Michigan State University students Nathan Barbieri and Nolan Radomski are suing a professor and school officials after being forced to fund “The Rebellion Community,” a leftist organization dedicated to “smashing the patriarchy and building a better, kinder world by unlearning toxic expectations” (their emphasis).
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Barbieri and Radomski by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), alleges the students’ funds were used to finance the professor’s “political advocacy and to support external groups – including Planned Parenthood – that engage in political speech that is antithetical to the Plaintiffs’ deeply held beliefs.”
Professor Amy Wisner taught MKT 250, “Business Communication,” a requirement for every student at the University’s Broad College of Business, with about 600 students a semester.
Barbieri told Fox that he was upset to find out his money was supporting abortion and political activism he disagreed with:
How can I, ethically, not fight against that, because my money is in the hands of Planned Parenthood. So, that’s why we’re here. We’re fighting to get that back.
I hold true to my beliefs. So anybody forcing their beliefs against you, especially coming from a power or the government … it’s not something to take lightly.
And for me, as a Christian, it’s our calling. We’re supposed to expose the bad things that happen and not just sit back and… be abused. That’s our job.
The suit says Wisner’s syllabus required each student to purchase The Rebellion Community membership – a $99 fee – as part of the course materials. Started by Wisner, the Rebellion Community was bringing in “nearly $60,000 each time she taught the class.”
Although the professor stated, “100% of membership fees are donated to Planned Parenthood,” the complaint says she apparently used some of the funds to purchase a recreational vehicle. Wisner planned to use the RV for a road trip to “co-create communities of rebels committed to doing the work together.”
The Rebellion Community is a self-described “safe place to coordinate our efforts to burn everything to the [expletive deleted] ground.”
After burning everything down, Wisner and her community would “reimagine a world centered on … Humanity, Love, Kindness, Compassion, Empathy, Authenticity, Wisdom, Community, Connection, Critical thinking [and] Communication.”
Barbieri and Radomski are Christians who “believe that each person is created in the image of God and is entitled to dignity and respect by virtue of that reality.” The complaint says:
Plaintiffs believe that it is evil to take the life of an innocent person. Consequently, they believe that every innocent life should enjoy the protection of law at all stages, from conception to natural death. They therefore oppose the practices of abortion and euthanasia and they oppose laws permitting those practices.
They also believe in “God’s design for human sexuality, marriage, and family” – which Wisner rejects, calling them products of “the patriarchy.”
Barbieri and Radomski “acknowledge the reality of human oppression,” but do not believe critical theories which evaluate all society through the lens of “victims” and “oppressors.” The suit states:
Plaintiffs reject all branches of “critical theory”—the idea that all human history, all existing institutions, all social norms, and all moral rules should be evaluated through the lens of group conflict along the lines of race, sex, religion, wealth, sexual orientation, gender identity, or the like.
The college gave MKT 250 students $99 credit to their university account, but the lawsuit says this does “not remedy the harm Ms. Wisner caused or ensure that the harm caused by the Policies will not be repeated.” The reimbursement does not negate the fact that their Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and association were violated.
The students are asking the court to order Wisner to return the funds, to refrain from donating them to organizations like Planned Parenthood, and to stop using them to further her social and political views.
Barbieri and Radomski also want the university to ensure such violations like these don’t occur again.
Kudos to these brave young men for fighting back against real injustice and oppression.
The case is Barbieri v. Jeitschko.
Watch Nathan Barbieri explain his decision to seek justice.
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Photo from ADF.