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'Mainstream Values' Vs. Campus Pluralism : Campus Correspondence : 'Correctness' is intolerance by another name.

November 25, 1990|Kenneth D. DeGeorgio and Adam Webb | Kenneth D. DeGeorgio and Adam Webb are co-founders of AALARM. DeGeorgio is from Long Beach

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — A rising issue at American universities is "political correctness." Activists on both sides at Harvard make their cases.

A university can be seen as a forum for many voices. But the voices being heard today at Harvard and other campuses do not properly represent the many individual opinions and beliefs in the university community. "Politically correct" students and administrators have grown increasingly intolerant of the conservative message during the past 20 years.

Their vocal coalition has determined not only to corner the market on ideas, but also to suppress any alternative points of view. This dogma of political correctness has forced conservative and religious groups into the closet. Within the last year, however, we conservatives have made a resurgence at Harvard, exposing the stifling politically correct mode of operation that had rendered so many of our voices impotent. But the struggle has just begun.

What is it about Harvard that impels many to look with disdain upon their upbringing? To ridicule their parents? To laugh at the institutions through which they have grown and prospered?

This environment demands a conservative revolution. In this climate our organization, the Assn. Against Learning in the Absence of Religion and Morality (AALARM), has sought to promote traditional American values--ideals of faith, family, country and community.

We, like most Americans, have been taught the importance of God and the community of the church. The ideals of faith and religion play an integral role in our lives. We unfashionably respect our parents, recognizing that rebellion for rebellion's sake shows contempt for the value of experience.

We have been taught that the important lessons of the human experience are learned through interdependence, not isolation. Only within the community can individual human beings reach their highest potential.

The clearest manifestation of our communal instinct is a love of country. These are the values that have made America strong. But, unfortunately, these beliefs are incompatible with politically correct dogma at Harvard.

Moral relativism and secular humanism have been tacitly adopted as the official university religion. For example, the college promotes unrestrained sexual activity by providing "morning after" abortions and 100% of the funding for clinical abortions. The University Health Services also charge unsuspecting parents for student contraceptives. These items appear without special notice in billings, as would cough syrup or aspirin.

But our most formidable task to date has been the promotion of traditional family values in the face of vociferous and imperious homosexual activists. Many licentious homosexual activities have occurred at Harvard facilities, evoking no concern among the administration and many students. Recently several men were arrested for lewd behavior by Harvard police in the publicly accessible Science Center restroom. This area is rumored to be a virtual brothel for anonymous homosexual acts. The outrage on campus, appallingly, was directed not toward the accused men but toward the police for their intrusion.

The central predicament for Harvard conservatives is simply being heard. At a recent debate between AALARM and a homosexual organization, our statements were rarely audible over the hissing, booing and obscenities of gay supporters. Politically correct students regularly destroy the posters and publications of AALARM. Harvard's conservative publication, Peninsula, which appeared for the first time last year, has had hundreds of issues removed from dining halls and student dorms and destroyed. Administrators as well have attempted to thwart our operations. After we postered Harvard Yard, a university official removed AALARM posters and delivered them to the dean of students in an unsuccessful attempt to see us punished for our beliefs. Recently, the administration, through an assistant dean, denounced AALARM in the Boston Globe. In committing such shameful acts of censorship they have violated our freedom of speech, and in quashing our voice, have breached students' freedom of thought.

George Washington once said, "Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair." Ironically, these words have been immortalized on the wall of the Harvard Union--on a campus rife with moral decay. Until now this message has been in vain. But, conservative groups such as AALARM and Peninsula, have the courage and tenacity to stand up to the politically correct oppressors. Harvard, the finest educational institution in the world, is dear to us, and for that reason we cannot be silent.

We stand out as a glimmer of hope, not only to the Harvard community but also to the people of tomorrow who will be raised, educated, and cared for by the people of today.

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