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The John William Pope Foundation took issue with my recent blog “Reading Ayn Rand.” I’m always flattered that the Pope people read my blogs and think they’re important enough to take issue with, so I’m happy to post their comments. Note, however, that there is nothing here to change my basic point: The best way to protect college students against Ayn Rand’s thinking is to force them to read Ayn Rand’s writing.
The response is from David W. Riggs, Ph.D., Vice President, Operations and Programs, John William Pope Foundation:

“I was recently alerted to your “Reading Ayn Rand” post about a supposed Pope-related grant to Guilford College.  In your post you link to the source of your information — an op-ed written by a professor at Guilford.  The professor’s op-ed is false and misleading on at least two fronts.  In an effort to clarify and correct, I sent the letter below to the professor, and CCed the president of Guilford College and the Guilfordian student newspaper.
“Dear Professor Zweigenhaft,
“Your column titled, “Guilford’s $500,000 Grant Part of a Conservative Agenda,” published in the Guilfordian, February 16, 2012, is false and misleading on at least two fronts.  First, if you had actually read and understood Jane Mayer’s New Yorker piece from October 2011, you would know it reported that Art Pope and the organizations he supports did not utilize the precedent set by Citizens United.  (Additionally, in terms of overall spending, the Democratic Party and its contributors out spent Republicans by millions, but still lost the 2010 election – a fact that is inconvenient to your narrative.)
“Second, you mention Art Pope and provide your characterization of his philanthropy while in the same breath mentioning a $500,000 grant to Guilford College.  The reader is misled to believe that Art Pope or the John William Pope Foundation is somehow connected to the $500,000 grant.  At least two websites have carried your misleading story about a Pope Foundation grant to Guilford. 
“The Pope Foundation had no part, nor was ever aware, of any grant to Guilford College.
“You are free, of course, to quibble with faculty and Guilford administration on whatever choices they make for the school that employs you.  However, in bringing Art Pope’s name or the Pope Foundation’s name into your academic infighting, you have deceivingly manufactured a boogeyman.
“When approached by colleges and universities to fund academic programs, the Pope Foundation has responded with millions of dollars in support of higher education. I am left wondering if you are simply an errant faculty member or if Guilford College has a policy of preemptively discouraging potential donors.”


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One comment on “More on Ayn Rand Grant

  1. TEA party patriot says:

    “The best way to protect college students against Ayn Rand’s thinking is to force them to read Ayn Rand’s writing.”

    Let’s examine in this juicy quote of yours how it exposes what kind of person you are, shall we?

    First of all, you say we should “protect” college students against Rand’s thinking. This is really just a way of saying that college students have no capability to think for themselves, or perhaps rather to suggest it to everyone else. Either way, you’re despicable for even contemplating college students need “protected” from a book or from ideas.

    Then, you say we should “force” them to read Rand’s writing. How typical. This is how statists such as yourself operate. You use force for everything you want to accomplish. You are a better fit in a Stalin regime than in a supposedly free America. What next, are you and your ilk going to start a new Department of COLLEGE Education?

    What you, who certainly have never read her works such as “Atlas Shrugged”, could not possibly understand, is that your “strategy” would backfire beyond your wildest imagination. This is precisely because college students CAN think for themselves, which is your worst nightmare. I suspect that your post is really due to liberal fear of what is going on with the youth of this country. You see who they support. You know your time is coming to an end, and it scares the shit out of you. I just wish all of it was scared out of you.

    The Library of Congress rates “Atlas” as the second most-influential book in the world, second only to the Bible. Yet, ye clueless one thinks, or would have us think, that by merely reading Rand’s books, that they will be turned off to libertarianism forever. Hell, BB&T REQUIRES their management to read it!

    USA Today: “Scandals lead execs to ‘Atlas Shrugged'”

    From the WSJ: “Atlas Shrugged: From Fiction to Fact in 52 years”

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