Things on campus seem much less intense now, probably because most discussions are now happening behind closed doors. Consider the last two Faculty Senate meetings — no announcements of the meetings were made to the faculty as a whole, no agendas distributed, no meeting place set, no announcements about the decisions issued, no copy of the resolutions passed provided. And this at what is clearly an important turning point in the history of SMU.
Nonetheless, people across the country and locally continue to take notice and weigh in on things. Nearly 1,000 United Methodists signed a petition calling for the Highland Park United Methodist Church, located right by SMU, to revoke George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s membership unless they “repent” of their violations of United Methodist teachings. I suppose this is the Methodist equivalent of excommunication.
Writing in a United Methodist publication, Perkins School of Theology faculty member acknowledged that the arguments against the Institute were stronger than those against the Library, but insisted that the Institute would still be good for SMU. Another commentator returned attention to the donor base for the library and to the question of what policy measures the Institute would advance. The Communist Party’s newspaper, The People’s Weekly World — whose influence, I suppose one could say, isn’t what it used to be — ran a thorough account of the debate written by a local party member. Should I be surprised that there are real live communists in Dallas — this is the city that the late Molly Ivins once quipped “would have rooted for Goliath.”
In a more humorous vein, Melinda Pillsbury-Foster penned an imaginative preview of what the library exhibit might look like — unlikely to change any minds on the subject, but a great piece of political satire.
And finally, Source Watch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy, has established a page for the library.