Tyler Wittman, the Collegian's resident Christian Al Quada showed his true colors in his Oct. 18 column, "You must absolutely read this." In his article, Tyler proselytized that his Christian beliefs are absolutely right and those of us who do not agree with his religious paradigm are, of course, wrong. In his extremist rant he went on to claim that relativism and pluralism are "foolish philosophies." If there is an absolute truth then many of our American freedoms are wrong.
For example, if there is one true religion, then the others (which millions of Americans embrace) are wrong. Our religious, political and social beliefs are no longer ours to decide; they are either right or wrong.
If Tyler's extremist views become commonplace in our society, then individual choices will no longer be an American freedom. My beliefs and yours will either be legally accepted or criminalized. Which beliefs will be legal? Well, that will be decided by the person or persons who are absolutely right.
We see this in our society today; women's rights (abortion), gay marriage, intelligent design and school prayer. The point I'm trying to make is this: regardless of where we stand on the issues, to truly be free we must accept others have the right to decide these matters for themselves. As opposed to letting Tyler decide for us.
In our country the founding fathers created a constitution with the belief in pluralism as the cornerstone. Pluralism is an idea that there is more than one right answer to our religious, political and social beliefs. The Constitution, as it's written, protects you and me from people like Tyler. It tells him he doesn't have the right to decide or legislate what is right or wrong in our society. Our pluralistic society is one of the major offenses to people like Osama bin Laden and other religious extremists. They are incensed that we don't accept the absolute truth of Islam. As a result they try to kill our people and ruin our society. We have our own breed of doctor murdering, clinic burning extremists. It will do us well to remember this and openly oppose ALL those that feel they are "absolutely right." We owe this to ourselves, our children and all who have died protecting the freedom of opinion Tyler opposes.
James C. Carlson