A few days ago, I had a conversation with a neighbor who revealed to me that, insofar as she would like to exercise her right to bear arms, she doesn’t consider herself especially “liberal.” For this reason, she would eventually like to leave our painfully blue state of New Jersey.
Yet during the course of our exchange, she also shared that her daughter is away at college. I responded: “I hope that she doesn’t come home hating you.” I was half-joking, of course, but only by half. It was then that I told her that, being an academic dissident, I make it my mission to inform otherwise uninformed parents of what their children can expect to experience during their time in today’s university.
A glance at a couple of recent events from two schools, one secular, the other Catholic, suffices all too easily to leave an indelible impression of the contemporary academy:
At George Washington University, just days after much of the Christian world celebrated Easter, a training session was held for faculty and students. The purpose of this “diversity workshop” is to expound upon the thesis that Christians “receive unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country.”
The seminar is titled: “Christian Privilege: But Our Founding Fathers Were All Christian, Right?!” According to the seminar description, Christians have “built-in advantages” over non-Christians.
Upon their completion of the workshop, participants should be able to “describe what is meant by privilege overall and white privilege especially;” “describe the role of denial when it comes to white privilege;” “differentiate between equality and equity;” “list at least three examples of Christian privilege;” and “list at least three ways to be an ally with a non-Christian person.”
Over at Providence College, a Dominican-founded, Roman Catholic institution, the school has succumbed to what Anthony Esolen, one of its former faculty members, characterizes as the “Totalitarian Diversity Cult.” Esolen is a practicing Catholic, a scholar who famously translated Dante’s Divine Comedy, who left Providence nearly a year ago because of what he insists is its abandonment of its Catholic Christian mission.
A year later, it no longer seems possible to doubt Esolen’s analysis.
Michael Smalanskas is a senior at Providence and a Resident Advisor. He is also a conservative Roman Catholic. Consistent with his job description, Smalanskas, shortly before spring break, placed a flyer on a dormitory bulletin board. It read: “Marriage: The Way God Intended It…One Man, One Woman.” The flyer also included quotations affirming marriage from both Pope Francis and the Gospel of Mark.
Smalanskas informed National Review that his intention in hanging the flyer was “to expose a double standard on campus that certain positions—mainly conservative and Catholic positions—are not welcome here and are treated with hatred.”
Furthermore, conservative and Catholic views “are just not protected in the same way” as the beliefs of others.
But within hours, Smalanskas was besieged by “all sorts of harassing text messages,” and, according to The College Fix, even his fellow RAs “keyed into his building after hours to undo his work as a Providence employee.”
When a mob began forming outside of Smalanskas’ room, campus security insisted upon escorting him to another building as “a precaution.” During his interview with LifeSite News, Smalanskas supplied a glaring example of the moral divide separating traditional conservative students from the campus left. “There had been a pro-lesbian bulletin board up for the entire month of February in one of the female residence halls,” he remarked. “But nobody was rioting outside of the girl’s door.”
Things got so bad for Smalanskas that he “couldn’t even go brush my teeth for several nights without facing a mob” in the hallway.
Smalanskas’ fellow RAs and other students are calling for his termination and, eventually, someone posted on the wall of Smalanskas’ dormitory bathroom a drawing of him about to be raped by a man.
Despite all of this, however, Providence College has allegedly done nothing so far to aid Smalanskas except to offer him “mental health services.” After he was whisked away in a squad car to an undisclosed location for his own safety from the left-wing mob, Smalanskas called the chaplain’s office for support. Yet the priest “didn’t even want to come. When he did finally show up,” Smalanskas recalls, “he basically begged and pleaded with me to ‘graduate in peace,’” and “told me that I was ‘throwing culture bombs.’”
To this priest’s credit, though, Smalanskas says that he is now “overcompensating” for the manner in which he treated the beleaguered student on the evening that he was targeted.
Not everyone has been willing to repent. In March, Smalanskas and his faculty advisor, James Keating, met with the Vice President of Student Affairs, Kristine Goodwin, the Vice President of Mission and Ministry, Father R. Gabriel Pivarnik, and Providence’s attorney. Smalanskas and Keating asked for the school to publicly condemn the treatment to which Smalanskas had been subjected; publicly reaffirm the Catholic mission of Providence, underscoring that Smalanskas’ exhibit comports with traditional Catholic teaching; and publicly insist that Providence is a safe space for “free speech.”
School officials refused to take any of these measures.
The Vice President of Student Affairs, Ms. Goodwin, did send out a rather lengthy email to the student body imploring for all of its members to treat one another with respect. She also mentioned that while Smalanskas’ position on marriage was consistent with that of the Church, it is “only a part” of Catholic teaching that, “when taken out of context,” “can have detrimental consequences, especially if it ends up alienating people from the truth that it serves.”
Goodwin then urged students to “walk in solidarity with SHEPARD” as it holds its demonstration to promote “unity, affirmation, and inclusion even amidst controversy.”
SHEPARD, you see, is the organization that called for the Providence community to “stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ*” in a “march against homophobia and transphobia.”
After nearly a month’s worth of outside pressure by those disgusted by Providence’s refusal to publically defend one of their students, the president of the college finally responded to Smalanskas’ request to repudiate the treatment to which the latter has been subjected while reaffirming the Church’s position on marriage. Father Brian Shanley sent out a lengthy campus-wide email. Three paragraphs into it he condemned the attacks against Smalanskas as “odious and reprehensible.”
