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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 14, 1999)
A question of morals
Complacency on immorality
has dangerous consequences
A trend is sweeping across the nation. And
as it blows in, it endeavors to erase any sem
blance of that one nation under God. the trend
is the cultural and social acceptance of immoral
ity. From complacency about adultery, to free
love, to acceptance of the homosexual agenda,
we embrace it all.
And, boy, I tell you what, our acceptance of
this trend will have further reaching conse
quences than just making baby Jesus cry. The
next thing you know, the phrase alternative
lifestyle will extend to encompass the rights of
pedophiles. Stay with me.
It seems as if we are consumed by these
“alternative” lifestyles. Why, just look at the
lineup of front page stories from your beloved
Daily Nebraskan this week. What you’ll find is
the emotional account of some of your local
homosexuals in their journey laden with
“homophobic gatekeepers” and the plight to be
recognized by Lincoln moron, I mean mayor,
Yoifll meet homosexuals excited to be at the
very threshold of the new millennium, rushing
forward with gay pride, wiping the tears from
Well, the gays came out and had their day in
the sun. And here in academia we can all under
stand why they should have their “one day,”
Of course we do, because we have all famil
iarized ourselves with the agenda of the homo
I know - who am I to define the homosexual
agenda? Come on, people, get real. We always
hear about the conservative agenda, or the
Catholic agenda, or the Republican agenda.
Groups of people endeavor to achieve certain
goals. Activists have an agenda - otherwise,
what would they act on?
And while I will not try to outline specifi
cally the agenda of the gay community, there are
a few things that I think are pretty obvious.
The foremost thing the homosexual commu
nity seeks to do (perhaps what it is having suc
cess at) is to redefine die American family - to
redefine what is socially acceptable in terms of
“companionship” and love. The redefinition of
the family extends from acceptance of a homo
sexual couple to custody and adoption rights.
Homosexuals also seek to have the society
in which they live understand that being gay is
natural - after all, who would choose to live a
life wrought with discrimination and injustice?
So it’s fair to say, with these goals, that we
can identify a working agenda. One that simply
seeks to redefine the American family, like the
Gay Pride Rally that was held in Lincoln last
year in which the catch phrase was, “The new
face of Nebraska family values.”
But it you want to look a little deeper into
the homosexual rhetoric, you’ll find a clearer
picture painted. Dennis Altman, a homosexual
and author of “The Homosexualization of
America,” happily reported that more and more
Americans were thinking and acting like gays
by participating in a number of “short-lived sex
ual adventures either in place of or alongside
long-term relationships.” Hence, the acceptance
of sexual immorality.
The danger I foresee is how far this redefini
tion and acceptance goes. As we begin to wel
come those who choose these lifestyles and see
them a&agents of diversity rather than sexual
deviants, where do we draw the line?
Well, eventually we won’t. If unacceptable
sexual practices are socialized and accepted
based on the claim that they are “natural,” then
we will eventually accept almost any sexual
We’re well on our way, actually. Recent
studies have been conducted to question the cul
Jessica Flanagain is a senior Engl
tural taboo of sexual relations between men and
One study, “A Meta-Analytic Examination
of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse
Using College Samples,” published in the
American Psychological Association’s
Psychological Bulletin, claimed that sexual
abuse of adolescents does not really cause
enduring psychological trauma for victims, and
that “a willing encounter would be labeled sim
ply ‘adult-child sex,’ a value-neutral term.”
The authors of this study, Robert
Bauserman, professor of psychology at the
University of Michigan, and Philip Tomovitch,
professor of psychology at Temple University,
interviewed college students who had been sex
ually abused to reach their conclusions. They
also asserted that encounters between pre-ado
lescents and adolescents could produce positive
the Journal of
and held that critics
of sexual relations
between men and boys were
“irrelevant” or “biased.”
Am I the only one who sees
what’s happening here? Acceptance of
this unthinkable behavior is beginning to
creep into the mainstream of American soci
ety, and the journey of pedophiles from deviants
to “chic” will be shorter than you think. Why?
