FRAT CHARTER PULLED

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Randi Pollard

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Jun 27, 1991, 6:23:21 PM6/27/91
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Just seen on CNN:

The fraternity at Syracuse has just lost their charter permanantly for
selling the T-Shirts that said CLUB FAGGOTS NOT SEALS. Looks like
justice sometimes prevails. The reason for the charter being revoked was
the Syracuse chapter sold T-Shirts advocating violence against gays.


Perhaps, someday our ability to love won't be so limited.
Beverly Crusher, MD, S.T. TNG

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The Dreamer

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Jun 28, 1991, 11:00:43 AM6/28/91
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Ok...I got flamed the last time I posted something like this, so I'll
keep most of the emotion out of it. Penn State, located in the heart of
conservatism, has one of the largest greek systems in the country
(54 fraternities at last count). I myself am in a fraternity and I
was wondering: Do the fraternities at other universities really bash
(physically or verbally) that much? If the "Club Faggots Not Seals"
T-shirt came out here, there would be a complete uproar from both the
gay and greek comunities here.
Forgive my innocence, but I just don't see how this could happen
in a college setting where people are (hopefully) a little more
enlightened.

Love and Peace and Enlightenment,
-The Dreamer-

P.S. Hello Brad. :-)
_________________________________________________________________________
"Changing the laws of physics is a hobby of mine."
"I am what I am and that's all that I am" -Popeye
"YOU'RE NOT AS REAL AS YOU THINK"
**Theta Xi forever...Lambda 931**

Henry Mensch

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Jun 28, 1991, 2:47:30 PM6/28/91
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ra...@sporty.UUCP (Randi Pollard) wrote:
->The fraternity at Syracuse has just lost their charter permanantly for
->selling the T-Shirts that said CLUB FAGGOTS NOT SEALS. Looks like
->justice sometimes prevails. The reason for the charter being revoked was
->the Syracuse chapter sold T-Shirts advocating violence against gays.

that fraternity was the alpha chi rho chapter at syracuse ... i used
to live next door to them for 18 months. this behavior was not
surprising.

--
# Henry Mensch / Advanced Decision Systems / <he...@ads.com>

Henry Mensch

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Jun 28, 1991, 2:55:19 PM6/28/91
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The Dreamer <ASG...@psuvm.psu.edu> wrote:
-> Ok...I got flamed the last time I posted something like this, so I'll
->keep most of the emotion out of it. Penn State, located in the heart of
->conservatism, has one of the largest greek systems in the country
->(54 fraternities at last count). I myself am in a fraternity and I
->was wondering: Do the fraternities at other universities really bash
->(physically or verbally) that much?

yes, they do. if you're really interested in finding this out for
yourself then let it be known that you are gay.

Lawrence C Foard

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Jun 28, 1991, 9:01:22 PM6/28/91
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In article <3...@sporty.UUCP> ra...@sporty.UUCP (Randi Pollard) writes:
>Just seen on CNN:
Wow a "REAL" news program actually covered it!

>The fraternity at Syracuse has just lost their charter permanantly for
>selling the T-Shirts that said CLUB FAGGOTS NOT SEALS. Looks like
>justice sometimes prevails. The reason for the charter being revoked was
>the Syracuse chapter sold T-Shirts advocating violence against gays.
[stuff deleted]

YAY!!!!

I'm glad Syracuse took this seriously. I wish WPI would take threats of
violence more seriously than they presently do.

I think it is pretty clear that the fraternity stepped beyond the right to
free speech by advocating violence. Before any one accuses me of being PC, I
would also expect a queer group that had T shirts CLUB FRATS BROTHERS NOT
SEALS to be ejected, for the same reason.

Politics:
What queer political groups are there and what do they stand for?
How do you get ahold of them?
--
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are 99.44% true.
2 ---- 1 | Hackers do it for fun.
- \ / + - | "Profesionals" do it for money.
3 \/ 3 | Managers have others do it for them.

Bill Taroli

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Jun 28, 1991, 7:22:30 PM6/28/91
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ra...@sporty.UUCP (Randi Pollard) writes:

>The fraternity at Syracuse has just lost their charter permanantly
>for selling the T-Shirts that said CLUB FAGGOTS NOT SEALS. Looks
>like justice sometimes prevails. The reason for the charter being
>revoked was the Syracuse chapter sold T-Shirts advocating violence
>against gays.

There does seem to be some question of whether or not this will be
permanent. Although, as the current Treasurer for the Syrcause
University GLBSA I would certainly like this to be the case. It has
been my understanding that the national organization suspended the
brothers because an investigation could not be undertaken at this
time.

I'll get in touch with some people still in the area and see if I
can't get more details.

Regards,
_____________________________________________________________________________
| ______ Bill Taroli | Internet: tar...@hpcc33.corp.hp.com |
| \GLEN/ Hewlett-Packard Company | wwta...@rodan.acs.syr.edu |
| \ / CMAS/WIN | BITNET: wwtaroli@SUNRISE |
| \/ (1/415) 857-8081 | HP Desk: Bill TAROLI / HP0000/54 |
|_________________________________|___________________________________________|

Brett {Druid Queen} Manz

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Jun 29, 1991, 5:44:25 PM6/29/91
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In article <91179.110...@psuvm.psu.edu> The Dreamer sez

|>
|> I myself am in a fraternity and I
|> was wondering: Do the fraternities at other universities really bash
|> (physically or verbally) that much?

Here at the University of Alberta we get a fair amount of flak from
the fraternities. During our recent Gay and Lesbian Awareness Week
(an annual event) many of our contingent were wearing T-shirts on
which were depicted two `International-Men's-Room-Symbols'(TM) (ala
"Annoying Non-Verbal Symbols") holding hands. One of the frats
made up a bunch of T-shirts with the same symbol, encapsulated in
a big red circle with a slash through it. A large number of posters
advocating violence against gays and lesbians (bearing the slogans
`Boot a Fruit', `Bag a Fag' and `Spike a Dike'; They didn't even
spell Dyke correctly!) were posted across campus anonymously, as
well as some with ``You don't have to be gay to get AIDS, but it
helps.'' I'm still not sure if it was a frat or the engineers. I
personally found 8 `Aryan Nations' business cards in one of the
libraries, stuffed in the books on homosexuality.

|> If the "Club Faggots Not Seals"
|> T-shirt came out here, there would be a complete uproar from both the
|> gay and greek comunities here.

