Providence College is a Catholic school and for many years had a reputation for being a conservative institution. All that has changed under onslaught from Social Justice Warriors.

When Literature professor Anthony Esolen recently wrote some op-eds questioning the way racial segmentation through diversity initiatives were implemented, and how it was undermining the unity of the church, he became the object of the progressive left’s two minutes of hate.

This is a free speech issue to be sure, but it’s about other things as well. Leftists on college campuses know they have power and they’re always pushing to see how far they can go with it.

Campus Reform reports:

PC faculty try to get conservative colleague fired for opinions

Students and faculty at a Catholic college are up in arms over a professor suggesting that Catholic unity is more important than cultural diversity.

In a September op-ed for Crisis Magazine, a Catholic publication, Literature professor Anthony Esolen argues that society’s increasing focus on the secular culture of ethnicity undermines unity within the Church.

“How is it possible for people ever to be truly at one with each other, unless they behold the same object of wonder, and lose themselves in that wonder?” he asks. “Is not that experience of God, whose ways are not our ways nor are his thoughts our thoughts, the single most powerful experience of difference, yet an experience that is also made intimate for us, one with us, by the incarnation of the Son of God?”

Esolen subsequently penned another op-ed in October arguing that certain types of Catholics, whether motivated by spiritual ambivalence or actual hostility toward the Church, make themselves into allies of the secular left and work to break down the traditions and institutions that do not align with modern secular values.

Esolen describes what happened next:

“Someone at school then got hold of them and, before I knew it, I was in the middle of outrage, coming mainly from a group of students who I believe have been misled by radical professors who have adopted politics as their god,” Esolen told The American Conservative. “The students accused me of racism, despite my explicit statements in the articles that I welcome people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, and despite my appeal, at the end of one of the articles, that they and their secular professors should join us in that communion where there is neither Greek nor Jew, etc.”

The offended students proceeded to organize a protest on campus, which Esolen said is “unheard of” at Providence.

“About 60 students marched around, while a female student led them around, shouting slogans through a bullhorn,” he asserted, recalling that she exclaimed something like, “What do we want? Inclusion! When do we want it? Now!”

The students then marched to the president’s office, where they demanded that Esolen be fired.

Why shouldn’t progressive students think they have the power to fire people? They did it at Yale.

Go Local Providence has more:

Providence College Professor Slams “Diversity Cult” on Campus, Faces Backlash

A Providence College professor has come under fire for questioning the college’s focus on diversity as a “political slogan” — and has found himself the subject of protest at the Catholic college.

Professor Anthony Esolen, who teaches Renaissance English Literature and the Development of Western Civilization at PC, where he started in 1990, penned the essay on the “watchword” of diversity at PC for Crisis Magazine, and questioned the college being a “committedly and forthrightly Catholic school.”…

“One of the points of my article was that I do not know what the faculty politicians mean when they use the phrase ‘cultural diversity,’ since, in our superb program in the Development of Western Civilization, we study a multitude of cultures, widely diverse from ours and from one another, nor are they all European, either. Yet that program is vilified all the time for its supposed uniformity, often by people who do not know the material on the syllabi,” Esolen told GoLocalProv.com on Sunday.

When asked if he felt his own free speech was in jeopardy, for articulating his defense of Catholic doctrine, Esolen offered his perspective.

“How could it not? I fear that we may end up with no greater freedom of speech and inquiry than what the professors at any radically secular college enjoy,” said Esolen.

After students marched on campus in protest, Providence College President, Father Brian Shanley released the following letter, text via The American Conservative:

Dear Members of the Providence College Community:

Yesterday I met with about 60 of our students who marched through campus and eventually came to Harkins Hall. Their primary source of complaint was the content of a pair of articles recently published by a member of our faculty, how it made them feel, and their frustration that there had been no response from the College or me. After dialoging with the students, I believe it is imperative for me to respond to their concerns.

Academic freedom is a bedrock principle of higher education. It allows professors the freedom to teach, write, and lecture without any restraint except the truth as they see it. It also gives them the freedom to express their opinions as citizens so long as it is clear that they do not represent the views of the institution with which they are affiliated. This freedom obviously extends to espousing views critical of their own college or university.

So when one of our professors writes an article accusing Providence College of having “Succumbed to the Totalitarian Diversity Cult,” he is protected by academic freedom and freedom of speech. But it must be understood that he speaks only for himself. He certainly does not speak for me, my administration, and for many others at Providence College who understand and value diversity in a very different sense from him.

Universities are places where ideas are supposed to be brought into conflict and questioned, so let us robustly debate the meaning of “diversity.” But we must also remember that words have an impact on those who hear or read them. When a professor questions the value of diversity, the impact on many students, faculty, and staff of color is to feel that their presence is not valued and that they are not welcome at Providence College. I have heard from many students about the pain that this causes. When student activists are described as “narcissists,” they understandably feel demeaned and dismissed. We need to be able to disagree with each other’s ideas without attaching labels to them or imputing motives that we cannot know.

At the same time that we value freedom in the pursuit of truth, let us value even more our fundamental imperative on a Catholic campus: to be charitable to one another. We may deeply disagree on any number of topics, but we should do so in such a way that respects those with whom we disagree.

Our Catholic mission at Providence College calls us to embrace people from diverse backgrounds and cultures as a mirror of the universal Church and to seek the unity of that Body in the universal love of Christ. Pope Francis has likened this communion to the weaving of a blanket, “woven with patience and perseverance, one which gradually draws together stitches to make a more extensive and rich cover.” He reminds us as well that what we seek is not “unanimity, but true unity in the richness of diversity.” Finally, Francis reminds us that “plurality of thought and individuality reflect the manifold wisdom of God when we draw nearer to truth with intellectual honesty and rigor, when we draw near to goodness, when we draw near to beauty, in such a way that everyone can be a gift for the benefit of others.” Amen.

Fr. Brian Shanley

Criticizing Catholocism and Christianity on campus? Apparently no problem. Criticising the Cult of Diversity? You’re a target of the SJW Diversity Police.

Featured image via YouTube.