Robert George is concerned about the authoritarian impulse of modern liberalism :

Am I exaggerating the worry? Is the word “authoritarian” or the phrase “crush the rights of conscience” out of line in this context? Well, perhaps we have a test case emerging. A George Washington University law professor who is well-known for bringing law suits to advance liberal causes has given notice to the Catholic University of America that he will be suing the university under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act. And what is alleged to be Catholic University’s mortal sin against human rights? Are you ready? It is the decision of CUA president John Garvey (himself an eminent legal scholar in the field of religious liberty and human rights, as MoJers know) to shift the university from co-ed dormitories to single-sex dorms. President Garvey’s objective (of which this particular change of policy is only a small piece) is to promote moral integrity as the Catholic Church understands that virtue and to combat the culture of promiscuity and alcohol abuse on campus. And what could possibly be wrong with that? Well, for “comprehensive liberals,” it seems, having separate dorms for young men and young women is “discrimination” based on “sexual stereotypes.” It simply can’t be tolerated. Institutions that would separate the sexes in living quarters are practicing the equivalent of racism by imposing on their students the equivalent of the Jim Crow system in the segregated South. Oy vey.

So we’ll see where liberals in general line up on this. It will, I predict, be instructive. Some, I hope and trust, will sniff the odor of authoritarianism and perhaps even speak out publicly against this effort to whip a private religious institution into line with liberal ideological tenets. But how many? Where will Catholic liberals (especially Catholic liberal academics) come down? Will they speak out?

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Articles by Joe Carter

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