Letters to the Editor

Not one truth

In response to “Speaking the truth (Feb. 26 p. 5),” I’d like to represent another side of the case. Last time I checked Jesus did not put his stamp of approval on the Bible and neither do I. The true, more complete story is not in a book but in your own heart and life. No one should be ready to surrender his or her soul to a single book’s teachings. I am an advocate for the institution of homosexual marriage and a Christian, and I am not alone. My “religion” is and always has been a large part of my life, and I am unable to take this recent article sitting down.

Here are some real truths about the Bible. It cannot really “say” anything since it is not one voice. It is stories, letters, rules, sayings and songs by several different “schools” of authors, some of whose ideas and claims are incompatible with the realities of today. Here are some of those discordant things the Bible “says”: lending money is wrong, the crime of rape can be resolved through marriage, women are property, slavery is OK, two different things should not be placed together (i.e. cotton and leather).

Also, the Bible is a function of the decisions made by the church over several centuries. Therefore, the Bible reflects not only the cultural bias of its authors but also that of its compilers. None of its cultural prejudices are related to the central story of God’s love as shown through Christ or to God’s commitment to justice as seen through the prophets.

No person or piece of literature, including the Bible, can tell you the meaning of truth, love, tolerance and compassion. These are the things in life which we must experience ourselves. And as a Christian, from the left, I am here to tell you that the “real challenge” is not loving homosexuals, but loving yourself enough to let go of fear and realize the age-old judgments you are making about anyone “different” from you.

-Sarah Gillespie, sophomore

Unfair criticism

In two recent Hatchet columns, John Kerry has come under attack from both the right and the left for his positions on the Iraq war and other issues. It is time to set the record straight.

Prior to the Senate vote on the Iraq war resolution, Sen. Kerry wrote an editorial in The New York Times articulating his view of how best to handle the situation. He stated: “There is also no question that Saddam Hussein continues to pursue weapons of mass destruction, and his success can threaten both our interests in the region and our security at home. But knowing that we will then inherit all or much of the burden for building a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq is all the more reason to insist on a process that invites support from the region and from our allies.”

Sen. Kerry was as committed as anyone to holding Hussein accountable, but he understood the right way to go about doing so. Those who argue that his “aye” vote was purely political in nature, and those who view his criticism of George Bush’s conduct of the war as waffling, are being simplistic in their outlook.

Furthermore, Sen. Kerry is not opposed to the No Child Left Behind Act. His criticism is directed at the fact that the Bush administration has refused to fully fund it. A Kerry administration would keep the Act in place, but would ensure that America’s public schools received all necessary funding to carry out their requirements. And by the way, No Child Left Behind can hardly be called a “conservative initiative” as one columnist labeled it since Ted Kennedy was willing to cosponsor it. And the statement that Kerry has taken more money from special interests than any other senator is misleading because the figure does not take into account donations from political action committees, which Sen. Kerry has largely declined to take. As Peter Beinart of The New Republic points out, “When you combine money from paid lobbyists and PACs – which makes sense, since they’re both conduits for “special interests” – Kerry actually ranks 92nd out of 100 U.S. senators.”

Should he receive the Democratic nomination, Sen. Kerry will likely receive similar narrow-minded attacks from both sides in the future. The fact that they are likely to come says a lot about how polarized our political culture has become. Too many on both sides insist on seeing everything in black and white, and are quick to write off any attempt at moderation and nuance as “flip-flopping.” We can only hope the election of a courageous centrist like John Kerry will be a step toward a better future.

-Michael D. Purzycki, freshman

Humorless frivolity

Upon reading Graham Murphy’s column entitled “Revealing the personal side,” (Feb. 23 p. 6) in The Hatchet, I was immediately struck by three thoughts. Was the Hatchet so hard up for material this week that they felt it necessary to print something like this? Was the columnist indeed snorting cocaine to have produced such a piece of writing? And finally, wouldn’t have this been a most opportune time to ask the candidates real questions on issues apart from normal Hatchet coverage to provide readers with something deeper to think about during elections?

While I may not have reached the level that comes with a failed run for the Student Association presidency, I have attained some apathy for our student government through witnessing unauthorized purchases take place, the purported loss of thousands of dollars of our money and petty bickering.

Change does not come quickly or easily to any type of governing body, but it does not come at all when people do nothing; in that respect, Murphy should be commended for his attempt to change the system last year. This year, however, Murphy has chosen to mock the very thing for which he stood proudly just a short time ago, disparaging those trying to make a difference, and effectively, himself.

Students will pass through this political season knowing as little as they have in previous years about the candidates. Ultimately, it is not the responsibility of a columnist to grill the candidates. Nevertheless, it saddens me to see a political activist on both local and national levels with the means to do so choose instead to squander the chance on humorless frivolity.

-Benjamin B. Williams, junior

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.