Moral Decay and the National Review

Deal Hudson, the editor of the Catholic publication Crisis and an advisor to President Bush on bringing socially conservative Catholics into the GOP, may be abandoning his work as an outspoken moral scold.

While a tenured professor at Fordham University in 1994, Hudson took sexual advantage of a troubled 18-year-old female student from one of his classes, according to a story that broke yesterday in the National Catholic Reporter.

By her account of the incident, for which Hudson later paid a $30,000 legal settlement, he brought the woman out drinking and she became staggeringly intoxicated. Hudson, a married 44-year-old, dragged the student to his office rather than her dorm room, chivalrously laid his coat on the floor, then had sex with the semi-coherent teen. The next day, he told her not to tell anyone.

Knowing that this story was about to break, Hudson wrote a prebuttal in the National Review that attempts a rare feat: Defending an egregious mistake while refusing to tell anyone what he did.

Hudson, who once wrote an article asking "Are your kids safe at a Catholic college?," betrays himself completely in his carefully parsed response, revealing the kind of person who the Review would scathingly describe as Clintonian under other circumstances.

Describing himself as "happily married," Hudson mentions his 15-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son, managing to work in a mention that the boy was adopted from Romania.

Hudson puts the unspecified offense into the category of past mistakes that "played in my conversion and the grace and the forgiveness I have found only through the Catholic Church," which he documented in the memoir An American Conversion.

There's no explanation of how an incident in 1994 prompted his conversion in 1983 (as dated in the introduction to his book).

The next time the holy rollers of the National Review go on a tear about liberals, Bill Clinton, and America's demagnetized moral compass, remember how quickly and completely they leapt to the defense of Deal Hudson.

Comments

I find it very strange that the defender of '?', William F. Buckley, Jr., has expressed his warm admiration for the political philosophy of the self-described "Superfluous Anarchist", Albert Jay Nock.

Even Nock's living relatives have the good sense to be somewhat ashamed of their anti-semitic relative, but that doesn't inhibit old Buckley.

Bill imbibed the bitter teachings of the misanthropic, elitist Nock when he was a boy at his father's ranch in Texas.

Buckley has confided to us his concern for the state of his soul. Taking that at face value, how does he reconcile his submission to the philosophy of a hater who called the State the "Enemy" of mankind?

It's my understanding that the Bible, which Buckley claims to pay obeisance to, tells us that the State, as a general institution, is ordained of God.

Besides all this, and even worse, Nock, a former minister, deserted his wife and children. Is this the model of behaviour that our Bill would uphold to us, in the bright light of public examination?

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