Controversial Talk Postponed By Sponsor

Breaking News

Dr. Matthew Cuddeback, sponsor of the controversial “Who Am I?” talk by Dr. Michelle Cretella, has announced the postponement of the event due to concern that “Dr. Cretella may be the object of animus were she to present at PC next week.” Dr. Cuddeback alleges inconsistency in campus support for academic freedom. But, as has been pointed out, many contest not the event itself but rather the way in which it has been advertised. The announcement was made by email to to the PC faculty at about 9:40 Thursday morning. The full text of Dr. Cuddeback’s email is below:

Dear Colleagues,

I extend my appreciation to those who have defended my arrangement of the talk by Dr. Michelle Cretella, MD. I arranged this talk—as well two others still to come this semester—in response to the call by Dr. Nick Longo, Dr. Chris Arroyo and other signers of a November 3 email to department chairs, for faculty to initiate programming around the issue of homosexuality. I am struck that many of the indignant voices raised for academic freedom in the wake of the cancellation of Dr. Corvino’s talk have been absent or ambivalent in the discussion of Dr. Cretella’s talk. Where are those voices now? Some have been silent. Some are harrumphing about NARTH, science, and reparative therapy. Some, who proposed to advocate for a campus-wide discussion that would include all perspectives, are trying to shame faculty who invite a speaker holding one of those perspectives, as irresponsibly insensitive to LGBT students. Do they believe that the freedom to speak belongs only to those who agree with their position?

I must observe that while Dr. Cretella is identified on the flyer as a board member of NARTH, the subject of her talk is not reparative therapy. Rather, as the flyer reads: “in this presentation, Dr. Cretella will describe her journey to navigate the controversial issue of homosexuality as a physician and a Catholic.” Dr. Cretella is not a therapist, and had no intent to speak as one. Her intent was to speak of her journey, as a physician, from rejecter to appreciator of the Catholic and natural law traditions concerning homosexuality. Her account deserves to be listened to—in the way that, at a university, such an account should be listened to rather than shouted down or shamed before it is heard.

Because I sense that Dr. Cretella may be the object of animus were she to present at PC next week, I have advised her that we shall postpone her presentation.

I believe that open academic discussion of homosexuality, from different perspectives, can be fruitful for our campus. I would ask my faculty colleagues to support the two talks that I have scheduled for early March and early April (see below). Perhaps some of the department chairs and program directors who signed the November 3 email from Nick Longo, and who have sponsored other events surrounding the topic of homosexuality, might be willing to serve sponsors of these talks too.

Respectfully, with my best regards,

Matthew Cuddeback

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

 

THE TWO TALKS:

The Global AIDS Epidemic: Hope Through a Person-Centered Response

Dr. Timothy Flanigan, MD, Brown University Medical School

Tuesday, March 4

7:00pm

Moore III

 

The Catholic Church and Homosexuality:  Charity and Clarity

Fr. Paul Check, Executive Director of Courage International

   With a member of Courage International

Wednesday, April 9

4:00pm

Ruane LL 05

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6 thoughts on “Controversial Talk Postponed By Sponsor

  1. What is there really to discuss? One cannot think or rationalize away who they love. I support the issue of academic freedom – is there someone that actually identifies as LGBTQIA involved in these discussions if this is truly going to be an all-sides considered approach?

  2. This link below shows Dr. Cuddeback testifying about same sex marriage to the RI senate. This lecture is not about debate, it’s about ideology. Even here, he pretends to be a child psychologist. This lecture never had good intentions and only served to hurt those at PC.

  3. Pingback: Providence College cancels controversial anti-LGBTQ lecturer

  4. I graduated from Providence College in 2008. I am who I am and I am where I am because of the great people who taught and inspired me in my four years there.

    I was embarrassed after the Dr. Corvino fiasco but this is so, so much worse. The fact that Dr. Cretella was invited to the school in the first place is horrible, but this email from Dr. Cuddeback makes me really worry about what is going on, on campus these days.

    Taking it piece by piece, the level of vitriol towards the LGBTQ community and anyone who thinks that bigotry, hatred and junk science has no place at a college supposedly searching for veritas is downright scary. I know that one man’s words are not representative of the faculty and administration at large and the passionate arguments against “Dr.” Cretella’s presence at the school from many faculty members are proof of that. However, that fact provides me little comfort when reading through this disgusting defense of Dr. Cretella’s planed appearance from Dr. Cuddeback. The idea that this man is “teaching” at Providence College is horrifying…

    “I extend my appreciation to those who have defended my arrangement of the talk by Dr. Michelle Cretella, MD. I arranged this talk—as well two others still to come this semester—in response to the call by Dr. Nick Longo, Dr. Chris Arroyo and other signers of a November 3 email to department chairs, for faculty to initiate programming around the issue of homosexuality.”

    What exactly is the “issue of homosexuality?” Really, I want someone to define this phrase for me because it doesn’t make any sense. It is loaded with such negative connotation and overt anti-gay coding that I just refuse to believe there are multiple people who signed off on an email with this kind of language. Also, anyone who defended Dr. Cuddeback’s arrangement to allow Dr. Cretella to talk should at least have the guts to do it publicly. If you are going to make a mockery of the values you supposedly stand for at least put your name on it.