I'm glad to hear that you're fraternities are (apparently) more enlightened.
I only wish it were true more often.

--
---------------------------------+-------------------------------------
My opinions are my own. | You can't be proud of who you are
The truth belongs to everyone. | if you're ashamed of what you are.
Civil Rights Are For Queers! | Cruise Men, Not Missiles! - anon

Jari Junikka

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Jun 29, 1991, 9:23:20 PM6/29/91
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ent...@wpi.WPI.EDU (Lawrence C Foard) writes:
>I'm glad Syracuse took this seriously. I wish WPI would take threats of
>violence more seriously than they presently do.

It is not clear whether the University suspended the frat or their
national organization. The wordings of the reports on this have been
very conflicting.

The university was very reluctant to interfere claiming freedom
of expression. OutWeek featured the T-shirt with the Chancellor's
address (old dear Kenneth Shaw who used to be president of
UW System here) encouraging people to write in to express their
outrage. The university made very lame excuses for not acting
at that time.

jari

Stuart Reges

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Jun 30, 1991, 4:10:31 AM6/30/91
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>The university was very reluctant to interfere claiming freedom
>of expression.

The University should be reluctant. The fraternity members were expressing
their opinion about gay people, and the University should not, in general,
limit their ability to do so. Those who disagree should do so by expressing
opposing viewpoints, not by trying to censor the opposition.

I think the only place where a university should take action is when some
members of the community are being belligerent. This is a difficult standard
to apply, because many zealots often choose the most provocative means of
expressing their viewpoints (as we all know from ACT UP and Queer Nation--two
groups that are often characterized as "belligerent"). As a result, any
University should use a very narrow definition of what expressions, if any, can
be considered belligerent.

The best argument that the fraternity members were guilty of this is their use
of the word "faggot." I think there is some justification for arguing that
words like "nigger" and "faggot" are in a sense "automatically belligerent,"
but I personally don't think the University should be in the business of
selecting specific words that are too rude to be uttered.

If the t-shirt had said, "Club gays not seals," then I think there would be no
justification for censoring it. Some might argue that it encites violence, but
that is really stretching things. During the Vietnam era Nixon was burned in
effigy on college campuses by students who were not advocating his murder.
Besides, the t-shirt was obviously intended to be humorous. My friends use the
same kind of humor. I often hear, for example, that "All <blanks> should be
shot," where "<blanks>" is filled in by "gay activists" or "feminists" or
"those who use the word multiculturalism" or some other appropriate group of
misfits. Consider, for example, what would happen if someone wore a t-shirt
that said, "Nuke all fraternities." Should that person be punished? I, for
one, think not (I would have worn such a t-shirt myself back when I was a more
vocal misfit).

It is my understanding that the fraternity was suspended by its national
organization. I think this is an appropriate action because fraternities,
unlike universities, have a specific dogma that they seek to inculcate in their
members (and getting along with others, versus expressing hatred, seems like a
reasonable aspiration for them).

Lawrence C Foard

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Jun 30, 1991, 6:27:07 AM6/30/91
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In article <1991Jun30.0...@neon.Stanford.EDU> stu...@Sunburn.Stanford.EDU (Stuart Reges) writes:
>>The university was very reluctant to interfere claiming freedom
>>of expression.
>
>The University should be reluctant. The fraternity members were expressing
>their opinion about gay people, and the University should not, in general,
>limit their ability to do so. Those who disagree should do so by expressing
>opposing viewpoints, not by trying to censor the opposition.

I think the T shirts where pretty clearly over the line. Free speech is one
thing, telling people to commit a crime (assault) is another. If you yell
fire in the school theatre don't expect any sympathy.

If the T shirts had been stating an opinion and not asking people to commit
violent acts it would be a very different story. There is also good reason
to believe that people would act on the T shirt, what if the T shirt was
advocating rape (another favorite activity of the less reputable fraternitys).

>I think the only place where a university should take action is when some
>members of the community are being belligerent. This is a difficult standard

The problem is they where being belligerent, telling people to club a
particular group of people is belligerence!

>to apply, because many zealots often choose the most provocative means of
>expressing their viewpoints (as we all know from ACT UP and Queer Nation--two
>groups that are often characterized as "belligerent"). As a result, any
>University should use a very narrow definition of what expressions, if any, can
>be considered belligerent.

I would expect and hope that a gay group that advocating clubbing frat
brothers would also be thrown off campus. As far as I know ACT UP while
doing civil disobiendience is not advocating violence. I would also not
be surprised if a university refused to endorse them because of it.

>The best argument that the fraternity members were guilty of this is their use
>of the word "faggot." I think there is some justification for arguing that
>words like "nigger" and "faggot" are in a sense "automatically belligerent,"
>but I personally don't think the University should be in the business of
>selecting specific words that are too rude to be uttered.

I do agree with this. Faggot is generally used in a negative way, but that
was only a tiny part of the problem. If the T shirt said "faggots suck", it
would have been offensive, but not sufficient for being thrown off campus.

>If the t-shirt had said, "Club gays not seals," then I think there would be no
>justification for censoring it. Some might argue that it encites violence, but

No!!!! The PC Bullshit is infecting your brain. If someone is threatening your
life it doesn't matter the slightest bit if they are using PC language or not!

What a severly fucked system. Its ok to advocate violence toward minoritys so
long as you don't call them something UnPC.

>that is really stretching things. During the Vietnam era Nixon was burned in
>effigy on college campuses by students who were not advocating his murder.

If you want to protect each queer with 100's of secret service guards, I won't
worry about the T shirts.

>Besides, the t-shirt was obviously intended to be humorous. My friends use the

The problem is the people do physically attack queers, try wearing a T shirt
through airport security that says: Support the PLO blow up an airliner.
Less people have been killed by terrorist bombs than by homophobes.

