Cleansing Fire

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No Way, CUA !

October 2nd, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

My undergrad alma mater has just embarrassed me, by the action Pres. Garvey has taken against a Catholic University of America Dean for “doubting” a claimant against Judge Kavanaugh. Providing there is no “back story,” and I assume there is not or it should have been proffered for the sake of reason, clarity and credibility, Pres. Garvey (who has had an exemplary record to this point) has blown it, big time.  Read the linked Church Militant story to make more sense of my rant:             https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/catholic-university-suspends-dean-for-pro-kavanaugh-tweet

President Garvey is the author of “What Are Freedoms For? and I have a copy with his kind note to me when he spoke at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Sept. 15, 2016. I am doubly shocked by his recent action against a CUA Dean who exercised his freedom to doubt. The Dean in question is William Rainford, dean of the National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS), who apparently tweeted on Sept. 26 from his official university Twitter account:

“Swetnick is 55 y/o, Kavanaugh is 52 y/o. Since when do senior girls hang with freshmen boys? If it happened when Kavanaugh was a senior, Swetnick was an adult drinking with & by her admission, having sex with underage boys. In another universe, he would be victim & she the perp!”

In defense of his action, Pres. Garvey admitted to reacting to pressure from “professors, alumni and students.” One of the greatest oppressors of freedom of thought and of speech is opinion substituting for truth, from the loudest voice dictating what everyone should believe. What I believe — is that Pres. Garvey just ‘fell for it all.’ While true that he criticizes Rainford for “tweets” and the plural may indicate something far more serious than the single one reported, I can only react to what Pres. Garvey chose to reveal. And Garvey’s criticism also seems aimed at Rainford’s use of his CUA email address. Really? Suspend a Dean for writing his opinion from a CUA address? Do students have a CUA email address? Do they have opinions? Are they allowed to express them in tweets? Garvey has also fallen for the biggest ‘bad marketing’ error of our times. He takes sides on behalf of the business (the university in this case), alienating all who are on the other side. That error usually shows up as market share loss. We’ll see.

When I was at CUA, Time Magazine buffeted the University for refusing to have open dialogue, calling it a “Citadel of Mediocrity,” an accusation which shook the institution to its roots. The complaint is based on, within reason, the need to have a university be a place where various opinions can be expressed. Was the Dean over the top? Or is Garvey over the top in shutting down the dialogue? The following is my concern about Garvey’s choice of words (in red):

  1. “The tweets called into question the validity of some accusations of sexual assault made against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”  Well, duuhh! how could anyone listen to the hearing and not ‘question the validity’ if he or she is a thinking person? The converse of Garvey’s criticism would be to aver that ‘there is NO question of the validity of some accusations of sexual assault….etc.” If a professor tweeted that (or a student) would they have been censored at all?
  2. “Of deepest concern to me is that they [the tweets] demonstrated a lack of sensitivity to the victim.” Presumption of victimization is another way of saying the accused is guilty until proven innocent. That is not the basis of the Constitution, and Mr. Garvey should know better than to fall into that trap. No mistake in language here; Garvey doubles down with the victimology words: “But let there be no doubt that our University …  has a special concern for every victim and survivor of sexual assault.” He doesn’t mention that false claims put all genuine victims at risk of not being believed.
  3. Garvey perpetuates the denigration of human relations (and good management practice) by over-reacting to the mouths seeking their own power to punish rather than to correct in charity. Even after  Dean Rainford grovels with apology, deletions and accepting public humiliation in being removed as Dean, Garvey is rubbing his nose in it: “While it was appropriate for him to apologize and to delete his Twitter and Facebook accounts … this does not excuse the serious lack of judgment and insensitivity of his comments.”
  4. The Church Militant story mentions that “Some CUA students think Garvey has not gone far enough to punish Rainford for the tweet”. Student protesters had a list of demands, according to CUA independent student newspaper The Tower, including “the resignation of Rainford” and “for a woman to replace Rainford as dean to better represent the largely-female social work population.” That indeed follows the left-over advice “Never let protest energy go to waste, right or wrong.” Given Garvey’s reaction so far, I would predict he’d cave to giving “more punishment” (perhaps under the aura of an investigation) to those who have already won a round against the First Amendment. And that, friends, is what leads to the censor eventually losing his own freedom.
  5. Finally, I see Garvey as being untrue to the words which adorn the back cover of his own book, his own thesis regarding Freedom:  “Each action must have its own justification. Garvey holds that if the law is to protect freedoms, it is permissible–indeed it is necessary–to make judgments about the goodness and badness of actions.”     But not if your employer disagrees?
  6. The following flyer is from John Garvey’s Guest appearance in 2016 at Sacred Heart Cathedral, shown next to the cover of his book “What are Freedoms For?”

Here is one final thought for the musing of the reader, male or female, but perhaps especially for female readers of this post.  Tell me, just between us, has any woman in your adult life EVER lied to you? Think hard. Yeah!  right! That’s my point about claimants at hearings before judgment is made insisting they have a right to be believed, even without adequate evidence.

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4 Responses to “No Way, CUA !”

  1. avatar Ginger says:

    Powerful means of communication, information and verbal attacks continue to escalate. Nearly everyone has a soapbox in which to heard. It is very important to practice temperance and charity when imparting knowledge.

    The Garvey/Rainford and Ford/Kavanaugh fiascos stink but their dust will settle far sooner than the Pope Francis/Vigano matter. That problem hangs heavy and smelly like a nothing I can find words for. It is surprising how quickly folks get used to bad odor…olfactory fatigue.

  2. avatar christian says:

    I happen to agree with Dean Rainford’s comments with regard to what a senior girl would hang out with a freshman boy, and Swetnick was of adult drinking age. There was nothing profane in what he wrote. He actually brought up a fact regarding age difference between Swetnick and Kavanaugh, and legal drinking age, which has not been revealed in most news reports.

    I am appalled and sickened by the profane, disturbingly hate speech of associate professor Carol Christine Fair.-“Look at [this] chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist’s arrogated entitlement,” she wrote. “All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes.”-from the Washington Examiner, Saturday, October 6th, 2018. This article also states that Prof. Fair has been suspended from teaching and sent out on international research leave. I think she should have been fired.
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/georgetown-professor-removed-from-classes-after-wishing-castration-death-on-male-gop-senators
    Rape and sexual abuse are very serious, heinous crimes and mortal sins, but one has to weigh evidence on both sides fairly to discern the truth; not have a knee jerk reaction to an accusation as you would from the actual crime. Prof. Fair acts as though there is real evidence that Judge Kavanaugh has committed these sexual assaults.

    We live in a society with predominant liberal views and this is most evident in academia. There is anger against Conservatives from many directions, especially among young people who have been brain-washed as part of their academic curriculum, to embrace alternative lifestyles, meaning homosexual, bisexual, and transgender lifestyles, same-sex marriage, as well as heterosexual sexual relationships without the benefit of marriage, also abortion (including a woman’s right to choose), birth control, and the exclusion of prayer and Judeo-Christian teachings and ethics from school and government. This academic Liberal brain-washing begins in middle school or earlier, in public schools, and unfortunately, has crept into Catholic Institutes of Learning.

    Often Colleges and Universities take the stand of the students, some faculty and board members, and the perceived view of the public, when making a decision regarding a professor or dean. The stand is usual a Liberal Stand. The decision is usually bore out of political and financial considerations. It;s disheartening that it happens at Catholic Universities and Colleges which are supposed to uphold Catholic Teaching.

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