Monday, December 18, 2006

We Don't Want Your Stinkin' Library


Southern Methodist University is the leading candidate to host Pres. Bush's much-ballyhooed Presidential Library -- but some at the university are not happy about that possibility:

As planners moved closer on deciding where in Texas to site President George W. Bush's library, members of the community at one candidate university expressed objections about the establishment of the facility at their school.

Southern Methodist University is one of the three schools that may play host to the presidential library of George W. Bush, along with the University of Dallas and Baylor University.

The blog of Paul Burka, the senior executive editor of the magazine Texas Monthly, includes excerpts of a letter written to SMU's president by faculty, administrators, and staff of the university's Perkins School of Theology, worrying about siting the library at the university. In it, they say they would:

...regret to see SMU enshrine attitudes and actions widely deemed as ethically egregious: degradation of habeas corpus, outright denial of global warming, flagrant disregard for international treaties, alienation of long-term U.S. allies, environmental predation, shameful disrespect for gay persons and their rights, a pre-emptive war based on false and misleading premises, and a host of other erosions of respect for the global human community and for this good Earth on which our flourishing depends.

According to the article, Susanne Johnson, an associate professor of Christian education, said she "would understand the value of an archive of the Bush administration, and sees how many SMU scholars would benefit from having such a collection on campus. But she said that the campus has been left 'uninformed and naive' about President Bush's plans to create a policy center to promote his view of the world."

Jaschik's article further explains that if the Bush library is sited at SMU, two graduates of the school have stated their plans to lobby to have "Methodist" removed from the university's name.

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