Berkeley Cancels Coulter Speech . . . Coulter Vows To Defy University

220px-Ann_Coulter_by_Gage_Skidmore_4Seal_of_University_of_California,_Berkeley.svgWe have been discussing the erosion of free speech on our campuses across the country through speech codes and increasingly violent protests. Conservative speakers are now routined denied the opportunity to speak on campuses by university officials who cite security concerns or by mob action preventing events from occurring.  The latest example  is Ann Coulter whose speech was cancelled at the last minute by the university even though she agreed to additional conditions set by officials.  Coulter however pledges to show up to speak regardless of the decision.  That could produce a confrontation with the university in its continued failure to protect free speech on its campus.

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Congratulations, They Have Been Accepted: Brown University Uses “Gender-Inclusive” Pronoun In Its 2017 Acceptance Letter.

220px-BrownU-CoA.svgGender_differences_male_femaleWe have previously discussed how some schools are abandoning the use of traditional pronouns to reflect a growing list of possible genders for students.  Brown University has pushed these changes even further in its acceptance letters this year by using “they” as the “gender-inclusive” pronoun.  Thus the letter refers to “their” achievements when referring to the singular admitted student.  For many, the use of such plural pronouns for a single individual is confusing and ungrammatical.  However, the Associated Press recently adopted the use of “they” as a preferred pronoun in recognition of transexual and other individuals who may not be comfortable with traditional genders.

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Closet Atheists: Study Suggests That The Number of Atheists In United States May Be As High As 26 Percent

socrates-1There is an interesting study out this week by two University of Kentucky researchers that the number of atheists may be twice as large as previously estimated.  The number may be closer to 26 percent — an fascinating prospect given the politics surrounding faith-based initiatives and policies.  As I have previously discussed, both parties have courted the religious vote and largely ignored the sizable number of Americans who are either agnostic or atheist.  That number may be finally reaching a political tipping point for office holders to heed their preferences for secular government and the separation of church and state.  We have previously discussed studies indicating that one out of four Americans may not believe in God. This study would seem to support those earlier estimates.

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Wellesley Students Editors Endorse Silencing Opposing Speakers And Declare “Hostility May Be Warranted”

Formal_Seal_of_Wellesley_College,_Wellesley,_MA,_USA.svgWe have been discussing the erosion of free speech on our campuses across the country.  Much of that trend is the result of faculty members who have taught that free speech itself is a threat to students.  The erosion of free speech has come in stages.  First, schools began to declare speech to be hate speech while creating “safe zones” from the exercise of free speech.  Second, schools began to enforce the ill-defined “microaggressions” to punish speech that is deemed as contributing to hostile environments or fostering stereotypes.  Now, faculty and students are increasing declaring opposing views as simply outside of the definition of free speech. That extreme argument was advanced this week by the editors of The Wellesley News who published a column entitled “Free Speech Is Not Violated At Wellesley.”  It is chilling message from the Editorial Board composed of Co-Editors in Chief Sharvari Johari and Michele Lee and opinion editors Maya Nandakumar, Genae Matthews, and Tabitha Wilson.  Once the champions of free speech, students have become the new censors and have adopted the perfectly Orwellian notion that the protection of free speech requires the denial of free speech. Continue reading

Catholic College Bans “Yoga” To Protect Against “Hindu Mysticism”

Benedictine_College_seal-1200px-YogaClassBenedictine College has found a budding cell of Hindu mysticism in its small Catholic college in Atchison, Kansas.  The school has gotten rid of the “yoga” classes to avoid the taint of a Hindu association. A new course will be renamed as “lifestyle fitness” and involving “stretching” to sanitize the classes of exotic religious influence.

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Faustian Bargain: Harvard Removes Reference To “Pilgrims” In 181-Year-Old “Fair Harvard” Hymn As “Insufficiently Inclusive”

We recently discussed how Harvard dropped its long use of “House Masters” as racially insensitive.  Now it is dropping the last line of its 181-year-old “Fair Harvard” hymn as “insufficiently inclusive.”  The line refers to “Till the stock of the Puritans die” and some feel the reference is problematic because it refers to white ancestors.  As many on this blog know, I am an ardent traditionalist and oppose such revisionist moves whether it is the removal of names or portraits or seals.  The change at Harvard is the result of the work of the Presidential Task Force for Inclusion and Belonging created by University President Drew G. Faust.  Frankly, it is a Faustian bargain for Harvard in further stripping away historical elements to satisfy contemporary attitudes.  I do not believe such changes are nearly as beneficial as teaching students to use history with an understanding and perspective of institutional change.

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