Monday, September 28, 2009

Religious Propaganda on Campuses

A group of gentlemen appeared on campus this morning distributing these little books to students. This is very disturbing, especially since this is a state school. Many people forget that the separation of church and state is one of the underlying tenets of the very existence of this country. I don't know who allowed this propaganda and why but it is very wrong. Students come here to learn, and not to be subjected to obnoxious preaching.

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Amanda said...

I don't have a problem with this, especially if it's at a state school, not a private one-- separation of church and state, combined with the first amendment, means that while the school itself can't endorse a religion, it should allow others to do so. College students are there to learn more than just the content of their classes-- some of what they're there to learn is how to evaluate the message of others, and engage with political and religious issues.

Clarissa said...

So if the students are there to learn "more than the content of their classes", should we allow, say, a Satanic cult to distribute propaganda? Should a credit card company come to hand out cards? How about beer and tobacco company? A gun company? What about Scientology? Or any other cult?

Our university never allows anybody to solicit on campus. Why should an exception be made for these particular people? It's either ok for everybody to hand out stuff, or for nobody.

Amanda said...

Well, yeah, a Satanic cult or other cult should be able to distribute their literature. If a credit card company wants to appeal to students to become customers, I don't really see a problem with that either-- though, as a corporation, I'm not sure what rights they have in terms of handing out the cards themselves-- as for the guns and alcohol/tobacco companies, they should be allowed to distribute literature, but distribution of their products is trickier, since individuals under 18 can't smoke, and those under 21 can't have alcohol. And guns, well-- I'm pretty sure there's some sort of permit process, plus the laws dealing with gun use vary by the jurisdiction.

I certainly wasn't saying your university should make an exception for that group. Rather, I was saying it should be open to, and encouraging of, the free speech of all individuals.

Clarissa said...

In that case, we are in perfect agreement. :-) It bothers me that an exception should be made for a certain group and for nobody else. If the university allowed everybody on campus, I wouldn't have a problem with that.

Anonymous said...

How is this disturbing? Those were most likely the Gideons. They've been doing that for decades. Everytime I've been around them they are always gracious. If you don't want the Bible then hand in back or something. I'd do the same thing if I was handed a tract from Scientologists or something.

Clarissa said...

It's disturbing because of this pesky little thing called the US Constitution. If you notice, I mentioned that we are a state school. The basic tenet underlying the very existence of this country is the separation of church and state.

As I also mentioned, there is a rule at our campus that nobody is allowed to distribute ANYTHING without a proper permit and these people could not provide one.