Precinct 333

Monday, July 05, 2004

Post-Dispatch: Abortion trumps religious mission, academic freedom

A couple of weeks back, I blogged here and here about the decision of Catholic University of America to deny recognition to a campus chapter of the NAACP due in part to the parent organization's support for abortion. Well, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has decided to weigh in on the decision in an editorial.

I'll give you one guess as to which side they favor.

And that's fine, since there are certainly good arguments out there for recognizing the group, even though I think the better ones are on the side of refusing recognition. But as the editorial points out,
A university is supposed to be a place where students are exposed to and are allowed to explore ideas, including unpopular ones that might be at variance with the values of the university itself.

I can agree with this. Students should explore those ideas, and decide for themselves whether or not to embrace them. And no doubt they are explored in the classrooms of Catholic University. That is a hallmark of academic freedom, something that Catholic University has long been noted for protecting. It may be the only educational institution officially sponsored by the Catholic hierarchy in this country, but that does not make it parochial in the sense of being narrowly focused.

The editorial goes on to say that
Catholic universities have every right to weigh moral issues in the context of church teachings.

Gee, that's right neighborly of them to concede that the same First Amendment that permits them to publish this piece of trash on their editorial page alows Catholics and their institutions the right to exercise religious freedom in the context of discussions of morality.

But the very next sentence is where they whipsaw us with this gem:
But that shouldn't mean making abortion a litmus test for deciding which student organizations and speakers will gain approval from school officials.

In other words, say what you want, but don't you dare act like you mean it. The writer argues it is mandatory that school money and resources be used to bring in speakers and sponsor organizations which contradict the mission of the univerity. In short, Catholic University shouldn't behave like it is Catholic!

Of course, the conclusion of the editorial makes it clear that the liberal Sacrament of Abortion trumps all else, pontificating that
Women should and do have the right to safe abortions. That's the law. It's a right that no university or church can take away or should be afraid to debate within its walls.

The Post-Dispatch has spoken ex cathedra. All must give assent.


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