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Taxpayer-funded Professors Desperate to Save Abortion, Rant at Students

Posted on April 19th, 2013 Colleges and Universities,Prolife | 2 Comments »

What is going on at the University of Buffalo? And what is the pro-life community doing about it?

By Catherine Glenn Foster, Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Counsel

This week, a pro-abortion professor went berserk on campus, railing at police officers and pro-life students until she was dragged away in handcuffs.  She claimed that their pro-life display was “profane” and that the images were “swearing” to her. As she screamed at the students, she yelled, “Where does it say I can’t use the f*** word in public. I can swear because that’s part of my vocabulary.” Apparently that was the most logical argument she could muster to combat the growing culture of life.

Other fringe professors wrote to “condemn” the pro-life display, calling it “crass.” They proceeded to equate pro-life students to a lynch mob, apparently missing the irony of labeling as murderers the students least likely to engage in murder.

Pro-abortion protesters accused pro-life students of hate speech and terrorism. They plastered up signs with the face of the University of Buffalo Students for Life (UBSFL) president, and the words “Indecency. Ignorance. Intolerance.” One protestor even told him that he “should have been the preborn baby on the board, decimated.”

Appalling, yes. But this is just the latest chapter in the publicly funded University of Buffalo’s dubious track record when it comes to protecting the First Amendment rights of pro-life students.

It took them ten months to finally grant the University of Buffalo Students for Life (UBSFL) group preliminary club status.

In May 2011, UBSFL’s Cemetery of the Innocents Display of crosses was vandalized – once, and again, and again. Each time, the crosses were pulled up, and crude messages such as “LOL Babies” were scrawled alongside.

In October 2011, another Innocents Display on the University of Buffalo campus was ripped apart by pro-abortion vandals. Arrests were made, but the next day a mob of angry women tore the crosses up yet again.

And in 2012, the UB Amnesty International chapter excluded pro-life students from a human rights event.

What would happen if pro-life students even thought about using the language hurled their way by grown-ups who are supposed to be educating them?

As Paul Ryan recently declared, “Yes, our side is held to a higher standard. But we’ve bound ourselves to a higher standard. The right to life is a higher standard. And it’s one we should be proud of.”

And so, pro-life students and adults will not “sing a little louder” to drown out the cries of the oppressed. We will not be afraid to speak truth to power. We will not be cowed into submission by the rantings of an Ivory Tower, pro-abortion professor.

We will shed light on the dirty secrets and atrocities of abortion businesses nationwide. “We are winning the debate on inclusion and the Right to Life.” We are the pro-life generation. And we will lift our voices with the truth.

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Illegal discrimination against Christians on public university campuses is pervasive and must be confronted. The Constitution has something to say about this—and so should you. Speak Up

This Is a Test. This Is a Test of Academic Freedom at Brooklyn College.

At Brooklyn College this week, it seems that everyone is talking about academic freedom.  A student group, Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine, organized an event highlighting the “BDS” movement, which advocates for a boycott of Israel, urges people to divest companies that do business in Israel, and promotes sanctions against Israel.  Holding this event in Brooklyn naturally sparks controversy, and the controversy only grew when the political science department chose to co-sponsor it.

Hoping to quell the critics, President Gould issued a letter outlining her commitment to free speech and academic freedom.  She observed that “[s]tudents and faculty . . . have the right to invite speakers, engage in discussion, and present ideas to further educational discussion and debate.”  She noted that the “mere invitation to speak does not indicate an endorsement of any particular point of view, and there is no obligation, as some have suggested, to present multiple perspectives at any one event.”  Indeed, this is, in her mind, the very purpose of a university:  “Providing an open forum to discuss important topics, even those many find highly objectionable, is a centuries-old practice on university campuses around the country.  Indeed, this spirit of inquiry and critical debate is a hallmark of the American education system.”  Thus, she emphasized that “it is essential that Brooklyn College remain an engaged and civil learning environment where all views may be expressed without fear of intimidation or reprisal.”

Not only is this her position, but the political science department also “fully agrees and has reaffirmed its longstanding policy to give equal consideration to co-sponsoring speakers who represent any and all points of view.”  Those faculty also assured students that they “welcome—indeed encourage—requests to co-sponsor speakers and events from all student groups, departments, and programs.”

While many, such as Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School, may be skeptical, students should embrace the tremendous opportunity the President just gave them.  They now have an open invitation—from the President herself—to put the College to the test.  Does it really treasure academic freedom?  Does it really celebrate vigorous debate of “any and all points of view”—even controversial or “highly objectionable” ones?  Is it really an “environment where all views may be expressed without fear of intimidation or reprisal”?  Or is all of this just empty rhetoric administrators trots out when citizens object to leftist or politically correct ideas?

