Mike Adams vs. Clifton Snider

Clifton Snider is an instructor at California State University, Long Beach who got smacked down last week by Mike Adams (who is my favorite op-ed columnist, bar none). Snider decided he wanted to get further embarassed and Adams obliged him.

The fascinating thing is that Snider is the sort of ultra-left wing politically correct instructor who many liberals say simply doesn’t exist. His guide to his students on how to write an argument paper for the English 100 class he teaches would be hilarious if this weren’t the United States instead, of say, Vietnam or Iran.

Following Adams’ column, Snider added a comment at the top of his guidelines falsely claiming that,

The article, among many misrepresentations, implies I require that you write about certain topics. As you know, you have always had a wide choice of topics to write about in your papers. The same is true for the Argument Paper. I believe in and practice academic freedom.

But all you have to do to see that Snider is lying is scroll to the bottom and read item #4 on topics that students should avoid in which Snider says that students shouldn’t write about topics in which they are simply wrong — such as arguing against abortion — and any debate is simply bigoted religious hyperbole,

Topics on which there is, in my opinion, no other side apart from chauvinistic, religious, or bigoted opinions and pseudo-science (for example, female circumcision, prayer in public schools, same-sex marriage, the so-called faith-based initiative, abortion, hate crime laws, the existence of the Holocaust, and so-called creationism). For example, see Terrence McNally’s “Just a Love Story,” Los Angeles Times, 13 February 2004: B15. McNally correctly concludes that those who oppose same-sex marriage do so for one reason: homophobia. “Homophobia,” as Robert Goss points out, “is the socialized state of fear, threat, aversion, prejudice, and irrational hatred of the feelings of same-sex attraction” (Jesus Acted Up: A Gay and Lesbian Manifesto, New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993: 1). In other words, homophobia is to gays and lesbians what racism is to people of color. Neither homophobia nor racism can be tolerated in civilized, rational debate; therefore, I will not accept either as arguments, however disguised, in your papers.

In Snider’s world, someone defending President Geoge W. Bush’s faith-based initiative is simply beyond the pale and he won’t have any of that — but that is okay because he’s a big believer in academic freedom.

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