Spitzer’s defenders

Spitzer’s defenders

Pro-lifers are leaping to the defense of Fr. Spitzer at Gonzaga University over the Christian pro-life group pevented from being officially recognized by the Student Bar Association. It is clear that Fr. Spitzer is well-respected in the pro-life community, but it still doesn’t explain this odd situation. The open letter says that it is “unreasonable to think that pro-life leaders must necessarily be Christian.” True, but this apparently isn’t a generic pro-life group, but a specifically Christian one. What if Feminists for Life wanted to ensure that it’s leaders were women? Would that be wrong? What is a pro-life, but active homosexual wanted to lead the Christian pro-life group? Should they just accept that?

As Spitzer’s defenders say, there are other pro-life groups on campus that non-Christians can join, so why shouldn’t there be a Christian one?

Perhaps this pro-life group is full of extreme fundamentalists who carry signs saying “God hates women who have abortions.” Maybe not. But until we get a better reason for why the group has been prevented from receiving official recognition, we can’t know for sure.

What I am sure of is that this has become a much bigger deal than it should be. (Can you believe that some people are making this about me and attacking me for posting the original blog entry? Get some perspective.)

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
11 comments
  • Yep. I can believe it. We have spent the whole day trying to defend ourselves from attacks by fellow pro-lifers. Nice. since we never once criticized Fr. Spitzer. But so what if we did? Is the guy a priest and a writer? or is he a leader of cult followers who can’t stand to hear anyone even question the infallibility of their leader? I suspect the former. We wrote the story praising the guy to the rafters…but no one noticed that.

  • “Can you believe that some people are making this about me…”

    Consider the source, Dom…

  • I’m a little confused about the “attacks” on yourself that you say you are receiving—Are you referring to the comments on the story you posted earlier in the week on this point or to personal emails? 

    Because the comments don’t sound like attacks to me, but rather people offering their point of view on a point you raised in your posting.  It sounded like you were wondering whether Spitzer was “truly pro-life” (or words to that effect) because you found the wording of his letter to be odd or equivocal.  I sent a couple comments just to offer some information indicating that he was in my judgement pro-life.  If my comments came across as an attack, I appologize. 

    I certainly agree that people can disagree about the wisdom of the particular judgment in this case (of course understanding that we have only limited information).  What I do think is beyond argument is whether or not Spitzer is himself pro-life, and that was the point to which I was responding.

  • Oh, and the easy answer to why the club can’t limit its member and officers to Christians is because that is the policy the school adopted for clubs receiving funding. 

    The money comes from all the students—it goes to clubs that are open to all the students.  That would mean that the Feminists for Life have to accept men too, so long as they want school funding.  This is the policy at every law school I’ve ever heard of, and all the students know the rules. 

    If a school wants to adopt a different policy, they are free to do so, but I don’t see why a school should be forced to forego their policy because some students don’t want to play by the rules.  With a little imagination, one could see some very difficult problems that could arise if the school funded groups with “exclusive” membership rules based on various classifications.

  • Dom:

    Surely a man in your esteemed position can thumb through his rolodex and call up Father Fessio, and have him take Spitzer aside and get the straight skinny.

    Of course, then you wouldn’t be able to tell us where you found out. We’ll just keep it to ourselves. How ‘bout it, guys. For the cause…

  • Chicago, if the school established a policy that discriminates against Christians, then it should change the policy.  Saying it has a “policy” isn’t the end of story, especially since Gonzaga itself discriminates by religious affiliation in own officers in its bylaws—and other law schools manage to fund religious affiliation student groups.

    The ability of feminists to associate as feminists isn’t a controversy at Gozaga, or for that matter any group dedicated to opposition to Catholic moral teaching. 

    What is controversial is for Christians to associate as Christians without harassment from anti-Christians which has been documented at Gonzaga.

    Unfortunately for these Christian and Catholic students at GU, all the adulatory letters praising Fr. Spitzer and condeming Dom and Mike Adams does nothing to change their second-class status there or atmosphere of hostility to Catholic moral teaching.

  • Policies don’t always suit the tastes of each and every member of a community.  That doesn’t mean those who disagree are being discriminated against.  If you change the policy for one group, then you have to change it for everyone else.

    If there are non-pro-lifers joining the pro-life club and harassing people (which I find highly dubious) then I am quite certain there are policies in place to stop such behavior.  Just as there would be if anti-feminists joined a feminist club. 

    I headed a pro-life club at Georgetown University’s law school, a place where students were as hostile to the prolife message as they could possibly be.  So I find it hard to believe that these guys are facing some kind of unique problem out there.  It sounds more like people playing the victim card because they can’t get their own way.

    Open your membership to everybody and stop whining, is my advice.  If the big meanies come and spoil your meetings deal with it like every other club does.  Christians need to figure out how to deal with life in the big world with people who don’t necessarily agree with them, especially if they are law students.  Get a backbone, for crying out loud.

  • And how does “every other club” deal with it?  Brass knucks and saps in the back alley?  You talk a good game, Chicago. 

    Perhaps they should take their club off campus.  It is apparent that they have no rights on campus. 

  • Um.  Sure.  Or maybe they could file a grievance against the students who are harassing them?  If a law student can’t figure out how to stop this kind of harassment (if this even is what they are complaining about) then I can’t imagine how they’ll do as lawyers representing people with real problems.

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