God and [Congress] Man at Duke:
Rep. Walter Jones Leads the Fight
BY JOHN T. PLECNIKwww.johnplecnik.com
September 15, 2004
The issue of liberal bias on campus may seem trivial during an election year dominated by concerns of homeland security. However, September 11th has taught us that in facing great challenge nothing can substitute for strong, moral leadership. Perhaps former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani put it best during his speech at the Republican National Convention. "On September 11, this city and our nation faced the worst attack in our history," recounted Giuliani. "At the time, we believed we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Spontaneously, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and said to Bernie, 'Thank God George Bush is our President.'"
Thank God, indeed. But President Bush is only eligible to serve '4 more years.' Though this generation has been blessed with Bush, will it produce such presidents? The future leaders of the free world are finding their causes on campus. They prepare for exams, not elections. While politicos debate on Fox News and CNN, they study and go to class. Ivory towers dictate their experience…if liberal bias prevails, who will take up the torch. The hearts and minds of our future hang in the balance.
U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) recognizes this fundamental truth. In an era of apathy, he has stepped outside his district-outside politics-to protect the next generation of conservative leadership.
The 4th congressional district of North Carolina is represented by Professor David Price of Duke University. The poster child of liberal academia, Price went from authoring scholarly texts to writing the law. Needless to say, Price sees no imbalance at Duke or the University of North Carolina.
At UNC, a Christian student was lambasted by his professor in a class-wide e-mail for expressing his personal view that homosexuality is immoral. Responding to the professor's proposition that heterosexual men are intimidated by gays, the young UNC-goer was merely engaged in classroom discussion. For expressing his person beliefs, the hapless student was labeled as a sexist bigot. The famed professor-politician could care less, but Jones refused to let this abuse stand. He spoke with UNC's chancellor and demanded a remedy. Shortly thereafter, the offending professor was assigned a supervisor for all her classes to ensure responsible dialogue.
Now, UNC has revoked recognition from a Christian student organization for limiting its membership to Christians. The university alleges that such limited membership is discriminatory. If the new policy stands, Alpha Iota Omega Christian Fraternity will be denied all university funding and the right to reserve space for meetings. This time, the chancellor refuses to back down.
The fraternity membership, also unrelenting, has brought suit in federal court. They seek an injunction against the new, anti-Christian policy. Notably, Jones is back. While our students battle in the courtroom, the Catholic congressman represents them in the court of public opinion.
I met Walter Jones at the first 'College Abuse Conference for Free Speech' in Durham, N.C. The event was hosted by then congressional candidate "Whit" Whitfield, one of the few politicians that stood by Jones against liberal bias. Rachel Lea Hunter, conservative candidate for North Carolina Supreme Court, was also present and helped to coordinate the event. Jones and I were both invited to speak, and I came to appreciate the depth of his passion to protect the defenseless conservative student. Jones recounted the terrible abuses at UNC. He recalled how he had heard the story of the persecuted Christian over the radio, and became determined to right that wrong. His presence at the conference was further proof of his commitment.
The conference itself was heralded by local, state, and national publications. The Pope Center for Higher Education quickly began planning a similar gathering for later this fall at North Carolina State University.
Campus conservatives have chosen their leader in the fight against liberal bias on campus: his name is Walter Jones.
I spent the summer interning up in Washington with U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude. Working underneath Myrick has undoubtedly made me a better Republican. Should I ever to be called to public service, I would strive to emulate her sacrifice and determination.
In Washington, Jones and I bumped into one another in the halls of congress. We recognized each other and he invited me to join him for a meeting. In his office, we discussed the growing discrimination against Christians and conservatives in our society, and the problems created by activist judges and oppressive professors. Jones asked me what I had learned about the courts in Constitutional Law. I responded that I had received a 4.0 in ConLaw, but learned just one thing. Today, the law is what the judges say it is.
I thanked him for defending campus conservatives. I expressed my appreciation for the political risks he continued to endure on our behalf. Jones replied that he had to defend the future. He said that I was the future, joking that I might have to defend him before the Supreme Court someday. I replied, "I might be the future, but you are the present. Without the present there is no future."
Afterwards, Jones threw his arm over my shoulder and promised that he would visit Duke University before the fall elections. Jones has made good on his promise and will join us on Monday, 10/25/04. I would invite all campus conservatives to attend.