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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 15, 2004
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More mature modes of debate needed at the UA

Recently the opinions section of the paper has been flooded with letters from angry college students, desiring nothing more, it seems, then to demean each other and "bash" different lifestyles.

I am a conservative, heterosexual, Christian male from the Midwest, and yes, I voted for Bush. I don't appreciate picking up the Arizona Daily Wildcat and reading how one author or another thinks that I am an ignorant, religious zealot when they have never met me or talked to me before. It's judgmental.

For example, Lauren Peckler, in her column Wednesday, seems to think that I am, because I am from the Midwest, narrow-minded and ignorant. That's what I do not understand. How, because I have a different view than someone else, am I narrow-minded? Apparently, Lauren has spent a lot of time in the Midwest because she knows exactly how everyone there thinks.

Also, according to columnist Brett Berry, since I am a Christian, I am trying to take over the country and force my way of thinking onto others. Excuse me for having a certain faith - the same faith that founded this country - and an opinion to go with it. He proclaims freedom of religion and free speech, but then attacks people with different beliefs. Who, did you say, were the hypocrites? If anything, Brett, this country and religion are moving farther apart than closer together. And when you say "religion," do you mean religion or just Christians, because in your column "Queer eye for the 'values' guy," you attack Christians as the only ones that oppose gay marriages?

Christians are not the only ones who oppose gay marriages but apparently are the only ones that should take the hits from people who preach free speech and then attack people with different views. What about other expressed religions that believe in multiple wives, you know, the ones that condemn homosexuality as a whole? Or what about people who simply believe that it is not right that homosexuals marry?

This being a liberal school, I don't expect a lot of opposition to people with liberal ideals, but what about the students here who are vandalizing the school with messages of how they hate Bush? I hear no complaints about their wrongdoings. They are literally tearing apart the school that many of us are paying tens of thousands of dollars to go to. They accomplish nothing by their vandalism but increase tuition bills. It's not going to change the outcome of the election, or my opinion for that matter, so why do it? Maybe if our country would get back to those old things called morals that we used to have, then people's messages and opinions would not be so hate-filled.

You are entitled to your opinions, that there is no God, or that gays should be married, but express your views with thought and compassion for the other person. It serves no purpose to voice your opinion if you will fill it with childish name-calling or hateful speech. I hope that I have not hurt anyone with this letter and that future opinion columns can be intelligently written and argued, with respect to the other person and their opinions. So conservatives, respect the liberals, and the same goes for you too liberals, respect the conservatives.

Jason Schoenleber
computer engineering freshman

Ignorance of Bush voters determined election outcome

A recent survey by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland found that nearly 70 percent (41,337,900) of President Bush's supporters believe the United States has come up with "clear evidence" that Saddam Hussein was working closely with al-Qaida. A third of the president's supporters (19,487,800) believe weapons of mass destruction were actually found in Iraq. And more than a third believe that a substantial majority of world opinion supported the U.S.-led invasion. It seems to me that the ignorance of the Republican voting bloc had more to do with Bush's victory than "moral" issues.

Jeff Gawad
hydrology and water resources junior



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