Life, liberty, and the avoidance of reality

Posted: May 31, 2005 12:00 AM
University administrators, professors, and student newspapers are becoming so detached from reality that one can hardly write satire about university life. Nor can one muster the sarcasm necessary to give these people the ridicule they deserve.

For example, I recently mocked the editors of UNC-Wilmington's student newspaper, The Seahawk, for wanting Christian organizations to sign a non-discrimination clause that would clearly trump constitutionally protected freedoms of religious expression. I jokingly suggested that the paper believes that "students who believe that rape and pedophilia are good must be allowed to join, vote, and hold office in a Christian fraternity."

Unfortunately, The Seahawk missed the sarcasm and gave this serious two-word answer: "They should." They even explained their position:

"The one incontrovertible legal point at the center of the Alpha Iota Omega debate is that AIO is an official student organization, funded by student fees. And, thank God - no pun intended - it's University policy that organizations funded by student fees should be open to all students, without discrimination of any kind. End of story."

The quote you just read shows why a university without a journalism school or a law school should not publish a student newspaper offering legal opinions. In the lawsuit filed by AIO against UNC, the Christians won an injunction against the school, just weeks before the Seahawk editorial was published. So much for that "one incontrovertible legal point."

The reason the lawsuit is going badly for UNC probably lies in the fact that those student fees came from the students in the first place. In this lawsuit, the federal judge clearly recognizes that the university's policy would require Christians who oppose rape and pedophilia to; first, pay mandatory student fees (another name for tax) to a government-run school, and then, second, agree to allow rapists and pedophiles (or anyone else) to join the group as a condition of getting the money back.

Thankfully the federal judge, unlike the UNC administration and these top-notch Seahawk reporters, understands that such a policy is absurd, not to mention totalitarian.

In addition to being bad journalists with a bad sense of humor, the Seahawk writers don't know much about history. This is shown in the following quote: "The bigger question (is): How paranoid do you have to be to believe that a group of neo-Nazis is going to take over your Christian fraternity? Clearly, if the university allows any student to join AIO, it will soon be overrun by baby-eating street thugs who (sic) vote out the Christian leadership."

That statement is problematic for two reasons. The first problem is one of historical ignorance.

In 1956, the United States Supreme Court rejected a demand by the State of Alabama that the NAACP make its membership lists public. In its first case to explicitly establish the "freedom of association," the Supreme Court declared: "It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the 'liberty' assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech."

This case was necessitated by the efforts of white racists (with beliefs similar to neo-Nazis) to invade and control the NAACP. But now, the "liberal" student newspapers and administrators are on the side of those white racists and segregationists. They are now fighting to undo the work of the Warren Court and the NAACP. Is it possible that they have gone so far left that they are now far right?

But there is a second problem with the position of the UNC system and the Seahawk. The problem is logical, rather than historical.

By saying that someone has to be paranoid to believe that anyone hostile to Christianity would ever want to join a Christian group, one is making the best possible case against the non-discrimination clause. Put simply, this is the same as saying that the policy is good because it will never actually have to be implemented.

To say that the best idea is the one which has the least application to reality is to understand the source of the problem. It shows that these students are merely parroting the ideas of their professors. Professors like to keep their ideas as far removed from reality as possible.

If that statement seems far-fetched, just image the headlines these students would have to run if they actually tried to eliminate every form of discrimination, rather than merely saying that they oppose every form of discrimination:

"UNC-Wilmington Discriminates Against Whites in Student Admissions"

"UNC-Greensboro Discriminates Against Sex Offenders, Fires Convicted Pedophile"

"Study Shows Athletic Department Discriminates Against the Obese"

"Extra! Extra! Read All About it! Phi Beta Kappa May be Excluding Dummies"

"Dwarves Systematically Overlooked in Basketball Try-outs, Read Our Exclusive Story!"

"Discrimination Against the Handicapped Persists: Blind Bus Driver Fired for Failing Physical"

"Time to Protest University Use of SAT and GPA to Exclude College Applicants!"

"How Grades Discriminate Against the Drunk and Lazy"

Will university liberals ever seek a "solution" to any of these "problems"? Of course not.

Today's university liberal is as apathetic about the consequences of his ideas as he is ignorant of their historical origins. But none of that matters to him. In his heart, he knows he's still right.