Volume 93, Issue 56

Wednesday, December 8, 1999


OPINIONS

Students' Council to students: We're sorry

No Napster is censorship

Virtues of Campus Rec

A unified, Canadian student voice?

It's time for Ontario to hit the road

Remarks devoid of real issues

Law doesn't really matter

Naughty or nice? The definitive list

Remarks devoid of real issues



Re: "A hard look at debate and freedom" Nov. 30

To the Editor:

I'm commenting on the long-winded and evasive response of Patrick Brown, a psychology professor, regarding the incident with the preacher Ed Wellein.

Mr. Brown's remarks were totally devoid of the real issue which is freedom of speech and its limits in society.

Instead, Mr. Brown comments on [Prime Minister] Jean Chrétien's constituency spending and tries to rationalize Dianne Haskett's removal of the word "Devil" from Devil's night. At no time does Mr. Brown comment on the seriousness of Mr.Wellein's actions or his demeaning comments towards non-Christians. If Mr. Brown wants unconditional freedom of speech, then there has to be repercussions to what is said.

If some preacher, for example, starts spewing hate and ignorance publicly, then I should feel free to punch him out. Mr. Brown doesn't realize that the latter example or his "blind" freedom of speech routine is not beneficial or practical – in society, there has to be moderation to what is said.

Also, the fact remains there cannot be blindly hateful comments in today's multicultural society without appropriate responses. Hateful and ignorant comments bring out nothing but disgust and anger and do not involve higher thinking or meaningful discourse.

Brown also states that if people are hurt by the comments, get over it. I'm interested in knowing if he was ever a victim of an anti-Christian rally or anti-white male event. I assume not.

With that in mind, it's easy to comment on freedom of speech when you're not the target of the speech. A lot of educated university students commented on this fact and I praise them. I'm just surprised a psychology professor at the university level doesn't understand these basic premises of life.



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