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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, May 06, 2005

True Colors

The University of St. Thomas Law School has recently taken issue with an NPR "Morning Edition" report which descibed the law school as “religiously conservative law school.” In response, the law school issued this letter (May 6, 2005, 3:22 p.m. post on How Appealing, by Howard Bashman), which I quote in full:

A report on “Morning Edition” was incorrect in implying that the University of St. Thomas School of Law is a “religiously conservative law school.”

St. Thomas is a Catholic law school, and we take our religious identity seriously. For us, that does not mean pursuing political causes, but instead helping our students to integrate their religious and personal values — whatever those values may be — into their professional identities. We hope that this will lead our students to practice law ethically and use their legal training to serve their fellow human beings — particularly the most needy among us.

There is nothing politically “conservative” about our mission, and the people we have attracted prove this. The vast majority of our faculty and student body are left-of-center politically. Our faculty includes individuals who are openly gay, who support abortion rights, who oppose the death penalty, and who have worked on behalf of other “liberal” causes. We have chapters of the National Lawyers Guild and Out!law on campus, but we do not have a chapter of the American Center for Law & Justice. We are one of the few law schools in the country to require all of our students to do public service as a condition of graduation, and the American Bar Association recently singled out for praise the high number of our graduates who have taken Legal Aid and other public service jobs.

Far from being “politically conservative,” St. Thomas is striving to prove that a law school can take religion seriously without ascribing to any political agenda.

Dean Thomas M. Mengler
Dean and Ryan Chair in Law

(emphasis added).

I, myself, am leaning towards the conclusion that the letter is a hoax. I cannot believe that a dean of a law school could write such a letter loaded with obvious contradictions. He would have to be clinically, certifiably, idiotic. The school takes its religion, its CATHOLIC religion, seriously? It does not ascribe to ANY politcal agenda? I just cannot believe it. All this letter does is tell the world that the law school is not politically conservative, but liberal, and like every other political liberal, stupid. The law school is definitely not Catholic.