Catholic College Disinvites Speaker On Civility For Coincidentally Being Pro-Choice

Illustration for article titled Catholic College Disinvites Speaker On Civility For Coincidentally Being Pro-Choice

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman was invited to speak at St. Francis University — until the college was criticized by the Cardinal Newman Society for having a pro-choice speaker on campus. Then the provost wrote her, "After careful consideration, the university feels that the body of your work has reflected statements that are not in close enough alignment with some Catholic teachings and with the values and mission of the university as required for an event of this stature."


She wasn't going to talk about reproductive rights; the topic was civility, described as follows:

Her lecture is entitled, "A Civil Tongue: Welcome to the era of polarized politics, food fight cable shows, and ballistic blogging. How civility was shattered, who is winning, who is losing, and how do we call a truce to the mud wrestling."

Goodman's response: "Imagine my disappointment at having my plea for civility returned with a pie in the face."

College Disinvites Ellen Goodman [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]



You know, I can't get too worked up about this. It's a shame that they didn't do their research before extending this invitation, but I don't think it's any different than universities that have rescinded invitations to folks like Rumsfeld, Cheney, or Palin.

This student constituency and the administration has a certain set of core beliefs, including the belief that life begins at conception and abortion is tantamount to infanticide. I disagree with them about that, but a private institution has the right to choose guest speakers that reflect the prevailing social norm at that institution.

I think it's a shame when predominantly liberal institutions and organizations shield themselves from dissenting views, and the same goes for conservative institutions and organizations. But, as I say, it's not something I'm going to get outraged about. It's kind of human nature.