>same kind of humor. I often hear, for example, that "All <blanks> should be
>shot," where "<blanks>" is filled in by "gay activists" or "feminists" or
>"those who use the word multiculturalism" or some other appropriate group of
>misfits.

This is generally not taken seriously, people generally don't shoot all
people in group X. If it was in a context where it could actually happen
germany during WWII it wouldn't be a joke.

>Consider, for example, what would happen if someone wore a t-shirt
>that said, "Nuke all fraternities." Should that person be punished? I, for

Nukes are hard to find clubs arn't. Suppose a school had an extremely anti
frat bias, and frat brothers where being constantly harrased, and people
start wearing T shirts asking people to club fraternity brothers?

>one, think not (I would have worn such a t-shirt myself back when I was a more
>vocal misfit).
>
>It is my understanding that the fraternity was suspended by its national
>organization. I think this is an appropriate action because fraternities,
>unlike universities, have a specific dogma that they seek to inculcate in their
>members (and getting along with others, versus expressing hatred, seems like a
>reasonable aspiration for them).

That particular fraternity at WPI has a fairly good reputation, I'm sure the
fraternity as a whole didn't want there reputation ruined by the actions
of one chapter.

Jess Anderson

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Jun 30, 1991, 7:52:20 AM6/30/91
to

(If I remember correctly, this was Jari:)

>>The university was very reluctant to interfere claiming
>>freedom of expression.

>The University should be reluctant. The fraternity members
>were expressing their opinion about gay people, and the
>University should not, in general, limit their ability to do
>so. Those who disagree should do so by expressing opposing
>viewpoints, not by trying to censor the opposition.

As horrible as the expressions sometimes are, the right of
free expression of one's viewpoint must not be denied.

It all comes down to one's *own* freedom: those who would
censor can be censored. It has always distressed me how
many of *us* have wanted to repeal the 1st Amendment to stop
these abuses, because, basically "in your face" means
affronting the public sensibilities, and the right to
dissent is one of a small number of freedoms we can use to
our own advantage. It is to our disadvantage to deny that
right to anyone, apart from the famous "fire!" example (I'm
not so sure I accept even that erosion of the absolute
principle).

>I think the only place where a university should take action
>is when some members of the community are being belligerent.
>This is a difficult standard to apply, because many zealots
>often choose the most provocative means of expressing their
>viewpoints (as we all know from ACT UP and Queer Nation--two
>groups that are often characterized as "belligerent").

Yes to the general point, but. When, say, a neo-fascist
organization holds a press conference that bristles with
homophobia, the society doesn't usually count that as
belligerent. By contrast, when we hold hands in public, the
society counts that as belligerent. Jari Junikka recounted
his being interviewed recently by one of our local papers,
and he threw our presumed "militancy" right back in the
reporter's face. That's rare, you know.

>As a result, any University should use a very narrow
>definition of what expressions, if any, can be considered
>belligerent.

An effort doomed to fail, I believe. You've doubtless heard
about card-carrying members of the ACLU, of which I am one.
The ACLU will almost certainly take any university that
tries to erode the 1st Amendment to court, and I think they
should. I'm glad to give my money to that effort.

>The best argument that the fraternity members were guilty of
>this is their use of the word "faggot." I think there is
>some justification for arguing that words like "nigger" and
>"faggot" are in a sense "automatically belligerent," but I
>personally don't think the University should be in the
>business of selecting specific words that are too rude to be
>uttered.

Isn't this primarily the question of the extent to which we
can guarantee citizens the right not to be intimidated,
harassed, made fearful? Those words *do* those things, no
doubt about that part of it at all. Our universities (here
too) are under enormous pressure (they should be) to exert
some real moral leadership in denouncing hatred, and in
giving our communities some sense that such harassments are
going to lead to liabilities for the perpetrators. But such
liabilities can at most be a recording of the facts in
official records.

>If the t-shirt had said, "Club gays not seals," then I think
>there would be no justification for censoring it. Some might
>argue that it encites violence, but that is really
>stretching things.

The fear and intimdation rest on an implied incitement to
violence, and I don't think that's stretching anything, not
at all. We are left with the dilemma, aren't we?

>During the Vietnam era Nixon was burned in effigy on college
>campuses by students who were not advocating his murder.

And by many who did. Surely there were t-shirts saying "where's
Lee Harvey Oswald when we need him?" (people who are under 30
might not know: the assassin of John Kennedy).

>Besides, the t-shirt was obviously intended to be humorous.

Yes and no, of course.

>My friends use the same kind of humor. I often hear, for
>example, that "All <blanks> should be shot," where
>"<blanks>" is filled in by "gay activists" or "feminists" or
>"those who use the word multiculturalism" or some other
>appropriate group of misfits.

Excuse me? Gay activists, feminists, and advocates of
multiculturalism are misfits? That's what you said; what
did you mean?

>Consider, for example, what would happen if someone wore a
>t-shirt that said, "Nuke all fraternities." Should that
>person be punished? I, for one, think not (I would have
>worn such a t-shirt myself back when I was a more vocal
>misfit).

To each their own. I think anyone who carries any sign
saying Nuke <anything> is a moron; that just isn't funny.

>It is my understanding that the fraternity was suspended by
>its national organization. I think this is an appropriate
>action because fraternities, unlike universities, have a
>specific dogma that they seek to inculcate in their members
>(and getting along with others, versus expressing hatred,
>seems like a reasonable aspiration for them).

That's a bit too facile, I think. There are issues
connected with public institutions versus private ones,
where private includes many universities. It's the society
that's fucked up beyond belief here, really. In that
context, there are in fact *no* quick or easy answers.

<> Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is
<> lightning that does the work.
<> -- Mark Twain, Correspondence, 1908
--
Jess Anderson <> Madison Academic Computing Center <> University of Wisconsin
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Darcy Lee

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Jun 30, 1991, 9:18:33 AM6/30/91
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In article <3...@sporty.UUCP> ra...@sporty.UUCP (Randi Pollard) writes:
>Just seen on CNN:
>The fraternity at Syracuse has just lost their charter permanantly for
>selling the T-Shirts that said CLUB FAGGOTS NOT SEALS. Looks like
>justice sometimes prevails. The reason for the charter being revoked was
>the Syracuse chapter sold T-Shirts advocating violence against gays.


does anybody know who pulled he charter? the school or the national
organization?


da...@shibuya.cc.columbia.edu
Darcy D. Lee
Columbia University

Frank MALONEY

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Jun 30, 1991, 1:02:30 PM6/30/91
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In article <1991Jun29.0...@wpi.WPI.EDU> ent...@wpi.WPI.EDU (Lawrence C Foard) writes:
>In article <3...@sporty.UUCP> ra...@sporty.UUCP (Randi Pollard) writes:
>>Just seen on CNN:
>Wow a "REAL" news program actually covered it!
>>The fraternity at Syracuse has just lost their charter permanantly for
>>selling the T-Shirts that said CLUB FAGGOTS NOT SEALS. Looks like
>>justice sometimes prevails. The reason for the charter being revoked was
>>the Syracuse chapter sold T-Shirts advocating violence against gays.
>[stuff deleted]
>
>YAY!!!!
>
>I'm glad Syracuse took this seriously. I wish WPI would take threats of
>violence more seriously than they presently do.
>
[deletions]

I don't know that the university did take it seriously.

The fraternity's national organization suspended the 56
members of the Syracuse chapter; the university did not
suspend anyone to the best of the information I've seen so
far. Furthermore, the national announced individuals who
appeal their suspension may be restored to full membership
in the fraternity. Which sounds suspiciously like a
meaningless, spin-control gesture, a slap on the prick and a
kiss on the buns. My prediction is that all 56 suspended
members, save the graduating seniors, will be unsuspended
in time for Fall rush.

--
Frank Richard Aloysius Jude Maloney
just me
For a good time write uunet!microsoft!frankm
For an even better time try fra...@microsoft.com

Kevin Michael Vail

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Jun 30, 1991, 5:18:14 PM6/30/91
to
[I wanted this to be a little more coherent before I sent it off, but the
more I try the angrier I get. Sorry!]

In article <1991Jun30.0...@neon.Stanford.EDU>, stu...@Sunburn.Stanford.EDU (Stuart Reges) writes:
>
>>The university was very reluctant to interfere claiming freedom
>>of expression.
>
>The University should be reluctant. The fraternity members were expressing
>their opinion about gay people, and the University should not, in general,
>limit their ability to do so. Those who disagree should do so by expressing
>opposing viewpoints, not by trying to censor the opposition.

Perhaps the university didn't feel it should *censor* the fraternity, but
at the very least it ought to have *censured* them, i.e., expressed
the thought that this is not an appropriate sentiment.

If the T-shirt had said, for example, "Club women, not seals", would the
university have been slow to speak up? (If the answer here is "No" then I
despair of this ever being a mature society.) Or substitute any ethnic or
religious group. If it had said "Club Baptists, not seals", is there any
doubt that censure of some sort would have followed immediately?
Somewhere, someone needs to get the idea across that killing people, or
inciting people to kill other people, is not nice. Otherwise, we don't
stand much chance of making it as a society.

>I think the only place where a university should take action is when some
>members of the community are being belligerent. This is a difficult standard
>to apply, because many zealots often choose the most provocative means of
>expressing their viewpoints (as we all know from ACT UP and Queer Nation--two

>groups that are often characterized as "belligerent"). As a result, any


>University should use a very narrow definition of what expressions, if any, can
>be considered belligerent.

I think inciting to violence can fairly be considered "belligerent."

>If the t-shirt had said, "Club gays not seals," then I think there would be no
>justification for censoring it. Some might argue that it encites violence, but

>that is really stretching things. During the Vietnam era Nixon was burned in


>effigy on college campuses by students who were not advocating his murder.

There were no hate crimes committed against Richard Nixon that I'm aware
of. But gay people *are* the subject of violence, being beaten and killed
in increasing numbers. This slogan *does* incite violence. Maybe not in
you (at least I hope not), but what it *is* saying is "It's OK to hit gay men
over the head, but not seals." This is not stretching things.

>Besides, the t-shirt was obviously intended to be humorous.

This is no excuse. There is an unfortunate tendency in this society to say
"Oh, well, it was just a joke" to excuse almost anything. Hatred is not a
joke, not ever. (And it had to have been hatred that inspired this T-shirt.
If there's someone out there who doesn't hate us who put this together,
who thinks violence against us is trivial enough that it doesn't matter,
then I am chilled to the bone.)

>Consider, for example, what would happen if someone wore a t-shirt
>that said, "Nuke all fraternities." Should that person be punished? I, for
>one, think not (I would have worn such a t-shirt myself back when I was a more
>vocal misfit).

There's a difference here: there is no danger of all fraternities being
subject to nuclear weapons. (Not unless the rest of us are too, anyway.)
But faggots *are* being clubbed. And knifed. And strangled. These are
my friends, these are my family. This could be *me*. It kind of spoils
the humor for me.

----
Kevin Michael Vail
b2 t- k- s+ r- p
ke...@vailbox.washington.dc.us
(If that doesn't work, try ke...@vailbox.UUCP or uunet!vailbox!kevin)

Randi Pollard

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Jul 1, 1991, 12:04:13 AM7/1/91
to
In article <1991Jun30....@schaefer.math.wisc.edu> jun...@schaefer.math.wisc.edu (Jari Junikka) writes:
>ent...@wpi.WPI.EDU (Lawrence C Foard) writes:
>>I'm glad Syracuse took this seriously. I wish WPI would take threats of
>>violence more seriously than they presently do.
>
>It is not clear whether the University suspended the frat or their
>national organization. The wordings of the reports on this have been
>very conflicting.
>
>jari

The report that I saw on CNN said that it was the national organization
that pulled the charter and thet it was revoked permanantly. We will
have to wait and see if this comes true or not.

Bill Taroli

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Jul 1, 1991, 2:23:43 PM7/1/91
to
ASG...@psuvm.psu.edu (The Dreamer) writes:

>[...] I myself am in a fraternity and I was wondering: Do the


>fraternities at other universities really bash (physically or
>verbally) that much?

While not as numerous as the rapes that occur on our campus, there
have been a number of bashing incidents that have been attributed to
the Greek system at Syracuse.