Well, as they say, actions speak louder than words.  Students can find out what the College really believes by organizing a whole series of events—complete with speakers and panel discussions—in keeping with the “BDS” theme:

Students United for Israel could call for a boycott of the PLO, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other groups that seek to destroy Israel; for the divestment of entities that financially support those racist—and often terrorist—groups; and for sanctions against those entities.

The Newman Catholic Club could call for a boycott of states that endorse same-sex “marriage” (including New York), for the divestment of groups that support same-sex “marriage,” and for sanctions against Catholics who stray from the Church’s teachings on this subject.

Chinese Christian Fellowship could call for a boycott of China due to its forced abortion policies and religious persecution, for the divestment of companies doing business in China, and for sanctions against China.

Brooklyn College Intercollegiate Studies Institute Group could call for states to boycott the Obamacare exchanges, for the divestment of groups that supported Obamacare (e.g., AARP), and for sanctions against Obama administration officials for implementing Obamacare.

The Coptic Christian Club could call for a boycott of the Muslim Brotherhood due to its persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, for the divestment of companies that do business in Egypt, and for sanctions against that country.

Intervarsity Christian Fellowship could call for a boycott of Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions, for the divestment of all businesses that support Planned Parenthood (e.g., Susan G. Komen for the Cure), and for sanctions against Planned Parenthood because of its taxpayer fraud.

Once these groups have organized their own BDS events and invited the speakers, they should ask the political science department—or even the President’s Office—to serve as co-sponsors.  Perhaps it could even be the College’s theme for the semester.

The responses to such invitations would be telling.  If the President and the political science faculty were to decline for one lame excuse or another or if they were to insist on a more “balanced” presentation, students could simply say, in the monotone the National Weather Service patented:  “This is a test.  This is a test of academic freedom at Brooklyn College.”  Then they could call a group that really believes in academic freedom—the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Author

ADF Litigation Staff Counsel ADF Center for Academic Freedom

Roe v. Wade and the “Inevitability” of Abortion Rights

Posted on January 25th, 2013 Prolife | 2 Comments »

It was inevitable that Americans would accept legalized abortion imposed by the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. That’s what I constantly heard during my three years at the University of Minnesota Law School in the late 1970′s.  The few pro-life law students and I felt great apprehension to raise our hands in class and express even a hint of doubt about the constitutional reasoning of Roe v. Wade, or question whether the decision was morally good.  Abortion supporters stood vigilant and pounced on any ”anti-women” dissent challenging the supposedly great and enlightened advance wrought by Roe v. Wade.   We were told that pro-lifers were on the wrong side of history.  Public acceptance of abortion was inevitable, inexorable, we heard at law school in the 1970′s,  as they say today about redefining marriage.  Give up.  Resistance is futile. Opposition to abortion, they confidently predicted back then, would soon die out because, it is obvious that young people, and everyone else, would grow increasingly pro-abortion.

Except, that’s not what has happened.  They have been woefully (Roefully?) wrong.  The pro-abortion culture today is crumbling and teetering, not solidifying.  Tens of  thousands march for life each January in Washington D.C.  Polls show young people, raised from day one under the reign of Roe v. Wade, are increasingly pro-life on abortion. Students for Life of America has over 2000 college students coming to its annual conventions, and they turn away young people each year because they need a bigger place to meet.  Prolife initiatives at state legislatures have the momentum as they introduce new laws restricting abortion.  Business owners are willing to go to court to protect their rights not to fund abortions under Obamacare.   Those who support abortion now defend it, no longer as a moral triumph advancing women and human progress generally as they did in the 1970′s, but as a necessary evil.

So how did that change happen?  From the beginning, persistent pro-life Catholics spoke against the moral evil of abortion, even in the face of opposition and politicians defecting to the abortion side.   These early pro-life leaders convinced evangelical leaders like Francis Schaeffer, Dr. C. Everett Koop, James Dobson and others to teach Protestants about the truth about abortion.  In the 1980′s and 90′s, the ultra sound machines allowed us to see the unborn children in the wombs, and no one could honestly deny their humanity.  And other leaders with a broad vision, like Pope John Paul II, worked to build a culture of life, changing peoples’ attitudes about abortion.  And that change is happening.

