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Monday, December 7, 2009

The Price of Integrity at Ave Maria University? A Cool $4 Million!

You've probably heard the joke about the man who says to the beautiful woman, "Will you have sex for me for a million dollars?"

She bats her eyes and says, "Sure. Where and when?"

Then he says, "How about for ten dollars?"

Insulted, she responds furiously, "What do think I am?"

The man answers coolly, "We've already established that; we're just haggling over the price!"

Well, sad to say, Ave Maria University in Naples, FL has sold its Catholic soul to pro-abortion billionaire Tom Golisano who donated $4 million to build an athletic complex which will bear his name. That he's pro-abortion is easily established and Ave Maria officials were apparently aware of it. What's particularly galling is that, according to Golisano, Tom Monaghan agressively solicited the donation.

To those who think this is a tempest in a teapot rather than a serious scandal, consider how you would feel if Planned Parenthood donated $4 million for a science building named after Margaret Sanger or less notorious Dr. Alan Guttmacher. What if they built a TV studio and communications building donated by a billionaire neo-Nazi who wanted to name it for Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels?

One might be able to give Monaghan a pass if he approached Golisano saying, "Look, you're in serious trouble with the Lord because of your commitment to abortion. Why don't you at least invest some of your wealth in our university. We'll promise you nothing but prayers for your conversion. We won't have any kind of ceremony honoring you. We'll name the building after St. Paul because of all his statements about running the race, and we'll ask our students to pray for the anonymous donor."

I might be able to go along with that approach. It might even convert the guy. But to honor a pro-abortion rich man at a Catholic university, to offer him honor and respectibility, and even a standing ovation for his generosity...well, in my opinion, that makes it even harder for him to repent. How can the Lord condemn a man who gives $4 million to a Catholic school named after His mother? What a mockery!

I have eighteen grandchildren and the first two will be in high school next year. I hope they never consider going to a Catholic university with a building named after a public pro-abortion figure. I've spent my entire adult life fighting abortion and other culture of death initiatives. What Tom Monaghan and Ave Maria have done is a reprehensible public scandal that deserves condemnation from every serious Catholic.

If you have money to contribute to Catholic education, give it to a college that truly deserves the name, not one that will sell its integrity for 30 peices of silver.


Logic said...

Pro-choice is not pro-abortion.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Oh please! And rapists aren't pro-rape, they're just pro-choice. And robbers aren't pro-theft, they're just pro-choice.

You can't separate the act of choosing from the thing chosen. It's just a rhetorical trick.

Tom Golisano is a big supporter of NARAL-supported candidates. But no doubt NARAL isn't pro-abortion either. They're just pro-choice.

Logic said...

I very much doubt that Tom Golisano chose to have an abortion. But who knows... perhaps he did get an abortion that time he got pregnant.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this heads-up. It is important to note that the Cardinal Newman Society issued a statement calling AMU to task over this honoring of a man who gave millions to NARAL endorsed politicians last year.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

In case you missed the lesson on the birds and bees, "Logic," men get women pregnant. And in surveys they are more pro-abortion than women are. Makes sense. Abortion is a great out for a male chauvinist pig who wants all the fun of his sweet little sex object without the responsibility fatherhood. ("Hey, she can always get an abortion!")

Logic said...

No safe sex practices.
No abortions for any reason.
No homosexual adoption.

Over 2 million homeless or waiting to be adopted children in the US.

No logic.

Anonymous said...

Statement to
Cardinal Newman Society

We appreciate the splendid efforts of the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) to foster Catholic identity amongst Catholic colleges and universities. It is therefore appropriate that the CNS question our acceptance of a gift from Tom Golisano and the naming of the new field house after him. However, despite their noble motives the CNS is mistaken.
The foundation of the CNS concern over the Golisano gift is that Mr. Golisano is a “publicly pro-choice individual.” What is the evidence for this? The principal evidence cited is an article in the N.Y. Times from 1994 that purports to quote Mr. Golisano as saying, “I am pro-choice.” As we have told the CNS, Mr. Golisano disputes this and says he was misquoted. We accept him at his word.
It is interesting that subsequent N.Y. Times articles note that Mr. Golisano is not pro-choice after all, e.g. a 2002 N.Y. Times article noted that Mr. Golisano sent out fliers in a political campaign noting that he was the candidate most opposed to abortion (N.Y. Times 11/20/02).
Significantly, when Mr. Golisano ran for governor of New York on his own Independence Party the platform did not contain a pro-choice plank. So Mr. Golisano has never run as a pro-choice politician.
As we told the CNS, Mr. Golisano has personally assured both Chancellor Monaghan and President Healy that he is pro-life, and authorized us to publicize this. Just last week the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Michael Timmis, had lunch with Mr. Golisano. In the course of their discussion Mr. Golisano stated:
“I am pro-life. I have never been pro-choice, although the NY media has misrepresented me as pro-choice."
He has authorized us to publish these comments verbatim.
In view of the foregoing we believe that Mr. Golisano cannot fairly be said to be “publicly pro-choice.” He is publicly pro-life, and maintains that he has always been pro-life.
Mr. Golisano has also shared with us that he has a mentally impaired son. He is a passionate advocate and philanthropist for those with mental disabilities, who are among the main victims of abortion. For this alone he deserves our honor and respect.

