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 University of Cape Town campus. Photo: Adrian Frith via Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Cape Town, the top-ranking academic institution in Africa, is set to consider enforcing an academic boycott against Israel later this month.
The UCT Senate, a decision-making body comprised primarily of professors and administrators, endorsed a proposal on March 15 to bar the university from entering into any formal relationship with Israeli academic institutions that operate “in the occupied Palestinian territories,” or otherwise enable “gross human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the university said in a statement.
The campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
JNS.org – Students at Brown University voted overwhelmingly in favor of a referendum held between Tuesday and Thursday, calling on the school to separate itself from companies that conduct business with the State of Israel.
The tally was 69 percent in favor and 31 percent against.
Members of the pro-Israel community nationally and locally condemned the outcome.
“For the sake of My servant Yaakov, Yisrael My chosen one, I call you by name, I hail you by title, though you have not known Me.” Isaiah 45:4 (The Israel Bible™)
Many have seen similarities between the Biblical King Cyrus and President Donald Trump. (Breaking Israel News)
After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!
Many are claiming this was a pre-election gift to Trump’s friend, Netanyahu, but it others see a much larger significance that transcends politics and enters into the realm of the Biblical. One such belief was expressed by Breaking Israel News publisher Rabbi Tuly Weisz, who noted that the announcement came on the Jewish holiday of Purim.
“The same days on which the Yehudim enjoyed relief from their foes and the same month which had been transformed for them from one of grief and mourning to one of festive joy. They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor.” Esther 9:22 (The Israel Bible™)
If there was ever a quintessentially Jewish holiday, it’s Purim, when the Jewish people were threatened by Haman, a descendant of Amalek, and saved by God’s hidden hand. Even so, we find examples of people from the Nations being inspired by the story of Purim and even gathering to mark the day alongside the Jewish people.
Protesters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags shout anti-Israel slogans during a demonstration in Amsterdam June 4, 2010. Israel’s raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla has set off a diplomatic furor, drawing criticism from friends and foes alike and straining ties with regional ally Turkey, which cal. (photo credit: REUTERS)
AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Demonstrators carrying Palestinian flags turned their backs on a Dutch chief rabbi during his eulogy at a vigil for Muslims killed in New Zealand.
The incident Sunday happened as Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs was discussing the meaning of a minute of silence at the gathering at the Dam Square World War II memorial monument. Thousands of people, many of them Muslims, gathered at the square to commemorate the 49 people slain Friday by a far-right killer at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Hamas is now accusing the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah of exploiting the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip to call on Palestinians to overthrow the Hamas regime. Fatah, for its part, is accusing the “dark forces” of Hamas of acting on orders from outside parties to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.
The US administration says it will publish its long-awaited plan for peace in the Middle East, known as the “Deal of the Century,” after the general elections in Israel on April 9
There is a difference between an “honest broker” and a “neutral arbiter.” In advance of the rollout of its Middle East peace plan, the Trump administration has taken a series of steps to ensure its role as the honest broker. The U.S. is not “neutral” between our ally, Israel, and the Palestinians who seek to replace it. But it won’t be easy to change presumptions that are deeply embedded in the
When the FBI informs us that parents are ready to spend up to $6.5 million in bribes to get their children into prestige colleges, it seemingly implies that all is very, very well in the American university. But Warren Treadgold tells us that’s an illusion.
He’s a distinguished professor of Byzantine history at St. Louis University who has also taught at Berkeley, FIU, Hillsdale, Stanford, and UCLA. Having entered college in 1967, he draws on long experience to both indict and offer a remedy of the most thoroughly left-wing major institution in America. His book, The University We Need (Encounter, 2018) presents its case with insight and a light touch.
The threat posed by Hezbollah and Ali Musa Daqduq, a senior operative in Hezbollah, was unmasked by Israel on Wednesday.
Daqduq was responsible for the “abduction and execution of five American servicemen in Iraq in 2007,” the IDF said. The role of Hezbollah members in neighboring states is an illustration of how groups allied with Iran are continuing to build a web linking Tehran to Beirut via a “road to the sea” that transits Iraq and Syria.
According to the IDF, the role of Daqduq includes establishing terror cells in Iraq to fight the US in 2006, stints training in Lebanon in 2013-2018 and now putting down roots in Syria.
Every few weeks, some political or national figure demands a national conversation about race. (Most recently, Senator Kamala Harris insisted, “We have not had these honest discussions about race.”)
What does a conversation about race mean? Invariably, an indictment of the fundamental unfairness of our country, the historical roots of racism in white supremacy, and the national guilt of white people.
Or, to put it more simply, why Senator Kamala Harris deserves to be in the White House.
We don’t have national conversations about anti-Semitism because the problem can’t be narrowed down to an easily blamed demographic. The Democrats invariably try to blame anti-Semitism on the usual suspects, white male Republicans living more than two hundred miles from a Starbucks, but the largest toll of violent anti-Semitic attacks tend to fall on New York City’s black neighborhoods.