Matt C. Abbott
June 8, 2015
Why conservatives should use the courts to fight academia's censorship
By Matt C. Abbott

We have yet another example of an institution of higher learning attempting to censor freedom of speech – of conservatives.

From The College Fix (June 4):
    After images of fetuses growing in the womb caused an uproar at the University of Southern California, campus officials plan to tighten policies regulating what banners may be hung on light posts along Trousdale Parkway, a main walkway that cuts through the center of campus.

    What's more, USC Students for Life told The College Fix, campus officials were unwilling to compromise on a way that would have allowed an altered version of their banners to be hung.

    In April, banners featuring growing fetuses were hung on Trousdale light posts on behalf of USC Students for Life after the group gained approval – but the banners were swiftly taken down just a few hours after they were hoisted, with administrators saying they were approved 'in error.'
These weren't even graphic abortion photos, mind you; just images of babies in the womb. But since the left apparently can't handle seeing the humanity of the preborn, they have to try to shut down the pro-lifers' message.

However, a recent case illustrates that the courts can still be used (for the time being, at least) to help conservative activists prevail in the arena of freedom of speech.

From Illinois Review (June 5):
    Under a settlement agreement negotiated by attorneys for The Rutherford Institute, an Illinois community college will allow two social activists previously banned from the college to hand out what might be perceived as 'politically incorrect' informational flyers on campus.

    The settlement was reached after a federal court ruled (HERE) that Waubonsee Community College (WCC) likely violated the First Amendment by excluding Wayne Lela and John McCartney from campus on the basis of the content of their leaflets for the organization Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment. WCC deemed the speech not 'consistent with the philosophy, goals and mission of the college.'

    WCC has agreed to allow Lela and McCartney to hand out leaflets near entrances to the college's student center on various occasions over the next 10 years.
I know Mr. Lela and Mr. McCartney personally; they're good men who pose absolutely no threat to anyone. Yet the way they and other pro-life, pro-family activists – students and non-students alike – are treated by the administrations of various colleges and universities is, quite frankly, shameful.

It may not be a huge victory for conservative activism, but it's a victory nonetheless.



From Reuters Health:
    For young gay and bisexual men, the risk of HIV infection is linked with societal issues, a new study says....

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that some 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with human immunodeficiency virus, the virus that causes AIDS. About one case in six is undiagnosed.

    While only about 4 percent of U.S. males have sex with other men, they represent about two-thirds of the country's new infections, according to the CDC.
Shocking, I tell you (ahem).

The article continues:
    [The researchers] also point out that young gay and bisexual men may not be properly educated about STIs, and their heterosexual parents may not be equipped to educate on those topics.
Well, as Rush Limbaugh has said on more than one occasion, abstinence works every time it's tried.

© Matt C. Abbott

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.


(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback from readers. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails – complete with email addresses – that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if those emails are marked confidential. Also, please be aware that RenewAmerica is not my website; RA's president and editor is Stephen Stone, who can be reached here. I'm just one of RA's columnists, for which I'm very grateful. I don't speak for the other RA columnists, so please don't email me to complain about what someone else has written. Thank you and God bless!)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Matt C. Abbott: Click here

More by this author