Monday, December 06, 2004

John Carroll Prof Lauritzen: We need to tell students that "Bush is a liar and that the Republican party is the Christian version of the Taliban”

From the John Carroll University Student Newspaper

Meetings are being held to discuss politics in the classroom after a professor apologized for an e-mail in which he vented his frustrations over the result of the presidential election.

The controversial e-mail was written by Paul Lauritzen, director of the Applied Ethics Program and professor of Religious Studies, to 32 faculty and administrators.

The e-mail, which was sent on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 10:31 a.m., somehow made it into the hands of students.

In it, Lauritzen wrote that he was “depressed beyond belief” at the result of the election. He added that he was angry, using an expletive.

He then called on colleagues to become more active in political discussion with their students.

“We need to tell our students that Bush is a liar and that many in the Republican party are essentially the Christian version of the Taliban,” he wrote.

“Bush won Ohio and much of the rest of the country because of Guns, Gays, and God,” Lauritzen wrote.

He added, “I say No Guns, No Gay Bashing, Not Your God.”

He added that faculty must organize against the war in Iraq.

“We have to abandon this studied neutrality,” Lauritzen wrote. “We have to lead by example. I ask you to join me in transforming the culture at JCU.”

At the end of the e-mail, Lauritzen urged the recipients to forward the message to others who might be interested.

The Carroll News obtained the e-mail from various students who each expressed their concern over its contents.

Senior Brian Ellis, who was one of the students who got a hold of the e-mail, met with Lauritzen.

“We’re not paying for a one-sided education,” Ellis said.

Nine days after the original e-mail, Lauritzen sent out an apology to the faculty, staff and administrator e-mail list. The same apology will be sent to all students.

“Because the language of the e-mail was intemperate, it has given great offense to many in our community, especially many Republicans,” Lauritzen wrote.

Lauritzen said that it was not his intention to insult anyone.

He also apologized to the recipients of the e-mail, saying that they could mistakenly be thought to endorse the e-mail.

“No one should draw that conclusion,” Lauritzen said.

He added, “The anger expressed in my e-mail was blameworthy, and I

apologize for it.”

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