A friend e-mailed this article to me today and asked what I thought of it:
Last week, the University of Victoria Students’ Society finally ruled that a pro-life club broke the school’s harassment policy by comparing abortion to the Holocaust in October 2010.
At a Feb. 7 meeting, the students’ society voted to censure Youth Protecting Youth over “Echoes of the Holocaust,” a talk led by a visiting representative of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform. The public disapproval of YPY’s actions follows recommendations made by the students’ society’s complaints committee, which was formed in 2008 after numerous students voiced concerns regarding the controversial club.
Simply put, I think that the university needs to educate itself on the definition of “harassment” and “holocaust”. According to the dictionary widget thing on my computer, to harass is to subject to aggressive pressure or intimidation and holocaust is destruction or slaughter on a mass scale. Since the event was held in a classroom, I’m not sure how anybody could possibly feel harassed, since in order to encounter it one would have to essentially bring it upon themselves and attend the event. I feel pretty safe in saying that abortion easily fits the definition of a holocaust.
Of course, the end of the article gives away the real reason people were complaining:
The complaints committee also recommended the UVSS board weigh mediation options with YPY and host a restorative justice (likely pro-choice) event, organized by the Political Action Committee.
Maybe it’s just me, but if I wanted to do a follow-up restorative justice event, it would be about the holocaust, not abortion. It looks like just another excuse to attack the pro-life club (business as usual).
Andrea adds: I do see what you are saying Deborah, and I do think this is just another example of open season on pro-life beliefs. That said, I think holocaust is a term that should be reserved for The Holocaust. It’s a word that was created uniquely for that, if I’m not mistaken. I support the Centre for Bio-ethical Reform, but in some ways, I wish they’d leave the term “Holocaust” out and go with “mass slaughter” or “genocide” to describe abortion. I think my feelings on this may deserve a whole post. But in the interim, I’d say you are absolutely right: no one was harrassed by the presentation and this is just an excuse to make pro-lifers on campus shut up.by