Michael Smalanskas puts the point well. While he “appreciate[s] that he [Shanley] addressed the issue more thoroughly,” his “hesitation to speak forcefully on the matter speaks volumes [.]” Smalanskas adds:
“It took the president over three weeks to try and do something that could have easily been addressed immediately. He seems to suggest that his only reason for doing so was in response to the negative publicity and criticism from concerned Catholics, once again insulting anyone who is concerned about Catholic identity as uncharitable and angry.”
The hard left, stories like this should make obvious, has even taken control of many traditionally Christian institutions of higher learning. Fewer and fewer places are immunized against it.
This being so, parents who wish to send their children to “Christian” colleges should take care to insure that they aren’t the victims of false advertising.
Tragically, the odds are greater than not that they will be.
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — which seeks to criminalize criticism of migration — is nothing more or less than a dangerous effort to weaken national borders, to normalize mass migration, to blur the line between legal and illegal immigration, and to bolster the idea that people claiming to be refugees enjoy a panoply of rights in countries where they have never before set foot.
One thing about the agreement, in any event, is irrefutable: almost nobody in the Western world has been clamoring for this. It is, quite simply, a project of the globalist elites. It is a UN power-grab.
The waterfront in the Chilean city of Valdivia. Photo: Arvid Puschnig via Wikimedia Commons.
Top Jewish groups have welcomed a Chilean government decision made earlier this week to ban municipalities across the country from boycotting Israel.
The ruling — issued by the Comptroller General of Chile – stemmed from a complaint filed by the Chilean Jewish community over a move of the Valdivia municipality to ban the city from signing contracts with Israel-linked companies.
Spurred by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s resignation and the realization that elections will likely be moved to early 2019, the leaders of the Druze community are determined to fight against the Nationality Law.
Leaders from the Druze minority and others take part in a rally to protest the Jewish nation-state law in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Israel, Aug. 4, 2018
It certainly seems like Israel is headed toward early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who resigned Nov. 14, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett were both part of the current right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, competing over which of them was its most right-wing member
Israel has started uncovering and destroying Hezbollah’s attack tunnels under the Lebanese border, but destroying the group’s ambitious precision missile project will be much more difficult.
The Israel Defense Forces placed a camera into Hezbollah’s secret cross-border attack tunnel before sunrise on Dec. 4. They pushed it into the Lebanese side, under the Blue Line that separates the two countries. At dawn, two Hezbollah operatives reached the spot on their morning rounds. In the video disseminated by the IDF on Tuesday evening, one of the operatives is seen approaching the camera with suspicion. He stuck his nose in its direction and started to sniff around until something exploded in his face and he ran back the way he’d comVisibilitye.
The timing of Operation Northern Shield, to destroy Hezbollah tunnels leading from Lebanon into Israel, suggests that considerations other than security were behind the decision to launch it.
An Israeli commando from Yahalom, an engineering unit, takes part in a tunnel-hunting drill near Tel Aviv, March 7, 2012.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to Likud activists on Dec. 2 that was both defensive and combative toward law enforcement authorities. He complained about the supposedly suspicious timing of the police announcement recommending his indictment for taking bribes in Case 4000, coming as it did one day before Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh concluded his term in office.
This week, for the first time, Israel made public its discovery of the tunnel constructed by Hezbollah and reaching into Israel’s sovereign territory. This brought to an end a long period during which a large number of Israelis living in communities adjacent to the Lebanese border reported hearing sounds of digging as well as feeling tremors in the walls of their homes.
Attack tunnels are intended to allow for significant numbers of armed infantry bearing weapons, artillery and supplies, to traverse them within a minimal time span, avoiding Israeli lookouts and thereby gaining the element of surprise.
Last Saturday, Iran’s “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” in a speech at the regime’s annual Islamic Unity Conference.
Rouhani’s fellow speakers included deputy Hezbollah chief Naim Qassem and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. Both terror bosses called for the destruction of the “cancerous tumor.”
With the predictability of a Swiss clock, the Europeans rushed to condemn Rouhani. The EU in Brussels condemned Rouhani. The German Foreign Ministry condemned Rouhani. And so on and so forth.
We could have done without their statements.
It was clear that with the onset of Operation Northern Shield—meant to neutralize terror tunnels Hezbollah has constructed along the Israel-Lebanon border—some would call it a public relations stunt by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Those who believe the timing of the police’s recommendations in Case 4000—announced on the last day of Roni Alsheikh’s tenure as the police commissioner—was reasonable, somehow complain about the timing of the operation.
On Sunday evening, December 2, the people of Sderot, Israel – a town located a mere kilometer from the Gaza border – gathered to light the first candle of the town’s menorah to commemorate the first day of Hanukkah. Jews around the world celebrate this holiday, which marks the time some two millennia ago when the Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Second Temple.
What makes the candle lighting in Sderot worth mentioning is the fact that it is particularly symbolic of how the Jewish spirit looks for ways to turn tragedy into triumph.
This is obviously a short-lived honeymoon that will end the day after the UN General Assembly vote on the anti-Hamas resolution. The morning after the vote, Abbas will wake up to the realization that Hamas was a strange bedfellow indeed.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s hatred of Hamas is far from secret. But Abbas is now defending Hamas because he despises the Trump administration, which has sponsored a UN draft resolution that condemns Hamas. Pictured: Abbas (right) meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on May 30, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Abu Askar/PPO via Getty Images)