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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Project Veritas vs. Barry University: Whom Do You Trust to Tell the Truth?

I've been having an email exchange with the Florida Family Association over the Project Veritas' report on universities supporting ISIS. James O'Keefe irritates me a little with his "gotcha" approach, but it does get attention; and I enthusiastically applaud his success in going after ACORN with the prostitute/pimp videos. 

"Sr. Linda," Pres. of Barry U.
After O'Keefe's most recent video exposé of Barry University, I received an email from the Florida Family Association that spurred a back and forth between myself and David Caton, FFA president. Here's their original email:
FFA email sent April 6, 2015 -- James O’Keefe issued a report via his organization called Project Veritas titled “O’Keefe exposes another university sympathetic to ISIS." The report states in part “Barry University Officials Unfazed by Club Purportedly Being Formed to Send Aid to ISIS; Their Only Suggestion was a More Politically Correct Name “Because Technically our Country is at War with ISIS.” Numerous organizations that oppose Islamization of America posted O'Keefe's report online and included it in their email broadcasts.
Florida Family Association promptly contacted Barry University president, Sister Linda Bevilacqua, and asked her to “please confirm that Barry University is okay with allowing students to have a club with the purpose of raising financial support for ISIS?” Click here to read email communications between Florida Family Association and Barry University president Sister Linda Bevilacqua.

Barry University president, Sister Linda Bevilacqua replied within minutes. Her email stated “Absolutely and categorically false! Mr. Caton, I respectfully ask that you read my official statement and know the TRUTH about Barry University. Thank you.” The official statement is posted below. 
Florida Family Association, as a rule, performs due diligence on each issue before getting involved to determine the accuracy of the report and gather any important facts not present in the initial report. Given the seriousness of the alleged situation, Florida Family Association would have issued a call to action email alert urging people to contact Barry University about this report had the president not responded so promptly and definitively. 
The policies of most universities is to accept applications for student clubs, review them and either approve or deny them. Most universities do not reject a club without an application. Universities have been sued for denying club approval. Therefore, legal policies are in place to collect documentation for the process of approval or denial. Universities typically do not outright deny approval of clubs without accepting an application because it results in no documentation.

Omitting the president’s response from the report about Barry University presents a distorted picture of the situation. That report http://www.projectveritas.com/posts/news/o%E2%80%99keefe-exposes-another-university-sympathetic-isis has still not been amended. Why is this the case? If Florida Family Association had posted this report we would have been quick to report the good news from the president.

"If our side is unwilling to acknowledge that an organization has clarified their position on an issue important to our mission then there is no virtue for such organizations to respond to our concerns." Notes David Caton, Florida Family Association president. "Florida Family Association does not hold over the heads of PAST Al Jazeera America advertisers that they once advertised on Jihad TV. To do so would be counterproductive. We always report when a company or government organization has responded with change that accommodates our requests."
The President of Barry promptly released a statement and then apparently suspended the student investigator who is an honor student with a 4.0 GPA.. Here's "Sr. Linda's" statement (Is anyone else offfended by these worldly sisters dressed in expensive clothes with makeup and jewelry who spurn saints' names? Compare Sr. Linda's photo above with that Barry University's founder below):
Greetings, 
This message is a direct response to a circulating news story that is categorically false. It is immensely hurtful to our university community, to the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan who founded and continue to sponsor Barry University, and to the international members of the Dominican Order who have suffered as a result of the violence created by ISIS. 
Barry University does not and never will allow or authorize the formation of an ISIS-related humanitarian aid group on campus. There has been no formation of any such group at Barry University. No paper work requesting such an organization has ever been filed with the proper authorities at the University. 
If a student or students are interested in forming a recognized student organization, they are advised on the established processes to follow for approval. However, submitting a request does not guarantee approval since the purpose of all student groups must be in accordance with Barry University’s Mission Statement and Core Commitments.
The images and video released were edited and spliced to unfairly represent the university and staff being featured. It is reprehensible to think any organization would acquire video and edit in such a way as to denigrate the reputation of Barry University or its staff. 
Legitimate journalism outlets should be insulted.
Barry University has a steadfast commitment to the free exchange of ideas. However, in no way do we support or condone the rhetoric or actions of any terrorist group. Barry University’s Mission Statement and Core Commitments - Knowledge and Truth, Inclusive Community, Social Justice, and Collaborative Service - are antithetical to such groups.

Every afternoon at 3 pm the Carillon on our main campus plays “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” a reminder to all of us to pray daily for peace and to advocate for nonviolent solutions to world issues. The intimation or implication that our university would approve or condone the formal establishment of such a group could be regarded as not just shameful but sinful. 
Thank you for your support of Barry University and our community.


