Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My alma mater, which I deeply love, has re-evaluated its decision to invite Ann Coulter to speak on campus. She is being replaced by Jose Maria Aznar, the former president of Spain. I would like to thank all of you who took time to respectfully express your opinions to Harding board members and/or to the Harding administration. Most of you who did so had the same reason I did: not because Ann Coulter is conservative but because her words are divisive and damaging to public discourse in this country. I would also like to thank those board members who spoke out and those administrators who made this tough--though very appropriate--decision.

20 Comments:

  • Wondering if Anna Coulter knows why she has been uninvited?

    By Blogger Hoots Musings, at 8/30/2005 02:55:00 PM  

  • Good for Harding!

    By Blogger David Michael, at 8/30/2005 04:32:00 PM  

  • Unfortunately, this still fails to address the real issue: why are all these people -- whether they are foreign dignitaries or political columnists -- invited to speak while great Christian speakers like you and Jefferson are persona non grata?

    By Blogger john alan turner, at 8/30/2005 09:09:00 PM  

  • When I was a student at ACU, George W. Bush was invited to speak at an opening ceremony (I think that was the occassion). It was during the run for Texas governor in the 90's, and as a Christian Democrat, I was upset that our school would so publically endorse a Republican candidate. I realize this is not entirely similar to the Anne Coulter situation, but I wonder if anyone else was as taken aback as I was then. It kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.

    By Blogger D.J., at 8/31/2005 06:20:00 AM  

  • Power to the people!!!

    By Blogger Brad, at 8/31/2005 06:43:00 AM  

  • Wonderful news. I am proud of the administration. While there are still many problems to work on at Harding this is a great step and a very tough choice.

    I wonder if this will knock Harding down in the "most conervative colleges" ranking. :-)

    By Blogger Kile, at 8/31/2005 07:58:00 AM  

  • Totally off the subject but Dee finally made another post on her blog about Hurricane Katrina.

    http://www.deeandrews.blogspot.com/

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 8/31/2005 08:39:00 AM  

  • Hi Mike.

    First, I owe you $5.00 plus interest. Back in 1989, when I was a poor Harding student we sat next to one another on a flight to Dallas and you gave me $5.00 to buy lunch because I was plum busted.

    RE Ann Coulter. I like to think that this is a sign of things to come. I know that there are some reasonable people on the Harding Board and faculty. This proves it.

    Someday more Harding folks (and other Christians) will learn that being Bible believing followers of Jesus Christ is not the same as being a political conservative and Republican partisan.

    I live in Nicaragua as a diplomat. If you would like me to pay you back for the $5.00+ that I owe you, you are welcome to bring your family down for a sunny vacation. The scuba diving is great here!

    By Blogger Dana Deree, at 8/31/2005 10:02:00 AM  

  • "We the people" CAN make a difference after all!

    By Blogger Jana, at 8/31/2005 10:27:00 AM  

  • I have always said that even if I do not agree with Harding on specific issues that one could be sure they believed in emulating the loving nature of God. I am so happy to see that this is still true. I think I hear a collective sigh of relief!

    By Blogger kim, at 8/31/2005 11:46:00 AM  

  • Whew.

    Note the power of written discourse.

    By Blogger Cole, at 8/31/2005 02:32:00 PM  

  • Ok, maybe I'm a little naive here, but I see nothing wrong with bringing Ann Coulter to a Christian campus. Isn't part of the university (and Christian) experience hearing and sharing different viewpoints (within reason)? I don't personally agree with Coulter's extreme views, but then again, I can guarantee I don't agree with Mikhail Gorbachev's views either.

    I've seen Coulter speak on other university campuses and she is always a lightning rod for discourse. What an opportunity missed to share true principles of love, joy, peace and forgiveness.

    By Blogger Jeffaroo, at 9/01/2005 11:43:00 AM  

  • Congratulations to all of you who forced Harding to withdraw the invitation to Anne Coulter to speak. Now you are just as bad as those on the radical right-wing who blacklist the speakers you like. Your original point -- if A can speak, why can't B -- was a great question. Now you have forfeited the right to ask it by playing the same game.

    By Blogger Jim Shelton, at 9/02/2005 07:36:00 PM  

  • Hi mike I attended pine valley c of c when you were a minister there. I also did time @ Harding university. I do not claim it. I do not suporrt it. When alumni calls come in asking for money I hang up. Ann Coulter would have been great there. She Rocks. My father and I are regular visiters to her website and are deeply disapappointed to have seen this happen. If her veiws clash with yours why not have 2 speakers from both sides? What a concept. That way everyone is treated equal and both "parties" have a function. I think that is more PC(isn't that what you liberals love?) The students there are adults and do not need to be spoon fed. They can and will form their opinons on there own. I know I have.

    In Him,
    Jaime Todd
    Wilmington, NC

    By Blogger jaime todd, at 9/03/2005 10:48:00 AM  

  • Let me respond to these two posts abov mine: there is a profound difference between, on the one hand, alumni writing in and saying "I don't think inviting a vitriloic, divisive speaker who supports questionable and hateful messages is a good idea for Harding" and on the other hand, the HU administration saying "This preacher can't speak on campus because his views are too liberal."

    Nobody is saying "HU students can't handle conservative views" regarding Coulter; to me, it seems to be about not wanting to support such a source of explicit hateful ideology.

