Mike Adams
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to thank the Christian Legal Society (CLS) at Gonzaga University (GU) for hosting my visit. I know it was difficult to bring me here because the CLS is not recognized as an official club and, as such, had to raise its own funds for this event. The treatment of student organizations at GU is precisely the issue I wish to address this evening in my one-hour lecture.

Recently, I wrote an article criticizing GU for treating Christian organizations like second-class citizens and, in effect, bringing back segregation to a formerly respectable Catholic institution. I was shocked when the President of GU responded to readers of my article without responding to me directly by simply returning my phone calls. These calls were made to his office well before the article appeared.

President Spitzer has defended GU Law School?s refusal to recognize groups like the CLS and a Christian pro-life group by using the language of ?tolerance? and ?inclusion.? With regard to the pro-life group, he has responded to critics by saying that the problem of abortion is best approached from an eclectic perspective, rather than from a Christian perspective.

To suggest that a Christian approach to any particular problem is undesirable, simply because it is not ?inclusive,? calls into question the broader need for Christian education. If problems are best approached when not limited to a Christian perspective, it is difficult to understand why GU was established as a Catholic university. Isn?t calling oneself a ?Catholic University? more restrictive than calling oneself a ?Christian pro-life group? or, for that matter, a ?Christian Legal Society??

I am also perplexed by President Spitzer?s refusal to answer questions about the requirement that the President and the Board of Corporations of GU be Jesuit priests. Isn?t the Christian pro-life group?s desire to limit itself to a Christian membership more ?tolerant? and ?inclusive? than a requirement that they be Jesuit priests? Would President Spitzer be more willing to recognize a ?Jesuit pro-life group? or a ?Jesuit priest pro-life group??

To make matters worse, President Spitzer makes no effort to answer more general questions about the ill-treatment of members of the Christian pro-life group. They have made complaints of arbitrary harassment, which should be taken seriously in light of the treatment of the GU College Republicans (CRs) in November of 2003.

Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.