>If the "Club Faggots Not Seals" T-shirt came out here, there would be
>a complete uproar from both the gay and greek comunities here.

Well, there was certainly an uproar within the "out" gay community,
but the shirts were big sellers amongst fraternity members... although
not all of them were willing to wear them out in public.

>Forgive my innocence, but I just don't see how this could happen in a
>college setting where people are (hopefully) a little more
>enlightened.

... said the lamb just before the wolf pounced.

Bill Taroli

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Jul 1, 1991, 2:30:15 PM7/1/91
to
jun...@schaefer.math.wisc.edu (Jari Junikka) writes:
>ent...@wpi.WPI.EDU (Lawrence C Foard) writes:
>>I'm glad Syracuse took this seriously. I wish WPI would take threats
>>of violence more seriously than they presently do.
>
>It is not clear whether the University suspended the frat or their
>national organization. The wordings of the reports on this have been
>very conflicting.

From what I've heard out of Syracuse, the administration (not
surprisingly) had absolutely nothing to do with the initial action.
Anything they're doing now is similar to what they've done in the
past... cover themselves from a legal perspective, and nothing more.

>The university was very reluctant to interfere claiming freedom of
>expression.

*chuckle* Yeah, this is the same thing they say about ROTC.

Rob Boldbear

unread,
Jul 1, 1991, 10:48:47 PM7/1/91
to
stu...@Sunburn.Stanford.EDU (Stuart Reges) wrote:
>The University should be reluctant. The fraternity members were expressing
>their opinion about gay people, and the University should not, in general,
>limit their ability to do so. Those who disagree should do so by expressing
>opposing viewpoints, not by trying to censor the opposition.

An act can be many things at the same time. In this case, the act was both
an act of expression of their opinion of gay people and a call for violence
against gay people.

Now there are some acts of expression that are and should be illegal:
slander, libel, deliberately shouting "fire" in a crowded theater when
there is no fire, etc. Granted it is not clear where the line ought to
be drawn, and that is not the point I wish to argue, but rather only
that the act of the fraternity members involved a definite call for violence
against gay people, one which is not obvious should be protected as mere
free speech.

>I think the only place where a university should take action is when some
>members of the community are being belligerent.

I'm not sure what you include as belligerence. Certainly a linguist act
(such as the "Club Fags, Not Seals" that we are talking about) is a
belligerent act. Perhaps you meant an act that is physically belligerent
rather than linguistically belligerent.

>The best argument that the fraternity members were guilty of this is their use
>of the word "faggot." I think there is some justification for arguing that
>words like "nigger" and "faggot" are in a sense "automatically belligerent,"
>but I personally don't think the University should be in the business of
>selecting specific words that are too rude to be uttered.

The fraternity members were "guilty" of calling for violence against
gay people. In my mind simply refering to gay people as "faggots" is a lot
closer to mere "expressing an opinion" that calling for violence against
gay people, even if you called them "sir".

>If the t-shirt had said, "Club gays not seals," then I think there would be no
>justification for censoring it. Some might argue that it encites violence, but
>that is really stretching things. During the Vietnam era Nixon was burned in
>effigy on college campuses by students who were not advocating his murder.

Um, a burning effigy is largely taken as symbolic only of dislike for
a leader's policies. On the other hand, the hatred and violence advocated
by the t-shirt slogan seems more actual and less symbolic to me than
a burning effigy of a president.

>Besides, the t-shirt was obviously intended to be humorous. My friends use the
>same kind of humor. I often hear, for example, that "All <blanks> should be
>shot," where "<blanks>" is filled in by "gay activists" or "feminists" or
>"those who use the word multiculturalism" or some other appropriate group of
>misfits. Consider, for example, what would happen if someone wore a t-shirt
>that said, "Nuke all fraternities." Should that person be punished? I, for
>one, think not (I would have worn such a t-shirt myself back when I was a more
>vocal misfit).

There are some important differences here. The "All <blank> should be
shot" statements are issed in private, not publically on t-shirts. Statements
like "Nuke all fraternities" would most commonly be taken as symbolic, like
the burning effigy, as figurative as well. The "Club Faggots" statement
has a reality some of us have unfortunately experienced personally.
--
Rob Boldbear email: r...@mtdiablo.Concord.CA.US phone: (415) 827-4301
"Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?"
Hobbes (Bill Watterson)

Stuart Reges

unread,
Jul 2, 1991, 5:58:30 AM7/2/91
to
I've gotten several responses both publicly and privately to my posting.
Rather than respond to each individually, let me make some general remarks.

Many of you are basing your decisions on highly questionable causal links. You
seem to think that hate-speech produces hatred, or that hate-speech produces
violence. I personally don't believe either. By similar reasoning people say,
"pornography produces rape, so it must be outlawed" or "allowing young people
to hear pro-gay sentiments will turn impressionable heterosexual children into
homos, therefore we need to make sure that no such sentiments are expressed by
our teachers or on tv or in movies." Can't you guys see that you are giving
EXACTLY the same kind of argument that is given to limit gays and lesbians?

It seems abundantly clear to me that hate-speech and violence are two symptoms
of hatred. You don't have to be a doctor to know that you need to go after the
problem, not the symptom. I personally believe that limiting hate-speech
inflames rather than reduces hatred, so if anything, censoring hate-speech
might actually increase the incidence of violence.

I don't want to ramble on because my opinion is obviously quite different from
that held by many of you, and so perhaps it would just be best to agree to
disagree. But let me end with a challenge. Give me a simple criterion by
which you would limit hate-speech on campus. Nobody objected to "Nuke all
fraternities," although many objected to "Club gays not seals." So if some
hate-speech is okay but some is not, how do you decide? The only defense I
heard was that nuking fraternities was unlikely, while clubbing gays is more
likely (actually that's another thing I don't quite believe, because I think
that few people choose to "club" gays--bats or fists or guns I believe, but not
clubs). I don't think this criterion works, as the following table suggests.

t-shirt slogan Status
-----------------------------------------------------------------
club faggots not seals not ok because it's likely
club frat boys not seals not ok because it's likely
throw eggs at frat boys not ok because it's likely
spit on frat boys not ok because it's likely
Nuke all fraternities ok because it's unlikely
Nuke all faggots ok because it's unlikely
Kill every faggot ok because it's unlikely
Rip out a fag's heart
with your bare hands ok because it's unlikely
Deport all faggots to Mars ok because it's unlikely
fuck you frat boys not ok, because it's likely
fuck you faggots is this likely? would it be violence?

As you can see, I don't think this criterion works well. And unless you can
come up with a simple rule or set of rules, I don't think you should be in the
business of saying, "Please stop those people from saying what they did,
because it bothers me."

Jim Wood

unread,
Jul 2, 1991, 9:17:45 AM7/2/91
to
stu...@Sunburn.Stanford.EDU (Stuart Reges) writes:

>Many of you are basing your decisions on highly questionable causal links.
>You seem to think that hate-speech produces hatred, or that hate-speech
>produces violence. I personally don't believe either. By similar
>reasoning people say, "pornography produces rape, so it must be outlawed"
>or "allowing young people to hear pro-gay sentiments will turn
>impressionable heterosexual children into homos, therefore we need to
>make sure that no such sentiments are expressed by our teachers or on
>tv or in movies." Can't you guys see that you are giving EXACTLY the
>same kind of argument that is given to limit gays and lesbians?

>It seems abundantly clear to me that hate-speech and violence are two
>symptoms of hatred. You don't have to be a doctor to know that you need
>to go after the problem, not the symptom. I personally believe that
>limiting hate-speech inflames rather than reduces hatred, so if anything,
>censoring hate-speech might actually increase the incidence of violence.

"HATE-SPEECH" is legally troublesome because while everyone is guaranteed
their right to free speech, no one has the right to commit verbal assault.
The ambiguities of language make it perfectly possible to interpret any
of the remarks (like "Club gays, not seals") as either a joke or a seriously
intended threat.

In the eyes of the law, verbal assault can carry serious penalties --
particularly when the assault implies physical violence. The term "assault
and battery" refers to both the threat (assault) and execution (battery)
of physical violence: holding a gun to someone's head constitutes
assault, and pulling the trigger is battery.

In my view, sporting a T-shirt saying "Club gays, not seals" constitutes
assault because there are MANY people among us who would take that seriously
enough to fear future physical violence. Furthermore, I would hope that
the university would take action against any fraternity that advocated
violence towards a group of people.

Jim Wood [wo...@siemens.siemens.com]
Siemens Corporate Research, 755 College Road East, Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 734-3643

Randi Pollard

unread,
Jul 1, 1991, 5:39:55 PM7/1/91
to
In article <1991Jun30.1...@cunixf.cc.columbia.edu> da...@shibuya.cc.columbia.edu (Darcy Lee) writes:
>In article <3...@sporty.UUCP> ra...@sporty.UUCP (Randi Pollard) writes:
>>Just seen on CNN:
>>.... The reason for the charter being revoked was

>>the Syracuse chapter sold T-Shirts advocating violence against gays.
>
>
>does anybody know who pulled he charter? the school or the national
>organization?

The News report said that it was the national organization that pulled
the charter.>


>
>da...@shibuya.cc.columbia.edu
>Darcy D. Lee
>Columbia University

Stuart Reges

unread,
Jul 2, 1991, 2:49:05 PM7/2/91
to
wo...@jfred.siemens.com (Jim Wood) writes:

>In the eyes of the law, verbal assault can carry serious penalties --
>particularly when the assault implies physical violence.

Verbal assault is not, in general, illegal (if it were, many participants of
this newsgroup would have good cause to worry :-) ). I can tell someone that
he/she is ugly, fat, stupid, worthless, etc., and I have broken no law. But if
I THREATEN physical force, then I might be guilty of a crime (the key is to
threaten, not merely to "imply"). The following statement is not protected
free speech: "Give me your wallet or I'll shoot you," but the following is:
"All gays deserve to die."

"Club faggots not seals" is a general statement that at most endorses violence
against gays. You are incorrect that implying violence is sufficient to make
the activity illegal when there is no specific and immediate threat or coercion
involved.

>Furthermore, I would hope that
>the university would take action against any fraternity that advocated
>violence towards a group of people.

So you're saying that if a member of the fraternity wrote an editorial for the
student newspaper in which he calmly and rationally explained why he believed
that all gay people should be killed, you would advocate punishing that person
for his opinion?? It's very easy for a fundamentalist to sincerely make such
an argument. He could simply point out that Leviticus informs us that
homosexual activity is "an abomination" and commands us to punish the offenders
("their blood shall be upon them"). Such a person should be punished for
expressing his honest opinion based on religious teachings?

I'll give you one other example. Are you saying that the environmentalist who
suggested spiking trees committed "verbal assault" against loggers and that his
book should be banned? If a fraternity wore a t-shirt that said, "Spike
trees," should they be sanctioned by the university for "advocating violence
towards a group of people"?

You really should read up on the first amendment, because you don't seem to
understand the implications of free speech. As Jefferson said, "It is error
alone that needs the support of legislation. Truth can stand by itself."

By the way, I think the most appropriate response to the frat t-shirt would
have been to make up and wear a t-shirt that said "Club ignorant frat boys not
queers" or "My club's bigger than your club." Those would have been in the
same joking spirit that I believe the original t-shirt was intended. I would
have considered wearing such a t-shirt. Should I be punished if I did so?

Tsilke Pearlman

unread,
Jul 2, 1991, 3:33:05 PM7/2/91
to

I have a few thoughts on
this thread of the frat boys with the "club faggots..." tshirt:

1) The legal definition of bashing (gay or otherwise)
is not simply restricted to violent physical acts.
It also includes statements *that intend harm*. If a physical threat
is present it is bashing.

