Together with the Tory and Whig-Clio, Anscombe is hosting Mary Eberstadt for a lecture on her new book How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization. Many people think that secularization led to a decline in moral and family values (“the family that prays together stays together), but Eberstadt argues that rather the collapse of the family caused the decline of faith in the West. It should be an engaging talk, and it’ll be interesting to see Mrs. Eberstadt defend such a bold thesis. Check out the facebook event also.
Our president Ben Koons and vice president Christian Say had their letter to the editor about the Daily Princetonian’s print edition headline of Ryan Anderson’s talk published today.
Here’s the Prince’s headline:
Here’s Koons and Say’s letter in its entirety:
Letter to the Editor: Anscombe supports (media) equality
Regarding “PEP supports equality at marriage talk” (Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013)
The Anscombe Society would like to thank Regina Wang for her well-balanced piece covering our event last Thursday with Ryan T. Anderson ’04 speaking about marriage. We believe, however, that the editors of The Daily Princetonian did a poor job of respecting Wang’s balanced news coverage in the framing of her story.
Unfortunately, the print edition’s headline following Anderson’s lecture misleadingly read, “PEP Supports Equality at Marriage Talk.” Had the editors paid any attention to the event itself, they would have known that Anderson observed up front that both sides of the marriage debate are in favor of marriage equality — contingent upon what marriage itself is defined to be. The headline pushed through by the editors of the ‘Prince’ was the mark of a biased editorial staff.
Further proof of this lies in the discrepancy between the headlines of the online and print editions. Online, the Anderson article has the much more balanced title, “With demonstrators in the audience, Heritage Foundation fellow Anderson ’04 urges traditional understanding of marriage.” This headline was released soon after Anderson’s lecture, and the discrepancy between this balanced title and the biased print version reveals a conscious editorial decision to manipulate the coverage.
This poor framing of an otherwise generally well-written story should come as an embarrassment to the ‘Prince.’ We hope to see better editorial decisions in the future.
Ben Koons ’15 and Christian Say ’16
President and Vice President of the Anscombe Society
One note though about the student’s comments at the end, Ryan did not present any religious arguments in his presentation, and it’s unfair to dismiss someone’s legitimate arguments as religious just because one is unable to refute them. Also, Ryan spent half of his presentation talking about why the government involved itself in marriage at all, and so he certainly did not ignore the civil aspect of marriage. The student’s comments were really off-base criticisms of an excellent argument.
Our school’s main daily paper the Prince has written a news story about Ryan’s great talk last night. Click here for the full article.
Here’s the meat of the article:
In a philosophical vein, Anderson used an Aristotelian analysis involving the terms of action, goods and commitment to arrive at a definition of marriage. He also said that the definition of marriage between a man and a woman is found in many different cultures at many different periods.
“There’s something about this understanding of marriage that resonates with human nature,” he said.
Moving on to the realm of public policy, Anderson argued that the government should regulate marriage and noted the benefits for children who grow up in households with mothers and fathers.
The article also mentions the protesters at last night’s event:
Before the event, members of the Princeton Equality Project gathered at the building entrance handing out pins and posters to arriving audience members. A number of students came draped in rainbow flags.
One of the event’s goals was to keep the marriage issue live, and a quote from the article indicates we may have been successful at that:
PEP [Princeton Equality Project] member Kelsey Dyer ’17 said many members of the LGBT community had come to respectfully hear what Anderson had to say while also making their presence known in hopes that the event could be part of an ongoing dialogue about the meaning of marriage.
Tonight’s talk by Ryan Anderson was a great success! An astonishing 290 people piled into the largest and most elegant classroom on campus McCosh 50. Protesters came bearing signs, fanciful outfits, and their questions. Ryan’s talk encompassed three parts: why the revisionist definition of marriage fails, what marriage is, and why marriage and marriage policy matter. Ryan fielded questions by many protesters about social science on lesbian parenting, the analogy to interracial marriage, and the classic infertility objection. He even received a question about Plato’s views on pederasty! But he answered them all thoroughly and admirably. Thanks to Ryan for giving such a great talk! In the next few days, we’ll be posting more about what the audience thought of the talk, the particulars of Ryan’s arguments, and some more photos.
Please come out to Ryan’s lecture tomorrow. We need as many supporters as we can get to make this a successful event! Everyone is welcome though!
This week we’ll be discussing the “Doctrinal Principles” section of the 1968 papal encyclical Humanae Vitae. This document is the go-to source for the case against contraception, and many of its predictions about a contraceptive culture’s consequences have been especially prophetic. The meeting will be at 6:30 in Rocky Dining Hall; all students are free to come and join us!
Also, register for the Love and Fidelity Network’s annual conference “Sexuality, Integrity and the University” here. It’ll be November 8-9 on Princeton’s campus, and Princeton students can attend for free!
Mark your calendars for October 17 when Ryan Anderson gives a packed-house lecture on same-sex marriage!
Finally, I’d recommend checking out the Leadership Institute for students interested in learning more about activism and politics. They’re great folks!