As well-known academic campuses like Berkeley are exposed for their antipathy towards the First Amendment, it’s important to remember that hostility to free speech is endemic on the left. And as a consequence, while places like Berkeley gain more national attention due to its conspicuous profile and the popularity of the speakers it turns away, we shouldn’t forget that the same insidious mentality continues to infect other institutions under the control of modern liberalism.
Take STEM Academy in Pennsylvania where one of the more alarming exchanges between supposed liberal “adult” administrators and the free thought expression by peaceful young people took place recently.
Standing on a public sidewalk in front of the high school at the end of the school day, 19-year-old Lauren Haines and her 16-year-old brother Conner held up pro-life signs and talked with passing students about the abortion holocaust taking place in America. Just moments later, assistant principal Zach Ruff who holds degrees and certification from Penn State and Neumann Universities, struts down the sidewalk and begins a juvenile taunting replete with violent rhetoric that would ordinarily cost a grown adult his job. Since this is a public school, the administrator has only been placed on administrative leave (likely paid) at this time.
The video of the exchange speaks for itself, but Ruff becomes irate with the teens and tells them that they can “Go to hell, where they are too,” pointing at the pro-life signs referencing the aborted babies. Besides the obvious inappropriateness of an authority figure telling children to “go to hell,” there’s also the intellectual incongruity of a man who later says he, “doesn’t believe in hell” making such a statement.
Of course intellectualism doesn’t appear to be at the top of Mr. Ruff’s go-to moves since he later defended the practice of abortion by saying,
“They’re not children, they’re cells! You’re at a science-based school, those are cells! … They’re not innocent, they’re cells.”
Somehow it doesn’t seem surprising to me that a man steeped in academia, on the verge of his doctorate from Drexel University, has never been confronted with the reality that he is “cells.” We are all cells. He has a few more in his body than I do, and than Conner or Lauren do, or than those innocent children in the womb do. But you would think the vice principal of a “science-based school” might recognize the cellular composition of the human form.
But hey, when you’re an irate liberal on a roll, who cares?
Later, 16-year-old Conner, failing to offer an appropriate trigger warning for the already enraged pseudo-adult, dares to mention the unthinkable. He recommends Principal Ruff turn to Jesus. Ruff loses all control:
“Listen here son, alright? I’m as gay as the day is long and twice as sunny. I don’t give a f*** what you think Jesus tells me and what I should and should not be doing!”
In case you’re wondering, no, neither Conner nor Lauren had asked Principal Ruff about his sexual behavior. But in his hatred for Christ, Ruff decided it was worth mentioning.
And that, of course, is the takeaway from all this. What motivated Principal Zach Ruff into his public sidewalk bullying isn’t really his hatred of free speech. It’s his hatred of God. Universities and places of learning like the STEM school used to be about the pursuit of truth or universals. But man has abandoned the search for truth in his preferred pursuit of personal gratification.
As Ruff put it, he doesn’t want anyone telling him what he should and should not be doing. That’s why he wants abortion to be okay. It’s why he wants sexual license. It’s why he wants his students to be free from hearing any thought or idea that contradicts his own. That is anti-free speech, of course, but what is driving it is actually rebellion to God.
And that’s the dangerous, self-defeating end to liberalism. In a futile attempt to free yourself from God’s authority, you forge your own fetters, and shackle your fellow man in the process.