By Wesley J. Smith
I always enjoy being invited to secular and liberal college and university campuses–most often by pro life student groups–to speak at open meetings to which all are invited I am always deeply impressed by the courage, fortitude, imagination, and good spirits of these young people–who usually face disdain, even open scorn, from peers, repeated put downs by professors, occasional threats of violence, and sometimes, an uncooperative attitude from the administration. I was told of one case in which a pro life girl was punched to the ground simply because she was handing out anti abortion literature–and even though the assault occurred on campus, the administration wouldn’t investigate.
Along these intolerant lines, the student government at Johns Hopkins University [JHU] shamefully voted to deny official club status to Voice for Life, a student group, because they are supposedly akin to “white supremacists” whose sidewalk counseling constitutes “harassment.” Such a designation would prevent the group from using campus resources for meetings and from obtaining any financing, clearly an attempt to suppress heterodox views. Par for the course.
JHU’s administration has intervened, declaring that sidewalk counseling is free speech, not harassment. Good for them. That should help Voices for Life in appealing its unjust blackballing. (Remember when universities were havens for heterodox speech?)
Society rightly celebrates the courage of abolitionists, suffragettes, civil rights leaders, and others who have stood or stand against strong cultural tides to advocate for minority views. Pro life student groups are following in that courageous tradition–and without the usual applause.
Here’s looking at you, kids! Wear their scorn like a badge of honor.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Wesley’s great blog.