… and free condom distribution too!
Just when you thought the controversy over the Fordham Republicans rescinding their invitation to Ann Coulter couldn’t get any weirder …
A group of law professors at Fordham Law School exchanged high-fives over Coulter’s departure, then quickly segued into demanding that the University fund the Vagina Monologues, pro-abortion groups, and other oppressed, um, minorities at Catholic universities on the theory that if the University was willing to fund Coulter’s “hate speech,” it should fund the feminist agenda even if contrary to Catholic teachings.
As reported at The Fordham Observer, Coulter Controversy Prompts Fordham Law Faculty Member to Write Open Letter to McShane (emphasis mine):
Tracy Higgins, professor of law at Fordham Law, and Bridgette Dunlap, Human Rights Fellow at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, with support and input from other Fordham Law faculty members, have written an open letter to Fordham President Father Joseph M. McShane, S.J. in response to the funding of Ann Coulter’s Fordham visit, originally scheduled for Nov. 29 but since has been cancelled. The letter, circulated to Fordham Law faculty by professor of law Steve Thel, asks for a clear stance from the administration on its previously inconsistent support, both in promotion and funding policies, of student groups and events. The letter also asks for support from the student body through a petition form at the bottom of their address to McShane.
The group calls for “a clear statement of the basis for these funding and censorship decisions in light of their manifest inconsistency.” ….
It’s unclear how many Fordham law professors in addition to the three sponsors, or students, have signed the Open Letter. I requested that information from Profs. Higgins and Thel, but as of this writing, they have not responded.
The Open Letter was titled, Letter regarding funding for Ann Coulter visit, and reads in pertinent part (emphasis mine):
Dear President McShane:
We are members of the Fordham community writing about your response to the now cancelled Ann Coulter speaking engagement at Fordham. Though the College Republicans withdrew the invitation to Ms. Coulter in light of the outcry from their peers, the problem remains that the University was willing to allocate over $10,000 to this event even while denying funding to other student and departmental initiatives featuring speakers or topics with which it disagrees. We appreciate your statement distancing the University from Ms. Coulter’s hateful rhetoric and defending free speech and academic freedom. We remain deeply troubled, however, by the University’s inconsistency regarding which events it denies funding or otherwise censors on campus.
We would like you to explain how the decision was made to allow the College Republicans to use student activity funds to pay for the Coulter event while denying the use of such funds for other purposes deemed not to be in keeping with the University’s mission. For example, we understand that student groups may not use their budgets for the productions of the Vagina Monologues mounted by Fordham undergraduates each year to raise funds to combat violence against women. Along these same lines, Fordham’s anti-abortion club receives funding while pro-choice advocacy is censored. Why are these forms of student expression and association denied support while the Coulter event was not? Is pro-choice advocacy or the Vagina Monologues more inconsistent with the University’s mission than Coulter’s hate speech you rightly decry? Are they less entitled to respect in the free exchange of ideas in the Academy?
… In stark contrast to your position that prohibiting Ms. Coulter from speaking would “do violence to the academy, and to the Jesuit tradition of fearless and robust engagement,” the University recently prohibited the posting of flyers for Prescribe Fordham 2, an off-campus event sponsored by a number of academic departments at which volunteer doctors provided students with uncensored sexual and reproductive health counseling and services. The event, which was banned from campus, was aimed at addressing the problems that result from the restrictions the University places on the medical providers at its student health centers and the prohibition on condom distribution….
…. [T]he pattern of censoring Fordham academic departments, and women’s and LGBTQ student groups, makes the funding of Coulter’s speech especially troubling. We are not suggesting that Coulter or the group that invited her should have been censored. Rather, we would like a clear statement of the basis for these funding and censorship decisions in light of their manifest inconsistency.
There are, of course, many distinctions to be made, but it’s not my job to make them for Fordham. By trying to shame the Fordham Republicans over the Coulter visit, Father McShane dug himself a hole.
Father, I’ll let a certain someone give you some responses which, unfortunately, Fordham students will not get to hear:
“Liberals are more upset when a tree is chopped down than when a child is aborted. Even if one rates an unborn child less than a full-blown person, doesn’t the unborn child rate slightly higher than vegetation?”
“Democrats cannot conceive of “hate speech” towards Christians because, in their eyes, Christians always deserve it.”
“The New York Times and the rest of the mainstream media will only refer to partial birth abortion as “what its opponents refer to as partial birth abortion.” What do its supporters call it? Casual Fridays? Bean-with-bacon potato-chip dip?”
“Liberals are perennially enraged that Republicans are allowed to talk back.”
“This is liberalism’s real strength. It is no longer susceptible to reductio ad absurdium arguments. Before you can come up with a comical take on their worldview, some college professor has already written an article advancing the idea.”
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