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October 29, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-10-29

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4

} OPINION
Page 4 Wednesday, October 29, 1980 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Higgins
qlroC0ICI

Vol. XCI. No. 48 .

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Frisk 'em and 'cuff 'em

YOU WONDER whether it would
have been easier to have just
opened the meeting.
But no, Athletic Director Don
Canham would have nothing of that
idea. He decided that the October
meeting of the Board in Control of In-
tercollegiate Athletics-just like all
previous meetings-should be closed to
the public, and by gum that meeting
stayed closed.
So outside the Crisler Arena meeting
room last night, two Daily editors were
arrested for allegedly trespassing and
several other staff members were
roughed up by police.
Not exactly good press for the
athletic department. '
The Daily maintains that the board
meetings should be open to the public
under the state's Open Meetings Act.
That act requires meetings of policy-
making public bodies to be open to the
public.,
The Board in Control makes finan-
cial decisions for the athletic depar-

tment and formulates many depar-
tment policies relating to eligibility
rules and athlete conduct. Those fun-
ctions would seem to define a policy-
making body.
The Daily staff members at Crisler
Arena last night were attempting
to cover a meeting that should have
been open.
Among the items discussed at last
night's closed meeting were the
"Hockey situation"-that is almost
certainly agenda lingo for the recent
hazing incident-and the Title IX in-
vestigation. -Both are items of vital
concern to the University community,
yet that community will never know
what the board said about them.
Perhaps last night's fracas will spell
the end of secrecy in the athletic
department. That two students should
have to be arrested trying to get into a
public meeting of a University body is
intolerable.
Wouldn't you agree, Mr. Canham-
now?

0

Is. there a Christiai

Corruption everywhere

ORRUPTION, WASTE, and chi-
c anery in government are
favored topics of conversation among
politicians and private citizens
alike-particularly in election season.
Liberals point with pleasure to days of
Republican shame, including the milk
fund scandal of the, early '70s,
President Fqgrd's pardon of his.
predecessor, and of course, Watergate,
the grand old daddy of them all.
The Republicans reply with lists of
welfare cheaters and other hallmarks
-of big government abuse that amount,
they think, to a clear indictment of all
government welfare programs and
services.
Both sides can tend to forget that
a corruption and embezzlement are not
problems exclusive to the public sec-
tor. This point was brought home with
delicious irony this week when officials
of Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, a
private acoustics concern, pleaded
guilty to charges of cheating the
government out of thousands of
dollars. Bolt happens to be the firm of
techinical experts that investigated the
17% minute gap in Nixon's Watergate
tapes. Tapes of the assassination of
President Kennedy and the killing of
four students at Kent State University
in 1970 were also examined by the Bolt
company for the courts.
A small but growing contingent of
Americans is becoming convinced that
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corruption is a natural disease of any
public bureaucracy. Since the various
government agencies get tax monies
whether or not they are effective, some
believe that there is no motivation for
the government to go about its work ef-
ficiently and honestly. The Libertarian
Party is only the most outspoken and
extreme of the individuals and
organizations that argue this way.
The Bolt acoustics firm, like any
other corporation, wants to maximize
its profits. The Libertarians might
argue that dishonest methods of doing
so will generally lead to an explosion of
wrongdoing somewhere down the line
that will drive the public's business
elsewhere.
But government, though it certainly
has its bureaucratic difficulties, can
interfere on behalf of consumers long
before a problem becomes severe.
Furthermore, government agencies
can afford to hire specialists and
lawyers who can spot criminal
behavior more easily than the general
public.
Admittedly, dishonesty exists in any
large organization whether it is funded
publicly or not. The fact that corrup-
tion in government circles makes bet-
ter, flashier headlines should not be
construed to indicate that government
is unworthy of the public's continued
support.
"ffil

The loud pre-election hoopla over the spec-
tre of a politicized new "Christian Right"
taking over Washington will die hard.
Even if it has not materialized, the idea is
too attractive to too many people to just fade
away: 30 to 60 million Born Again Christians,
thinking with a single mind and intent on im-
posing an ultra-conservative program on
America.
For the advocates of such a movement, the
myth is more important than the reality. For
the detractors, the spectre will remain a
useful object of fear. Few will profit from the
realization that the "evangelical bloc" is
fraught with fractures.
CONSIDER LARRY Jones. Here is a
bellowing, Bible-thumping Born Againy
preacher if there ever was one. An Oklahoma,
evangelist, he opens his Sunday morning
sermon on the Christian Broadcasting Net-
work with a tirade against the evils of the
ERA, asserting the amendment has a rider
which would give homosexuals equal rights
and allow them to teach in the public schools.
But then he goes on to other issues: "Rich
Christians are literally raping Third World
countries," he declares. "They go into poor
countries and pay workers a dollar a day
because they can get away with it, and that's
wrong. There's got to be some more equal
distribution."
On foreign policy: "Our foreign policy
depends on how much American money is in-
vested in a country and not on any
humanitarian or Christian principles. All the
aid does is buy off the rights to invest in a
country. It's a business deal. It's not
Christian."
On domestic morality: "This country is
spending $35 million a year on advertising to
say that Jesus was wrong. They're telling you
what kind of this or that you've got to have.
Every day 14,000 people starve to death. I
don't have to have Calvin Klein blue jeans so
everybody can look at the label and say 'Hey,
he's cool.' I can spend $15 on a pair of jeans
and send the other $15 to help feed a hungry
child."
ON THE ENVIRONMENT, Jones opposes
strip mining because, he says, Christians
must serve as "stewards" to protect God's
creations.
Or consider this 39-year-old mother of three
children, a former school bus. driver and
bakery manager in Chappaqua, New York,
who now devotes her working life to fulfilling
her "mission" as a "born again, charismatic,
evangelical Christian." Her name is Lorraine
Wolfson.
"This business of mixing politics and
religion is very dangerous. It almost reminds
me of what happened in Nazi Germany. I
don't like being lumped as a Charismatic
politically with this group trying to tell people
how to vote. I think a lot of people feel the
same way.
"The press has got it mixed up. They
haven't taken the time to talk to ordinary

