Friday, February 04, 2005
Ward Churchill Is Only The Tip of an Iceberg
"Ward Churchill is the University of Colorado professor and far left activist whose inflammatory essay on the 9/11 terrorist act compared the victims thereof to "little Eichmanns”, taken from a blog written by Stephen Bainbridge.
I was reminded, through my various readings and comments regarding what Ward Churchill had said, of the line by Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Professor Stephen Bainbridge, corporate law professor at UCLA, wrote in his editorial blog,
“I stand by my view that the man is an ass. Unlike Churchill, however, I take a rather expansive view of the First Amendment. As one of those rare conservatives in the academy, moreover, it is in my self-interest to insist that tenure and academic freedom must be protected.”
I would have to part company with Professor Bainbridge when he stated that “tenure and academic freedom must be protected.” The right to free speech does not include the guarantee of employment, only that you have the right to make a fool of yourself. I’m not saying that the government should go after this fellow Churchill because he said some rather foolish remarks, only that there are limits to how foolish he can behave before his employer shows him the door.
I quote a line from Ezra Taft Benson, "These men of power, prestige, and great influence in the political structure of America have permitted the concept of `freedom of speech' to be expanded to include subversion, intimidation, sedition, and incitement to riot; they have condoned the distortion of `academic freedom' to encompass the adulteration of young minds with Communist doctrine and the disintegration of a well-disciplined educational system; they have allowed `freedom of assembly' to mushroom into disruption of peaceful activity, mob rule, riot, and insurrection.”
I was employed as a police officer by the City of Houston and during my twenty years as their employee it was understood that my actions and comments would be a reflection of the City of Houston. If at anytime it became apparent that my actions ran contrary to those considered to be acceptable my employment could be terminated under a general violation of a “common sense” clause that covered almost any non-specific that might come down the pike. Granted, “common sense” clauses make plenty of lawyers a full time income; the point being that the employer should always have the right to determine what image is to be presented to the public.
In the case of the University of Colorado having the right to terminate any of its employees, to include Ward Churchill, the same general “common sense” clause would have to be taken into consideration. I offer the following, “We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.”, from Section 134 of the Doctrines and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
As governments have the right to protect their citizens, so it is with the private sector to protect themselves. Ward Churchill is not exempt from having to pay for the consequences of his own actions, to include the loss of his position as a teacher for an institution of higher learning. Whether or not he is guilty of treason or sedition is not the point of this article; however, it would seem that he clearly hates the United States of America and what we stand for. Is this the kind of person we want teaching young minds?
Edmund Burke, the great English statesman, explained that, "men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites,—in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity,—in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption,—in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." (The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke Vol. 4, pp. 51-52.)
I wouldn’t let Ward Churchill be a dog catcher, much less hold such the influential position of professor teaching at the University of Colorado. Show him the door!
Posted by T. F. Stern at 1:52 PM