Most college professors look forward to the summer because May, June, and July are the three best reasons to become a professor in the first place.
But I have a busy summer ahead of me as I will finish my second book about the campus cultural wars. The book - "The Art of Cultural War: Rules for Campus Radicals" - is inspired by brave students like the College Republicans, or CRs, at Gonzaga University.
Last April, the CRs set up a table inside the Gonzaga student center in order to obtain signatures in support of the "Defend Marriage Amendment."
Next to their table, four other clubs set up tables accompanied by a large sign reading "Boycott Homophobia." Among these clubs was the Justice Club, whose advisor is Fr. Robert J. Egan (see my previous article, "East of Egan").
This was an obvious message from the Justice Club calling the CRs "homophobes" for supporting the amendment. Shortly thereafter, the Justice Club also distributed a pamphlet around the Gonzaga campus, which featured a cover showing two men kissing. The back of the pamphlet said that anyone finding the cover offensive was suffering from "homophobia."
Just before this incident took place, I published an article called "With liberty and comfort for all," suggesting campus conservatives mock liberals by filing "hate speech" and "discriminatory harassment" claims every time they were offended by liberal speech. One purpose of the article was to remind readers that these speech codes were passed by liberals in order to censor conservative speech.
But the article was also a call to action, which I hoped would persuade campus liberals to repeal these Orwellian, immoral, and usually unconstitutional speech codes. It would seem easier to repeal such a code than to take seriously a plethora of complaints from "offended" students, faculty, and staff.
Gonzaga's then-CR advisor Erin Bishop took my advice. She sent a complaint to the head of club activities, Anna Gonzales, requesting a formal apology from the four Gonzaga clubs involved in calling the CRs "homophobes." The complaint stated that they were "offended." It also said they were victims of "discriminatory harassment."
Anyone could see the humor in the complaint as well as the serious point Bishop was making about free speech. But Professor Robert J. Egan didn't.
Here are excerpts from his response to the complaint: