Thursday, December 01, 2005


Karin Brownlee: Consider the Source

While we're following the shock and awe campaign unleashed by ultra-right Kansas legislators, such as Karin Brownlee, against KU religious studies professor Paul Mirecki, we should keep in mind Brownlee's previous -- and groundless -- attacks on KU social welfare professor Dennis Daily.

In 2003, Kansas state senator Susan Wagle complained that Daily told students he found children sexually arousing, and that he saw nothing wrong with incest and pedophilia. She introduced an amendment to the state budget to cut off funding to all academic departments using sexually explicit material in the classroom.

Sen. Brownlee echoed these baseless charges asking, "How in the world can anyone defend some of the worst trash I've ever heard of?" Adding that Dailey "promoted pedophilia."

David Shulenburger, provost and executive vice chancellor for Kansas University, investigated Wagle and Brownlee's charges. Here's what he found:

My monthlong investigation of Sen. Susan Wagle's complaint against KU Prof. Dennis Dailey was thorough and objective. I reviewed class documents, Dailey's qualifications to teach the course, his response to the allegations, testimonials from students who had taken the class and Dailey's teaching evaluations for the past five years. I interviewed Jessica Zahn and reviewed the McGraw-Hill textbook and audiovisual materials used in the course.

I found that the allegations regarding Dailey's teaching of a human sexuality course did not have merit. His teaching methods are not obscene, and I found no occurrences of sexual harassment.

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed Wagle's amendment.

Despite the provost's findings, Prof. Dailey's reputation was damaged in a way that is almost impossible to repair. No doubt, he and his family, especially his children, are still feeling the effects.

What we've read so far of Mirecki's e-mail comments doesn't sound good, but we also have to remember that everything published to date has been stripped of its context. We've seen only the things the right wants us to see. Perhaps, in light of Brownlee's track record, we shouldn't rush to judgement about Paul Mirecki or his planned class on ID and Creationism.

Brownlee likes to play fast and loose with the facts. Like a bull in a china shop, she doesn't really care who gets hurt.

This fight has nothing at all to do with religious tolerance, and everything to do with the anti-education agenda of the radical right.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?