April 2, 2004

Letters to the Editor - 04.02.04

Same-sex marriage

In his article, "Students Petition for Same-Sex Marriage in Chicago" (3/2/04), Andrew Moesel stated that Queers and Associates (Q & A) had not taken a stand on same-sex marriage. He claims that "this is partly the result of internal disagreement over how the topic should be approached, according to officials within the organization [and that] to date no events or rallies have been planned." Queers and Associates has, in fact, planned events in support of marriage equality. On Thursday, March 11, Queers and Associates endorsed a rally for marriage equality outside of the Cook County Administration Building. Moreover, the organization has several events planned for next quarter such as a guerrilla theater improvisation of same-sex couples marrying in the Classics Quad. This is inspired by the successful demonstrations in the spring of 1991 and 1992 in which students, faculty, and staff rallied for domestic partnership benefits. However, many students in Q & A do have differing views on the institution of marriage. Q & A encourages open discussion and debate on our listhost, and is planning to host a discussion on the issue during the second week of spring quarter. QueeReligious has also explored this topic in its weekly meetings. We welcome everyone to join us in these events.

Executive Board

Queers and Associates

Conservatism in America

We were shocked, insulted, and appalled by the viewpoint expressed in Joel Lanceta's article ("Conservatives Have Created a Plan for Resurrecting Liberalism in America") printed in the March 12, 2004 edition of the Maroon. Lanceta presents a horribly unintelligent argument, riddled with bigotry and inaccuracy. To start off, Joshua Motta, Lanceta's "upper-middle class" roommate is hardly upper-middle class; he hails from the upper-upper class. Regardless, obnoxiously referring to his background does not change the fact that Motta's observation that "the United States is actually more conservative than expected, and that, in general, college students are now becoming more conservative," is correct.

Liberalism has never been dead in America, contrary to what Lanceta asserts. What he calls the "core of liberalism" is the very foundation of the United States: "justice (it does not have to be limited to "social" justice), toleration, and equality." Both conservatives and liberals strive for these things; they just have different ways of achieving them. What Lanceta blabbers about is not a "resurrection" of liberalism but is a normal and expected rise of anti-conservative sentiment, or as some like to call it now, "Bush-hating." Moreover, Lanceta blindly attempts to make a big deal out of President Bush's low approval rating among registered Democrats, as that must prove his case that some liberal rebirth is taking hold. Bush's low approval rating among Democrats is expected, as they now have John Kerry to rally around. Of more significance is Bush's approval rating among the 18-29 demographic, which is far higher than the nation's overall approval rating according to a poll conducted by Newsweek. Maybe college students are a little more conservative than Lanceta claims.

Let us make a few things clear: the majority of America supported the War of Iraqi Liberation and President Bush's tax cuts, and an overwhelming majority of America opposes gay marriage. Most Americans, for better or for worse, do not care about Halliburton's contract in Iraq and the Patriot Act to the point where it would influence their vote. Furthermore, Lanceta complains that the imprisonment of Taliban soldiers goes against Bush's message of tolerance towards Muslims. Forgive our ignorance, but how does tolerance of Muslims relate to the imprisonment, rightly or wrongly, of Taliban soldiers? Furthermore, the Taliban regime's actions were possibly the greatest perversions of Islam.

Despite his call for tolerance, Lanceta himself plays up religious bigotry. In an attempt to play up a non-existent liberal "resurrection," Lanceta makes a reference to the "religious right" that is reminiscent of the Bolshevik and Nazi propaganda that sought to polarize the electorate and strike fear into the heart of the common man. Judging from his tone, Lanceta appears to be more afraid of America's "religious right" than the world's true religious right: Islamofascists from Morocco to Indonesia. What threatens you more, Lanceta, a student of voting-age praying in school, or a terrorist with a bomb strapped to his chest? Also, we apologize for our sensitivity to history, but until now, it seemed as if the greatest threats to life and liberty in modern times were those on the "atheist left"—National Socialist Adolf Hitler and communists Josef Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao Zedong—a point frequently made by, not necessarily our favorite "conservative," but certainly by Lanceta's, Ann Coulter.

Lanceta can go on and on about how the Rush Limbaughs of America have awakened him and countless other liberals, but he has yet to say something new that would demonstrate a genuine "resurrection."

Feliks Pleszczynski