Free Markets, Free People

Redefining “Fascist”

So public speaking classes aren’t so much about how you argue a point but what point you argue?

A college student has filed a lawsuit saying a public speaking professor berated him in class for making a speech opposing same-sex marriage.

In the federal court suit filed last week, student Jonathan Lopez said that midway through his speech, when he quoted a dictionary definition of marriage and recited a pair of Bible verses, professor John Matteson cut him off and would not allow him to finish. He said Matteson also called him a “fascist bastard.”

A student evaluation form included with the lawsuit lacks a score for Lopez’s speech, and reads “ask God what your grade is.”

Exceptional levels of tolerance in academia, these days, no? A tremendous diversity of opinion is apparently welcomed and encouraged. Good to know, eh?

“Basically, colleges and universities should give Christian students the same rights to free expression as other students,” David J. Hacker, an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization that is representing Lopez, told the Los Angeles Times.

Amazing such a thing even needs to be said in this day and time. You have to wonder if Professor Matteson even knows what “fascist” means, much less that it was he who was acting like one.


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

10 Responses to Redefining “Fascist”

  • Man, sometimes i feel left out for not having any teachers like this, i might of had some fun. Most of my teachers were pretty open/non political, except an art teacher, but i never had a good way to protest like this.  My philosophy teachers was even pretty non political.

    • Yea i’m almost tempted to go to college for the entertainment value these type of individuals would provide.  Only problem is being in the military we don’t have too many of these nut jobs working in the local schools where i’m stationed.

  • I’ve heard/read endless stories like this one, but I must say that Mr. Matteson is a special kind of idiot by putting it in writing on the “student evaluation form”.  I suggest he man-up and start practicing an apology.

  • Several weeks before the aforementioned incident, he told students the following: “If you voted yes on Proposition 8, you are a fascist bastard.”

    To prevent interrupting speakers, Professor Matteson required students to wait outside until they heard applause signifying the end of a speech. Mr. Lopez entered late because he did not hear anyone speaking. Because someone was, in fact, speaking, Lopez apologized to the class. Professor Matteson ignored this apology and decided to confront Lopez in front of his peers with the following: “Not very Christian of you.” The snide remark caused Lopez heightened concern over his eventual outcome in the class. Consequently, Mr. Lopez decided to give Dean Jones a written note describing the December 1 incident.

    Unfortunately, Professor Matteson saw Lopez give the note to Dean Jones. The Professor then confronted Lopez. During the confrontation, the Professor said he would make sure that Lopez was expelled from school.

    • Unfortunately, Professor Matteson saw Lopez give the note to Dean Jones. The Professor then confronted Lopez. During the confrontation, the Professor said he would make sure that Lopez was expelled from school.

      Unfortunate indeed… Unfortunate for the good professor, I suspect…

  • Ah…..a glimpse into Erb’s world

  • In the interests of saving our resident libs a little time…

    HMPH!  The comments thus far would seem to indicate that Professor Matteson was somehow in error.  Obviously, none of you believe in free speech!  I’ll be you all also criticized Ward Churchill when he exercized HIS First Amendment rights and made a few mild comments about the people who died when the WTC collapsed.

    Well, all I can say is that I would expect more respect for freedom of speech.

    / sarc

    Who wants to bet that the school hushes this thing up, that Lopez quietly transfers to another college, and that Matteson gets off with nothing but a mild slap on the wrist?  It’s not like he said anything racist / sexist / homophobic, after all.  He didn’t attack a protected class, so he’s cool.  In fact, he’s probably enjoying the acolades of his fellow professors, a significant fraction of the student body, and the local ACLU for putting a hateful rightwing bigot homophobe Christian in his place.

  • It’s instances like this that make me hate the ACLU more and more. They seem to pathologically ignore cases like this though it looks tailor made for them (if you were to take their mission at face value, I mean).

  • “It’s not like he said anything racist/sexist/homophobic”

    I don’t know “Lopez”, sounds like Matteson has a problem with Hispanics to me….that’s a card I’d be sorely tempted to play just to let Matteson know “the petard, she is a harsh mistress”.

  • This case illustrates how badly we Americans need to get over our foolish notion that everyone should be allowed to have their own opinions about things. We should start following Canada’s practice of having a Human Rights Commission that establishes the acceptable opinions on major public issues. In Canada, anyone having an improper opinion can be found guilty of a hate crime. The professor in this case should be regarded as a hero for not allowing hate speech in his class. Such speech should be regarded as mental pollution and outlawed just as smoking is outlawed in the classroom. The U.S. Supreme Court should reinterpret the constitutional right of “free speech” to mean “speech that makes us more free,” meaning free from racism, social injustice, poverty, and right-wing tyranny. Only speech that promotes these goals should be constitutionally protected. Thankfully, Obama’s forthcoming appointments to the Supreme Court should soon see this come to pass.