Commitment without consequences: Protesting students want a pass

Commitment without consequences: Protesting students want a pass

A Palestinian flag flutters in the wind during an anti-Israel encampment, advocating for financial disclosure and divestment from all companies tied to Israel and calling for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, inside Columbia University Campus on Sunday, April 28, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Commitment without consequences: Protesting students want a pass

A Christian apologist who has spoken on hundreds of U.S. college campuses says the "get-my-way-with-a-tantrum" philosophy reflected in the anti-Israel demonstrations at America's colleges cannot be allowed to go on.

Protesting students are starting to consider the consequences of their actions, but the pro-Hamas rallies on college campuses show no signs of lessening. Instead, one U.S. House member sees parallels between tent cities on green campus lawns and violence during the summer of 2020 – the last presidential election year.

Rep. Ben Cline (R-Virginia) said on Washington Watch Friday he believes the protests will carry into the summer. He also supports movement in the House to withhold some funding to universities that continue to allow these demonstrations while putting the safety of their Jewish students at risk.


Cline told show host Jody Hice that the campus protests will matter this election cycle – but that unlike 2020, the negative impact this time around could be for the Democrats.

Cline, Rep. Ben Cline

"[The protests] don't seem to be dying down, and that's much to the dismay of the Biden campaign team," he said. "This is just uncovering the truth that the radical Left is supported by and endorsed by terrorist groups around the world; and they are doing what they can to stoke unrest in the country whether it's in the name of Palestine or you name it.

"But these protests are going to continue into the summer, and as it gets hotter and tempers flare the potential for more disruption is evident. It's going to be very unsettling as the summer goes on," Cline added.

Students want no consequences

The Associated Press reported Sunday that Columbia students arrested for their roles in that campus protest have been suspended. Since then, the university has announced that all anti-Israel protesters must clear out from their encampment by 2:00 p.m. (Eastern) Monday or face suspension. According to AP, the protesters at Columbia ignored the deadline.

Suspensions are happening at other campuses too, AP reports. Reponses to the protestors vary by campus. Christian apologist and American Family Radio show host Alex McFarland sees it all as increasing lawlessness.

McFarland, Alex (Christian apologist) McFarland

"Rather than truth, the rule of law, what is constitutional and what is moral, it's an attempt to further the 'might-makes-right' ethic where people can get anything and everything where they just bully, intimidate and threaten with no repercussions," McFarland said Monday.

"[They're demanding] amnesty now. [They're saying] Here's what we're going to do. We're going to disrupt colleges, graduations, we're going to occupy, vandalize, damage property, and there will be no repercussions. We can't let this go on," he stated.

McFarland compared the campus protests to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the summer of unrest in 2020. Today's campus protestors, he said, have a blueprint for success.

"It's a very get-my-way-with-a-tantrum society. We saw this with the BLM riots, and there was vandalism," McFarland told show host Jenna Ellis. "The First Amendment speaks to the right of peaceful assembly. These people [who call themselves 'social justice warriors'] are not about peace. They're not about truth."

Clearly a spiritual battle

Chad Groening (AFN)

Gary Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families, has served on the board of Christians United for Israel. The conservative activist contends the anti-Semitic protestors on American campuses spring from the same diseased root as the Nazi Youth.

Bauer, Gary (American Values) Bauer

"First of all, a reminder of what a Nazi is: Nazi is an acronym for National Socialists. The Nazis were socialists. So are half of these students – and probably all their professors," he argues.

Bauer says the Nazi Youth were taught one main thing: that the Jews were the source of all evil.

"And the Nazi Youth were sent out to beat up Jews, to boycott Jewish businesses, to attack synagogues – and churches, by the way. That's the same thing these demonstrators have been taught," he tells AFN. "They hate Jews. They say the Jews are the source of all evil."

Bauer warns that the time when Christians can sit comfortably in their churches is over.

McFarland explained that the term "social justice warrior" first appeared on Twitter in 2011.

"And 'warrior' is the operative word. A lot of the people … are 18-30, often college students, pampered westerners, young adults from affluent families; and if it's anti-America, anti-Israel, anti-family, anti-Christianity, anti-family values, anti-capitalism, they're on board.

"If there's a big enough, loud enough, threatening enough mob, the school administrators, the establishment, the city administrators – whoever the authority figures charged with keeping the peace are – they generally will cave in to a mob," McFarland said.

Federal funding at risk for schools

During his visit to Columbia last week, House Speaker Mike Johnson said these colleges do not deserve taxpayer funding if they can't "get control" of the hostile situation. House Republicans will be working on legislation to address the schools' funding, he added.

Cline, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said there will be a "serious look" into the schools' funding.

"On appropriations, there's going to be a concerted effort to make sure that colleges and universities across this country don't embrace anti-Israel rhetoric or any kind of discriminatory rhetoric against Israel or Jewish people. We've got to stand up for Israel, and we'll look within our own appropriations measures to make sure we do that," he said.

In many instances, students are just going along for the ride with little or no knowledge of the positions they're passionately supporting. For example, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in his podcast shared interviews with protesting students at New York University.

"Why are we protesting here? I wish I was more educated," one student stated.

Cline built on that issue. "I've seen interviews with students chanting 'From the river to the sea' – and they don't even know what river or what sea they're talking about," he said.

"Hopefully they can finish up their school year and then go get jobs for the summer. That would actually help a lot – [it would not only help] the students and their bank accounts, but also the country. And it would avoid the kind of summer unrest that we saw across the country in 2020."