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Bill Clinton in Steubenville: A Correction

On February 17, 2008 I posted an entry titled, "Bill Clinton Lashes Out at Prolife Students." In addition to criticizing the former president, I chastised those who heckled the president, referring to them as "prolife students." I relied on a press release by the group, "Students for Life," which referred to the hecklers as "prolife students." But I have since been told by several prolife students from the Franciscan University (Steubenville) who were present at the event that none of the hecklers was a student. So, students from the university were indeed protesting, but they were doing so in a respectful way. Although I did not mention Franciscan University by name, I can see why the protesting students from that fine institution would not like it implied that they had engaged in behavior in which they in fact did not engage.

In private email correspondence, Caroline Nye, a member of the Franciscan University College Republicans, has permitted me to publish on this blog her note of correction that I received yesterday evening:

I would first like to say that I applaud your support of the pro-life movement. However, as a member of College Republicans and as a Franciscan University student who personally attended the peaceful protest against Bill Clinton in Steubenville, Ohio, I would like to comment about the statement you made regarding students heckling the former president. You are quoted as saying, "what the 'students' did was disrespectful, and as a pro-lifer I condemn such conduct" (Weblog: "What's Wrong with the World" and EWTN news article). I would like to clarify that it was not in fact a "student" that yelled out during Clinton's speech. The man was not a student at Franciscan University and he had no connection with our organization. Furthermore, the entire goal of our protest was to be peaceful. While waiting outside, we prayed rosaries as a group. We recognize that violence and angry out bursts do not accomplish our peaceful objectives. I felt that it was necessary to bring the true facts to your attention and respectfully request that you retract your statement regarding "students" heckling the former president.

Comments (4)

Dr. Beckwith,

Thank you for the correction. I have made a correction on my blog as well on the same topic.


Dr. Beckwith,

I applaud your willingness to make corrections upon additional information.

I would add though that I continually find it interesting that people protested a President whose actions and policies along with the help of the Pro-Life movement, of course, decreased the abortion rate more than any sitting policy maker since Roe v Wade was enacted.

Pro-Life isn't just about abortion, it's about life. Almost all Republicans disagree with us on the Death Penalty. More importantly their social policies tend to increase the abortion rate.

If you study the CDC Data you will see that while abortions have decreased slightly in the early part of the Bush administration, we are lacking data for the past few years. What data we do have though shows that some abortions are already on the rise again.

When we look at Christ's message I find it almost impossible to reconcile the overall theme with a Fiscally Conservative agenda. Yet our Fiscally Moderate and Liberal politicians tend to favor R v W.

It is saddening that we can't seem to find a nationally recognized Politician who is truly Pro-Life. A person who’s policies would help the Pro-Life movement rather than work against them from a social standpoint and who would also champion the reversal of R v W.

The heckler, whoever they were, showed not only little respect for a former President of the United State but also little understanding about History and the true struggles we have in this Nation which Christ calls us to fight. At least that is my opinion...

On a completely different subject, I truly enjoyed your appearance on "The Journey Home" a few months back. I still have it on my DVR.


I do not think think speaking out, and causing the Former President Clinton to stop speaking, rude. They merely asked questions. Making waves is not a sin. Christ made a few during His life on earth. What are we teaching our young? 'Just sit there, take everything, but no matter what, don't be rude'. Ridiculous. We wouldn't have had the Revolution, Constitution, rebellion, and we would still be under the king if it we were play according to these rules.

Joe commented:
I would add though that I continually find it interesting that people protested a President whose actions and policies along with the help of the Pro-Life movement, of course, decreased the abortion rate more than any sitting policy maker since Roe v Wade was enacted.

With utmost respect, I take exception to the part of your comment that gives any credit to President Clinton for reductions in the rate of abortion. I invite you to consider my blog post about this very issue.

And, although Dr. Beckwith disagrees with the manner of protest cited, I also make a comment that such heckling is at times useful for revealing important characteristics of our politicians. I would only add that pro-life protesters use heckling carefully and judiciously.

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