2) It is interesting to me the way so many Queers are willing to defend those
who abuse us. I understand and agree with the idea that free speech must be
upheld, but what do you think would have been the black community's reaction
if the tshirt had read: "Club niggers, not seals"? Do you think people would
sit quietly by and say "Oh, it's humorous, it's their right to free speech,
it's harmless". Would all the liberal white heterosexuals sit by without
crying racism and allow the frat to go unpunished? I doubt it. But we don't
see people willing to shout "Nigger" so much anymore, unless they are devout
bigots. It's not 'cool'. Pressure from the Black community has made it so.
Yet *still* it is cool for otherwise "upstanding citizens" to shout or wear
antigay epithets-and some of us are willing to sit by and defend the asshole's
right to do so! I will be willing to defend the right of a Frat group to
wear homophobic tshirts when AND ONLY WHEN the entire world has accepted
us as just another minority- when all the concerned liberals will also
stand up and decry homophobia without fearing that *god forbid*, someone
might think they are queer-when people of colour are willing to include us
in their fight for freedom and equality instead of seeing members of their
own community who are gay as 'traitors of the race'.

We have to put pressure to bear on homophobes. We have to make it uncool
to bash us. They are not going to do it out of the goodness of their hearts.

The examples turning the whole situation around ("Club frat boys..." not
bothering many here) miss an important distinction: We Queers (Lesbian/Gay/
Bisexuals/choose your label)are *disenfranchized*. We are not seen as equals.
We often 'deserve what we get'. We may not have families to fight for us.
We don't have other communities backing us up. We don't have most of the
religious community backing us up. WE ARE STILL BASICALLY ON OUR OWN. We
are still fighting for survival. We cannot afford to passively accept
any homophobes "right" to promote homphobia and violence against Queers.

Tsilke-fresh from Gay Pride and feeling very much like a "Queer and Present
Danger".

Roger B.A. Klorese

unread,
Jul 2, 1991, 6:00:52 PM7/2/91
to
In article <1991Jul2.1...@neon.Stanford.EDU> stu...@Sunburn.Stanford.EDU (Stuart Reges) writes:
>"Club faggots not seals" is a general statement that at most endorses violence
>against gays.

It does not merely endorse it, it directs it.
--
ROGER B.A. KLORESE MIPS Computer Systems, Inc.
MS 6-05 930 DeGuigne Dr. Sunnyvale, CA 94088 +1 408 524-7421
rog...@mips.COM {ames,decwrl,pyramid}!mips!rogerk
"Stupidity is evil waiting to happen." -- Clay Bond

Tezcatlipocateopixque

unread,
Jul 2, 1991, 8:24:08 PM7/2/91
to
In article <wood.678460665@jfred> wo...@jfred.siemens.com (Jim Wood) writes:

>"HATE-SPEECH" is legally troublesome because while everyone is guaranteed
>their right to free speech, no one has the right to commit verbal assault.

Certainly, but nobody's freedom of speech was broached, because nobody
was silenced. Assuming that fraternities are indeed the philanthropic
orgainzations whose primary purpose is to instill responsible, adult
behavior in their members, as they claim, then the national
organization's suspension was entirely appropriate. The fraternity
was advocating immature and irresponsible (to say the least) behavior,
acting in a manner diametrically opposed to their (supposed) mission,
and was therefore betraying their own purpose. Were this to happen
every time a fraternity exhibited characteristically despicable and
childish behavior, I might take the "not all frats are like that" line
just a tad seriously.

--
"The prototypical straight groin area, for those who haven't had the dubious
luxury, is vaguely flabby, not entirely 'unscented', and they manage to culti-
vate flat asses." -- Jojo

Jess Anderson

unread,
Jul 2, 1991, 9:02:29 PM7/2/91
to

In article <1991Jul2.0...@neon.Stanford.EDU>
stu...@Sunburn.Stanford.EDU (Stuart Reges) writes:

>Many of you are basing your decisions on highly questionable
>causal links.

I think that's true in some cases. But I must also say I
find some of your remarks highly questionable.

>You seem to think that hate-speech produces hatred, or that
>hate-speech produces violence. I personally don't believe
>either.

I think you're quite likely wrong about both things.
Although I think it's really somewhat the other way round
(hatred produces hate-filled speech and violence), such
speech at least perpetuates the actions.

Do you believe *that*?

>By similar reasoning people say, "pornography produces rape,
>so it must be outlawed" or "allowing young people to hear
>pro-gay sentiments will turn impressionable heterosexual
>children into homos, therefore we need to make sure that no
>such sentiments are expressed by our teachers or on tv or in
>movies."

I question whether that's similar reasoning at all, which
quite undermines your point. It's at least debatable, in my
opinion, what causal connections exist between hatred and
expressions of hatred, but I don't think either of these
next examples is debatable --I think both are clearly wrong.

I do think it could be demonstrated (I don't know whether it
has been) that some common attitudes underlie both rape and
*some kinds* of pornography. But I *know* pornography does
not ineluctably produce rape, so that statement is wrong.

Likewise, I *know* that exposing young people to LGB people
(why load up with "pro-gay"?) does nothing to affect their
eventual sexuality. Not one credible shred of evidence that
such an influence exists has ever been adduced. So your
statement here is clearly wrong.

I agreed with a much larger fraction of your earlier
posting, in which you based the primary thrust of your
argument on freedom of speech. I still think the real
essence of the debate, and its most problematic substance,
lies there, rather than in your current set of arguments.

>Can't you guys

(we're not all guys here)

>see that you are giving EXACTLY the same kind of argument
>that is given to limit gays and lesbians?

Can you see that your parallel is now shattered?

>It seems abundantly clear to me that hate-speech and
>violence are two symptoms of hatred.

I bet not one person objects to that claim!

>You don't have to be a doctor to know that you need to go
>after the problem, not the symptom.

Well, I rather thought most doctors *did* go after symptoms,
rather than causes.

>I personally believe that limiting hate-speech inflames
>rather than reduces hatred, so if anything, censoring
>hate-speech might actually increase the incidence of
>violence.

This is probably a valid point, I guess depending on what
constitutes limiting, which in any case cannot be tantamount
to censoring. The only way censorship can be legitimate is
when speech becomes *likely* to cause *great* harm. I think
this is, in fact, the center issue of the debate: what is
likely, and what degree of likeliness is involved, and, what
harms are entailed and is they great *enough*?

