Monday, November 14, 2011

Anti-Gay Hate Speech Compliments of Princeton University

The far right and Christianists like to depict universities as hot beds of liberalism. Obviously, such is often not the case - especially at church affiliated colleges and universities. Nor at Princeton where a notable merchant of anti-gay hate speech seems to held above the university's policies because - gasp, - he brings in so much right winger money to the university. The professor in question? Robert George, who among other things is a founder of the National Organization for Marriage, an organization not exactly known for truth and voracity. Oh, and did I mention all the campaign finance law violations? Yet, George continues to be given a waiver to peddle hatred and to disseminate fraudulent information. It would be one thing if George was a professor at Regent University or Liberty University. But one would expect better from Princeton. A piece at Pam's House Blend looks at the foul darkness that the university board of trustees continue to turn a blind eye at. Here are some highlights:

The Board of Trustees of Princeton University is routinely allowing Professor Robert George – a kingpin among today’s political gay bashers – to violate Academic Integrity as it is described in the university’s Code of Conduct.

Why does Princeton routinely allow Professor George his violations of academic integrity? Max Blumenthal has reported on George here (another of his George-related articles, A Hoax Exposed at Princeton, can be read here). In an internet message, Blumenthal told me that Professor George is “untouchable” because he “brings the university too much money from right-wing sources.” Readers not yet familiar with the immense harm Professor George inflicts on sexual minorities in the U.S. and elsewhere through his fact-challenged anti-gay hate speech published with the Princeton University name attached to it should be sure to research that topic.

Here, for starters, is a video from an anti-gay hate rally sponsored by a hate group George founded, the so-called National Organization for Marriage. At that hate rally, a preacher yelled through a megaphone at a mob of anti-gay bigots that God says that homosexuals are “worthy to death.”

Academic freedom must not be construed as a right to falsify the documented record in order to stack the deck politically against a minority, (or for any other reason, for that matter). Yet George does precisely that, with alarming frequency. Were similarly fact-challenged, sham scholarship published in a field with lesser perceived “moral” angles – say, in Elizabethan Studies or Physics – the professor, his department and his university would be academic laughing stocks.

Princeton’s Code of Conduct says this about academic integrity: “Academic freedom can flourish only in a community of scholars which recognizes that intellectual integrity, with its accompanying rights and responsibilities, lies at the heart of its mission. Observing basic honesty in one’s work, words, ideas, and actions is a principle to which all members of the community are required to subscribe.” (The bolding is mine).

As Blumenthal reported, Professor George’s James Madison Program at Princeton University is funded mainly by right-wing sources from outside the university. It apparently receives no money from the university’s endowment. On the program’s welcome page, Professor George notes that 1) The Madison program awards a Senior Thesis Prize for excellence in Constitutional Law and Political Thought and 2) the success of the James Madison Program depends on the support of foundations and private individuals who share its commitment in advancing the understanding and appreciation of American ideals and institutions.

Around the country and beyond, anti-gay hate groups cite Robert George’s fact-challenged anti-gay hate speech in association with the Princeton University name because of their perception that the Princeton University name imparts intellectual honor on the anti-gay hate speech. It is past time for Princeton University to stop lending its name to fact-challenged anti-gay hate speech. Professor Robert George’s fact-challenged anti-gay hate speech is being promulgated and used counter to Princeton University’s published requirements for its scholars to observe basic honesty in their work, words, ideas and actions. At this link is a petition you can sign, asking the Princeton University Board of Trustees finally to take a stand against Professor Robert George’s sham scholarship and his anti-gay bigotry.

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