    “I am struck that many of the indignant voices raised for academic freedom in the wake of the cancellation of Dr. Corvino’s talk have been absent or ambivalent in the discussion of Dr. Cretella’s talk. Where are those voices now? Some have been silent. Some are harrumphing about NARTH, science, and reparative therapy. Some, who proposed to advocate for a campus-wide discussion that would include all perspectives, are trying to shame faculty who invite a speaker holding one of those perspectives, as irresponsibly insensitive to LGBT students. Do they believe that the freedom to speak belongs only to those who agree with their position?”

    Of all of the lazy, neocon, anti-progressive arguments that are spun everyday this is by far the most infuriating. Whenever someone with some sense raises an issue about blatant bigotry the default response is almost always it’s okay because “freedom of speech.” Of course it has nothing to do with freedom of speech and it’s says a whole lot about Dr. Cuddeback’s true feelings on the subject that he is relaying on such an overused and misleading defense. It’s not about freedom of speech; it’s about said speech having an ounce of basis in reality.

    “I must observe that while Dr. Cretella is identified on the flyer as a board member of NARTH, the subject of her talk is not reparative therapy. Rather, as the flyer reads: “in this presentation, Dr. Cretella will describe her journey to navigate the controversial issue of homosexuality as a physician and a Catholic.” Dr. Cretella is not a therapist, and had no intent to speak as one. Her intent was to speak of her journey, as a physician, from rejecter to appreciator of the Catholic and natural law traditions concerning homosexuality. Her account deserves to be listened to—in the way that, at a university, such an account should be listened to rather than shouted down or shamed before it is heard.”

    Ok, so what Dr. Cuddeback is saying is even though he advertised her as a board member of a reparative therapy organization (I can’t even type that without throwing up a little bit), her talk was not supposed to be about reparative therapy? Because, saying she is going to talk about “her journey to navigate the controversial issue of homosexuality as a physician and Catholic” really sounds like a longer way of saying she is going to talk about “reparative therapy.” You can call her a physician, you can call her a therapist, you can call her whatever you want, the fact still remains she was going to be telling everyone, in the face of indisputable proof to the contrary, that someone’s homosexuality can be “cured.” Her account doesn’t deserve to be listened to because, for lack of a more elegant way to put it, it’s complete bullshit. It takes a thirty second Google search to find out what this women thinks so please, Dr. Cuddeback, do us all one little favor and call a spade a spade.

    “Because I sense that Dr. Cretella may be the object of animus were she to present at PC next week, I have advised her that we shall postpone her presentation.”

    I’m assuming he chose the word animus because he is trying to sound really smart or something but the feeling of dislike that I can only hope she would have been universally met with would have been anything but prejudiced. She is very clear with what she thinks and believes and once again that belief has no scientific validity whatsoever. It’s not prejudice to be disgusted with her and her beliefs it’s common sense.

    “I believe that open academic discussion of homosexuality, from different perspectives, can be fruitful for our campus.”

    If you brought in a doctor that gave a lecture on how cigarettes were good for you would that also be fruitful for the campus? I’m just asking because it’s the same exact principle.

    “I would ask my faculty colleagues to support the two talks that I have scheduled for early March and early April (see below). Perhaps some of the department chairs and program directors who signed the November 3 email from Nick Longo, and who have sponsored other events surrounding the topic of homosexuality, might be willing to serve sponsors of these talks too.”

    One of these talks is about “The Global AIDS epidemic.” How exactly is that specifically related to the topic of homosexuality? Honestly, of all of the offensive implications in this email, this is the one that bothered me the most. I’m not really sure what he is trying to say by so crassly connecting homosexuality and AIDS. I just know that it somehow manages to ruin Dr. Cuddeback’s credibility even further.

    Respectfully, with my best regards,

    Matthew Cuddeback

    Assistant Professor of Philosophy

    Respectfully. Yeah. Ok. Not that I expect anything else from someone who believes that same sex marriage belongs in the same category as incest.

    This has indeed been a sad few days to be a Friar. It’s sad because those of us who have made – an continue to make – life defining memories there know that once again the lowest common denominator has become the voice that everyone is hearing.

    All is not lost, however. I believe that there are enough strong and positive voices amongst the students, faculty and alumni of Providence College that we will not allow hatred, intolerance and disrespect to rule the day. In the words of Aaron Sorkin, we will not let the demons shout down our better angels.

    I hope that the current students and faculty will continue fighting for change from within and will not let people like Dr. Cuddeback define Providence College to the masses. I also hope that the thousands of alumni who still take pride in the school they graduated from will not donate a dime until this culture of hate stops being conflated with the search for truth.

  5. Pingback: Is ‘anti-gay therapist’ Dr. Cretella a therapist or not?

  6. Pingback: Academic Freedom and Catholic Theology  Dark Politricks

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