Monday, November 28, 2011

Universities--a marketplace for only CERTAIN ideas


     Earlier this month I wrote a letter to the editor of Chapman University's student run newspaper, responding to previous articles printed by my alma mater about the gay marriage issue generally, and Professor John Eastman's appointment to National Organization for Marriage specifically. All the articles were from one perspective--in favor of same sex marriage. This was incredibly ironic seeing as how the editors boasted the university was a marketplace where ideas and views could be discussed and debated. Conveniently they had forgotten to print the other "side" of the gay marriage issue. I took them to task. Below is my letter, "edited" of course by the editors. Notice the title-- "Re: 'Gay marriage can be love story, too'." I had a different title for my letter. They made up this title to "control the debate." Interesting. As they say, "He who frames the question controls the debate..."

The Panther Online 

Re: “Gay marriage can be love story, too”

Published: Sunday, November 13, 2011
Updated: Sunday, November 13, 2011 23:11

     It appears from the October and November issues of The Panther that the editors have a liberal political and social agenda. In October, The Panther wrote a news article about professor of law and former dean of Chapman's School of Law, being selected as the new chairman of National Organization for Marriage. It also printed a staff editorial and two opinion-editorials from guest columnists on the topic.    
   Ignoring the journalistic equivalent of "piling on," the editorial board, incredibly, boasted, "A compromise will only be reached through conversation, but it's hard to engage in conversation when only one party may speak."
   If anyone held out hope that The Panther would engage in "conversation" on the marriage debate, that hope was dashed in the November issue. It contains a guest column by President Jim Doti expressing his personal opinion in favor of same sex marriage and reminding us that Chapman is a "marketplace where ideas and views are discussed, deliberated and debated."
   Somehow, The Panther seems to have exempted itself from this marketplace, since neither the October nor November issues included any editorials or guest columns supporting Eastman's National Organization for Marriage appointment or traditional marriage.
   Although I do not share Doti's opinion on same sex marriage, I have not demanded Chapman "dissolve affiliation" with Doti, nor would I imply such, unlike those calling for Chapman to take action against Eastman. Chapman really should be a marketplace of ideas where different opinions are openly discussed. Chapman has a diverse student body and organizations reflecting that diversity. The law school, for example, has a very active LGBT club. However, it is ironic that many gay rights groups don't provide forums where ideas and views really can be discussed, deliberated and debated.
   As one of Eastman's former law students, I speak from experience in saying that he is a brilliant legal scholar as well as a devoted family man. His professional and personal integrity and serious work ethic are some of the reasons for his amazing accomplishments. He deserved applause when he became dean of the law school. Now he deserves applause for courageously taking a public stand for traditional marriage as the chairman of National Organization for Marriage.  
   I caution those who demand respect and tolerance for their same sex marriage ideology and yet try to silence and intimidate those who oppose it, like the majority of California voters who voted twice to define marriage as between one man and one woman. After all, how is being a conservaphobe any different from an alleged homophobe?



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