The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, August 28, 1987, Page 4, Image 4

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Mike Reilley, Editor, 472-1766
'Jeanne Bourne, Editorial Page Editor
Jann Nyffeler, Associate News Editor
Scott Harrah, Night News Editor
Joan Rezac, Copy Desk Chief
Linda Hartmann, Wire Editor
Charles Lieurance, Asst. A & E Editor
Let freedom ring
Secular humanists deserve court victory
he so-called “secular hum
an. religion” has won
another case against its
fundamentalist opponents, and
it was a well-earned victory.
A federal appeals court rev
ersed the banning of 44 books
from Alabama public schools and
a ruling which awarded $50,000
for private school tuition and
other expenses to the families
who brought the suit.
Religious fundamentalists de
scribe secular humanism as the
belief that people should solve
their own problems without the
aid of God.
Last March, U.S. District Judge
Brevard Hand banned the books
for “promoting godless, huma
nistic religion.”
Hand said the books discrim
inated against ‘‘the very con
cept of religion . . .by omissions
so serious that a student learn
ing history from them would not
be apprised of relevant facts
about America’s history.”
Some of the books objected to
included “The Diary of Anne
Frank,” because it assumes all
religions are equal in the eyes of
God, and ‘‘The Wizard of Oz,”
because it depicted a witch as
being ‘‘good.”
Come on now.
It’s amazing that the people
who call themselves “religious”
are the first ones to discriminate
and segregate groups.
Robert Skolrood, executive
director of the National Legal
Foundation, called the decision
a tremendous blow to religious
freedom in the United States.
Religious freedom hasn’t been
lost. People are still free to
attend the church of their cho
ice, to believe what they want to
believe, and to act on their reli
gious beliefs as long as they
don’t interfere with someone
else’s freedoms.
Quibbles & bits
he death of Warren Fine, an
associate professor of Eng
lish at the University of
Nebraska-Lineoln, saddened many
v students and members of the
faculty and administration.
Fine, who died last week at
his Lincoln home, will be remem
bered for his fiction-writing
classes, poems, short stories and
novels. He left behind a lifetime
of creativity.
He also will be missed off
campus. Many will remember
Fine as one of the founders of the
Strat-O-Matic baseball league at
O’Rourke's, a downtown tavern.
• Congratulations to Dr. Ian
Newman, UNL professor of health,
physical education and recrea
tion in the Teachers College,
who will receive a national award
from the Research Council of the
American School Health Associ
ation. Newman earned the award
for his research on alcohol and
substance abuse. His efforts
should be applauded.
• A hot topic drew several
phone calls at the Daily Nebras
kan this week. The calls weren’t
about faculty salaries, shady deal
ings with sports agents or any
other stories that appeared in
the paper in the last few days,
but about the absence of the car
toon “The Far Side.”
Don’t despair. The cartoon
will return totheDN shortly. The
I)N”s subscription apparently was
mailed to the w rong address, and
the distributing company needed
some time to correct the error.
‘New Agers’ not flaky: desire peace, love
1 would like to speak out in behalf of
those whom some call “Flaky New
Those who took part in the harmonic
convergence are not all flaky. We are
for the most part normal people. We
have normal jobs and normal lives. It is
beyond my understanding how the
terms “flaky,’’ "weird” or any other
similar term could be applied to a
bunch of people who hold a vision of
love, peace and harmony among all
We do not all run around in pilgrim
ages, worship UFOs or partake in
“strange” rituals. We are not spiritu
ally disoriented, in need of being
"saved.” We just live our lives in a way
we feel can and will bring our vision
into being on Earth That may be as
simple as smiling at someone or lend
ing a hand to someone in need of help.
We try to be open-minded and center
ourselves in love so we can pass that
light on to one another. Love does heal
and make positive changes in the lives
of those it touches.
If the world is ever to be at peace, it
}ti ; tin *'♦*?»• »,»«.*» »•***»'
will mean a total revolution within
each person so the walls of fear, hate
and greed that divide people into “us”
and “them," depending on race, gender
and personal beliefs, are torn down. It
means the beginning of a global or uni
versal relationship in which we came
together as one. All the weapons and
wars can never bring this about or solve
any of our many human problems. Man
has been proving that for millions of
I, and many others like me, think it
is time the harmonic convergence is
given a chance to be seen for what it is
meant to be instead of being ridiculed
and scoffed at: a time of looking within
ourselves, of making peace there and
then reaching out to others with com
passion. If each of us did just that, we
would no longer have reason for peace
talks and arms agreements among
nations or reason to speak of what it
would take to live in peace, for we
would create our own reality.
Linda Drewing
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Concert to bring good will
University officials ’ actions resemble those of spoiled child
Some folks just have no class.
For example, take the univer
sity administration and athletic
department officials. While it should
be obvious to anyone with the brain
power of a bedbug that FarmAid III is
the greatest public-relations opportun
ity to hit the University of Nebraska
Lincoln in year, many university offi
cials seem determined to negate any
positive feelings FarmAid might gener
ate by publicly announcing their chil
dish, churlish attitudes.
They don’t even have to do anything
to pull off this public-relations coup —
all they have to do is shut up, smile and
let Willie Nelson do all the work.
Ever since the start of the FarmAid
project, the attitude of university offi
cials has resembled that of a spoiled
child who gets a shiny new 10-speed for
his birthday, but complains because he
wanted a red 12-speed.
Here’s the latest example:
The FarmAid contract gives UNL
control of all concessions. With almost
70,000 people in Memorial Stadium for
12 hours who are not allowed to leave
the concert and return, concessions
are going to turn a pretty profit. An
even prettier profit considering that
ConAgra is donating the hotdogs.
Earlier this week UNL announced
that all profits from concessions
wouldn’t go to distressed farm families
or to farm crisis education, but to the
renovation of Memorial Stadium.
There’s nothing illegal or even im
moral about this, of course. It’s just
small, petty and shows no class at all.
UNL’s attitude has been causing
problems since early this summer,
when administrative foot-dragging on
the preliminary paperwork came within
a hair’s breadth of getting FarmAid
removed to another state entirely. Only
a daring 11th hour save by former Gov.
Bob Kerrey and Lincoln Mayor Bill Har
ris allowed plans to proceed.
No sooner had plans been tenta
tively agreed upon than certain nay
sayers developed diarrhea of the mouth.
There was football coach Tom Osborne,
whose veiled threats that a couple of
days on an alternate practice field
would have a dire effect on the early
part of the Comhuskers’ season, even
through their next game wouldn’t be
played in Memorial Stadium.
Osborne’s predictions are calculated
to give any Husker fan who’s also con
cerned about the farm crisis massive
guilt either way.
Even worse were the remarks of
Regent Robert Koefoot, the undisputed
champion of this summer’s foot-in
mouth sweepstakes. Koefoot told the
press that he was opposed to FarmAid
because it would bring drugs and alco
hol to the UNL campus. Presumably
this is in contrast to football games,
where every spectator is as sober as a
judge and no one would dream of
smuggling in a controlled substance.
Koefoot then added ignorance to
hypocrisy by saying that he thought
that all the FarmAid money would go
into Nelson’s pocket anyway.
Now for some fads:
• Out of the millions the first two
FarmAid concerts raised, more than
$140,000 has already been distributed
in Nebraska alone.
• Because FarmAid uses only es
tablished organizations to distribute
its money, less than 2 percent of money
raised goes to admnistrative costs. The
rest of the money goes to farm relief
and farm crisis education.
• FarmAid money doesn’t go into
Nelson’s pocket, but it does come out
of it. Last Christmas, Nelson donated
$2,500 to Nebraska families who couldn't
afford a holiday celebration.
See the contrast, UNL? Nelson is giv
ing lots of cash and lots of his very
valuable time to help the farm crisis,
and at the same time UNL is hogging
UNL stands to gain so much in good
will from FarmAid that we don’t need
to take concert-goers’ money to come
out ahead. I call for the university to
reverse its position and pledge all the
proceeds from the ConAgra hotdogs, as
well as a healthy percentage of other
concession profits, to farm relief. Show
some class, for once.
And if Memorial Stadium roally needs
renovation that badly, we can always
send Bob Devaney and Osborne out to
beg on a milk carton.
McCubbin is a senior English and phi
. .
