Sep 14, 2010

Some "Cultural" Implications of CLS v. Martinez

Today at Duquesne Law, I spoke to a small group of students and faculty on the cultural consequences of the Supreme Court's decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.

I won't go into detail here, but here is a snippet:

If ever there was a community crying out for a diversity of voices, suggesting moral solutions to the problems caused by rampant pragmatic instrumentalism, it is the American legal academy. American law schools are the most morally sterile environments on the planet, having reduced law to social engineering and the engineers to power politicians. We sure don't read Blackstone anymore. Heck, we don't even read Rawls.

Hastings-like policies intentionally sterilize one of the few remaining fertile fields for discourse-- student organizations-- for the sake of marginalizing religion. In doing so, these schools shoot themselves in the foot at a time when they can ill afford the injury. Hastings, and like-minded administrations, who adopt policies that restrict all speech in the name of free speech, gut the conscience of the law school in the following ways:
  • They discourage diverse moral inquiry and discussion. Let's face it: law faculties are nowhere near as diverse of student bodies. And not nearly as morally centered. The lock-step pragmatic orthodoxy of the academy is breathtaking.
  • They usher in the tyranny of the majority (the silly all-comers policy is designed to allow majority opinion to trample unpopular speech);
  • They crush true scholarship-- the pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness for their own sake-- in favor of the prevailing politically correct orthodoxy;
  • They continue to encourage the disintegration of the human person, shouting that moral knowledge is not really knowledge, and that religion has no place in public life.
All the while, their schools look more and more like technical colleges and their graduates sell out to greed, materialism, and narcissism. Go figure.

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