More from the “you-can’t-make-this-up” file. Here are two articles from the same page of the Metro section of this morning’s Washington Post relating the goings on at the University of Maryland.

The first article, ” General Assembly Asks Schools for Porn Policies” has to do with a little brouhaha here in Maryland. Last week, Maryland State Sen. Andrew P. Harris (R-Baltimore County) threatened to block the university’s $424 million share of state operating funds over plans to show a pornographic movie at a theater in the student union.

Responding to this little attention getter, administrators cancelled a screening of the movie scheduled for last Saturday night. But then, as the Post reported in Tuesday’s article, ” At U-Md., XXX-Rated Show Goes On ,” a few students (including those associated with something called the Student Power Party), professors, and local ACLU agitators, outraged at this assault on free speech,  took matters into their own hands and showed excerpts from the movie on Monday night. Here’s how that event is summarized in this morning’s article:

Monday’s showing of about a half-hour of the movie was preceded by a panel discussion on free speech issues. Excerpts of the film that students watched included fight scenes, stormy seas and close-ups of sweaty pirates having orgies.

Meanwhile, on the same page of the same section of the same newspaper is the article, ” U-Md. Senate Votes to Eliminate Invocation” :
The senate at the University of Maryland at College Park has voted to eliminate the invocation from the school’s commencement ceremony.

The recommendation, which must be approved by the university’s president to take effect, was intended to be more sensitive to the concerns of believers and nonbelievers, said senate Chair Kenneth Holum.

The senate, which has about 175 members and includes faculty, students and staff, voted 42 to 14 to abolish the prayer, which is a long-standing feature of commencements at many institutions of higher education.

Holum said it was understood that many people on the large and diverse Maryland campus “felt excluded or marginalized” by having any prayer and by the prayers that have been delivered, which they considered essentially Christian in form and motivation.


We’re not told whether any University of Maryland students felt “excluded or marginalized” by having  a porn flick showing “close-ups of sweaty pirates having orgies” in their student union or whether the taxpayers of Maryland feel “excluded or marginalized” by having their tax money go to an institution that promotes such things in the name of “free speech.”

Articles by Keith Pavlischek

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