To the editor:

 Uncategorized
Dec 122004
 
Authors:

I was quite distressed after reading in Friday's Collegian about Gerald Allen's proposal to ban so-called homosexual literature. Not only was I concerned for the poor children in Alabama who may be unable to find "A Catcher in the Rye" in their school library, but it also caused me to reflect on the state of America.

Although this proposition is likely to fail, Rep. Allen obviously feels he is gaining political ground by presenting this bill. The American public has made it rather obvious that it is less than tolerant of homosexuality. Many treat it as some virus that is going to rampantly infect society if given the opportunity – therefore, everything having to do with homosexuality must be treated as infected material and disposed of, whatever the cost.

At the same time there has been an insurgence of "patriotism." America flags. "Proud to be an American" signs. The cursed label of "un-patriotic." But what is patriotism? Many would describe it as loving one's country and supporting it. I would like to add another aspect of patriotism – the belief in, and if necessary, the defense of, the ideals that one's country was founded upon. One of these founding ideals was the importance of individual rights and thus the protection of the minority from the masses. The Bill of Rights was created in response to this notion. Another ideal was that dissent and differing opinions is required for the proper functioning of a democracy. Hence, the first amendment.

Allen's bill violates both of these ideals. It supports the discrimination of a minority and restricts the expression of ideas. A true American patriot would agree with Voltaire – "I disagree with what you say, but I would defend to the death your right to say it."

Michelle Keefer

Junior

Microbiology

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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To the editor:

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Dec 122004
 
Authors:

This may be an after-the-fact statement, but it is not a moot point. Perhaps we are all so concerned with our individual everyday lives that we tend to forget the things that affect so many others in this world. I am disappointed to not see anything in the Collegian on the fact that Friday was the United Nations International Human Rights Day. I know that we are blessed to live in a country where we do not need to worry of such issues on a widespread level. And the reason is because we are able to stand up and do something about it; an example is the Civil Rights Movement. But others around the world are struggling for the most basic freedoms. Why are millions of people still fighting for freedom? Because they are not able to voice their opinions about politics or practice religion, or the children are exploited and sold as sex slaves. Everything these people do to try to change those conditions results in persecution and punishment with no foreseeable or justifiable reason other than they did not agree with the oppressive regime. Such instances are not only isolated to areas in the Middle East where the United States is heavily involved. We must also take initiative to know more about our world and the great sufferings others endure and to take action. By knowing the travesties of others, we will appreciate this holiday season and our lives that much more.

 

Van Le

Junior Political Science

 Posted by at 5:00 pm