Volume 93, Issue 50

November 26, 1999


Respect the freedom to preach

What about freedom on our lawn?

What about freedom on our lawn?

Re: "Not on our lawn" Nov. 18

To the Editor:

I am writing to voice my disdain for the position taken by The Gazette in reference to the situation that arose with Ed Wellein and the subsequent debate over his freedom of expression.

It shocks me that you, an entity which enjoys Charter protection for the press and expression [Sect 2 (b)], would deny a person the right to express their ideas.

I do not agree with or support any of Mr. Wellein's ideas or religious convictions, let there be no misunderstanding about that. However, I was under the impression that universities were built on the premise of promoting thought, open discussion and a respect for other's ideas, no matter how much we disagree with them.

It is only through open and free discussion of ideas can we, as a species, grow and mature. Do not deny Mr. Wellein – or anybody else for that matter – the right to speak his mind. Listen, challenge and conquer with wit and word. Do not ignore, censor, or destroy with oppression. You stunt intellectual growth when you inhibit freedom of expression.

I am forced to think of the words written by John Stuart Mill, in On Liberty: "If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."

I hope the editors of The Gazette remember that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms extends to all people, not those whom you or the university deem worthy.

Alex Bowling
Political Science and Media
Information and Technoculture III

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