Monday, November 12, 2012

A Letter From Fr. Joseph McShane, S.J. Of Fordham University On Ann Coulter



The College Republicans, a student club at Fordham University, has invited Ann Coulter to speak on campus on November 29. The event is funded through student activity fees and is not open to the public nor the media. Student groups are allowed, and encouraged, to invite speakers who represent diverse, and sometimes unpopular, points of view, in keeping with the canons of academic freedom. Accordingly, the University will not block the College Republicans from hosting their speaker of choice on campus.

To say that I am disappointed with the judgment and maturity of the College Republicans, however, would be a tremendous understatement. There are many people who can speak to the conservative point of view with integrity and conviction, but Ms. Coulter is not among them. Her rhetoric is often hateful and needlessly provocative — more heat than light — and her message is aimed squarely at the darker side of our nature.

As members of a Jesuit institution, we are called upon to deal with one another with civility and compassion, not to sling mud and impugn the motives of those with whom we disagree or to engage in racial or social stereotyping. In the wake of several bias incidents last spring, I told the University community that I hold out great contempt for anyone who would intentionally inflict pain on another human being because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or creed.

“Disgust” was the word I used to sum up my feelings about those incidents. Hate speech, name-calling, and incivility are completely at odds with the Jesuit ideals that have always guided and animated Fordham.

Still, to prohibit Ms. Coulter from speaking at Fordham would be to do greater violence to the academy, and to the Jesuit tradition of fearless and robust engagement. Preventing Ms. Coulter from speaking would counter one wrong with another. The old saw goes that the answer to bad speech is more speech. This is especially true at a university, and I fully expect our students, faculty, alumni, parents, and staff to voice their opposition, civilly and respectfully, and forcefully.

The College Republicans have unwittingly provided Fordham with a test of its character: do we abandon our ideals in the face of repugnant speech and seek to stifle Ms. Coulter’s (and the student organizers’) opinions, or do we use her appearance as an opportunity to prove that our ideas are better and our faith in the academy — and one another — stronger? We have chosen the latter course, confident in our community and in the power of decency and reason to overcome hatred and prejudice.
Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

This type of Jesuit and leftist academics in general only claim to be interested in academic freedom when leftist speech or anti-Catholic speech is at issue. They are dangerous totalitarians in service of the Father of lies whose disguise is becoming ever more thin.

Margret Sanger Is Dangerous said...

Fr. McShane has shown us the folly of Liberation Theology. Coulter is a political satirist. His Liberation Theology ox is being gored. It would be wonderful to see a letter with such force and certitude the next time a Kennedy walks through the door. The Kennedy's advocate a 9 month old unborn baby to make it's way 2/3 out of the womb of its mother, someone then can use surgical shears to snip the baby's spine, legalized murder.

Anonymous said...

Coulter is a reckless, anti-intellectual hate-monger.


McShane is right--no censure, no withdrawal of the invitation. An open letter.

Anonymous said...

McShane is a doofus.

I'd bet Coulter's IQ is quite a bit higher than his. She's knowledgeable, sharp, witty and lighting fast.

If McShane had to compete and earn a living outside the comfy structures of the Society and the insular world of academics, he'd fail miserably. Coulter earns tons of money on her own, even with people such as the likes of McShane disparaging her unfairly.

Coulter is right: the liberal mob is endangering America and engages in racial demagoguery.

Anonymous said...

Jesuit Colleges across the country have pro abortion speakers ad nauseum and even grant them honorary degrees. Not a word is said about this outrage. Chris Matthews, pro abortion, pro gay marriage etc was granted an honorary degree from his Alma Mater Holy Cross, as just one instance, and we saw no outrage.
Selective outrage is pathetic.

Katy Anders said...

I think McShane takes the correct path, distancing himself from her more outrageous and, yes, hateful statements. When you're dealing with someone who thinks calling John Edwards a "faggot" and the President a "retard" is political discussion, you need to acknowledge the controversy.

He says: "[T]o prohibit Ms. Coulter from speaking at Fordham would be to do greater violence to the academy, and to the Jesuit tradition of fearless and robust engagement. Preventing Ms. Coulter from speaking would counter one wrong with another."

Sounds right to me.

Maria said...

Her rhetoric is often hateful and needlessly provocative — more heat than light — and her message is aimed squarely at the darker side of our nature.

I would argue that the message of the Society, in support of sodomy and abortion everywhere, is the message aimed at the darker side of our nature.

When might the pewsitters anticipate a modicum of outrage from Father General relative to the errant sons of Ignatius, (Catholic priest btw in case anyone is confused), who lobby day and night for sodomy, homosexual marriage, abortion, infanticide, women's ordination and all manner of sundry heresy? We exhaust ourselves in our efforts to convince the Society of Jesus that the truths of the Catholic faith are preferable to sins against nature and murder.

Oh well...

Anonymous said...

"We exhaust ourselves in our efforts to convince the Society of Jesus that the truths of the Catholic faith are preferable to sins against nature and murder."

Well, do take a break--you've been working very hard and we all appreciate it. We'll get back to you when we need you. Good bye for now.

Anonymous said...



Maria you are no daughter of Ignatius as you DID NOT ATTEND A JESUIT SCHOOL

I think you should have anal sex you will really enjoy it it is quite pleasurable for a man and a woman
if you were have sex on a regular basis you would be happier maria

Anonymous said...

Coulter is a dude.

Anonymous said...

The perverts show their true selves. Exhibit A: Anonymous @ 7:02 a.m.

Shades of the demonic in the post.

He hides many dark things in his closet, no doubt.

Anonymous said...

RE: Anonymous @ 7:02 a.m

It's like 7th grade all over again.