Tuesday, February 22, 2005


More Academic Hypocrisy: Gonzaga Law School

God and Man at Gonzaga. Mike Adams addresses the newest in a long series of Academic Elitism hypocrisy, now at the Catholic Gonzaga University Law School. Similar to Harvard and Yale's refusal to allow military recruiters on campus because they believe their "don't ask, don't tell" policy is discriminatory (despite the fact that it is the federal government's policy and has been held up in court on multiple occasions), Gonzaga thinks that Christian based groups are discriminatory (despite the fact that they are a Christian University). The Law School has refused to allow two Christian organizations official recognition (and funding) by the school since these two groups require their leaders to sign a statement of Christian Faith. Apparently the school feels this is somehow discriminatory. The real kicker is that Gonzaga University requires that their President and the members of the Board of Corporations all be Jesuit priests - apparently that policy is non-discriminatory.

Recently, I received a letter from two third-year law students at Gonzaga University (GU) School of Law. The students described your law school as one that is secular and which fraudulently holds itself out to be Catholic. They also stated they had experienced first-hand the school's trampling of the rights of Christian students. Specifically, they accused GU of violating the rights of their first Christian pro-life group.

As a preliminary matter, I understand that your Catholic law school has the words of Matthew 22:35-38 emblazoned on one of its walls: One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question, Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses? Jesus replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. For example, I understand that the only two Christian clubs recently formed at the law school have been refused official recognition. In addition, members of the unofficial Christian club at your Catholic law school have reported that promotional signs have been regularly defaced, and that members have been falsely accused of honor code violations.

I am sure you are aware that, as a private university, Gonzaga is technically exempt from granting students freedom of religious expression under the First Amendment. But you must surely be aware that this exemption functions primarily as a way for religious schools to practice and promote their unique religious faith in all facets of institutional governance.

So, why then is Gonzaga using its exemption from the First Amendment to punish its religious students? These students merely seek to advance the same beliefs the school's mission statements purport to advance.

The situation of forcing your Christian law students to pay mandatory student fees, which fund secular student groups, while their own club flounders in second-class status, is simply unacceptable. How long must your Christian students sit at the back of the bus? Have you considered separate water fountains for traditional Catholics?

Once again, we face another example of political correctness and elitism run amok on college campuses. At Gonzaga, a private, Catholic University, they are afraid to support the students who most exemplify their charge as a Catholic school. The school supports both a pro-choice club and a gay and lesbian club - both of which are clearly against Catholic law but are supported based on non-discrimination. However, when it comes to supporting a pro-Christian or a pro-life club, the school becomes oblivious to it's own policies and chooses instead to stifle these groups. I wonder how the school would feel if an African-American club required it's leaders to sign a statement of support for the black community. Would that not be discriminatory based on their arguments above. Probably not, because it would not be politically correct to refuse funding and school support to a group of black students. It appears that the policy of non-discrimination can only apply to groups who (according to the liberals in charge) are either minorities or have been discriminated against in the past. It seems impossible to them that one can discriminate against Christians. It is time that the elites learn that non-discrimination needs to be a policy which pertains to everyone - including Christians, whites and males. They cannot continue to arbitrarily dole out non-discriminatory rights based on some perception of past discrimination or under-representation. As I have said before, we expect this type of behavior from social activists, but the same behavior cannot be tolerated in the academic environment where all ideas - even the most ludicrous - must be heard, debated and critically evaluated. This is the basis for rational thought and serves to cultivate young adults into thoughtful people.

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