That is why (in a future column) I will encourage students to sign up for the criminology professor’s class and defy her BC/AD ban. As of this writing, I have already obtained legal counsel for the students. That other part of the First Amendment mentioning free exercise of religion will be the subject of the federal litigation.
2. Questions about the historical claims of Christianity. It does not help matters that the professor responsible for the BC/AD ban also subscribes to wild conspiracy theories related to the origins of Christianity. She once told me that she thinks the Four Gospels were established as valid during a power struggle at the Council of Nicea. It is this kind of ignorance that leads to questions about whether Jesus was actually an historical figure. Those who tend to answer the question in the negative are naturally inclined to replace the BC/AD convention. Nonetheless, it is still the convention.
3. The Right to be Un-offended. Often, censors will ban words in an effort to preserve a so-called right to be un-offended. In the case of the BC/AD ban I have seen no evidence that anyone was ever offended by the now-banned letters. However, three students have now reported that they are offended by the ban itself. This is an example of how censorship generally backfires. And it is evidence that censors are often socially inept.
When one contemplates the ever-expanding list of words and ideas that are banned from college campus, the need for a caustic response is readily apparent. Strong language is often of good way of letting the censors know you won’t be intimidated. But more than strong language is needed in these times.
Just a few years ago I sent a warning to Georgia Tech letting them know they would soon be sued for a number of policies violating the First Amendment. They willingly abandoned an unconstitutional speech zone policy prior to summary judgment. But they chose to defend an unconstitutional speech code and unconstitutional manual telling gays which churches were “good” or “bad” on gay rights issues.
Because Georgia Tech did not take my warnings seriously they have lost more than just a pair of highly embarrassing First Amendment rulings. They are about to write a check for $300,000 to the attorneys I found to represent the students.
If some child porn advocate is reading this column he is free to consider it a “nasty” piece of journalism. If some UNC administrator is reading this column she is free to consider it a threat of litigation.