I see it when I visit law school campuses to speak. I am free to say, “Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and its shoddy reasoning is embarrassing,’ with hardly anyone speaking against me.  Law students today can now openly question the morality of abortion without being shouted down as a bigot.  I could not have done that in a law school 30 years ago.  The courageous advocacy by the early pro-lifers has paid off, and people are changing their minds on abortion.  And when culture changes, altering the law is not too far behind. So, do not lose heart.   Like running water flowing over stones in a stream bed, perseverance for moral truth triumphs over “inevitable” destructive moral wrongs.

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Watch the 2013 SFLA National Pro-life Conference LIVE online on Saturday, 1/26/2013 at www.SFLAlive.org

The 2013 Students for Life of America National Conference is a one-day event that provides education, training, and opportunities to network with fellow students and national pro-life leaders who know how vital campuses are to the pro-life movement.

Author

ADF Senior Vice President; Senior Counsel - University Project

Speak Up University – Friday News Roundup

Posted on January 25th, 2013 Prolife | No Comments »

The annual March for Life marked the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. This week’s roundup items all have a life element.

Finally, while this video was made shortly after President Obama’s first inauguration, it is still relevant today.

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Psychologists: “We’re Tolerant, Unless You’re Conservative”

Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reminded the nation that “[t]olerance is a two-way street.”  But a new study suggests that academics—particularly psychologists—have yet to get the message.  Not only do they overwhelmingly tilt towards the left end of the political spectrum, but they also admittedly discriminate against conservatives. 

In this study, two researchers from Tilburg University asked psychology faculty and graduate students to describe their own political beliefs.  In fact, they did so twice, and they asked participants to describe their views on economic, foreign policy, and social issues.  The results from both surveys resoundingly confirmed that psychology faculty tilt way left. 

The tilt is so pronounced that the researchers concluded conservatives are a “substantial minority” among psychologists because 30–40% are not liberal on economic or foreign policy issues.  Only in a world where over 90% describe themselves as leftists on social issues and 85% rate themselves as leftists overall could 70% leftist domination be considered “diverse.”

Of course, some might respond to this by saying, “So what.  This has no real impact on the day-to-day life of professors.”  But the research tells a different story.  In reality, conservative faculty members face a hostile environment on campus.  To quote the researchers:

The more conservative respondents were, the more they had personally experienced a hostile climate. . . .  The more liberal respondents were, the less they believed that conservatives faced a hostile climate. 

What accounts for this difference? 

This was driven entirely by more conservative respondents’ greater personal experience of a hostile climate. . . .  This suggests that the hostile climate reported by conservatives is invisible to those who do not experience it themselves. 

But what created this leftist imbalance and the hostility towards conservatives?  Could it be, as Dr. Haidt suspected in 2011, that the profession engages in rampant discrimination?  Or could it be, as some have suggested, that “liberals may be more interested in new ideas, more willing to work for peanuts, or just more intelligent, all of which may push them to pursue the academic life while deterring their conservative peers”?  Or could it be that “the field of social psychology self-selects for liberals and might even create them?”  The research points to discrimination.

The researchers asked participants “how likely they would be to discriminate against conservatives” when evaluating papers, grants, symposium invitations, and job applicants.  They also asked participants how likely their colleagues would be to discriminate against conservatives in the same areas.  The results were disturbing.  Almost 20% admitted they would at least be somewhat inclined to discriminate against conservatives when reviewing papers.  Almost 25% would discriminate in reviewing grants and almost 40% would when making hiring decisions.  And they consistently thought their colleagues were even more likely to discriminate.

As the researchers concluded:

Thus, willingness to discriminate is not limited to small decisions.  In fact, it is strongest when it comes to the most important decisions, such as grant proposals and hiring.  And the more liberal respondents were, the more willing they were to discriminate. 

Of course, the results of this study will not come as news to students who have experienced professors that inject their political views into class or to students who feel pressured agree with those views to get a good grade.  Nor will they surprise conservative professors like Dr. Mike Adams (who was denied a promotion because his colleagues vociferously disliked his conservative beliefs), Kenneth Howell (who was fired for teaching Catholic theology in a class about Catholic theology), June Sheldon (who was terminated for answering questions about homosexuality in a genetics class), and Theresa Wagner (who was not hired because of her pro-life views).  But they should come as a disappointment to those who think that we should—in the words of Thomas Jefferson—“follow the truth wherever it may lead.”  For as the researchers noted, “as offensive as it may seem to many social psychologists, believing that abortion is murder does not mean that one cannot do excellent research.”  And these results should also disturb the millions of Americans who think that universities should serve as a “marketplace of ideas,” where all perspectives are welcome and addressed on their merits. 

 

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ADF Litigation Staff Counsel ADF Center for Academic Freedom

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