Sacred Scripture and Church Doctrine
Eye of the Storm
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign vs.
the Federalist Papers, Scholarship, et alia
see here ... despite what James Madison stated in the Federalist
1, I wish to believe otherwise,
and in fact hold it to be not only an effrontery to me were I a pacifist,
but in and of itself an incitement to violence — and must, therefore, be
deemed "hate speech" specifically directed against pacifists. I demand that
we amend the Federalist Papers to reflect this by either omitting
the text or revising it to accommodate pacifists. That failing, I demand
any course on the Federalist Papers be removed from the curricula, or so
taught as to omit or revise this statement, among others, which I, together
with the pacifist community, construe as hate-speech offensive to pacifists."
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign appears to
side with me against Madison, the Founding Fathers, and the Constitution
itself. What is more, any professors of Law who, "violate university
standards of inclusivity", will be summarily terminated for any
breach of this standard that supersedes every other standard including truth
and scholarly objectivity — even if the university's
Academic Staff Handbook states that faculty "are entitled to freedom in
the classroom in developing and discussing according to their areas of competence
the subjects that they are assigned."
Any takers for a degree in
Constitutional Law from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign?
There is a queer, if consistent resonance between the above
two paragraphs — and the university's firing of Professor Ken Howell who
was brought on board to teach Introduction to Catholicism and Modern
Catholic Thought — only to be dismissed for doing so:
on teaching a class on Catholicism is to teach what the Catholic Church
teaches," Howell said in an interview with The News-Gazette in Champaign.
"I have always made it very, very clear to my students they are never
required to believe what I'm teaching and they'll never be judged on
The reason for his summary dismissal? He taught authentic
Catholic doctrine concerning homosexual activity as intrinsically sinful
and disordered — a 2000 year old doctrine — that offended the "sensitivities"
of a homosexual student:
"An unidentified student
sent an e-mail to religion department head Robert McKim on May 13,
calling Howell's e-mail "hate speech." The student claimed
to be a friend of the offended student. The writer said in the e-mail
that his friend wanted to remain anonymous...Teaching a student about
the tenets of a religion is one thing," the student wrote. "Declaring
that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another." ...
Ann Mester, an associate dean at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,
said Howell's e-mail justified his firing."
This is both troubling and frightening. Not
only does it violate the free and critical examination and exchange
of ideas upon which the enterprise of higher education is presumably predicated
— as distinct from indoctrination, or the promotion of "acceptable
ideas" — but it makes ideological coercion a matter of policy.
In other words, the coupling of ideology with policy supersedes
the primacy of education, co-opts it, eventually supplants it, and then
rigorously enforces it. Education, in a word, is the extension of ideology,
and ceases to be the free and critical assessment of ideas. The distinction
between ideas and ideology is more than morphological — it
is stringently punitive. Associate Dean Ann Mester, for one, is clearly
an advocate of this rigorous enforcement.
What is more, if the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign's
principal focus — as an institution of higher learning — is enforcing
"standards of inclusivity" to the exclusion of
historical and objective truth and refuses to teach what is in fact the
case, and not what it would prefer the case to be, then its academic
credentials are worthless and the diplomas it grants (at least vis-à-vis
the world of actual scholarship) are so many pieces of toilet tissue on
a single ply roll at about $25,000 per sheet. We hope the analogy does not
make you flush ...
This, at least, is the background for the actual
state of affairs — rather than the state of affairs that we would prefer
to be the case. We ourselves would that the University of Illinois
at Urbana–Champaign turn out scholars rather than ideologues, that a genuine
correspondence exist between "learning" and primary sources, and that facts
superseded sensitivities. But what we wish were the case really doesn't
matter, does it? After all, we are not employees of the university, and
are exempt from fictions-by-policy.
Sacred Scripture and Church
Doctrine as "Hate Speech"
The most urgent question at hand is this: does, in fact,
the enunciation of an historical or even a hypothetical doctrine
(ecclesiastical or otherwise) which conflicts with my sensitivities and
personal beliefs eo ipso constitute "hate-speech" because it does
not accord with my own sensitivities or beliefs?
Of course I am free to believe that the 19th
Amendment 3 infringes on my sovereignty as a male. I may insist
that it displeases me, and that its legislative articulation implicitly
makes me a "male chauvinist" with all the negative connotations and social
sanctions that attend it. Shall I then insist that the 19th Amendment
never be invoked in a scholarly inquiry into Constitutional Amendments?
Do I have the right — by "standards of inclusivity" — to demand that the
Amendment be amended to accommodate my sensitivities as a male? Or that
failing, demand that the 19th Amendment be expunged from any study of Constitutional
Law? Shall I deem the primary source "hate speech" because it implicitly
disapproves of (and legally infringes upon) my presumed male chauvinism?
Is the Constitution itself implicitly a body of "hate-speech"?
That the Catholic Church and Sacred Scripture teach that
homosexual acts are intrinsically and gravely sinful in all circumstances
and at all times is a teaching with an historical continuity of 2000 years
is incontestable. If you dispute this, we suggest that you return to "primary
sources" (e.g. Sacred Scripture, and authentic Catholic teaching)
that have apparently been concealed from you "by policy". Of course you
are free to believe that Holy Scripture and Catholic Doctrine do
not teach this. You are also free to believe that the Moon is made of Green
Cheese. Neither, however, are corroborated by primary sources. It may enrage
you that astronomical research and empirical evidence reveal that the Moon
is composed of basalt rock and other minerals rather than Green Cheese.
It infringes upon your illusions and "damages" your childish imagination
— so much so, that you go to the head of the Physics Department at the University
of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and proclaim your indignation and your insistence
that such things, damaging to your sensitivity and that of others who choose
to believe that the Moon is made of Green Cheese, be excluded from study,
and that any faculty member who indulges in primary sources be dismissed
for transgressing "standards of inclusivity".
In the real world (that is to say, the world outside the
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign — and other green-clad pretensions
to disinterested learning), you would be dismissed as cognitively-impaired
and quite possibly insane. But at the Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, your
"sensitivities" — not your academic aptitude — would prevail, and any study
of the Moon would systematically exclude any suggestion that its composition
is anything other than Green Cheese. Of course you can believe what
you wish, — but wishing it does not make it so.
Any volunteers for the next Space Shuttle with a graduate
in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign behind the
Geoffrey K. Mondello
for the Boston Catholic Journal
Printable PDF Version
"Is the power of declaring
war necessary? No man will answer this question in the negative. It
would be superfluous, therefore, to enter into a proof of the affirmative."
James Madison, Federalist Papers No. 41
3 "The right of citizens
of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United
States or by any State on account of sex."(19th Amendment.)