Now what could Tony Jones, a controversial populist theologian and Ann Coulter, the controversial right wing conservative pundit possibly have in common? Both have recently faced threats and censorship by university officials.
However, at least Ann got a letter.
Coulter was invited to speak on campus by a conservative student group at the University of Ottawa, spurring the university provost to issue a stern warning to the incendiary culture warrior. The letter cautioned her to watch her tongue since the freedom of speech is not as free in Canada as it is the U.S. of A. The resulting furor over the published letter and comments Coulter made at another Canadian appearance forced the University to withdraw it’s invitation.
In ironic juxtaposition; once it had sunk-in that emerging church guy Tony Jones was to be a presenter at the national conference for an academic guild (the Society of Pentecostal Studies), the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God threatened to pull their support from the organization and the leadership of North Central University categorically banned Jones from speaking on North Central’s campus. Fortunately, SPS refused to whither and relocated Jone’s events away from the university’s grounds. The background to this kerfuffle is chronicled here and here.
I post about this, first because I am becoming increasingly disturbed by the paralyzing polarization that is occurring in the realm of discourse that seeks to exclude those with contrary voices. It could be argued that the difference between Jones and Coulter was that Coulter received pressure for what she would say and Jones did so for who he is. Are our arguments so weak and viewpoints so fragile that we simply cannot bear dissension? Secondly, how could I pass putting these two together, as I doubt there will be another opportunity that they will ever be on the same side of any other issue.