Going too farThe not-so-comic “Homotheism” by Joan Flaschen has overstepped its boundaries and frankly is quite sickening. The mocking of Catholic beliefs – Immaculate Conception and the Holy Eucharist – is extremely incendiary and insulting. There is not one redeeming, humorous or insightful element in this author’s commentary. I would hope the editorial staff would take the time to be more prudent in deciding what goes into future issues of the Campus Times.

-Richard Zmijewski Community Resident

A logical perspective

In the Nov. 20 issue of the CT Melanie Smith argues against gay marriage. She gives the standard Christian arguments against same-sex marriages. Homosexuality is immoral and unconscionable because of a few lines in the Bible. I have no hope of convincing one such as Melanie to abandon this bigoted view.

I am a scientist and one of my main tools is logic. How can one argue logically with a person who says with one breath that “The conscience is universal, and everyone knows in their heart it [homosexuality] is wrong,” and with another that we are “people who can act and think for ourselves?” I didn’t realize I knew that homosexuality was wrong. I thought I was acting and thinking for myself instead of blindly following words written down in a two-thousand year old book of fables. I’m glad Melanie had the grace to dictate my own views for me.

A universal conscience is not the conscience of a thinking person. Morality is not something that one feels “in their heart” but something that is arrived at through careful consideration. I “feel” nothing about homsexuality in my heart but I am convinced that there is nothing wrong with it in my mind.

No we are not victims and yes we can think for ourselves. Perhaps it is time to start doing so instead of trusting in a God to do it for us.

-Michael Bevilacqua-linn Class of ’04

Just doing her duty

I’d like to respond to Michael Newmark’s opinion piece – “The Republican Propaganda Masters at Work”, CT, Nov. 20 – concerning a recent television program on Jessica Lynch that “reeked of the American military’s propaganda.” Mr. Newmark was proud to point out that he hadn’t watched the movie, but that didn’t stop him from commenting on it’s imagined content. I didn’t see it either, so we’re both on even ground.

It seems to me that any excesses or deficiencies in the wartime coverage of Jessica Lynch were less a reflection of Pentagon propaganda than those of a media in hot pursuit of a good story. The story unfolded as it did due to two striking features that set this conflict apart from earlier wars – a deliberate Pentagon policy decision to allow the highest degree of access and minimum of controls to journalists in the field, coupled with high-bandwidth technology that enabled real-time reporting. It may be argued – with the benefit of hindsight – that the hospital was a benign environment and Pvt. Lynch may have been rescued less dramatically, but the fact that she was proved manna from heaven to reporters on the ground. Her rescue, and the later rescue of her fellow captives, was very good news that both Pentagon public affairs officers and media reporters were more than happy to share.

Pvt. Lynch wouldn’t describe herself as a hero – at least she didn’t when I caught her on Letterman – and I would agree she was not, but rather a soldier doing her duty under difficult circumstances. The timing of the movie release had nothing to do with foreign events but everything to do with the launch of her book. Now that she’s been caught up in the media spin-cycle she may come to wish she were back in Iraq.

-Gavin D. Lowder Capt, USN (Ret.)

Destroying empires

Ms. Smith – “One-Sided Panel,” Nov. 20 – is absolutely right when she says,”Many great nations in history, including the Roman Empire, were destroyed because of their acceptance of immorality.” However, it is absurd to think that homosexuality was the cause. The Roman Empire doomed itself with its oppressive methods of fear, dominance, and the restriction of the freedoms of the people of its vast empire, including the new followers of Jesus Christ. What was so threatening about Jesus and his followers that the Romans rushed to stifle his voice? His emphasis on social justice and compassion, which I fear the religious right in this country, like Ms. Smith, have lost sight of as of late.

Ms. Smith goes on to say, “The Constitution can only be upheld by a moral people who respect the laws of the God who inspired it.” Last time I checked, the Constitution was written by men, not God. While it was inspired by Deists who wanted to guarantee the freedom of religion, it’s hardly accurate to imply that the Constitution was ordained by God. There’s a reason for the separation of church and state. Even if Ms. Smith does not agree with homosexuality on moral and religious grounds, if the Massachusetts court, or any court, rules that denying gay rights is unconstitutional, that has no bearing on a church’s choice to accept or reject gay marriage. Furthermore, homosexuality is hardly the cause of the breakup of the family unit. Perhaps promiscuity and adultery are some of the causes, but obviously heterosexuals share equal blame for that. I hardly see how allowing gay couples to marry would do anything but promote family values, like respect, care, and love, as well extending legal and economic advantages to a segment of our society to which they are currently denied.

Any nation which seeks to dominate and control its citizens as the Romans did, will eventually fail. But the real immorality here hardly has to do with one’s sexual orientation, but with the denial of human rights. And following that logic, the followers of Jesus, at the very least, should not perpetuate the fear, dominance, and oppression that such blatant homophobia causes.

-Erin McCrossan Take Five

Freedom of beliefI was upset after reading the comic “Homotheism” in the last issue of the CT. I feel that the artist makes unfair and inappropriate assertations about my religious beliefs.

As a Catholic student, I think that it is my right to believe whatever I want. This includes my “traditional” religious views. I also maintain that other individuals, including my fellow students, have a right to their opinions. It is unfair and judgemental of me to impose my beliefs and values on others. I try my best to respect the beliefs of others, even when I believe that they are misguided.

I am upset by the last publication of “Homotheism” because it does not show a respect for my beliefs. The author obviously does not understand the meaning of the Virgin Birth or transubstantiation to me and other Catholic students. However, a misunderstanding does not give her the right to make rude jokes about it.

I hope that in the future, other people will respect my religion and other values as much as I respect theirs. I invite students with questions about the Catholic Church, or any religion, to seek answers by asking someone questions about their faith and religious beliefs. Another source of information is the Interfaith Chapel, where the chaplains and staff of the various religious communities on campus will be happy to answer questions.

-Erin Dunbar Co-President, Catholic Newman Community

Questionable sources

I must admit that I should have stopped reading Michael Newmark’s article, “The Republican Propaganda Masters at Work,” after the first line in which he states that he did NOT watch the Jessica Lynch story on TV, and then goes on at great length to discredit the movie and relating it to “the last act of a desperate man…” I am assuming here that he is referring to President Bush.

It is sad to think that a student attending an outstanding institution of higher learning such as this believes that our president, through the pentagon, purchased the rights to Lynch’s story, produced, directed and aired it as a made-for-TV movie. I must have overl

ooked the headline that read, “NBC Purchased by Republican Party – Promises to Air Propaganda.” Last time I checked, the government does not own any major television network. Somebody please assure me that Mr. Newmark has never taken a poli sci or history course.

-Matt Dreier



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