Some students at DePaul want to put up a pro-life poster.
You might think that would be uncontroversial at a Catholic university.
This is DePaul, where Free Speech Comes to Die.
They not only banned the poster. They cited “Catholic values” for banning it. You have to give them credit for a droll sense of humor.
Here’s the poster and here’s one article about it.
Now, just for fun, see if you can guess how this poster violates Catholic Values?
As we have declined to host a proposed speaker and asked students to redesign a banner that provokes the Black Lives Matter movement.Some people will say that DePaul’s stance unfairly silences speech to appease a crowd. Nothing can be further from the truth.–Letter from DePaul Pres., Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., to the university community about speech and DePaul’s values
What is DePaul’s rationale for banning speech?
We accept that there is a distinction between being provocative and being hurtful. Speech whose primary purpose is to wound is inconsistent with our Vincentian and Catholic values.
— DePaul’s Guiding Principles on Speech and Expression
- DePaul only protects speech if it is “not hurtful” and
- DePaul’s administrators alone will determine what is hurtful.
My hunch is they won’t make the determination alone. Showing the backbone of overcooked vermicelli, the administrators will listen very, very carefully to see if any approved victims’ group complains. If they do (or might conceivably do so), then the speech will be deemed “hurtful.” After that, the “hurtful” speech will be prohibited.
It goes without saying that prohibiting speech could not itself be hurtful. How could it possible hurt anyone to tell them to shut up? Silencing opposing views is apparently consistent “with our Vincentian and Catholic values.” (They certainly have history on their side, but I’m sure it is not the history they want to be associated with.)
That’s DePaul’s policy, where nothing could be further from the truth than real free speech.
That’s DePaul, which encourages mindless conformity and slovenly thinking because students are not forced to confront divergent ideas or make convincing arguments. To defeat an argument, all they have to do is claim narcissistic injury. “That was hurtful. I win.”