FAIRFIELD, CT, January 4, 2013, (Campus Notes) - Fairfield University has announced that it will be hosting atheist, lesbian, pro-abortion social commentator Fran Lebowitz next month, inviting comparison to last month’s controversy at nearby Fordham University over a canceled lecture by conservative commentator Ann Coulter.
Last month, Fordham’s College Republicans canceled its invitation to Coulter after an uproar over her fiery rhetoric that included University President Father Joseph McShane, S.J., admonishing and publicly scolding the group for violating Catholic standards of charity and civility.
But Jesuit-run Fairfield seems unapologetic for holding an offensive liberal commentator to a different standard, even publicly comparing Lebowitz to Coulter.
“If the right can have its embittered Ann Coulter, the left can have its witty, in-your-face, modern-day Dorothy Parker, one who dispenses both tongue-in-cheek humor as well as wisdom,” Dr. Michael White, program director of Fairfield University’s MFA in Creative Writing, is quoted as saying in the University’s press release.
While the university can offer no other description of the bestselling Coulter than “embittered,” its press release labels Lebowitz the “purveyor of urban cool.”
The release from the University promises that Lebowitz will speak about gender, race, and homosexual rights.
On same-sex “marriage,” Lebowitz said:
I didn’t say I support it; I said if it were put to a vote, I would vote for it because I know people want it. But why they want it is a mystery to me. To me, these are the things I ran away from. I cannot think of anything more suffocating than family life. I cannot think of anything to be avoided more assiduously than family life. You want it, go ahead, have it. I would not take it from anyone. But to me it’s pretty surprising. Here’s what I think: there was probably always a fair percentage of gay people in the population. When I was young, only a very small percentage lived as gay. You could not live in most places in this country and be gay in a life that would be satisfactory to you. That’s why people came to New York. Now you can be gay anywhere. Ninety-five percent of gay people are average people. The freedom of gay people now has enabled most gay people to be average. So, if you don’t like average life, then you find it surprising. But it’s also different if you’re young because you’ve lived in an entirely different world. I mean as different as if it were Pluto. These younger gay people are entirely different. To me they seem like straight people: they get married, they have children, they bang into you with their strollers, they irritate you. But mostly I just think, why do you live here? Please move to Westchester; you’re taking up all the places we want to be. But I’m not surprised—most straight people want to get married.
On abortion, Lebowitz reportedly said recently:
Abortion was settled in this country. But not really, because they’re never ever going to let that go. Something that in my opinion—and no one even says “abortion.” They say “Women’s Health.” OK, it’s not women’s health. Believe me if a woman needs a flu shot, the Republicans don’t care. Okay? It is “abortion,” a word you can’t say anymore. Abortion—to me, should not be or should never have been even a political question. It has nothing to do with politics. I can truthfully not think of a more private matter than abortion. I don’t even think the father of a child should have a say. That’s how private and individual of a thing it is. And yet, they’re going to keep going until it’s not legal. And already, it’s incredibly hard to get an abortion in this country. So that, as long as they keep trying to pull—the Republicans keep trying to pull back, it’s very hard to move forward. The response on the Left should not be—okay, we won’t do that much. We’re not really like that. It should be outrage.
Lebowitz is invited to speak at Fairfield on January 28th.
Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., President
c/o Diane Mastrone, Administrative Assistant
(203) 254-4000, ext. 2217
Office of the President
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824