Thursday, August 04, 2005

First, they came for the history professors, and now they come for the Christian lawyers

Moonbat Central, a blog run by David Horowitz' crew at Frontpage Magazine and dedicated to exposing leftist insanity, brings up another round of campus stupidity at my alma mater Southern Illinois University. If the Jonathan Bean affair in the History Department wasn't bad enough, now the school has revoked RSO (Registered Student Organization) status for the Christian Legal Society. The student group has appealed on the grounds that they have never denied entry into the organization based on religion. The most interesting reading is here:
Incredibly, SIU claims the Christian Legal Society chapter’s requirement that its voting members and leaders adhere to basic Christian beliefs violates the university’s affirmative action policy. A campus group devoted to promoting jihad and terrorism would of course be permissible.
The last sentence is extremely inflammatory, but also sadly true. I remember a spring of 1999 rally for Palestine where the students in charge called for open violence towards Israel and its sympathizers.

The Christian Legal Society has not denied membership or leadership positions to those with differing religious beliefs according to the article. How many people of differing faiths have applied to join isn't known, but if you profess to be open to all faiths (or lack thereof) and no one shows up from those other groups, how can you be accused of not being welcoming? The welcome mat is out at the Christian Legal Society, and yet they're still told that they're discriminatory.

I'd like to ask all SIUC professors, students, and administrators to please pull their heads out of the sand and stop these attacks on academic freedom. Southern Illinois University is too good of a school to use such measures. Are you really so afraid of hurting other people's feelings that you'll deny RSO status to a group? Where's all that open debate that students are supposed to have? Where is the confrontation in the marketplace of ideas? For the sake of this alumnus, please stop ruining our school's good name.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The opposition to the Christian Legal Society is so ridiculous in light of the Diversity Office's lack of concern with anti-religious bigotry among the faculty, which is rampant but students put up with it. No workshops, panels, etc. about the issue. Can you imagine the same (equal?) mistreatment of a Jewish or Muslim group? (Do campus Muslim groups allow women to lead prayer?]

SIUC, like most campuses, has a Hillel Society to promote Judaism. Perhaps they are de jure open to everyone on their RSO statement, I don't know. What I do know is that the group promotes exclusively, the Jewish faith and identity. Fine with me. See the mission statement of Hillel: -- About Hillel:

Slogan: "Hillel is Jewish."

"The largest Jewish campus organization in the world, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life provides opportunities for Jewish students to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity through its global network of over 500 regional centers, campus Foundations and Hillel student organizations. Hillel is working to provoke a renaissance of Jewish life.

Hillel's mission is to maximize the number of Jews doing Jewish with other Jews. Hillel actively seeks to engage uninvolved Jewish students on their own terms: to provide them with opportunities to do Jewish that are meaningful and appealing to them. Students are empowered to take responsibility for their Jewish identity, whether they wish to participate in a community service project, express themselves artistically, participate in a social event, engage in informal Jewish learning or attend religious services. Any student may participate in Hillel - no membership is required. Hillel is committed to a pluralistic vision of Judaism that embraces all movements."

[Any mention of anything non-Jewish? What would be the point? If one were a diversocrat, she might point out that such statements and the general atmosphere were "hostile" to other religions because they didn't accept them as equals. Beware: This is the path of this gen's censors: "Hostile environment," harassment speak. Orwell would have had a field day]

Elephant Man