“I thought I was beyond being able to be shocked,” said Alliance Defense Fund attorney David French, who for years has defended Christians and conservatives against every type of persecution on college campuses. “I’ve seen everything. But this case is in a class by itself.”
French is referring to the vote of the entire faculty of Ohio State University (Mansfield campus) to investigate a librarian on allegations of “sexual harassment” and complaints that he made the campus “unsafe” and “threatening” – just by suggesting the school’s freshman class read WND Managing Editor David Kupelian’s book, “The Marketing of Evil.”
But what makes the allegation even more strange, says French, is the fact that librarian Scott Savage is a pious Ohio Quaker who owns a horse and buggy instead of a car, and who embraces non-violence and peace in every area of life.
As WND reported Saturday, after other faculty members suggested several left-leaning books by authors like Jimmy Carter and Maria Shriver as required freshman reading, Savage countered by suggesting four conservative books: “The Marketing of Evil” by David Kupelian, “The Professors” by David Horowitz, “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis” by Bat Ye’or and “It Takes a Family” by Sen. Rick Santorum.
But it was Kupelian’s book that caused several professors to object so strenuously that they launched a formal investigation of Savage for alleged sexual harassment, calling Kupelian “anti-gay” and the book “hate literature.” The entire faculty approved, without dissent, the attack against Savage on March 13. Two days later, they rescinded the faculty-wide vote on legal grounds, instructing the three complaining professors to file the complaint against Savage instead.
One of the three professors, Associate English Professor J.F. Buckley, said in an e-mail to the faculty: “… I am not shocked, only deeply saddened – and THREATENED – that such mindless folks are on this great campus. … You have made me fearful and uneasy being a gay man on this campus. I am, in fact, notifying the OSU-M campus, and Ohio State University in general, that I no longer feel safe doing my job. I am being harassed.”
Despite a “Cease and Desist” letter the Alliance Defense Fund sent to OSU Mansfield officials in Savage’s defense March 28, the investigation has reportedly gone forward, with the university insisting it takes “any allegation of sexual harassment seriously.”
Savage is a conservative Quaker – sometimes called a “plain Christian.” Like the Amish, “plain Christians” eschew modern technology to a large extent, wear unique clothing identifying themselves and are very spiritually and community oriented.
Thus, for the university faculty to claim they feel “threatened” because of Savage “is like saying I feel threatened by Gandhi,” quipped the ADF attorney.
Yesterday the OSU-Mansfield faculty held an emergency meeting to deal with the case, but the outcome hasn’t yet been made public. In light of both the legal challenge and growing press coverage, especially among bloggers, French thinks he knows what’s coming next:
“I have a feeling,” he says, “because there’s some media attention, that the faculty will set themselves up as victims of a conservative hate campaign.”
Released in August, “The Marketing of Evil” has become one of the nation’s most talked-about books. Praised by Dr. Laura, David Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, D. James Kennedy and others, it is currently No. 4 on Amazon.com’s Current Events best-seller list.
Regardless of the outcome of the OSU case, Savage and his attorneys are “exploring options to clear Scott’s name and restore his reputation” – and to stop the university from falsely accusing anyone else who dares to voice a traditionalist viewpoint.
“The fact that there are one or two unhinged professors out there – that’s not news,” said French. “But the fact that by a 21-0 vote, with 9 abstentions, the faculty would classify a book recommendation as sexual harassment – that show’s there’s an illness that has infected the academy.”
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