By Vicki Monks
evangelicals and see how many ones have dif-
ferent opinions.
"CHRISTIANITY IS AN individual thing
with each person. No two people have the
same experence with it. Each has their own
and each ministers in his own way.
"I think it's important to vote-I believe all
that-but I cast my vote and see who wins and
I don't care about it after that. I don't think
much about who's in Washington. I'm too
busy doing my ministry."
Wolfson and Jones are just two evangelicals
out of many who have tried in vain to shatter
the image of an enormous "Christian right"
that is monolithic in its thinking;passive in its
acceptance of .a few self-proclaimed.
spokesmen, and threatening in both its size
and unanimity.
IOWA EVANGELIST Harold Hughes, the
former governor and U.S. senator, is among
them. "To say you've got to believe this or
that in the political arena or you are not a
Christian is absolute blasphemy," he
declares. "There are strong evangelicals
across the nation who are totally opposed to
what the New Right is doing."
Indeed, Hughes believes that most of the
stellar lights of the New Right have strayed
far from Jesus' teachings on the issues of
peace and concern for the poor.
Even evangelist Billy Graham is now
preaching against the "insanity and mad-
ness" of the arms race, and calling upon the
faithful to actively oppose all nuclear arms.
That is hardly the message issuing from TV
evangelist Jerry Falwell's much celebrated
Moral Majority organization, which calls for
a massive buildup of arms.
But then, the Falwell message doesn't
square well with that of the powerful,
evangelical Southern Baptist Convention,
either. It recently passed a resolution urging
' curbs on the nuclear arms race and a shift of
funds from weapons to basic human needs.
OTHER EVANGELICALS have organized
political action groups to fight for human and
civil rights, an end to world hunger, assistan-
ce for the poor, controls on pollution and other
measures they believe are consistent with the
teachings of Christ.
And many evangelicals are simply going
about their political and religious work with
no attention to the machinations in
Washington. Tom Hess, director of the,
Maryland based Christian Restoration
Ministries, an active charismatic movement,
says he probably won't vote for anyone
because "no candidate represents what Jesus
stood for," even though all three presidential
contenders are self-avowed Born Again
Christans.
"A lot of Christians see no hope in the
political system at all,"; Hess contends.
"Their only hope is in the Kingdom of God."
The evident diversity in the ranks of this

Christian army is borne out by the pollsters *
who have studied them.
NATIONALLY, THE Gallup Poll concluded
that, nearly one-fifth of the U.S. population
(about 30 million) , may be described as
"evangelicals," meaning they have had a
"born again" experience, they evangelize
others, and they believe in a literal inter-
pretation of the Bible. But apart from those
similarities, Gallup found few signs of
political unanimity.
"Evangelicals are by no means monolithic
in their views, as indicated by their opinions
on nine voter issues," he wrote. Indeed, 54 per
cent favored "government social programs
as a way to deal with social problems," while
53 per cent supported the ERA. Only 41 per-
cent favored a ban on all abortions, meaning
the majority would, approve at least some
types of abortion.
California pollster Mervin Field found that
nearly one-quarter of all Californians call
themselves Born Again Christians. But while.
half of them favored Ronald Reagan, a5,
majority disagreed with Reagan's opposition'
to the ERA. And they divided almost equally
on a constitutional amendment banning abor-
tions.
Field asserts that the size and uniformity of
the "New Christian Right" is "grossly over-
stated." "I think a lot of people who are sim-
ply deeply religious-and some who are
not-are getting classified as people in this
movement," he said.
AS FOR THE monolithic nature of the
movement, Field contends it "flies in theface
of existing data which shows that this
movement is made up of a lot of segments or
factions, which have a common base perhaps
in deep or fervent religiosity, but which, in a
number of other ways, are highly disparate."
Field ,also believes that evangelicals
probably "represent a high proportion of the
non-voting public. For them organized
political activity;is an unnatural act," he said.
The notion of millions, of evangelical voters
following a few self-proclaimed leaders like
Jerry Falwell is also off the mark, he said.4
"The larger the group in our society, the less
able are their 'leaders' to motivate them.
There is a greater likelihood they will
fragment."
That would be just fine as far as Walt Mc-
Cuiston is concerned. McCuiston tends to a
flock of some 3,000 torn Again Christians at
the Peninsula Bible Church in Palq Alto,
California. "It is the variations that are the
genius of making the body of Christ work," he
says. "That means a single political view
should never override the individuality of
each Christian."
Vicki Monks is a Bay Area journalist
who recently completed a fellowship at
Stanford University. She wrote this article
for the Pacific News Service.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Defeat Proposal D, but we need A

a6

To the Daily:
We seriously need tax reform.
The extreme position taken in the
Tisch proposition is an indication
both of the need and of the
frustration of taxpayers op-

rebating a fixed amount to each
property owner, and (2) in-
creasing the Michigan sales tax
by a whopping 37.5 percent of its
present rate. These are both bad
moves: The first because if a

The modifications in the proposal
move toward fairness and
tolerability. In this regard the
ability to pay is a crucial issue
that Smith-Bullard addresses
constructively. Although

press, the principal real issue is
.the burden distribution on the
taxpayer, NOT the continued
funding of certain special interest
groups. If education is worth
anything, it should enable and

ghW-4

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