If you are reading my column, you are familiar with the claim that campus administrators often seek to deprive young conservatives of the ability to defend their beliefs in the marketplace of ideas. But you may not have heard the claim that campus administrators often deprive young leftists of the ability to defend their beliefs in the marketplace of ideas. The latter contention is the subject of the present column. It begins with a salient example from my own campus, UNC-Wilmington.
Here on my campus, a bold Christian organization called Ratio Christi often seeks to open up the marketplace of ideas in an environment sorely lacking in intellectual diversity. They seek to do this in at least two important ways:
-First, when people who have different beliefs bring in speakers and sponsor programs, they go and ask questions in a respectful manner. I’ve never heard a single report that they have been disrespectful in any way when they attend the events of their opponents.
- Second, when they bring in their own speakers and sponsor their own programs, they invite the opposition so people can ask questions in a respectful manner.
Recently, Ratio Christ decided to invite four “opposition” groups to my forthcoming lecture on abortion on February 26th. The groups they chose were the College Democrats, People Recognizing Individual Differences Exist (PRIDE), National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), and the Women’s Studies Student Association (WSSA).
Predictably, none of the organizations accepted the invitation to attend. Their responses speak volumes about the pathetic state of discourse on our college campuses. The first response is from the College Democrats:
Our party’s views do not align with the views of the speaker. Therefore, we as an organization will not be attending.
This is unfortunate because campus conservatives have taken a different approach. For example, several recent university events have endorsed the pro-choice view – even to the point of celebrating late-term abortion. Those events were attended by College Republicans, Pro-Life Libertarians, and, as mentioned previously, members of Ratio Christi.
As disappointing as the Democrats answer was – it paled in comparison with the joint response offered by PRIDE, NARAL, and the WSSA. I am reprinting portions below - followed by my usual incite-full commentary:
We have no desire to hear from Mike Adams who has routinely mocked us and engaged in hostile and belittling behavior towards our organizations and beliefs.
This is actually a half-truth. I have not engaged in any hostile and belittling behavior towards PRIDE, NARAL, and the WSSA. However, it is true that I have routinely mocked gay pride, pro-abortion, and feminist groups – not just at UNC-Wilmington but also throughout the UNC system. The reason for that is simple: They deserved it.
For example, UNC feminist and women’s studies groups have routinely invited mockery by hosting masturbation workshops, orgasm awareness weeks, and bondage and S&M training seminars. They have set up vibrator museums and even walked across campus dressed as giant sex organs. I plead guilty to the charge of giving in to the temptation to mock their public idiocy. That is why we invited them to a serious event dealing with a serious issue. We think they can do better than to act like over-sexed frat boys.
We have no desire to attend any event sponsored by your organization and its narrow beliefs steeped in religious bigotry and intolerance.
This really requires no further explanation. Just a brief translation: We are too open-minded to be open to your point of view; we are morally superior to you because we are not religious; and we are too tolerant to tolerate your intolerance.
Each of the leaders of PRIDE, NARAL and WSSA ask that you no longer contact us directly. As a student organization, your events are on the CAIC calendar, part of Hawk e-News, and disseminated in a variety of other ways, which is sufficient for us to be aware of them. We do not need, nor want, these invitations. If you continue to attempt to contact any of us, we will take further action.
That alone was worth the price of admission, wasn’t it? With straight faces (or perhaps gay faces) these more-tolerant-than-thou leftists actually threatened to take action against a group merely for inviting them to a speech and Q&A. This brings me to the original reason for writing this column: to show how campus administrators often deprive younger leftists of the ability to defend their beliefs in the marketplace of ideas.
Put simply, these kids were not born with the anti-Christian gene. Nor were they born with a narrow-minded gene or an intolerant-of-other-ideas gene. They were taught to be intolerant, narrow-minded, anti-Christian bigots by the UNC administration. They have been told since the very first day of campus orientation that they have a right to be comfortable at all times. They have been told they have a right to be shielded from opposing views. They have been handed a sword in the form of a campus speech code, which they believe allows them to attack those who would dare to invite debate.
The university experience is not supposed to tell students what to believe. It is supposed to teach students how to defend their beliefs. This cannot be done as long as students stay hidden in the protective womb of the campus diversity center and the designated safe zone. At some point, they need to become intellectually viable.