Catholic Schools Should Learn From Brandeis – OpEd


Students who support the Palestinian cause at Brandeis University can still do so, but they have to choose a student group other than Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). That’s because this group is openly supportive of Hamas, a terrorist organization pledged to killing all Jews.

Brandeis was founded by Jews, and though a third of the students are Jewish, it is not a Jewish school; it is non-sectarian. In reaching its decision, administrators said that because of its support for Hamas, the “Brandeis chapter of the National SJP must be unrecognized and will no longer be eligible to receive funding, be permitted to conduct activities on campus, or use the Brandeis name and logo in promoting itself or its activities, including through social media channels.”

This is an excellent statement. Too bad Catholic colleges and universities don’t follow suit. However, it was encouraging to note that Fr. John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, joined hands with the presidents of other institutions of higher education in signing a statement, “We Stand Together with Israel Against Hamas.” Among the signatories were the presidents of Yeshiva University, Dillard University, the Council for Christians Colleges and Universities, the State University of New York (SUNY), Baylor University and the United Negro College Fund.

This is a good time for Catholic schools, at all levels, to review their mission statement and assess if student groups on campus—independent of whether they receive funding—are supporting causes that promote the killing of innocents. That surely would include pro-abortion clubs.

Unfortunately, Boston College, Fordham University and Georgetown University—all run by Jesuits—have recognized pro-abortion clubs.

Boston Law School, Fordham Law School and Georgetown Law School have chapters of If/When/How. While its name is deceptive, its goal is not. “Law Students for Reproductive Justice [its previous name] trains and mobilizes law students and new lawyers across the country to foster legal expertise and support for the realization of reproductive justice.”

Georgetown is so committed to abortion rights that it has a longstanding undergraduate student club, H*yas for Choice. It is a “queer affirming” group that provides “safer sex supplies, including condoms, dental dams, lube and emergency contraception on Georgetown University’s campus—all of which are provided free of charge and without judgment.”

It does not matter that H*yas for Choice is not endorsed by the school and does not receive funding: It is allowed to operate on campus. If a chapter of the Klan were to seek the same status it would be summarily rejected. That’s because the Jesuits who run Georgetown are infinitely more upset about racism than they are the killing of innocent children.

I’ve asked parents who have sent their children to Georgetown if they approve of the pro-abortion clubs on campus, and they say they don’t. When I ask why they still sent them there they invariably reply that the chances of landing a good job are excellent. When I ask if their children might also land a good job if they graduated from George Washington University or George Mason University, they just stare at me.

Congratulations to Brandeis for banning pro-terrorist student groups on campus. Shame on Catholic schools that accommodate pro-abortion groups.

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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