Monday, May 01, 2006

Religion battles reemerge at Madison

UW Madison made the Journal-Sentinal today with the story of a Catholic student organization that was denied funding by the chancellor.

The fight seems to be over the large amount of money ($88,000) that the administration saw as subsidizing a church.

Read the story--I would imagine that we'll hear from the Christianists in Madison about this today--as they scream that Christians are embattled and how this proves discrimination against their kind.


JS Online:UW fee handouts again stir conflict

8 comments:

nemesis said...

wow. You really don't understand religion (besides being unable to spell it) if you think a bunch of fundamentalists is going to stand up for a bunch of "papists."

tony palmeri said...

Actually Lake Winneblogo, I'm not sure that Chancellor Wiley's decision can stand in light of what the majority of justices said in the Soutworth case. In that case, which was unanimous, 6 of the judges agreed to a "viewpoint neutral" standard of fee allocation that would probably support the Catholic student organization.

Three judges wrote a concurring opinion saying that viewpoint neutrality need not be a mandatory part of the allocation process as long as fees are allocated in a way that is "in keeping with the more general goal of furthering the school's academic mission." I think that standard would suggest it's inappropriate to fund an organization that is using the money to pay for church related activities and materials.

Lake Winneblogo said...

It is an interesting question. Aren't they worried about where the funding is going?

If it were being spent on the students alone, there might not be the issue. General support of a church seems like a problem.

As a side note, it seems like quite a bit of money for a student group to receive.

Finally, I don't think there is any doubt that right-wing Christianities are very close in their understanding of politics. There may be distinctions about authority between the churches, but broad agreement about "discrimination" against them on university campuses.

Anonymous said...

The amount is what seems shocking. If the students were given a choice to allocate or divert the money from student fees to hiring advisors or a faculty member, what would they do? Now I know Madison is huge and one or more hire(s) is a drop in the bucket, but students need to think about where their fees are going and not just about tuition. They should examine how much they are paying in fees and ask themselves if the amount is worth it. What do you get for $88,000.

nemesis said...

Lake Winneblogo said:
"Finally, I don't think there is any doubt that right-wing Christianities are very close in their understanding of politics. There may be distinctions about authority between the churches, but broad agreement about "discrimination" against them on university campuses."

Ha! You really DON'T understand religion, do you? You honestly see it as this big monolithic boogey-man, don't you? Such a simplistic outlook is NOT what I expect from an alleged university staff member.

As a product of 12 years of Roman Catholic education, I assure you there is nothing "right-wing" about Catholics! Those nuns and priests were the most liberal/progressive/left-wing bunch of people I ever met in my life! They invented "revolution theology!" It wasn't the atheists and agnostics who were afraid of Alf Landon and John Kennedy becoming president, it was the Southern Baptists and other Protestants.

Learn some history, dude! Facts will carry you much farther in life than your knee-jerk prejudices.

Anonymous said...

To nemesis: UW's issue is over money and not ideology. From the original posting, "The fight seems to be over the large amount of money ($88,000) that the administration saw as subsidizing a church. " Rather than going off-topic, how about focusing on the budget issue?

nemesis said...

To anonymous: I agree that the issue is money. I feel very uncomfortable with any public money going to religious organizations. I think student activity fees should fund a far narrower spectrum of groups than it hqas in recent years. Better yet, do away with them altogether and adopt a pat-as-you-go model for participants and beneficiaries.

But pointing out Winneblogo's simplistic knee-jerk view of religion is emphatically NOT off-topic. It IS his blog, after all. He IS the topic. I am embarrassed that someone who is allegedly an educator would evince such simplistic views of a complex topic. I expect Joe Sixpack to think that way, not an alleged university staffer.

Lake Winneblogo said...

I am not making a claim about all Catholics, or even most American catholics. nemesis's hostility seems unwarranted.

However, there are many within the church who are comfortable and strident in their right-wing views. What is the church's official position on birth control and abortion again?? Which bishop was it that refused to give John Kerry communion? Those sorts are not that far from the evangelical right. They have been pressuring Catholic universities to stop being so secular.

As a final note-- it was reported today that the chancellor approved almost $150,000 for the UW catholic group. What an astounding amount of money for any student group, let alone a religious one!