After a far-left professor publicly defended his university for branding a Christian librarian a sexual harasser simply for recommending incoming freshmen read “The Marketing of Evil,” the librarian is now firing back.
“I’m starting to feel like the cleanup crew that follows the horses in the parade,” wrote Ohio State University librarian Scott Savage in Saturday’s Columbus Dispatch newspaper. “I trudge along behind history professor Christopher Phelps as he parades from forum to forum, and I shovel up the humbug he leaves behind concerning my treatment at Ohio State University-Mansfield for suggesting conservative books in a committee.”
Savage, head of Reference and Instructional Services at the Bromfield Library on Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus, was condemned by a 21-0 faculty vote (with nine abstentions) on March 13 to be formally investigated for “sexual harassment.” Several professors, two of them openly homosexual, had become extremely upset over Savage’s nomination for a freshman reading program of David Kupelian’s acclaimed but controversial book, “The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom.” Chapter one exposes the marketing strategies and tactics of the “gay rights” movement.
One of the homosexual professors, J.F. Buckley, in a March 9 e-mail, reacted this way to Savage’s recommendation of Kupelian’s book: “As a gay man I have long ago realized that the world is full of homophobic, hate-mongers who, of course, say that they are not. So I am not shocked, only deeply saddened – and THREATENED [sic] – 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.”
Under the glare of national media attention, and with the threat of legal action on Savage’s behalf by the Alliance Defense Fund, OSU informed Savage April 18 that the charges against the librarian had been dropped.
Nevertheless, OSU-Mansfield Associate History Professor Christopher Phelps recently jumped into the fray, defending the university’s actions, claiming the faculty uphold the highest standards of free speech and open academic inquiry – and condemned Kupelian’s book as “unabashed bigotry.”
Referring to “the ludicrousness of ‘The Marketing of Evil,’” Phelps wrote in the Columbus Dispatch: “Quite apart from demonstrating its unabashed bigotry … this is a book wholly unsuited to the purpose of introducing undergraduates to the life of the mind. Why would a reference librarian, entrusted with guiding students to the best possible sources, recommend such a screed?”
In response to Phelps’ defense of the professors who filed charges against him, Savage has now weighed in with the following, published in Saturday’s Dispatch:
I’m starting to feel like the clean-up crew that follows the horses in the parade. …
Dr. Phelps says the faculty “decided not to request an investigation as a body,” in response to my suggesting a book, “The Marketing of Evil,” as a title for the campus-wide first-year-reading experience. He claimed that the complaint wasn’t even about sexual harassment. In fact, during the public faculty meeting on March 13th, even after being warned by the campus dean that it would violate my rights to even discuss the accusations, faculty members repeatedly accused me of “sexual harassment” due to the book suggestion.
The faculty debated and passed without dissent a resolution to refer charges of “sexual harassment” against me. A later meeting rescinded the resolution for procedural reasons, but faculty members were encouraged to file individual complaints against me for “sexual harassment.” Our human resources officer told me I was being charged with “sexual harassment.” My attorneys’ letter to OSU demanding an end to the investigation was answered with the statement that the University took charges of “sexual harassment” seriously.
Professor Phelps believes it is university policy to report what is clearly protected speech to OSU authorities, and that “such a referral does not imply judgment.” This is a perfect mental encapsulation of the reasoning prevalent on my campus. I was publicly accused of a crime, and then investigated, because I disagreed with faculty members on a committee. The letter exonerating me said that no complaint should even have been filed. To suggest there was no implied judgment in the accusations, never mind intimidation, hysteria, or mob rule…excuse me whilst I employ my shovel.
Savage closes his statement with this:
Are the thoughts and speech of everyone at OSU-Mansfield accountable to Christopher Phelps and to Ohio State University diversity policies? As a librarian, I have a reading suggestion for the professor: The American Association of University Professors’ statement on academic freedom, which begs to differ.
It says that, “Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition.” That really says it all.
While Savage is a devout and conservative Quaker, Phelps describes himself on his personal homepage on OSU’s website as being politically “on the left of the left,” and posts a link to his lengthy ode to the socialist magazine “Monthly Review,” in which he praises Marxism.
In 1996, while a professor at the University of Oregon, Phelps ran for the U.S. Senate as a socialist. On his “Christopher Phelps – Socialist” campaign website, Phelps advocated “increasing taxes on the rich,” “doubl[ing] the minimum wage and “negotiate[ing] nuclear disarmament,” as well as establishing “Equality for women, gays and lesbians, and people of color.” Specifically, explained Phelps, that meant:
Repudiate bigotry’s claim to “family values.” Defend abortion rights. Increase AIDS research. End HIV travel ban. Legalize gay marriage. Increase battered women’s shelter funding. Save affirmative action. Abolish death penalty.
“These are strange times we live in,” commented Kupelian, “A Christian librarian and a Christian author can be portrayed as wackos for championing Western civilization’s core values, but a rabid socialist like Professor Phelps, who extols values that have cost millions of lives in the last century and left hundreds of millions in poverty and despair, is considered mainstream and enlightened. The inmates truly are running the asylum.”
Released in August, “The Marketing of Evil” has been widely praised by Dr. Laura, David Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, D. James Kennedy and many others and garnered over 100 five-star reader reviews on Amazon.com. Here are a few:
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