Letters to the editor
Where is the swing?
I returned from summer break and was dismayed to see that the swing by the fine arts building is gone! The swing was a great thinking spot in between classes and an asset to our quirky campus. What happened to it and how can we get a replacement?
English and Creative Writing
OMNI UA doesn’t understand justice
I appreciated the letter from Jon Haydn about the unjust actions of Stephen Coger, OMNI UA president, because I had a similar experience. I would argue Coger acted unjustly and doesn’t fully understand justice.
The OMNI UA Facebook Web site claims the group’s purpose is to “serve the campus community and world as support for concerned students and as a coalition for peace, justice and ecology groups.” I feel this statement is untruthful.
Coger prevented Haydn from participating in the Peace on Earth festival because he wasn’t affiliated with the university when many such entities have participated in previous years. This contradicts OMNI’s statement of purpose to serve as a coalition for peace and justice groups.
In regard to my experience, I asked Stephen if our group, Impeach for Peace UA, could participate in the festival and he said we could not. His decision was based on wanting to welcome Republicans, and he feared impeachment would turn them off.
This decision was unjust and in direct violation of the group’s stated purpose. Impeachment is supported by many in both parties. Additionally, the honorable parent OMNI group has accepted impeachment as a valid and necessary action in the pursuit of legal justice. Also, Coger has warmly welcomed marijuana advocacy at previous festivals, which is certainly a turnoff to many conservatives.
Lastly, according to OMNI UA’s stated purpose it is supposed to serve as an umbrella group for others concerned with peace and justice, and our group Impeach for Peace UA is concerned with both. This planet will never see peace until there is justice in the U.S. and globally, and you will never see justice until injustice is confronted directly and eliminated. By preventing the impeachment issue from being presented, the dominant question of American justice and constitutional protection is being silenced. This decision was unjust and counterproductive to peace.
Some members of Free-thinkers disrespectful
I was spurred to comment on the recent article, “New student group questions role of religion in society,” concerning the Razorback Freethought Alliance.
It is every person’s right to think and believe what he wishes and not be punished for such. Yet, inherent in this right is a duty to respect, if not agree with, opposing views. From the quotations used in the article, it appears that at least some of the members of this new group still need to learn this lesson.
It is worse, however, when the person who appears to need to learn this lesson most is the faculty sponsor, Professor Bill Harter. His comments imply that those who find a place for religion in their lives cannot think “clearly or critically.” This is disrespectful and uninformed because, as a physics professor, he should acknowledge that one of the founders of his trade, Sir Isaac Newton, was a very religious individual. However, Harter’s insinuation that religion constitutes “mind-shrink and make-believe,” which leave its adherents immature and not adults is an outright insult.
I have faith and religion, but I do not point to atheists, agnostics or deists as any less mature or equal in our society. I hope Harter is an anomaly of thought among the freethinkers, lest their freedom of thought only apply to their own philosophizing.