Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Liberty, Not License

1 Peter 2:13-16 (Contemporary English Version)

“13The Lord wants you to obey all human authorities, especially the Emperor, who rules over everyone. 14You must also obey governors, because they are sent by the Emperor to punish criminals and to praise good citizens. 15God wants you to silence stupid and ignorant people by doing right. 16You are free, but still you are God's servants, and you must not use your freedom as an excuse for doing wrong.”

Galatians 5:13 (Contemporary English Version)

“13My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don't use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love.”


Until yesterday Ward Churchill got little or no play in our local instrument of enlightenment. That was all broken with an op-ed piece by Scott Rochat titled “Fighting Words.”

I’m sure most of you have seen Churchill’s obscene words, at least the most offensive of them. To be honest with you I hadn’t until this morning when I read the entire transcript of the remarks this “tenured academician” made four years ago. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? His words were, as Scott noted in his piece, detestable. They are still as offensive, obscene, and depraved today as they were four years ago.

I think on that point there is almost universal agreement. It’s when the question of what we should all do about Mssr. Churchill comes up that the paths diverge. Scott, for example, advocates a delicate approach to the subject:

“Now, I wouldn’t be upset if he were fired for the right reasons. Some professors have accused Churchill of forging evidence of his work. One columnist, Paul Campos, has said that Churchill lacked the usual credentials for his post and may have lied about his Indian ancestry to get hired. Any of these, if true, would give more than enough grounds for dismissal without endangering academic freedom in the process.”

Now I’m sure Scott will disagree with me, but I think that approach smacks of grasping at straws, looking for loopholes, or finding a back door when the front door is actually wide open. I think something more direct, like a full frontal assault is in order.

I find it puzzling and frustrating that academicians and journalists have such a problem distinguishing between liberty and license. I’m a conservative and a firm advocate of freedom of speech and conscience. The boys down at the Gazette know this is true because I’ve offered more than once to be the first one down to their offices to defend them if the storm-troopers ever descend on their hallowed ground. But there’s a difference between being an advocate of freedom and giving in to licentiousness and obscenity. It’s one thing to support liberty and another to expect the public to pay for obscenity. That’s what this argument is, or should be, all about.

When I was doing my undergraduate work in Chicago I headed up a project which was exploring the workings of the American Nazi Party. My part was to do an interview with a high party official. The interview was duly arranged and about half-way through the semester I sat down and did it. Like Churchill, their director, a man named Frank Collin, spewed nothing but hate. He and the party hated Jews, Blacks, gays, liberals, working women, and anything or anyone else who either walked or crawled and did not appear to be Aryan. Realizing that I fit neatly into one of the categories he detested I asked what he would do with someone like me if he and his party ever gained political control of this country. “It’s really simple,” he said proudly. “We’d hang you and everyone else like you.” The sardonic smile etched on his face told me that he meant what he said. I responded, also smiling. “If it comes to that, Mr. Collin, I’ll gladly walk those last thirteen steps. I’d much rather that than having to live in a world of your creation.” But our conversation didn’t end there. As I was getting ready to leave I asked if I could take some of their hate filled literature with me to give to others in my class, believing that it would be important for people to see just what these evil bastards were made of. “Well,” Collin said, “I’ll sell you some.” I declined his offer, telling him that I didn’t want to “feed the mouth that was biting me.”

I believe that’s the same principle that needs to apply in the case of Mssr. Churchill. I’d like to think I’m as enlightened as the next man, but I don’t think the public should have to pay for the mouth that’s biting all of us.

I think I know what needs to be done with someone whose speech is so obscene that it twists the truth around and as Holy Writ says, calls “evil good and good evil.” When someone says something as offensive as Churchill did I, and I believe most Americans of good will, know what needs to be done. When someone says something as obscene as this the response needs to be direct and to the point:

"In sum one can discern a certain optimism – it might even be call humanitarianism – imbedded in the thinking of those who presided over the very limited actions conducted on September 11.Their logic seems to have devolved upon the notion that the American people have condoned what has been/is being done in their name – indeed, are to a significant extent actively complicit in it – mainly because they have no idea what it feels like to be on the receiving end.Now they do.That was the "medicinal" aspect of the attacks.To all appearances, the idea is now to give the tonic a little time to take effect, jolting Americans into the realization that the sort of pain they're now experiencing first-hand is no different from – or the least bit more excruciating than – that which they've been so cavalier in causing others, and thus to respond appropriately.”

To that end I offer the boys at the Gazette a proposition they’ve declined before. In the days after the September 11th attacks I offered to solve the problem of Osama by inviting him to the Flint Hills so that I could exact justice on him. The offer remains, but has not been tendered. I can only assume that they can't find the cave the maggot is crawling around in.

Well, Mr. Rochat, what do you say? Ward Churchill’s not far away. It wouldn’t put a crimp on the Gazette’s budget to find him. Boulder’s just a short ride east on the freeway from us. Send him my invitation on behalf of the people of Emporia and the wider American community. I’ll meet him out on the Flint Hills. Jus give me a few days to work on my “lip-buttoner” punch and I’ll be ready.

My approach may not be pretty and it may not be subtle, but I assure you that it will work. It’ll be honest and direct, no back doors or skulking around. And when I’m done with him I’ll dispatch what’s left back to Boulder to pursue his academic freedom.

2 comments:

James Fletcher Baxter said...

Churchill is a typical free-rider, collectivist-humanist, of limited vocabulary and absent any form of transcendent criteria loyalty. He is 'out of balance' on every score. When the chips are down, he is some form of pacificist - begging to be allowed to live at peace protected by some form of man-made tyranny. Apparently he has detected a collection of compromisers on his university board who will abide any corruption in the name of 'freedom,' while he goes about his patty-cake monkey-business of mis-leading his stewardship responsibilities in a camouflaged dress-code of 'educator.' OUT!!! jfb

R. Chandler said...

Very well put Phil and James. I must say I completely agree with both of you. Ward Churchill is nothing more than a fraud. Both personally and especially academically. Since when did academic freedom mean inventing your own history? The pursuit of understanding should not condone outright treasonous statements. I also find it funny that Mr. Churchill, who has on more than one occaision discussed his hatred for the United States, will certainly attempt to invoke his "civil rights" by pursuing a lawsuit against the University of Colorado. When a student at his conference called him out as a hypocrite for spouting obscenities and hatred against America's regime while at the same time making a $90,000 annual salary from a state run institution, the "nutty professor" attempted to use a conglomeration of "50 cent words" to defend himself merely causing more confusion and further displaying his lack of reason.

The man has lied about his ancestry. He's lied about his military records. He's falsified historical data. He has no business being in the position he is in. I agree with Phil that we shouldn't pursue loopholes. Rather we should pursue criminal charges as he has blatantly violated the USC Title 18 Chapter 115 section 2385 which is Advocating Overthrow of Government. Not only is this man not within his First Amendment rights, he has violated a law and should face the charges. Of course that would never happen and if it did the Supreme Court would overturn such a ruling and set a precedent which would rock the nation.

Clearly this matter needs to be dealt with. I just hope that the Board of Regents for the University of Colorado has the gumption to fire this guy. If not, it will be a sad day for America and our higher institutes of learning.