    Not allowing Cope or Walling to speak on campus is squelching two great minds who are adding to the modern conversations taking place among the mainstream brotherhood.

    Do you REALLY not see a difference?

    By Blogger Cole, at 9/04/2005 09:42:00 PM  

  • Cole,

    What you are failing to see is a connection between those alumni and the actions by the administration -- whether those alumni lean to the right or lean to the left. To say "alumni" got Coulter cancelled, but "the administration" keeps Walling from speaking reflects a failure to see a connection between the two? Do you really believe there is no alumni pressure working to keep Jeff Walling from speaking at Harding? The fact is that those who got Anne Coulter's speech cancelled played the same type of game often played by those on the far right regarding which preachers may speak. And, as much as sine may hate to admit it, Coulter has been adding to "mainstream" conversations in the political realm for years. Her book sales, network appearances, and campus tours solidify her position as adding to "mainstream conversations" regardless of how extreme some of her views may seem.

    By Blogger Jim Shelton, at 9/05/2005 05:56:00 AM  

  • I can't believe what I am reading, in fact I am in something of a state of shock. This is the first I heard of this, but I am overwhelmed with disappointment. All three of my sons are Harding grads. Ann Coulter is an exceptionally talented and courageous woman, who takes a stand on her convictions. Isn't censoring speech a terrible blow to liberty?

    I guess only those perfectly in the center of what everyone believes will be allow to speak. That's going to narrow the "approved" list some isnt it.

    I thought we were making progress. The church I knew kept drawing tighter and tighter circles around itself until it was just about dead.

    I guess I knew that kind of thinking was still out there...I just really didn't expect it here.

    I am stunned.

    By Blogger Rcutsinger, at 9/05/2005 06:30:00 AM  

  • Did you see what Ann wrote after being cancelled?... "I'm afraid they leave me no choice . . . - I'm going to have to invade Harding University, kill its leaders, and then convert them to Christianity."
    Before any of you faint from reading this I will let you in on the joke. The punch line is you...getting the vapors while reading blunt undediable truths said in a way as to cause discomfort.
    Ann's restatement of THE GREAT COMMISSION in an historical context was divisive. It left people with a clear choice. Is Christ meant to change the whole world or as a prop for the United Way, Lions Club, social saftey net that he gets used for?
    The only real hope for people is Jesus. Ann said it. You hated her for it.

    By Blogger c hand, at 9/05/2005 09:53:00 AM  

  • AMEN c hand. There is not anything in the bill of rights that sayes you have the right never to be offended. We have free speech. If you don't like something that is said and are offended, you reserve the right to voice a different opinon, leave the room, change the channel. You DO NOT reserve the right to try and shut someone up/out. This does not not just apply to Ann. It applies to liberal people like mike cope. I may not want to hear it so I woulnd't go. Simple as that. Doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to speak. It all boils down to CHOICE. Unfortunatly from my experince of Harding that is something they rarely offer. Escpecially if you are female. If you happen to be male than only some of the rules apply to you. Harding is about double standards. So I guess only letting 1 veiw in makes sense.

    By Blogger jaime todd, at 9/05/2005 06:00:00 PM  

  • Mike Cope, you are one of the reasons I am a Christian. So is the American Studies Institute. I came to Harding in 1989 at 18 as an unbeliever from a home in which neither parent was a practicing Christian. But, I was politically conservative and wanted to attend a school that was going to provide an education rather than leftist indoctrination. A high school teacher of mine, a Christian and Harding grad, told me about Harding. He did more than that, he took his own personal time to bring me to see Robert Bork speak as an ASI lecturer. I was sold and went to Harding the next fall. Your Wednesday night Peak of the Week classes were a major factor in my decision to become a Christian later that year. That's why I find it so disheartening to see you leading an effort to silence someone you disagree with politically. Coulter was not there to teach Christianity. The school is not the Church. If you disagree with their politics, fine. But, the school has a long and proud tradition of taking a stand on great issues of the day. In Dr. Benson's day, it was anti-communism. Now, was it the business of the *Church* to be anti-communist? Not necessarily. But the National Education Program (NEP) was a Harding program, not a Church program. And it is one that Harding graduates should be proud of. Some of the other comments here are right on. Did you complain when the school invited Gorbachev? He is an atheist. No, because he wasn't there for his religious views. Neither was Ann Coulter. It looks like this is about a religious dispute that has nothing to do with Ann Coulter and that makes us all look bad. If someone you like isn't invited to preach or teach on religious matters at Harding because of a difference on doctrine, that should have nothing to do with people who are invited to speak for totally separate reasons. Moreover, surrendering to this pressure has made the school look silly. Left wing bloggers, who hate Coulter and Christianity and religion in general are gleefully posting about this. And many people are reading about the school for the very first time because of this and seeing them try to explain their reversal by claiming they didn't know about some of the things she said. That doesn't help the image of the school, its graduates, or the movement associated with it. Anyone with access to Google knows what she has said. My point is you say that you love Harding, but your actions have hurt the school. Well, to be more precise, you and those who pressured the school to dump Coulter have convinced the school to hurt itself. The student body isn't helped by shielding them from commentators just because they adopt a controversial tone. I'm starting to repeat things I already posted about on my own blog, so I'll stop now. This whole thing is very depressing.

    By Blogger extremist, at 9/07/2005 02:47:00 PM  

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