Tradition, Family and Property, group of largely lay Catholics, is circulating a petition to be sent to president of Seattle University in protest of the upcoming appearance of Angela Davis: one of the most controversial of the radicals of the 1960s. In an email, TFP wrote "It would be difficult to find a speaker who contradicts the teaching of the Catholic Church on more levels than Angela Davis. Stalin maybe? She is a notorious feminist, Marxist, communist, socialist who engages in pro-abortion, pro-same-sex "marriage" activism."
Davis ran twice for Vice President of the United States on the Communist Party ticket in the 1980s. She was also very involved with the Black Panther Party, which often resorted to violence and takeovers of campuses in the 1960s. She once received an award from Valentina Tereshkova - a leader of the Soviet Women's Committee in 1972. She was also once photographed with the leader of Communist East Germany, Erick Hoenecker.
Despite her record, Seattle University plans to host a talk, book signing and reception for her on October 17 in the Campion Ballroom. The event is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Justice in Society. Fr. Sundborg, SJ, is described on Seattle University’s homepage as "strongly committed to promoting Social Justice, a core value of the Jesuit Catholic Education.” Likewise, Davis has long an advocate for social justice, especially in the area of prisons.
Here follow the reasons TFP cites for their opposition to the appearance by Davis:
1. Angela Davis publically supports abortion
“Birth control – individual choice, safe contraceptive methods, as well as abortions when necessary – is a fundamental prerequisite for the emancipation of women,” wrote Davis in her book Women, Race and Class. (source)
During a 2012 speech at the University of Kansas, Davis said: "I was asked to write a statement that very specifically engaged with the issue of abortion rights. Of course, I was in favor of women's abortion rights..."
2. Angela Davis promotes same-sex "marriage"
At San Jose State University, Davis stated: "Even those of us who are critical of the institution of marriage should be able to say if some people have the right to get marriage, then everybody should have the civil right to get married."
The pro-homosexual web site "LGBT History Month" calls Angela Davis an icon of the homosexual movement and features a video about her left-wing activism.
3. Angela Davis promotes atheistic communism / socialism
In 1980 and 1984, Davis ran for vice-president of the United States on the Communist Party ticket together with Gus Hall. In 1979, Davis was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize (formerly the International Stalin Peace Prize) by then-communist East Germany. More recently, she delivered a speech in Detroit proposing "socialism for us all." Davis was also active in the Black Panther Party and was a friend of the Freudian, Marxist intellectual, Herbert Marcuse. For a period of time, she was on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list. (source)
4. Angela Davis still clings to anti-Catholic ideology
There is no indication that Davis has either relinquished her anti-family views, which stand against natural marriage and the right to life, or let go of her radical egalitarian ideology. In fact, she promoted Marxist class struggle in a public speech to the Occupy Wall Street gathering at Washington Square in New York in 2011. And she has renewed her pro-abortion stance on multiple occasions.
5. Angela Davis undermines Catholic education and identity
Seattle University's web site displays the time-honored motto of the Society of Jesus: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, meaning "For the greater glory of God." This phrase faithfully represents the spirit of the heroic Saint Ignatius who founded the Company of Jesus. However, by giving a platform to Angela Davis, Seattle University harms its own Catholic reputation and identity and signals a sharp shift away from that glorious motto to do all things "for the greater glory of God."
In a statement, TFP Student Action director John Ritchie said of the 60s radical, "If these reasons are not ample and sufficient grounds to cancel Angela Davis' appearance, will any anti-Catholic or sinful position be outrageous enough to disqualify any speaker from receiving a warm welcome at Seattle University?"
"Everyone knows that Communism is responsible for killing about 100 million people. And countless people still suffer from its death grip in Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and China. So why does this ideology continue lurking in the halls of liberal academia with impunity?" Ritchie asked. "Even worse, why is a Catholic university allowing Davis on campus when she publically merges abortion and same-sex 'marriage' with Marx?"
The petition to Fr Sundborg can be accessed here.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.