Dickson’s effort ‘shortsighted’ j
* * ° PUy ^ ****** turns into forced applause
im LMCKson, we learn, nas artan
doned Ids undertaking to sail alone
across the Atlantic in his 36-foot
boat. There are those who are reas
sured by his decision for personal rea
sons (they feared for his safety) and
others who are gratified because they
saw no point in the undertaking to
begin with. 1 belong in both camps.
But goodness, what a stir when 1
wrote to the effect that Dickson’s
energy, courage and ambition were
misdirected. The Washington Post pub
lished an irate letter from a deaf stu
William F.
Buckley Jr.
dent at Cornell University, who con
strued the point I endeavored to make
as an argument against deaf students
going to Cornell (“in fact they’re better
off,” was my friend Joe Sobran’s com
Ted Koppel, who invited Dickson
and me to a semi-gentlemanly shoot
out on his program, reproached me for
not having made the correct distinc
tion, a point also made by columnist
Charles Krauthammer. That distinc
tion, they both say, is as easy as this:
Although you don't get the full expe
rience if you sail as a blind man, you do
get an experience, and who is to say
that getting an experience is not worth
it to the person getting it? Kraut
hammer’s test is this, and he uses it to
describe a deaf man who goes to a
ballet: “Can he (the adventurer) give
you an account of what happened? Yes,
a partial account. Missing is the rush of
the music, but certainly there is an
apprehension — diminished but real
— of the dance."
A good try, but not worth a whole
cigar. The reason being that when you
attend a ballet, you go to see a combi
nat ion ol music anti dance, lo see just
the dancers and not hear the music is
not to have attended ballet, but to have
seen dancers, so to speak, a cape I la.
Krauthammer declaims: “Sight is, of
course, a large part of the sailing expe
rience. But it is not all of it. If it were,
then when Buckley sails into a pea
soup fog in which he can no more see
water and sky than can Dickson, one
would have to say that Buckley is not
sailing — when in fad he is."
Again, a good try. In my little essay 1
pointed out that all the senses, specifi
cally including sound and taste, are
engaged in sailing, but that sight is
critical. Never more so than in a pea
soup fog, when the eyes strain to see,
not merely dreadnoughts heading to
ward you, but the sails themselves, the
movement of disputatious winds sig
naling the possibility of a weather
Sight is important enough not to be
belittled. Another correspondent as
saults me by electronic mail, no less, to
advise me that he knows of a 15-year
old girl who disguised her blindness
from the judges at a horse show and
performed perfectly in a jumping con
test. Now, I spent a great gob of my
youth in jumping contests on horse
back, and I flatly discount any possibil
ity that a blind equestrian can guide a
horse around a ring over clusters of
jumps and other hurdles without the
kind of tactile coordination between
hands and horse withers that unify the
mount and its rider. This is not quite
the same thing as saying that a rider
cannot succeed in taking iu jumps m
succession without being dismounted,
but to do so would require a static
posture, a docile horse and judges who
would no more be fooled by what was
going on than a listener would be if
suddenly the people playing woodw inds
started playing the strings and vice
It is a pity that the pity we rightly
feel for the handicapped evolves into
forced applause when the handicapped
attempt that which simply is not natu
ral. Krauthammer says it is not natural
to swim the English Channel, yet peo
pie do this. He is talking about adven
ture of an entirely different kind. He is
talking about maximum exertion. To
have been the first to swim the chan
nel, after months, perhaps years, of
physical and psychological training, is
a feat quite beautiful to contemplate.
It is like reading the book or hearing
the symphony of a gifted artist totally
devoted to his craft.
But to learn that a blind man has
sailed across the Atlantic is on the
order of being asked to appreciate a
book on the grounds that, after all, it
was written by a semi-literate. The
definitive comment was of course John
son’s, when he said the wonder of it was
not that the dog walking on his hind
legs should do so imperfectly, but that
he should do so at all. Captain Dickson
is a brave man, but his ventures on
behalf of the blind are shortsighted.
11987, l Ini vernal Frenn Syndicate
Letter Policy
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and interested others.
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considered for publication.
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Submit material to the Daily Ne
braskan, 84 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St.,
Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448.