After effectively barring conservative columnist Ann Coulter from speaking on campus last week, the Jesuit college Fordham University welcomed infanticide and bestiality advocate Peter Singer for a panel discussion on Friday.
According to Fordham’s media relations website, Singer, a tenured Princeton bioethics professor, spoke from 4 to 6 p.m. in a panel the university promised “will provoke Christians to think about other animals in new ways.”
Singer has long lamented the societal stigma against having sex with animals.
“Not so long ago,” Singer wrote in one essay, “any form of sexuality not leading to the conception of children was seen as, at best, wanton lust, or worse, a perversion. One by one, the taboos have fallen. But … not every taboo has crumbled.”
In the essay, titled “Heavy Petting,” Singer concluded that “sex across the species barrier,” while not normal, “ceases to be an offence [sic] to our status and dignity as human beings.”
“Occasionally mutually satisfying activities may develop” when humans have sex with their pets, he claimed.
In addition to supporting bestiality and immediately granting equal legal rights to animals, Singer has also advocated euthanizing the mentally ill and aborting disabled infants on utilitarian grounds.
In his 1993 essay “Taking Life,” Singer, in a section called “Justifying Infanticide and Non-Voluntary Euthanasia,” wrote that “killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person.”
“Very often it is not wrong at all,” he added, noting that newborns should not be considered people until approximately a month after their birth.
Both Singer and his supporters maintain that ethics experts must often confront taboo topics to arrive at greater philosophical truths.
The Catholic Cardinal Newman Society’s blog spoke out against Fordham’s decision to allow Singer a speaking event in a recent blog post. “Be assured, this is not a Peter Singer scandal. This is a Fordham scandal. The moderator of the event is Charles Camosy, a Fordham theologian,” the society wrote.
However, James Schall, a Jesuit and a senior government professor at Georgetown University, defended Singer’s appearance at Fordham in an email to The Daily Caller.
“Basically, the Church is not afraid of any idea, if it has a fair chance freely to explain its own position,” Schall said. “Normally, a university is the place, but this [issue] demands more liberty to hear the Catholic view than most places permit.”
Schall also condemned Singer’s views in no uncertain terms.
“His position is lethal really, and incoherent, but too much of the culture accepts it,” Schall added.