn’t the Diversity Movement, not is it the offended student, who is still a student, while the good Prof. is beating the streets looking for a job.

  • Food for thought received in an email from the Manhattan Declaration group:

    ” . . . may be one of the gravest, most insidious threats to religious freedom I’ve seen in my lifetime: What may be an attempt, at the very highest levels of government, to RE-DEFINE the very meaning of religious freedom, from “free exercise” to merely private worship.”

  • “Will they fire Muslims for taking the same position?”

    No, only anti-catholic bigotry is allowed.

  • Is there any anti-Buddhism, anti-Hinduism, anti-Islamic, anti-protestant? Why there is anti-Catholic Bigotry? If there is answer please answer me. Thanks!

  • GM: I think (bombs away!) that there is anti-Catholic bigotry because Holy Mother the Church (the minority that actually adheres to its precepts) is a major safeguard against secular humanist cultural/societal hegemony.

    And, if one believes (as a small minority of so-called Catholics believes) that we are IN this world, but not OF this world, one is less easily controlled and, thus, one is a threat to the statist, fascist far-left liberals intent on controlling aspects of our lives.

    And, because the majority of bishops, nearly all so-called catholic scholars, catholic university regimes, etc. have sold out to Obama and the socilaists. In this rounnd the bowl of pottage is full of human dignity, peace, social justice, etc.

    I could barf!

  • T. Shaw,

    Food for thought received in an email from the Manhattan Declaration group:

    ” . . . may be one of the gravest, most insidious threats to religious freedom I’ve seen in my lifetime: What may be an attempt, at the very highest levels of government, to RE-DEFINE the very meaning of religious freedom, from “free exercise” to merely private worship.”

    That is why the Obama administration and many liberals continue to say “Freedom of Worship” instead of “Freedom of Religion”.

    They want to eliminate faith completely from the public square by redefining certain precepts of the U.S. Constitution.

  • You can say that Catholic bigotry is alive at the University of Illinois, but your church is a most dangerous foe of civil and religious liberty. The Catholic Bishops descended on Congress and pressured our legislators to pass Obama’s health care bill, even though the nation could not afford it and is on the verge to ruin and bankruptcy. The Bishops have no respect whatsoever for the U.S. Constitution. All across the board the church is pushing its’ agenda, seeking to dominate and control. The papacy is battering down the walls of church-state separation every where she can. She is pushing to enforce Sunday observance upon all of Europe, and is pushing for Sunday enforcement in the U.S. also. The Founding Fathers enacted safeguards, but these are being dismantled. Persecution is returning as sure as day. The words of John Adams, our second president, are proving true, as liberty of conscience is more and more threatened, “I have long been decided in opinion that a free government and the Roman Catholic religion can never exist together in any nation or Country.” “Liberty and Popery cannot live together.”

  • Logan,

    The Catholic Bishops are U.S. citizens.

    You need to brush up on the constitution.

    The last time I read it we all have freedom of expression.

  • Actually Logan the Bishops opposed Obamacare due to fear of it funding abortion. However I have found that anti-Catholicism and rank ignorance tend to go together so I am unsurprised that you are misinformed.
    As to your comment about the Church attempting to enforce Sunday observance, that is a fantasy you either got from an anti-Catholic website or dreamed up in your fevered imagination.

  • Logan, if you are some sort of Christian, then you should prayerfully read John 8:32.

    If you aren’t Christian, then you should pray, “God, if you really exist, help me understand what you are telling me in this Scripture reading.” and then read John 8:32.

    God and His Church do not impose, He proposes – the rest is up to you. Know that your Father loves you, despite any feelings you have otherwise.

  • Logan,

    The wall of separation between Church and States is from a letter Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists, a religious minority fearing that they would not be able to worship the way they were inclined and Jefferson was assuring them that the first amendment to the Constitution protected their religion from interference by the federal government.

    Jefferson was an adept diplomat and knowing his audience, Baptists, he wrote in terms they would understand. The wall of separation was drawn from a sermon by Roger Williams, whose sermons would have been known well among Baptists in 1802.

    The particular sermon is titled, “The Garden in the Wilderness” preached in 1644. He said, “When they have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the Church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the candlestick, and made his garden a wilderness, as at this day. And that there fore if He will e’er please to restore His garden and paradise again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto Himself from the world.”

    Clearly Jefferson was referring to the fact that the wall separated the Church (the garden) from the State (the wilderness of the world) to protect the Church from the corruption of the political power. He was not even intoning that the State had a right to be ‘protected’ from the Church. In Jefferson’s time, even though it followed the Enlightenment, people of faith knew that religion formed men in virtue and virtuous leaders, men of character, were what was required to govern the Republic.

    Twisting this wall of separation to mean that religion has no place in public life is an atheistic Communist ploy. Probably concocted by the Communist front – the ACLU. It is a lie and intelligent people using the gift of human reason wouldn’t employ such a tired and weak argument.

  • “Will they fire Muslims for taking the same position?”

    An excellent question! Are similar courses in Islam being taught there?

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