Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tyndale University Disinvites George Bush In Leftist Anti-Free-Speech Triumph

Official photograph portrait of former U.S. Pr...                       Image via Wikipedia
Due to the actions of a left-wing pressure group Toronto's Tyndale University has cancelled(*) a scheduled fund-raising appearance by US President George W. Bush.

Bush, among other things, did more to quietly save lives in Africa by funding the fight against HIV/AIDS than any previous President but the leftists chose to characterize him as a run-of-the-mill War Criminal (apparently the presumption of innocence doesn't apply when a conservative is on the receiving end of a leftist accusation).

This is sad.

Big-tent inclusive and welcoming Tyndale, of which I am an alumnus, has suddenly become a smaller place.

File this under: exclusion, intimidation, intolerance, not to mention extremely ungracious behaviour.

(*) Actually, a "scheduling conflict" arose  and "neither side is talking", which makes this worse -- a Christian institution apparently engaging in euphemistic obfuscation.


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22 comments:

Alain said...

It is imperative that we put an end to allowing this kind of thug mentality to win every time. If some do not like the speaker (whoever he or she is) they have the option not to attend, but they do not have the option to prevent others from attending. That is a basic tenet of a free and open society as opposed to a theocracy.

RkBall said...

Why is it always the inclusionary, diversity-loving left that want to exclude people and narrow our options? They may not have wanted George Bush to speak, but, clearly, others did.

maryT said...

If a conservative doesn't want to listen to someone, he/she doesn't attend speech, if a leftist doesn't want to hear someone he denies everyone the right to listen.
But, think of all the speakers who have been denied a chance to speak, and who have they given a voice to.
What are they afraid of, perhaps the truth.

Alain said...

Indeed they are afraid of any opposing or different views and in this way they are no different that the Islamists. They are even willing to resort to violence to impose their views, which is why pressure must be put on those in authority, including law enforcement, to cease allowing this behaviour.

RkBall said...

Hi Alain, This was a private institution being pressured by former alumni and professors and current students, so I don't think there's a role for government intervention here.

It's just very unfortunate that those on the left chose to engage in a blatant exercise of intimidation in the name of "peace".

RkBall said...

Plus, from a Christian university perspective, it is an act of extreme rudeness towards a former head of state of a great nation to whom Canadians are indebted.

Alain said...

Sorry to have left the impression that I was advocating government involvement, but even as a private insitution I am sure they receive government money to a degree. There is nothing wrong with tying government funding to ensuring that basic freedom is respected. Furthermore donors who do not agree with this kind of tyranny, regardless of who the speaker is, have the right to make it clear they will no longer be donating. The other side can and should resort just as much pressure.

RkBall said...

I'm sure that donations will be affected one way or the other; for one thing, Prem Watsa, CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings, the guy who was organizing this event (which was a private breakfast for around 150 potential Tyndale supporters, was a supporter of Tyndale. He would have to have connections to invite a former US President!

I think we can kiss his support good-bye, and, I think Tyndale should consider returning donations made by this man, given the treatment he has been shown.

OTOH, perhaps he will be a more gracious man than those who organized the protests.

RkBall said...

In fairness to those on the left, they wouldn't characterize their protests as suppression of speech; they would say that GWB should not have been honoured with an invitation, and it was the invitation to the university, not his pending speech, that was offensive to them.

They have created a politicized, polarized environment at a once peaceful college.

maryT said...

Just heard on SNN that the breakfast is cancelled. Hope the idiots are happy.

Anonymous said...

Another valid question is why in hell would a winner like Bush want to lower himself to speaking at a looney bin dump like Tyndale University (or any place else in Toronto for that matter)?

Pete said...

Actually I think the protests were more about the school standing to raise a LOT of money by using GWB. It had very little to do with whatever he might say in a lecture...

And I'm not sure which 'thugs' you are referring to? A kid in his basement who can make a website?

RkBall said...

Pete -- I think you are right. I think the speech issue was secondary. But, they did prevail in preventing 150 people who wanted to hear him speak. They objected to the name of Tyndale being associated with War Criminal George Bush.

RkBall said...

Plus, whatever people think of GWB, and the wars he authorized, he was a professing born-again Christian who

* did not advance the abortion agenda

* put the brakes on embryonic stem cell research

* upheld traditional marriage

Anonymous said...

Bill Clinton is no less murderer then George W Bush. In small country of Serbia he killed more than 5000 people. However, this is irrelevant for those so called humanists .They would invite Clinton anytime. Maybe nationality and religion is what makes victim a victim - maybe they think that only Afganistans are human.
Monte Christo

RkBall said...

Right. What US President has not engaged in war or subterfuge via the CIA? I suspect that no prominent public figure's hands will be clean enough for Tyndale in the future.

Anon1152 said...

