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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

David Allen White’s Challenge To Notre Dame.

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HH: I’m joined now by my friend, David Allen White, professor at the United States Naval Academy, Catholic to the core, and my co-lecturer when we go sailing, as we will be doing at the end of July this year…and from Rome to Venice. David, I don’t suppose you’ll be teaching the Vagina Monologues on our trip, will you?

DAW: Well, I’ve never read it. I opened it once, and looked at about, oh, a page or so, Hugh, and that was sufficient.

HH: What is your reaction to the decision of the president of the University of Notre Dame, Father Jenkins, to allow the Vagina Monologues to be performed at Notre Dame?

DAW: It is a complete outrage, it is anti-Catholic, it is demonic, but it’s not just Notre Dame, Hugh. This piece of crap has been performed at most Catholic universities around the country. So Notre Dame is just falling in line with all the others.

HH: Now why do you consider it to be contrary…I have my reason why. I think it’s cooperating with evil. But what’s your assessment of why it’s wrong to do it?

DAW: Well, let me put it this way. On the most basic social level, it is socially destructive. On the artistic level, it’s outrageously bad. On the spiritual level, it is demonic. There is no possible reason for allowing it other than the cover phrase, which is called ‘academic freedom’, which is what they use to allow in anything demonic. But simultaneously, they will not allow any contradictory point of view in. Here’s the real outrage for me, Hugh. Notre Dame, as you well know, means our Lady. That’s the blessed Virgin Mary. I am devoted to her. She was the most perfect human creature ever formed by God, born without original sin. What she stands for is purity, love, devotion, sacrifice. That this school, named for this greatest of all women, greatest of all human creatures, would allow this demonic thing to be presented there, shows that they are not Catholic, they are not a university, they don’t care about their students, they don’t care about their country, they are selfish, and they are inflicted with demonic modernism, and it’s time for Catholics to stop sending their children to these phony schools.

HH: Now I noted that today, a study came out from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention.

DAW: Yup, I was going to mention it.

HH: One in four teenage girls has been infected with at least one sexually transmitted disease, 3.2 million teenagers, 14-19.

DAW: Yes.

HH: And this play celebrates teen sexuality.

DAW: Of course it does.

HH: It’s insanity.

DAW: No, it’s not. The Devil is reining, Hugh. He’s delighted. He’s in charge. The sad fact of the matter is nobody cares. And if you try to bring up a contradictory point of view, there is no room for you on a college campus. I will issue a challenge to Notre Dame, okay? I do it publicly. I do it on the air. I have taught Shakespeare at the Naval Academy for 27 years. I have published a dictionary, an encyclopedia of Shakespeare studies. I am noted to know something about Shakespeare from the time I’ve been on your show. Will Notre Dame let me come and lecture on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, which presents a contradictory view to the Vagina Monologues? Public challenge – academic freedom – will they bring in a Shakespeare scholar to talk about one of Shakespeare’s plays, to give an opposing point of view?

HH: Oh, that’s a great challenge, David.

DAW: It’s a challenge. And anybody out there who hears it, call the good Father who runs the school, and have him invite me. I will come on my own penny. It will be an open, public lecture, and I will talk about a Shakespeare play that presents an opposing point of view.

HH: What…give us a taste of that opposing point of view, David, for…

DAW: It would take some time, Hugh, but let me just say this. It has to do with the notion of purity in women, which is something that Shakespeare was concerned with his whole life. The last Shakespeare course I taught at the Academy, the last four romances, focus on the goodness of the female as the redemptive source for any society. And that’s a fact. We see the first dawnings of that in Shakespeare’s mind and art, to a serious degree, in Much Ado About Nothing. And that’s where I started the course, and I’d love to go to Notre Dame and give a lecture on the subject.

HH: You know, I wonder if there isn’t some Notre Dame alumni out there who is well-heeled, who would suggest to Father Jenkins that this ought to be subsidized, and that it’s a good way to…because you are an arch-Catholic. You’re Society of Pius X…

DAW: Well, no, no, I am…

HH: A supporter of.

DAW: I am a supporter, okay?

HH: Right.

DAW: It’s a society of priests. I am a supporter, and simply because they are carrying on the traditions of the Church. But I will tell you this in all honesty, Hugh, that’s the reason why they wouldn’t let me set foot on that campus.

HH: Despite the fact that they will let the Vagina Monologues be performed there.

DAW: Absolutely. And they will do that under the name of academic freedom, but they wouldn’t let me near the place, and I guarantee that.

HH: Well, I think if they don’t, although I think actually, it’s such a nice challenge you’ve thrown out there, because to offer up a lecture on Shakespeare about the purity of women, from a conservative Catholic, is in fact sort of the juxtaposition of opposites with inviting the Vagina Monologues on, but the one gets in and the other won’t.

DAW: Let’s see if there’s anything like real academic freedom left at that institution. If, if there is, I will be delighted, but I somehow doubt it, but I don’t mean to dump just on Notre Dame. It’s going on in every so-called phony Catholic university in the country. But Hugh, I’ve got to say this as well, I blame the hierarchy. They are not disciplining anybody, they’re allowing this to go on. They are shepherds who are really nothing more than wolves in sheep’s clothing, and they are destroying the Faithful young, because there are a lot of young Catholic girls in that 25% who are infected out in America.

HH: Now David, the Bishop of South Bend and Fort Wayne is opposed to this. I don’t know ecclesiastical law well enough here, or canon law. Doesn’t the bishop control even a separate order of teaching priests over at Notre Dame?

DAW: Of course. He could stop it in a minute. But Hugh, nobody believes in authority anymore. People who have authority will not use it. And as you know, I’m an authoritarian. I believe in that old system. I believe in hierarchy. Until these men have spine and backbone once again, this is going to continue.

HH: So David, if you don’t get invited to give this lecture, can we count on it at the cruise this summer?

DAW: Listen, what I’ll do, if you want to, I will do it on the air for you, so all your listeners can hear it.

HH: I will…

DAW: Because I will give you this, Hugh, you do give the chance for opposing voices to speak.

HH: I will look forward to that. We will absolutely have that lecture on the air. And David, thanks for rousing yourself on short notice. I appreciate it.

DAW: Happy to do it, Hugh, because I owe it to good, young students everywhere.

HH: Thank you, friend.

End of interview.


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