Did you see the list of just over 100 Christian colleges and universities put on a so-called “Shame List” by the LGBT group Campus Pride? If a college as much as hosted a campus speaker critical of homosexuality, it made the list — this, because such colleges are deemed “dangerous” by Campus Pride.
Joseph McCarthy Shane Windmeyer, the head of Campus Pride, has an op-ed up on NBCNews.com in which he calls on corporations to blacklist graduates from these universities. Excerpt:
The business case for equality is clear. If companies take pride in “being inclusive and welcoming to all” and say that “discrimination is wrong,” these same corporations must consider their associations with these 102 anti-LGBTQ campuses. Discrimination under the guise of religion is still discrimination. It is the most oppressive and hurtful kind of bias and prejudice to LGBTQ people, who have been victimized by religion-based bigotry for many years.
The harmful association with anti-LGBTQ laws and policies is cause for alarm for any business looking toward the future. If a campus wishes to have an anti-LGBTQ policy sanctioned under the law with a Title IX exemption, that is their choice. Campus Pride published the Shame List so everyone will know about these campuses.
Corporations also have a choice to exercise their values. Don’t donate to these campuses. Don’t recruit or hire at these colleges. Simply choose not to do business with those who choose discrimination over inclusion and diversity.
How long do you think those colleges and universities will be able to hold out if major corporations, yielding to pressure from LGBT groups, treat diplomas from there as badges of shame? If graduate schools refuse to consider students with bachelor’s degrees from the “shame” schools?
How many of those schools on the Shame List will be there in 20 years?
These activists don’t want to dialogue with you, except to negotiate the terms of your school’s surrender.
To some of us, the failure of a Christian college or university to make the list is an occasion of shame.
UPDATE: A college professor (whose school is not on the list) writes:
Campus Pride’s so-called “Shame List” is certainly worthy of eye-rolling and snark, which seems to be the reaction from most of the commenters. But I think this list, and the accompanying Op-Ed, will be one of those cultural markers we look back on from a post-liberal, post-Christian future, and will be able to point to as a turning point. (Granted, my position in academia makes me more sensitive, perhaps, to this kind of thing.) Yes, much of the information is not new and these sorts of legal battles have been ongoing for a decade or more. But there are elements of the Shame List (hard to write that without much eye-rolling) that should make traditional conservatives sit up and take notice, particularly in a post-Eich society.
What struck me as especially disturbing about the list was the description of Westmont College’s “offense”: according to Campus Pride, Westmont expressed “Verbal opposition to pro-LGBTQ legislation.” If you follow the group’s link, you can find Westmont’s perfectly reasonable letter about California SB1146. The president expresses a desire to defeat the bill, which would undoubtedly represent quite a reach by the state into the affairs of a private, religiously affiliated college. As we know, the crux of all of this is access to federal financial aid: if your students can’t access it, your days as a college are either numbered or at least made vastly more difficult.
The college did not donate money, the way Eich did. It simply released a statement — “verbal opposition,” as Campus Pride says — opposing a bill in the democratic process, as is its, and my, and your, right. This debate is a political problem, in the sense of politics as an attempt to satisfy multiple constituencies in democratic life. As such, it will inevitably break down into a series of compromises, which is exactly what politics is. And, it’s worth mentioning, what politics should be. But Campus Pride insists that what matters here is not politics or the democratic process, but some kind of moral purity as represented in free speech. When we are dealing with a complex federal budget, we are all going to support things we don’t want to. I don’t like that my tax dollars go to Planned Parenthood or drone strikes that kill innocent children, but I also know that, on some level, that’s the price I pay for living in a democratic society and for getting money for the causes I care about. Campus Pride has missed this, and that’s a crucial point: in their view, no taxpayer money should be directed toward groups they see as “exclusionary” as defined by a private group, not by public consensus. This is Athenian Democracy 101 — that when we pool money, we ineluctably support things we’re not crazy about — that you can read about in Aristotle’s Politics, but Campus Pride has, in classic Enlightened Modernity fashion, now seen a thing that was never there and claimed it to be eternal.
Worse, follow Campus Pride’s logic: Group A has a policy we dislike, and so we encourage incomparably powerful structures (for what else are corporations?) to boycott and blacklist anyone associated with Group A. The gay rights movement was marginalized for many years. The fact that they are now calling for hegemonic and anti-democratic powers to join them in silencing people who verbally disagree should be a huge cause for concern. And this is not even to mention that they don’t want to just silence Group A but in fact anyone associated with it, including, potentially, a gay student who had the poor luck to graduate from there.
Traditional conservatives should not roll our eyes at this development. A neo-McCarthyist group is explicitly asking the forces of the neoliberal corporate state to join forces with them in expelling dissenters from gay rights orthodoxy not just from the public square, but from the public and from the society. The goal is not to win an argument; the goal is to drive someone away. The goal, bluntly, is to symbolically kill them. That such vengeance is emanating from a recently disenfranchised group is very disheartening. That the movement is calling for a State-Corporate fusion in order to excise Christian enemies is terrifying.
You can get on the blacklist simply by inviting a speaker to campus that disagrees with the LGBT activist line.
I would point out that Campus Pride has a major national corporate sponsor: the supermarket chain Food Lion. With its sponsorship, Food Lion supports blacklisting Christian colleges and their graduates. Why should Christian grocery shoppers support Food Lion?