"Right. What US President has not engaged in war or subterfuge via the CIA? I suspect that no prominent public figure's hands will be clean enough for Tyndale in the future."

There is an interesting essay (now decades old) by Michael Walzer about political action and "dirty hands". He suggests that it is difficult to rule AND keep your hands clean. Of course much depends on the ruler, what they are ruling over, and the context in which they rule. But I think that it's fair to say that if the entity in question is important enough [e.g., the United States of America] it is hard to be a responsible ruler AND keep one's hand's clean.

My fear (or my disappointment?) is that many rulers get their hands dirty unnecessarily. They don't seem to know when to get their hands dirty and when not to get their hands dirty. They don't seem to recognize the gravity of these situations. And they don't seem to recognize the fact that dirty hands are - and may forever remain - dirty hands. Some dirt, some deeds, can never be washed away. Perhaps "blood" is a better term than "dirt". Remember Lady Macbeth? "out damn spot! out I say!...who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him"... Here's the smell of blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand."

Perhaps a better (or at least complimentary) Shakespeare reference [by the way, I am about to exhaust my Shakespeare reference ability right now] is to Julius Caesar. Cassius, when trying to convince Brutus to kill Caesar (to preserve freedom in Rome) refers to Brutus's ancestor, [Lucius Junius Brutus] who founded the Roman Republic. He executed his own sons to preserve the free republic for posterity. Cassius says: "O, you and I have heard our fathers say, there was a Brutus once that would have brook'd the eternal devil to keep his state in Rome...". I had to look up "brook" in the dictionary. It apparently means "tolerate or allow". And so "there was a Brutus once" who, in his capacity as ruler of a Republic, killed his sons, to preserve freedom in his Republic. It was such a laudable action that Cassius is exhorting Brutus to do the same sort of thing, even though [the first] Brutus is probably burning in Hell for all eternity.

My point is that I agree with you that "perhaps no prominent public figure's hands will be clean enough". Perhaps no prominent public figure's hands will be clean. I don't think this is true absolutely. But I'm sure that many prominent public figures have dirty hands. I wonder how many recognize this. One problem with utilitarian reasoning is that it can convince someone that dirt is soap. [Or at least, that's what I think in my most deontological/Kantian moods]

Anon1152 said...

"Plus, from a Christian university perspective, it is an act of extreme rudeness towards a former head of state of a great nation to whom Canadians are indebted."

I'm not sure what a "Christian university perspective" is. I'm not sure what a Christian perspective is. I'm certainly ignorant of Christ's perspective. But surely reasonable people can and do disagree about all three perspectives. You seem to have equated an un-Christian perspective with the perspective of "those on the left", who are, in your own words, this school's alumni and current students.

I admit that I've only come across this story this evening, and have much more reading to do to figure out what it's all about. All I've really read thus far is what's on your blog. But surely one can be a Christian, even a "conservative" Christian, and still oppose G W Bush in principle.

You might say "well, they are trying to [succeeding at] preventing him from speaking. But he is being prevented from speaking at this institution, at a fundraising event for the institution, and the people who are behind this are (at least according to Mr Ball) people associated with the institution. If they were, for example, trying to prevent him from publishing his book or appearing on TV/Radio, then I'd find the claim that people are trying to "silence" him more convincing.

Anonymous said...

As someone who is a current student at tyndale (who unfortunately got a little too suckered into the so-called 'debate' over this) and as someone who identifies himself as being left-leaning, I'd like to (perhaps surprisingly) echo your sentiments. This is sad. I think most importantly I'd like to say that this isn't so much a left vs. right partisan thing as it 'thug mentality' winning out - as one of the previous posters said so well and so accurately. The people who have spearheaded the 'cause' to keep bush out have used a different kind of violence to intimidate, harass, threaten and coerce but the administration and students at tyndale. I think it's shameful and I think the impacts of their actions will be felt for a long time.

Left or right, I think it's tragic when people become more obsessed with being right than acting right. We've seen this happen with people on both sides of the political spectrum - I think we can all concede that, so let's not resort to stereotypes of 'the left' or 'the right.'

The massive irony is that these morons claimed their goal was to preserve the integrity and the reputation of tyndale. But in their massively public and massively negative response they have hurt the reputation of the school far more than a visit from any former president ever could.

RkBall said...

"The people who have spearheaded the 'cause' to keep bush out have used a different kind of violence to intimidate, harass, threaten and coerce but the administration and students at tyndale. I think it's shameful and I think the impacts of their actions will be felt for a long time."

Right. Thank you for expressing what I have been thinking.

RkBall said...

"But in their massively public and massively negative response they have hurt the reputation of the school far more than a visit from any former president ever could."

Right. I want to know who contacted the Toronto Star, or, how the Toronto Star found out about this.

RkBall said...

16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:... he that soweth discord among brethren.

A massive heaping pile of discord has been sown at Tyndale.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"