Your Turn Letters to the Editor

‘Not rehired’ response

I hate to say it, but in this case Jim Sparks just may be right (“Not rehired,” Aug. 28, p. 22). The problem is that this stigma not only exists at VCU, but in every major college or university in the South as well. While you may have the right to freedom of religion, you certainly don’t have the right to freedom without religion.

Simply mention that life could have been created without God, and all of a sudden you’re labeled as a Satan-worshipper or atheist.

The fact is that most people want to believe that there is a true separation between church and state when there may only be a thin dotted line, and it is frequently crossed.

VCU is very cautious about protecting its name, at times with good reason, but it seems to be more of an obsession since the incident with Taylor Behl last fall. While I understand that the incident involving Behl left VCU with a black eye for no good reason, the university must also stand up and say that its professors have the right to their opinion on any subject.

Losing a good instructor to something as trivial as a textbook seems a bit odd. While VCU struggles to achieve its academic superiority, it must also see it is the professors and students who make VCU what it is, not whether or not they believe in divine creation.

– Kadie Puffenbarger


Specious rhetoric

Just as President Bush apologized for citing erroneous intelligence to justify war on Iraq, he now professes he has learned from the mistakes of hurricane Katrina. Really? What did he learn? That maybe he should feel some compunction for not reacting instinctively to help hordes of dying people? That he should’ve quickly drafted an emergency operation? Maybe he should feel compassion and value human life? That he shouldn’t be vacationing at his ranch when he’s aware of a possibly horrific catastrophe?

This empty rhetoric doesn’t satisfy me nor prove his competence. It only shows, once again, that he desperately strives to rescue his own political reputation when in jeopardy. Never personally accepting blame, President Bush shirks individual responsibility and diverts it toward the entire federal government.

This rhetoric of evasion characterizes Bush’s speeches to the public concerning aftermaths of catastrophes or wars in which he has demonstrated incompetence and lack of judgment.

– Brian Prestwood

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