Raymond said...

It is intellectually dishonest to the point of deception to say "The principal evidence cited is an article in the N.Y. Times from 1994 that purports to quote Mr. Golisano as saying, “I am pro-choice.”"

Ave Maria knows that the principle evidence includes the following indisputable facts:

1) Golisano financially supported 50 NARAL-endorsed political candidates in New York last year.

2) Golisano gave $1 million to the Democrat National Committee for Barack Obama's Denver convention.

It is clear that Ave Maria KNEW all this ahead of time. A memo from the University's executive committee was leaked, showing this (see below).

So, shame on AMU for their dishonesty as well as their compromised values.

Memo from Robert Falls, AMU PR:

I recommend we come up with a single positioning statement that Ave Maria leadership can refer to with regard to any and all questions regarding other entities that Mr. Golisano has contributed funds to in the past that may be contrary to the mission of Ave Maria (or any positions he has held politically). Please keep in mind, that if we don’t like the premise of a question – we can always change the premise.

“Let me state how pleased and grateful we are to Mr. Golisano for his generosity and his obvious support of our mission. A gift of this magnitude is a clear demonstration of a personal commitment he has made to Ave Maria which encompasses our curriculum, our core values and our dedication to the teachings of the Church.”

It all comes down to how pressing the media might be regarding his other contributions (or positions) that may be contrary to AMU’s mission. This statement is strong because it focuses on two primary messages:

1. Our gratitude for the gift
2. Dedication to our mission

We can precede our answer above with a dismissal of a premise by saying:

“I think that question is not applicable to what we are celebrating today.”

I think it is just the best way out of the situation. Otherwise they will just pick apart any other answer we give them.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Dear "No Logic," my husband and I used to be foster parents. When we went through orientation we learned that most children in foster care are NOT AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION because their parents have not released them for adoption.

As for infants, there are almost none available for adoption in this country and the U.N. is putting all kinds of roadblocks in the way of foreign adoptions.

You use emotionalism, not facts, to frame a phony debate.

Logic said...

Irony drips from every statement you make.

Referring to an individual as "pro-abortion" cannot be described as anything less than "emotionalism."

I am pro-choice when it comes to religion, but I am certainly not pro-Catholic, yet your analogy would seem to indicate that I am in fact.

Neither Tom Golisano nor any female in his family has chosen to have an abortion (I would highly doubt they would either, being placed in a situation which may warrant it), yet according to you, he has. This statement is wrong, and you using them is unfair, and certainly not conducive to a worthwhile debate.

I am pro-choice, but I do actually wish with all my heart that no abortion were ever performed. However, I do not feel that that is my decision to make for another. To me, that is a choice for the mother based on the situation surrounding her pregnancy. You do not have to agree with these statements, but the fact that you don't recognize the difference between being pro-choice and "pro-abortion" just goes to show how intolerant you actually are.

I respect the opinion that life begins at conception and I am glad you have the passion to fight for the rights of the unborn. But I think you should be respectful of the opinions of others and try to maintain some integrity instead of just trying to incite your readers by using blatantly untrue phrases such as "pro-abortion."

Anonymous said...

Patrick J. Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, said in response to reading Golisano’s letter, “Having great hope for the future of Ave Maria University and sharing its commitment to faithful Catholic education, I am relieved and grateful that Mr. Golisano has publicly opposed legalized abortion. This is the best possible outcome of a situation that helps demonstrate the importance of Catholic institutions refusing honors for public opponents of fundamental Catholic teachings and avoiding even the appearance of compromising Catholic identity.”

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Your comparison with being "pro-choice on religion" doesn't make sense when applied to abortion. Neither does "tolerance" for the pro-choice position. A better analogy would be someone who would never own a slave but is pro-choice on slavery. Even more a propos would be someone who says, "I'm not a Nazi and I'd never kill a jew, but I'm pro-choice for others in those situations to decide."

Being pro-choice about evil things is evil.