Guest Opinion: Group’s indoctrination charge is laughable


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

As I was perusing through the Oct. 19 issue of The Daily Iowan, I was intrigued by a half-page advertisement from the Alliance Defense Fund that read “College Students Deserve An Education Not Indoctrination.” Thinking this was a very true statement and a great point, I then looked under the caption to see the following statement: “Christian students at our public universities are being denied their right to openly express what they believe.”

I’m sorry to be rude, but what the hell has this group been smoking?

Though I was raised Catholic, I have been an atheist for a long time. I cannot think of a single group in this country that has more power and influence than right-wing Christians. They count a large amount of the population among them, enjoy tax-free status, which allows them to influence votes such as Proposition 8 in California, and even had their own bumbling president for eight years.

Their high-minded and often socially unjust views on topics from national defense to the previously mentioned gay-marriage issue pervade our society. And yet, they still feel the need to try and invade the last few bastions of logic and reason in this country: our public colleges and universities.

Now should religious figures be silenced at all on our college campus? Of course not. They have every right to speak what they believe as I do. Hell, what would I do during the spring if I didn’t have the crazy preachers standing on the Pentacrest to make fun of?

But the last thing this country needs is more religious indoctrination in our public places. For example, did you know that Americans have the second lowest percentage of the population who believe in evolution out of more than 30 industrialized countries, according to a 2006 study published in Science magazine? Do you know who’s lower than us? Turkey!

A 2006 University of Minnesota survey that looked at the beliefs and attitudes of people concerning faith, ethnicity, and other factors is also troubling. Researchers found that atheists are the least trusted and liked of almost every minority group — 47.6 percent of those interviewed said they would disapprove of their child marrying an atheist (compared with 33.5 percent for Muslims and 27.2 percent for African Americans). In addition, 39.5 percent of those interviewed said that atheists do not share their vision of an American society (compared with 26.3 percent for Muslims and 22.6 percent of homosexuals).

I obviously wish that we lived in a world where none of these considerations mattered to people, but the fact that bias against all other groups is so well publicized — and atheists are still ostracized for a lack of religious beliefs — is incredible.

To Kirk Cameron and all the other fundamentalists out there: Keep out of our public schools. You already hold sway over a vast number of children and young adults in this country. The University of Iowa alone has over 20 officially recognized religious group on campus and an open forum for discussion. To all of the other tolerant religious or agnostic people out there: We should work together to root out this type of fundamentalist brainwashing that is occurring throughout our country.

Tom Gioielli is a UI admissions counselor.

> Share your thoughts! Click here to write a Letter to the Editor.

comments powered by Disqus
Daily Iowan Advertising
Today's Display Ads | Today's Classifieds | Advertising Info

Follow the DI through:

Sponsored Links  
T-Shirt Design  
Insurance Leads Charlotte Web Design
Health Insurance Leads Home Equity Loans
Life Insurance  
Custom Magnets DMI Furniture
  Buy a text ad


Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.