Because, in the end, if we are to curb the freedom of
expression for *any* reason, we must have reasons that
*truly* meet certain *real* tests, not just that provide one
party or another with emotional satisfaction. This
introduces another dimension, I think: what is the *minimum*
curtailment of freedom of expression that can meet *which*
objectives? This debate must come to grips with the
possibility of all of these tests failing, with the result
that in no case can we abridge the freedom to say hateful
things. I would not like that outcome (not many of us
would, I guess), but I would also not be comfortable with
curtailing freedoms one whit more than absolutely necessary
to protect society from a small set of terrible dangers:
rapists, murderers, and a few other kinds of real criminals.
Our discussion, then, seeks to define a certain kind of
criminality.

>I don't want to ramble on because my opinion is obviously
>quite different from that held by many of you, and so
>perhaps it would just be best to agree to disagree.

So far, I think I've answered all your arguments with a
valid counter-argument, which is not just agreeing to
disagree.

>But let me end with a challenge. Give me a simple criterion
>by which you would limit hate-speech on campus. Nobody
>objected to "Nuke all fraternities,"

Wrong-o. I did, and in definite terms.

>although many objected to "Club gays not seals."

I did.

>So if some hate-speech is okay but some is not, how do you
>decide?

Well, I've advanced some suggestions as to how this might
be decided.

>The only defense I heard was that nuking fraternities was
>unlikely, while clubbing gays is more likely (actually
>that's another thing I don't quite believe, because I think
>that few people choose to "club" gays--bats or fists or guns
>I believe, but not clubs).

Well, that's pretty incredible, I think. Clubbing *is*
something done with fists, bats, 2x4s, and tire irons.
About the only kind of clubbing with a gun would be
pistol-whipping.

In any case, the likeliness test, as I've outlined above,
is not of itself sufficient, so I'll pass over your
examples.

>And unless you can come up with a simple rule or set of
>rules, I don't think you should be in the business of
>saying, "Please stop those people from saying what they did,
>because it bothers me."

It's very curious, I think, that you minimize the threat (it
is *certainly* more than a matter of "bothering" people) at
the same time as you demand *simple* rules for what must
necessarily be a complex legal process.

<> If it's society (great or small), the issue is to be
<> compassionate and kind to others, to insist on what you
<> see as fairness and justice, to tolerate diversity to the
<> limits of your own understandings, experience, and mores,
<> and otherwise not to worry about it in the least.

Henry Mensch

unread,
Jul 3, 1991, 3:02:31 AM7/3/91
to
ra...@sporty.UUCP (Randi Pollard) wrote:
->da...@shibuya.cc.columbia.edu (Darcy Lee) writes:
->>does anybody know who pulled he charter? the school or the national
->>organization?
->
->The News report said that it was the national organization that pulled
->the charter.>

this is correct; the University can not "pull" the charter from a
fraternity ... the most they can do is refuse to "recognize" a
fraternity as a valid on-campus organization (this makes it extremely
difficult to do business on campus and, in some instances, implies the
removal of a charter since many national fraternities require
recognition from the university).

George Madison

unread,
Jul 2, 1991, 12:18:51 AM7/2/91
to
ASG...@psuvm.psu.edu (The Dreamer) writes:

> Forgive my innocence, but I just don't see how this could happen
> in a college setting where people are (hopefully) a little more
> enlightened.

But that's just *IT*, don't you see? Many people who are
utterly un-enlightened go to college, and work their heinies
off to STAY that way. There are those Greek organizations
which take it upon themselves to make this
non-enlightenment as easy as possible.

I don't find it hard to believe because I've seen it
happening. Even at Pomona College in Claremont, which barely
HAS a Greek system by many colleges/university's standards
had a couple of groups whose primary unifying philosophy
semed to be "Let's get drunk, scream sexist obscenities and
puke on each other."

At the other end of the spectrum, you had the Nu Alpha Pi's
and the Zeta Chi Sigmas -- both of which were co-ed frats,
and the Zekes tended to average about 1/3 gay. Parties where
DANCING instead of DRINKING was the primary reason you found
your head spinning as you lay sprawled on the floor. ;-)

Ah, college.....

() The most common elements in the universe are hydrogen
() and stupidity.
() -- Harlan Ellison


-----
[>George D. Madison, a/k/a Furr | 8-{)##] | NBCS:B8f+t+w-e+s+k+a!cv PIG 8/7<]
[>Please do NOT send mail to the techbook address! I read news there ONLY!<]
[fu...@pnet12.cts.com|PLink:BEARDLOVER|Ursine Nation!|ucsd!serene!pnet12!furr]

Rob Boldbear

unread,
Jul 3, 1991, 11:25:19 AM7/3/91
to
exo...@milton.u.washington.edu (Tsilke Pearlman) wrote:
>2) It is interesting to me the way so many Queers are willing to defend those
>who abuse us. I understand and agree with the idea that free speech must be
>upheld, but what do you think would have been the black community's reaction
>if the tshirt had read: "Club niggers, not seals"? Do you think people would
>sit quietly by and say "Oh, it's humorous, it's their right to free speech,
>it's harmless".

Or how about "Rape women, not the forests."? I bet that one hits even a
deeper nerve.

Rob Boldbear

unread,
Jul 3, 1991, 11:19:57 AM7/3/91
to
stu...@Sunburn.Stanford.EDU (Stuart Reges) wrote:
>So you're saying that if a member of the fraternity wrote an editorial for the
>student newspaper in which he calmly and rationally explained why he believed
>that all gay people should be killed, you would advocate punishing that person
>for his opinion??

Bad analogy. A better one would be an editorial that directed its readers to
kill gay people.

>? It's very easy for a fundamentalist to sincerely make such
>an argument. He could simply point out that Leviticus informs us that
>homosexual activity is "an abomination" and commands us to punish the offenders
>("their blood shall be upon them"). Such a person should be punished for
>expressing his honest opinion based on religious teachings?

Your reasoning here is flawed.

Your approach is something like this. If we presume doing X is illegal,
and if a person did X out of religious conviction, then the law would
violate his freedom of religion. Therefore doing X could *not* be
illegal.

Your reasoning here is flawed because freedomon of religion does not
guarantee the right to do any act that is based on religious conviction.

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