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Fordham Law Profs try to leverage Coulter dispute into funding for Vagina Monologues

Fordham Law Profs try to leverage Coulter dispute into funding for Vagina Monologues

… 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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Fr. McShane opened up a big can of worms.
Excellent post, Professor. Especially the quotes at the end. They reminded me that no matter how upset she got me during the primaries, I’ll always love the unique way Ann Coulter has of smacking down liberals and their hypocrisy.

    Ragspierre in reply to theresa1. | November 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

    McShame gave them the proverbial inch, and now they will exploit a few miles.

    This is how the Collective runs institutions and organizations. Look at the university system in California for an excellent example.

Might those certain responses be from Ann Coulter, Cornell grad, Arts ’84? Ha! The irony!

    turfmann in reply to walls. | November 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Last I checked, Michigan was a tier one law school, tenth perhaps?

    How many of these feminazis at Fordham can claim likewise?

    And it would surprise me greatly if they could out debate her – she goes toe-to-toe with anyone and everyone.

Am I wrong to suggest that the College Republicans made a very serious error in canceling Coulter’s appearance?

The one thing that you must never, ever do when confronted by progressives is to back down, or show weakness. They are nothing but bullies, full of bluster and not much else.

Hypocrisy is high on their list as well – Coulter’s rhetoric is hateful, but Singer’s is not.

You will also notice that Coulter does not suggest that any of the targets of her pen and tongue be killed for not agreeing with her, while Singer comes right out and says that human beings should be killed in furtherance of his principles.

There is no doubt in my mind where the real hate is here.

Perhaps if the College Republicans had as much testicular fortitude as Coulter (!) and a modicum of creativity they could have said “Fine, we object just as strenuously to your invitation of Singer, but we are not going to try and censor you. How about we combine the two events and have the two of them square off in a debate. You aren’t afraid to debate your point of view, are you?”

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to turfmann. | November 18, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Of course you are right that the College Republicans should have stood their ground. But that’s easy for us to say. The most powerful person associated with the university used his position and power to publicly shame them with the hope that others who don’t like Coulter would also exert pressure on them. Which they did. It must be hard for the College Republicans to stand on principle when it seems like the world is judging them poorly. The disgusting thing is that Father McShane gets to pretend that he stood for free speech and that the misguided College Republicans finally realized their error. The reality is that he abused his powerful position in a diabolical and manipulative way to silence free speech and get what he wanted.

    Coulter often presents her ideas in an attention getting incendiary way, but peal back the language and the ideas she is promoting are mostly traditional values – and she correctly blames the Democrat Party for embracing the New Left for the erosion in those values. Coulter’s ideas are not radical.

    Peter Singer’s ideas are truly radical. The man says that intentionally killing a new born infant should not be the same as murder because a newborn is not a sentient being capable of living without the assistance of others. He says humans having sex with animals is ok and not immoral under certain circumstance. Singer’s agenda is radical. His agenda is to turn on its head the moral system based on thousands of years of mostly Judeo-Christian values. He’s not considered radical by academic elites for questioning traditional views of morality. He’s a big thinker. Enlightened.

TrooperJohnSmith | November 18, 2012 at 9:12 am

As a Lesbian trapped in a man’s body, I demand my own programs, a special awareness week, a unique lapel ribbon and special access to female-only facilities. :mrgreen:

McShane and collegues: sick, sick souls and deluded minds.

They do not know GOD or His Christ.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | November 18, 2012 at 9:23 am

    That is, they do not know or FEAR (revere, submit to or follow) GOD or adhere to His Commandments/Word/Law.

    McShane is not a ‘Father’ or teacher of GOD’s Good and Holy Way.

    McShane’s (and Obama’s, et al) way is the way of deception, destruction and death. Homosexuality, abortion and promiscuity which he is promoting/affirming are linked to unhealthy, unhappy and unholy outcomes – violence, cancer, STDs. Male homosexual activity, according to the CDC carries 44 times increased incidence of HIV, 46 times the incidence of all other STDs. Both male and female homosexuality are correlated with depression, addiction, violence, suicides, diseases and physical injury. Same-sex attraction is not a normal alternative, but a symptom of emotional and interpersonal pathology.

All that being said, McShane (like the president of Notre Dame a few years ago, with the invitation to speak and the honorary doctorate) is cow-towing to Obama and seeking a heaping helping of federal dollars.

Higgins, Dunlap et al. are typical liberals, who come somewhere and seek to bend it to their rules and preconceptions, much as NYers have done to Western MA and VT, and MA residents did to NH. Of course, it doesn’t appear that they are getting much resistance out of alleged catholic collegians such as McShane.

The demise of the college campus as a place for open discussion of different ideas is apparently past.

But you do get an excellent background in diversity and queer studies!

I have no clue as to Professor Jacobson’s religious background, nor do I much care. I would congratulate the good Professor for doing more to clarify the extreme moral corruption at what is purported to be a leading Catholic Law School.

Hopefully, ethical principles and Freedom of Speech an be restored. Beginning with the immediate removal of Joseph M. McShane.

There are people who hate the Church who find it more effective to keep their positions in the Church, and so to do it damage.

Catholic universities demanded more autonomy in the 60’s, now many are just “in the Catholic tradition”, whatever that means.

Hilarious. These enlightened academics sponsor human and civil rights violations. Apparently, intelligence is poor evidence for morality; but, we already knew there is only a weak correlation between these attributes. In fact, the former is too often exploited to rationalize ignorance of the latter.

Charles Crawford | November 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

As we are in distinguished academic company, it is only right to note that the correct form is ‘reductio ad absurdum’

A few years ago, UCLA cancelled all funding for the college Republican club over some inconsequential issue. The president of that group appeared on the radio program of a conservative gay host named Al Rantel. As a result of that show, Mr Rantel’s listeners, and it was not a prime time show, contributed something like $35,000 to the club. From zero, it became the best funded campus political club.

An example to recall. Sadly, Al Rantel’s show is no longer on the air although I have heard his voice in a few commercials.

BannedbytheGuardian | November 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm

You guys. Are too afraid to go there & they eat you every time.

Hint – Bostoni Uni. Berkeley. Univ of Chicago. IRA. Sympathizers all & Boston an enabler.

There is no way this guy was not IRA,

The absolute. Irony. Is that in their Wonderland Pure Irish Catholic. Homeland. ALL abortions are banned .

Throw that at them.

NC Mountain Girl | November 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm

The Cardinal Newman Society, a group trying to put the Catholic back into Catholic colleges and universities, has been covering the Singer story at Fordham.

Given the through the looking glass world of the modern University the College Repubs were right in not bringing down upon themselves the rath of the righteous libs. Anything they would do to defend themselves would be labeled insensitive in one way or another. It is time for them, the CRs, to give it the old college try. I am thinking of something along the line of An Affirmative Action Indulgence Sale. This is something even the wayward Jusuits might understand, that is if the “elders” still understand or belive in history.
How about free condom sales where the LGBT community could indulge themselves at differing rates based upon a curve of discrimination?

Inviting Singer, who promotes killing of post-born newborns and babies under the age of 3, is the icing on the cake.

Any Bible-believing Commandment-obeying orthodox (small O) Jew or Christian conservative, who sends their child to Fordham or Notre Dame, deserves the communist/socialist/hedonist/sexual pervert/miscreant they get four or so years later.

Folks like Fr O’Brien may not be the norm for academia in the future. The Catholic Church is starting to push back against errant academics.