Would Rev. Mother M. Barry recognize the
school she founded with its active homosexual
 Theology prof and its PRIDE club?
                                                                                                                        Sister Linda

I tend to be a little skeptical of so-called Catholic schools, especially liberal ones that have Pride Clubs and hire active homosexuals to teach Theology. So I engaged in a back and forth email exchange with David Caton of the Florida Family Association:
My first email to FFA on April 7th:
I read your report and Sister's statement. However, did you follow up with Project Veritas? She has made a pretty serious accusation against them about falsely editing the material. They certainly should have the right to defend themselves. After all, the student there may have had a legitimate reason for participating in the investigation. She is, after all, intimately involved with the university. 
I've been involved myself in investigating Catholic schools that promote liberal agendas so I would not personally be surprised if the school were less innocent than Sr. Linda portrays them. It would be interesting to continue getting the "other side of the story." Maybe Sister needs to educate her staff about the alleged position. 
I have to say, I laughed when I read her statement about playing "Let There Be Peace on Earth." It reminded me too much of liberal folk Masses playing Kumbaya. 
At any rate, I've read your materials for years and was disappointed to see you simply drop it after Sister's letter. If, in fact, the school would have allowed the club you'll never know, but what administrator wouldn't after the fact make a statement like she did? I'd certainly be interested to know why this 4.0 student would engage in such an investigation if there weren't an issue with the school. She had to know there would be blowback (You know she's been suspended right?) That's the first thing I thought of when I saw the Project Veritas video. Have you interviewed her?
This was the response I received from David Caton, President of FFA on April 8th:
Dear Mary Ann,

Thank you for your comments regarding Florida Family Association’s supplementation of the facts regarding the Barry University situation.

Our email alert makes it clear that “Given the seriousness of the alleged situation, Florida Family Association would have issued a call to action email alert urging people to contact Barry University about this report had the president not responded so promptly and definitively.”

The policies of most universities is to accept applications for student clubs, review them and either approve or deny them. Most universities do not reject a club without an application. Universities have been sued for denying club approval. Therefore, legal policies are in place to collect documentation for the process of approval or denial. Universities typically do not outright deny approval of clubs without accepting an application because it results in no documentation and “he said, she said” accusations that could and have ended up in court.

Omitting the president’s response from the report about Barry University presents a distorted picture of the situation. That report http://www.projectveritas.com/posts/news/o%E2%80%99keefe-exposes-another-university-sympathetic-isis has still not been amended. Why is this the case? If Florida Family Association had posted this report we would have been quick to report the good news from the president.

If our side is unwilling to acknowledge that an organization has clarified their position on an issue important to our mission then there is no virtue for such organizations to respond to our concerns. Florida Family Association does not hold over the heads of PAST Al Jazeera America advertisers that they once advertised on Jihad TV. To do so would be counterproductive. We always report when a company or government organization has responded with change that accommodates our requests.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your concerns with us.

Sincerely,

David Caton
President
Florida Family Association, Inc.
And here's my second email to Mr. Caton who I credit with a quick response, although I think their position is deficient:
Dear Mr. Caton,

Thank you for your quick response.

I’m still skeptical of Barry University and their spin on this. You may not be aware that they have a professor in their Theology Department, James Nickoloff, who is “married” to another man. http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/2369/Barry-Univ-Theology-Prof-in-Same-Sex-Marriage-Speaks-at-DignityUSA-Convention.aspx
The school is anything but a faithful Catholic university. I still wonder why an honor student with a 4.0 GPA would participate in this investigative activity if there were not more to the story and its Catholic identity (or lack thereof).

In view of the liberal embrace of Islam as a “religion of peace,” (and the obvious liberal status of a university that hires an active homosexual to teach Theology of all subjects) the Project Veritas story is not at all hard to believe. And whether the university would have allowed or rejected the club will be forever unknown. It’s pretty clear that, if the video was portraying what happened accurately, those in charge of advising the students had no problem thinking and considering the unthinkable and advising the student to hide what she wanted to do behind politically correct language!

But I will be forever relieved to know that the university plays, “Let There Be Peace on Earth” every day at noon. I wonder if they play Kumbaya for evening vespers.

Sincerely,

Mary Ann Kreitzer
Barry University, like many so-called Catholic schools, also has a Pride Club to make nice and allow LGBTQXYZ students to connect up on campus. According to the club directory, "Members of P.R.I.D.E. will provide empowerment and education on the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity. Stands against hate crimes, promote awareness as well as partake in the fight for equal rights. Furthermore, members will provide a safe haven and social network for members of the GLBTQ community." The lingo here (not particularly grammatical) is euphemistic, but easy to translate. Clearly "equal rights" means letting gays "marry" and adopt children and "hate crimes" refer to articulating the truth that homosexual acts are perverted and immoral. As for "empowerment and education," well, one only has to look at websites like Mass Resistance and Americans for Truth to see what that means.

The mission statement of the school with its emphasis on globalism, environmentalism, and "social justice" clearly identifies this school as a bastion of liberalism. That's not surprising because the Adrian Dominicans are New Age dissenters. They give retreats with Tarot card readings and drummings to get in touch with the Earth Goddess. For just a sampling of this orders monumental goofiness read S. Brinkmann's article at Women of Grace.

I'm disappointed that the Florida Family Association didn't do a little more research on Barry University and the wacky worldly spirit of the Adrian Dominicans that fuels its agenda.

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