WASHINGTON, D.C., October 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Two prominent Catholic universities are handling comments by faculty on opposite sides of the Brett Kavanaugh divide in very different ways, but both ultimately err on the side of the Supreme Court nominee’s critics.
The FBI is currently interviewing potential witnesses that could corroborate or refute Palo Alto University psychologist Christine Blasey Ford’s claims that the judge tried to rape her as a drunken teenager at a house party in the early 1980s.
Kavanaugh has forcefully denied the charge, and none of the individuals Ford claims attended the party can recall any such event, yet retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-AZ, requested a seventh FBI background inquiry in exchange for sending Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Senate floor.
Ford’s accusations were soon followed by assault allegations by Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, which also lacked corroboration. Last week, Catholic University of America’s (CUA) William Rainford used his official Twitter account to question Swetnick’s story that she witnessed Kavanaugh drinking “excessively” at parties, “grinding” against girls without their consent, and even attended parties in which “gang rape” was common.
“Swetnick is 55 y/o, Kavanaugh is 52 y/o,” wrote Rainford, dean of CUA’s National Catholic School of Social Service, in a tweet that’s since been deleted. “Since when do senior girls hang with freshmen boys? If it happened when Kavanaugh was a senior, Swetnick was an adult drinking with&by [sic] her admission, having sex with underage boys. In another universe, he would be victim & she the perp!”
More than 40 graduate social work students walked out of their classes in protest the next day, NPR reports, with many demanding the dean’s resignation.
Rainford wrote a letter that day apologizing for what he called an “impulsive and thoughtless” statement, and affirming that “Victims who suffer assault and abuse need to be heard, respected, and provided treatment and justice.” He also deleted his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
None of that was enough for CUA president John Garvey, however, who released a statement declaring it was “unacceptable” for Rainford to show a “lack of sensitivity to the victim,” and announcing that he would be suspended for the remainder of the semester. Associate Dean Marie Raber will serve in his place, while the provost’s office will conduct a “thorough review” of additional “concerns” regarding the social work school.
Mainstream secular media and liberal Catholic media often depict Garvey, who notably reinstated single-sex dorms, as a “conservative” whose administration is trying to strengthen the school’s Catholic identity and promote free market economics through its Charles Koch-funded business school. In addition to censuring the pro-Kavnaugh dean, Garvey has been critical of President Trump.
Following these events at CUA, NBC News aired an interview with Swetnick in which the network admitted it was unable to verify any of her claims, and in which Swetnick changed multiple details from her original written statement. Swetnick has also been at the center of multiple past lawsuits, including sexual harassment claims against former co-workers, falsely claiming to have graduated from Johns Hopkins University, and falsely claiming unemployment and disability payments.
Meanwhile, Georgetown University is standing by security studies professor Christine Fair after she used Twitter to call Kavanaugh’s defenders “entitled white men justifying a serial rapists’ arrogated entitlement.” She went on to claim that “all of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps.”
“Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine?” she added. “Yes.”
Fair was suspended — “in error” — from the platform after tweeting the following
She is a professor at Georgetown University pic.twitter.com/0R31SNa746
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) October 2, 2018
Twitter suspended her for several hours, the Daily Caller reports, a move The Wrap’s Jon Levine says was “in error” according to a Twitter representative. At the time of this writing, LifeSiteNews’ own attempts to look up @CChristineFair show the account has been suspended once again.
Yet the Jesuit institution apparently has no intention of disciplining her.
“The views of faculty members expressed in their private capacities are their own and not the views of the University. Our policy does not prohibit speech based on the person presenting ideas or the content of those ideas, even when those ideas may be difficult, controversial or objectionable,” Georgetown spokesman Matt Hill said, according to the Daily Wire. “While faculty members may exercise freedom of speech, we expect that their classrooms and interaction with students be free of bias and geared toward thoughtful, respectful dialogue.”
The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo expressed doubts about Fair’s capacity for respectful, non-biased teachings in light of her Twitter bio declaring she’s a “inter-sectional feminist […] nontheist, resister”; her habit of wearing “Abort Trump” and “F*** Trump” stickers at public speaking events; and other examples of similar angry rhetoric.
“I want to know how @Georgetown justifies employing a scholar who openly advocates for the murder of her political opponents and for the mutilation of their corpses,” Orthodox Christian author Rod Dreher asked on Twitter.
Surprising (and encouraging) to see that Twitter suspended lunatic Christine Fair's account, but I want to know how @Georgetown justifies employing a scholar who openly advocates for the murder of her political opponents and for the mutilation of their corpses.
— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) October 2, 2018
Rainford’s “piddly tweet got the man suspended,” he added at The American Conservative, yet “everything is fine” at Georgetown. “Keep in mind that Georgetown University is where some of the nation’s foreign policy elites are trained — and that Christine Fair is part of that training,” Dreher warned.