Trashing Life at DePaul

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A large group of students at DePaul University in Chicago trashed a campus pro-life display marking the sordid anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The display memorialized the 56 million unborn babies killed in abortions since 1973. According to, some 13 students at DePaul have been identified for their angry action.

The DePaul University chapter of the Young America’s Foundation hosted a Flags for Life Project to mark the 40th anniversary of Roe. The students set up 500 flags at 7:00 AM the morning of January 22, 2013 to symbolize a mere portion of the lives lost every day due to the injustice of abortion. This act of innocence enraged a group of pro-choice DePaul students.

DePaulWhat’s most alarming about this assault is that it was done not merely by the typical campus liberals who meaninglessly profess tolerance and diversity—which they then routinely and grossly violate—but that it was done at a Catholic university. DePaul, after all, is a Catholic institution. Or is it?

I’ve been to DePaul only one time, in April 2007. I was there as a speaker for what a campus group was billing as the first annual “Catholic Week” at DePaul. Other speakers included George Weigel and Michael Novak. Think about that: these faithful Catholic students considered their Catholic college so lacking in faithful Catholicism that they created an actual “Catholic Week” on campus, bringing in outside Catholic speakers to teach Catholicism to the student body.

What are they teaching at DePaul? What kind of an atmosphere exists on the campus of this Catholic university that would lead its students to trash a pro-life display? What are they learning?

If you have a child at DePaul University, or if you’re an alumnus, and especially if you send money there, I strongly suggest you consider making an inquiry. Ask about the trashing of the pro-life display. Ask why some students felt compelled to host a “Catholic Week” at this Catholic institution. Ask what, precisely, is being taught at this university. You deserve some answers.


Dr. Paul Kengor


Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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  • susanhaines

    Many of our “Catholic” Universities are Catholic in name only. After faithfully contributing to my Catholic alma mater, I stopped about 8 years ago after noticing how secular their publications and religion department had become. Told them that when they made the Newman College List of truly Catholic schools, I would resume my donations. Thank you for bringing this sad situtation to our attention.

  • Hank

    In the 90’s there was a series of news stories about a PhD candidate on tenure track whose thesis was rejected because it was to much “orthodox Catholic”. The Archdiocese intervened and I never saw a report on the final result.

  • Jim

    I truly doubt that the vandals were taught or egged on by a professor to do what they did. There are people at DePaul trying to make a difference and reverse the cultural tides of the last two generations. Rather than perform drive-by attacks such as this one, or withdraw funding as some commenters have suggested, why not support those who are trying to revitalize these universities? If we are the light of the world, we should not merely retreat into a Catholic ghetto.

  • jaybird1951

    DePaul has become so huge and is essentially an urban based trade school with a relatively small Catholic presence that forming a group to trash a pro life display would not be hard. No encouragement or participation by members of the faculty or the administration is necessary. I am Georgetown graduate who stopped donating to that school a couple of decades ago basically for the same reasons as Susan. My annual donations and future bequest go to Thomas Aquinas College in CA, one of our very best.

  • Greg

    What I want to know is – what consequence did these thirteen students receive as a result of their criminality?

  • Just passing through

    God bless you! (and I’m sure that he does!!,) I am not a Catholic, but I am a Christian and I chanced to come across some of your remarks.

    Their is a term to describe people like you. Christ-like. Here’s another one, Bible-centered.

    You get the idea, I’m pretty sure.

    About those students at DePaul, they need Christians to talk to, they need Christians who will love them enough to counsel them, to befriend them, to spend time with them showing them why and how to be a Christian.

    I don’t like saying this… But sometimes people choose evil. Remember, that’s why God made hell (“for satan and his angels.”) And what does Scripture tell us?, that each of us will be judged and those without a relationship with Jesus will be tossed in with “satan and his angels.”

    I don’t like saying this either… But the campus authorities need to be wise in their response. I know this incident isn’t that recent but still, I hope that people were praying for the people who had the responsibility to respond to this misdeed.

  • You’re absolutely right, Jim. I was a student and conservative campus leader at DePaul and I tried for many years to convince my conservative friends to support us! Petitioning the Bishop to remove the Catholic name from a University does nothing.

    See here:

  • Anonymous

    DePaul is not a Catholic university by any stretch of the imagination. From what I can tell, the priests and religious on campus are not pro-life. (I’m a current student.)

  • Roger

    This is what happens when you let ‘feelings’ cloud your judgment over faith and reason. Unfortunately, the pro-abortion group is usually very angry and dismissive of others who think different from them. It’s no wonder their cause is shrinking every day.

  • James

    I currently go to DePaul, and will never send funds (beyond my tuition to this institution. I went in as a transfer student, took my first 2 quarters and am now locked in. If I wanted to leave I would lose a substantial amount of hours, extending my education out a year. This is not a Catholic school, the faculty does not have tolerance for opposing views, so why should the students? This institution goes out of its way to indoctrinate, rather than teach, to shift kids to the left, to teach them that white people are the enemy. I will gladly name a few: Wayne Steger Chair of the Political Science board, Susan Bennett, far left lunatic who will grade you on your opinion, rather than your merit, Michael Mesey, who sits in class telling his political science students that conservatives are evil, that the country hates guns, and that Obama should be allowed to dictate (since conservatives are evil). Valerie Johnson, who worked for Reverend Jackson, and praises his good work, ignoring that he is a white hating racist! Dr. Suchar, who is the LAS dean shows no interest in changing things, completely ignoring my inquiries into why this school indoctrinates, rather than teaches, he either doesn’t care or is deliberately allowing this indoctrination to happen. After he admitted that there were several leftists on the staff I told him they were ALL leftists, he claimed they weren’t. When I challenged him to present me with one person on the right, or even in the center he responded by telling me that they don’t talk about their political leanings. Remember, this was after he admitted there were several leftists on staff; he shouldn’t know if they don’t talk about it. The teachers on the left aren’t all bad, but most are, Katherine May is on the left, but doesn’t push her politics on you and accepts, and respects the students opinions, David Bleeden should be teaching at Harvard, he is probably the single best professor they have, he seems to lean left, but again doesn’t push his opinion, and respects ours. DePaul is a joke, the faculty is a joke, and I’m disgusted that I will have a diploma from this dump. My kids will never go there, I will tell my friends who have kids not to go there, and anytime I have the chance I will relay my opinion on this place to anyone that is willing to listen.

  • James

    I’m a current student as well, this is not a Catholic School, the faculty is a joke. I’m ashamed to be a student there but as a transfer student I’m now locked in, as I would lose several credit hours transferring out, five more classes and I’m done. I will never donate to them, ever.

  • James

    I’ma current student there, and I guarantee they were egged on by members of the faculty. No doubt in my mind. I base this off my experience there, and what I’ve heard professors tell students is class. They were encouraged to participate in the Occupy Wall Street nonsense, ironic since we are at a 33k/year school (tuition alone). They were encouraged to disrupt, and told violence is sometimes necessary.

    What are you basing your opinion on…a hunch?