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University of Vermont President Engages in Double-Speak and Double-Standards When It Comes to Disavowing Pro-Intelligent Design Commencement Speaker Ben Stein

Let your voice be heard: If you think it was wrong for Ben Stein to be pushed out as this year's commencement speaker at University of Vermont, send a message to University President Daniel Fogel at Daniel.Fogel@uvm.edu or 802-656-3186.

Apologizing for inviting gifted actor and writer Ben Stein to be commencement speaker at the University of Vermont, University President Daniel Fogel has highlighted what he called Stein's "highly controversial views" about "evolutionary theory, intelligent design, and the role of science in the Holocaust." Fogel went on to express penance for inviting Stein by claiming that "Commencement should be a time when our community gathers inclusively, not divisively."

I guess inclusivity is why in 2007 Fogel chose as commencement speaker Democratic congressman John Lewis, who in 1995 compared Republicans to Nazis (last year Lewis compared John McCain and Sarah Palin to segregationist George Wallace and racist church bombers). Or perhaps President Fogel's concern for inclusivity is better demonstrated by his 2006 commencement speaker, Gustavo Esteva, a far-left activist and advisor to the radical Zapatista National Liberation Army in Mexico.

In today's academic double-speak, invitations to far-left revolutionaries and race-baiting Congressmen are apparently "inclusive," while inviting a speaker who favors free speech on the issue of evolution is beyond the pale.

Of course, it's being reported that Stein withdrew as the university's commencement speaker "voluntarily." "Voluntarily," that is, after he received a phone call from Dr. Fogel likely making clear he was no longer welcome. Given Fogel's subsequent disavowal of inviting Stein in the first place, it's pretty obvious that his phone call was designed to elicit Stein's withdrawal. Fogel's spinelessness in the face of the Darwinist thought-police is equaled only by his tone-deafness to his own rhetoric. After disowning Stein, Fogel has continued to insist: "I am firm in my belief--profoundly held--that, as a university, UVM is and must remain a marketplace of ideas." Fogel's ideal marketplace must have a lot of empty shelves.