December 1, 2007

"Pat Robertson can say anything he wants about anybody. He has advocated the assassination of Hugo Chavez..."

"... and called for the city of Orlando to be destroyed by meteors and tornadoes. But when Adam Key makes a comment, he gets kicked out of school."

Key is a law student who had a Facebook page with a picture of Robertson looking like he was giving the finger. Robertson is the president of Key's law school, Regent University, and Key got a 2 year suspension. He's now suing in federal court:
Key’s suit also alleges the school defamed him and violated his right to free expression, required under requirements of the Higher Education Act for schools that receive federal funds. It also claims he was “fraudulently induced” to enroll at the school on the basis of Regent’s assurances that it allowed religious liberty and free speech.

16 comments:

Paddy O. said...

Having gone to a Christian college I know this type pretty well. They sign up to a conservative place and there they act like a supposed rebel against the Man. It's sort of sad because in order to feel like they are fighting for their freedoms they voluntarily put themselves in a position where there are tighter community restrictions. They're not really bold enough to really rebel, and would be really conservative in a typical environment. But where's the fun and angst in that?

My strong guess is that Regent has a code of conduct of some sorts that specifies certain behavior restrictions, which might include vulgarity. Part of the application process is signing that, so it is a voluntary contract.

I'm not a fan of Robertson at all. I would never go to Regent because of that. But why would someone go to Regent if they despised the man?

The Drill SGT said...

I'm not a lawyer, but this guy has had more training than I.

I always thought that the Freedom of Speech stuff was not enforceable in the context of private companies, which I assume a religious College would be, else we'd have a church/state separation issue.

George said...

My fifth grader recently brought home something titled "A Pledge To Myself."

Part of it reads...

"Today I pledge to listen/to the beat of my drummer/Who leads me onward/in search of my dreams/Today I pledge to believe in me."

Then again, I have relatives who attend a Christian academy. In the main entrance a huge placard reads:

"I pledge allegiance to Jesus and to the Bible for which He stands..."

Crazy world, ain't it?

Paddy O. said...

From the Regent University student handbook, explaining aspects of the honor code, violations of which result in disciplinary action:


6. Abuse, harassment or intimidation. Harassing or threatening another person, including racial or sexual harassment or threats is prohibited. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, striking, laying hands upon, threatening with violence, or offering to do bodily harm to another person, or other treatment of a demeaning, abusive, taunting, or alarming nature. It also includes obscene, abusive, or repetitive telephone calls, telephone messages, electronic mail, instant messages using electronic mail programs, or other obscene, abusive, or repetitive communications.

I agree that Pat Robertson has likely violated this too, but he's not under the review of the disciplinary committee.

Key should be suspended. The country is flooded with law schools. It's not like Regent is Harvard or Yale or Chicago. And it's not like a guy with that kind of attitude is going to take advantage of the specific benefits Regent might offer within the Evangelical subculture.

Key breaks his pledge and wants to blame Regent for his lack of character. No doubt, though, this will win him points in other places.

former law student said...

From the way Regent filled my mailbox with brochures and other solicitations, I don't think they get the brightest law students. But apparently this guy lacks basic common sense (you don't pee where you sleep; once you find yourself in a hole, you quit digging; etc.)

Pastafarian said...

Maybe schools oughta have a class about not POSTING DUMB SHIT on Facebook/Myspace. I'm in a business where I deal with teenage people all the time. And even into their early to mid 20s they just can't figure out that this is a stupid idea. I certainly wouldn't have taken drunken/naked pictures of me at that age and taped 'em up all over the walls of the school (yes it was the stone age), which is essentially what they're doing.

I actually saw the Myspace page for one of my employees when she left it open. Yow. And yet in some weird disconnect she doesn't want anyone to see it!! Or maybe she just meant me. I haven't decided whether or not I need to get rid of her because of it. I like her but I might have to.

Freeman Hunt said...

Pat Robertson can say anything he wants about anybody.

Robertson, who is not enrolled in a university headed by Key, was not available for comment.

Freeman Hunt said...

I actually saw the Myspace page for one of my employees when she left it open. Yow.

One of the most entertaining days I ever had at work was the day I discovered that everyone in the sales department had a MySpace.

Hnkn said...

My fifth grader recently brought home something titled "A Pledge To Myself."

Part of it reads...

"Today I pledge to listen/to the beat of my drummer/Who leads me onward/in search of my dreams/Today I pledge to believe in me."


Dear Lord.

How do you handle this as a parent?

It would drive me batshit, but I'm not sure what would be the right way to combat the narcissism of this wad of nonsense.

hdhouse said...

pat robertson is a shit. anyone who doesn't think that he is anything other than a babbling money grubber with the morals of..who? rudy?...is out to lunch.

Fen said...

[sigh] Feel better HD? Yes, of course Robertson is a cad and a hypocrite, but thats not what this thread is about.

B said...

Paddy O - you got this one pegged exactly right.


Pat Robertson's right to say what he wants when he is President of the University, while not being subject to the same discipline clause as a student of same University, is the same as Bill Clinton's right to commit adultery while Commander-in-Chief and not be subject to the same discipline cause as a member of the same military.

Kirk Parker said...

Sure, hd, Robertson is a sh*t, but then there's this...

"He has advocated the assassination of Hugo Chavez"

Hmmm, does that make it Strange New Respect™ time?

s1c said...

My strong guess is that Regent has a code of conduct of some sorts that specifies certain behavior restrictions, which might include vulgarity. Part of the application process is signing that, so it is a voluntary contract.

Glad to see that someone posted the code of conduct section. My experience from my college days at a christian school also included a similar pledge. Was there anything on his facebook page that stated he was a student at the university or had a University logo or anything that could be construed as defamatory of the school?

Probably not relevant but would be interesting to know.

Bruce said...

6. Abuse, harassment or intimidation. Harassing or threatening another person, including racial or sexual harassment or threats is prohibited. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, striking, laying hands upon, threatening with violence, or offering to do bodily harm to another person, or other treatment of a demeaning, abusive, taunting, or alarming nature. It also includes obscene, abusive, or repetitive telephone calls, telephone messages, electronic mail, instant messages using electronic mail programs, or other obscene, abusive, or repetitive communications.

I'm having trouble understanding what part of this code of conduct is violated by a photo of Pat Robertson giving the finger. Is that considered taunting? Is a photo of someone giving the finger obscene?

The code is quoted here as if it clearly applies to the student's action. Although I admit I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet, I don't see it.

Paddy O. said...

Bruce, I posted that because it seemed the most applicable. I'm guessing it could be considered included in "other treatment of a demeaning, abusive, taunting, or alarming nature."