Last month, a professor at Hunter College in New York City was fired and later arrested for an outburst directed at pro-life students. Shellyne Rodriguez was caught on video shouting profanity at the students and claiming their pro-life display was “violent.” She then shoved pamphlets off the table before storming off. When a reporter from the New York Post showed up at her home asking for a comment, she charged him with a machete.
Abortion is an example of what sociologist Philip Rieff called a “deathwork,” a cultural artifact that only tears down. One mark of a “deathwork” is incoherence—such as calling something “violent” before responding with actual violence, or claiming to promote tolerance and inclusion by excluding all who disagree.
The pro-life students at Hunter College did well, remaining calm in the face of this incoherent aggression. Their example is one we can follow as we point people in this culture of death to eternal life.
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