Because the homosexual community has paved
The avenues to gain acceptance have
already been identified. You can bet there will
be some movie about the emotional journey of
an adult and a minor and their love. We’ll begin
to feel ashamed of ourselves for previously
scorning this behavior. The next thing you know
there will be diversity classes on the subject.
And why not, the Romans did it, right?
As a society, we have turned a blind eye to
traditional morality. We’ve opened the door of
“preference” and “orientation,” and history and
present-day reality tell us what to expect next.
ish and philosophy major and a Daily
Incident sparks concern about
children's exposure to religion
I was driving my nephews home from the
mall one day this summer when I heard
Cameron, 7, whispering something to Timothy,
4, in the backseat.
“Um, Unca Jay?” Tim said.
“Umm, Cameron says you, umm, don’t
believe in God.”
“Yes ... yes, that’s right.” I responded, sur
prised by the question.
“But Unca Jay, if you don’t believe in Jesus,
you’re gonna go to hell!”
I was taken aback of course - how often does
a 4-year-old tell you that you’re going to hell? I
guess I should have expected something like that
when my sister married a minister. Not that he’s
a mean fire-and-brimstone type of preacher -
he’s actually one of the nicest guys I know.
“Well Tim, you see, I don’t believe in hell,” I
finally said. And then I found myself in one of
the oddest situations of my life - I
was arguing religion with chil
I tried to change
but they were adamant
about converting me. Cameron especially knew
his Bible and kept telling me how I’d miss out on
the “raptor” (I think he meant “rapture”).
I wasn’t sure how to respond, and I especial
ly didn’t want my sister to get mad at me for
“corrupting” her children. At the same time, I’m
an argumentative jerk and won’t let anyone, even
my dear nephews, think they’ve beaten me in a
debate about something I’m passionate about -
So I started telling them all about theodicy,
about the problem of Cain’s wife, about how I
thought it was silly that all Christians think pll
non-Christians are going to hell, just like all
Jeremy Patrick is a first-year gradi
and a Daily Nebrasi
Muslims think all non-Muslims are going to
hell, etc., when no religion offers any better evi
dence than any other.
Not that my arguments worked, of course.
Part of the reason was probably that they were
philosophical and abstract, difficult to convey to
kids who think Santa Claus is real and delivers
presents on Christmas.
Part of it is that “Jesus” is a fact told to them
by their mom and dad, and at that age, mom and
dad can’t be wrong.
After our discussion ended, and we got back
home, I took them to the park. I watched them on
the swing set laughing at nothing in particular,
just because they were happy. (When did I lose
I wondered why anyone would worry their
kids with ideas like “sin” and “damnation” and
“hell.” They’ll grow up soon enough - why not
let them just be kids?
I worry about religion - about how it makes
people afraid to think critically, afraid to ques
tion what they’re taught. I worry about the
effects it has had and continues to have on soci
ety - the subjugation historically of blacks and
American Indians because they were “un
ered savages; and the
forced servility of
women based on biblical
And of course as a gay man, I
get to see the detrimental effects of
religion firsthand everyday. When
Cameron and Timothy grow up, will
they, too, vote to keep me from getting
married or adopting?
To 95 percent of Christians (and
other theists), why I disbelieve doesn’t
matter one bit. Logic and reason mean
nothing to them when it comes to reli
gion, because to question is to sin. Any
inconsistencies or absurdities you force
them to confront are solved with the magic
wand of “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”
Adults who believe in God are like children
who believe in Santa Claus - it s almost impossi
ble to convince them they’re wrong, and even if
you somehow succeed, you feel somewhat guilty
for shattering their happy illusions.
Religion is a crutch - people rely on it when
their lives get difficult. I’d rather stand on my
own two feet and risk falling.
I actually think what my nephews tried to do
was kind of sweet - it showed that they care
about me, and the funny thing is, they seem to
like me just as much now as they did before they
learned that I was going to hell.
Just in case, however, I think I’ll slip some
books on dinosaurs and evolution in with their
birthday gifts. Hey, it’s never too early to plant
the seeds of doubt.
tate student at the NU College of Law
lan guest columnist
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