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November 20, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-11-20

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4

OPINION

Page 4.

Thursday, November 20, 1980

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Feiffer

4

(AC HA'UR

DA'A.) fHAS OUR
CAR HARK t

460 C-MMAW,

VWe ARAS AV UROi

Vol. XCI, No:.67

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

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

Keeping lockers closed

.iAALIA1 11 r i ti11 M 9 i

.'MOST EVERYONE has seen it
-happen, and a few of us have
been victims-at some time in our pasts.
Some high school administrator _or
disciplinarian or security guard pulls a
teenager out of class, escorts the sub-
ject to his or her locker, and conducts a
: ,search for suspected contraband.
Such searches are embarrassing at
least, and incriminating at most. Of-
tentimes, they would seem to violate
students' Fourth Amendment rights to
be free from unreasonable search and
f -seizure.
SFortunately, the American Civil
Liberties Union is trying to defend the
right of high school students to refuse

searches of their lockers and cars by
school administrators.
In a suit filed this week in U.S.
District Court, the ACLU is arguing
that Wayne Memorial High School
should not be able to require students
to sign forms permitting searches of
their lockers or cars.
The high school requires such con-
sent forms of students who park their
cars on school property because, ac-
cording to the principal, "We consider
driving to school a privilege."
We consider searching a student's
property a violation of privacy, and
hope the court decides to protect
students' rights.

McX~k)AJQ CUBA&) TH SWOISS ERAWE ts
IM5m&RAU S AVE OuR ! Ni TO1R
\ I " PMLA

4
F
A

4

4

The wrong Christian politics

4

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Morevilncn Israel
HE VIOLENCE in Israel and its the traditional Israeli response to
ieighboring lands has gotten to Palestinian anger.
int where it no longer makes sen- As has happened before, the
ask whose fault a given incident Palestinian community responded to
le bloodshed, bombings, terrorist the institution's closing with angry
ks, and assassinations are so demonstrations. The Israeli army
sent and so interrelated that showed up this time, and when a few
ing out individual culprits is in- rocks came flying their way, the troops
-ingly an exercise in absurdity. opened fire, wounding 11 Arab
teenagers (they apparently were
is week, another chapter was ad- directed to fire at the Palestinians'
o the terrible legacy of the war of legs, to avoid killing them).
ion when two Arabs living on the It would be hard to imagine that the
pied West Bank were murdered by repercussions of the West Bank in-
Arabs. Both of "the victims had cident will be peaceful. The
essed friendship and co-operation Palestinians have long been suffering
ie Israeli. government. That, of under a system that denies them both
se, is a treasonous act in the eyes freedom of expression and fulfillment
any Palestinians. of their national aspirations. They live
Sviolent' atmnosphere was corn- in a country that, even at its most
ded by another, even uglier in- lenient, has spoken only of "autonomy,"
it. The Israeli military gover- and never of full national independen-
nt riecntlu csedvw Rir Zeit Univer- ce.

There is a monster at work in American
politics. He is everywhere. You will find him
in every representative district that ever was.
We have been taught to think that he is really
not so bad and that even if we do not like him
he will still take care of us. Our Constitution
has helped to create him and through it he has
worked to deceive those who ought to know
better.
What I have just described is the American
system of political representation, the fact
that it only gives representative seats to in-
dividuals who get a majority, and its seduc-
tion of much, if not most, of the Christian
community.
MINORITIES - 49 percent of the
population or less - do not get 49 percent of
the seats of representation in America; they
get zero. In our system the majority wins
everything and dictates to all the rest. The
rest of us can never hope to be represented
unless we get a majority ourselves.
Attempting to organize a majority is the
goal of existing political parties and, most
recently, of a segment of the Christian com-
munity that is concerned about its growing
minority status: Moral Majority. The group
puts a heavy emphasis on personal moral
issues and equates ultra-conservative
political thinking with Christian politics.
Ironically, the very Constitution many con-
servative Christians rank next to the Bible as
a God-inspired document is partly respon-
sible for the cultural impotence of the
Christian community today. The
disestablishment clause in Article II of the
Constitution separates church from state, as
well it -should; the institutional church's
sphere of competence is ecclesiastical, not
political.
BUT RELIGION CANNOT be separated
from life. While the institutional church is
rightfully prevented from overstepping its
bounds, we are wrong to assume that
Christians, as a people, should put their
Biblically rooted convictions behind them

By Alan Toth
when they enter the political arena. But that
is precisely what the disestablishment clause
has been culturally extended to mean. This
development has its own history.
In early America, the founders were
cognizant of the religious wars that had been
spawned by sectarian conflicts in the Old
World. So instead of adopting a state religion,
as was the practice of some nation-states in
Europe after the Reformation,. the founders
opted for the presumption of a public
neutrality with regard to religion and
established freedom of worship in the Bill of
Rights. Religion, accordingly, became a
strictly private matter.
However, this presumption of neutrality
with regard to Christianity did not keep a
religion from establishing a foothold in public
life. The disestablishment clause actually
paved the way for the establishment of a
public, civil religion of rational, moderate
faith in America.'
THIS NEW PUBLIC religion of humanity,
rooted in Eighteenth Century enlightened
rationalism, completely contradicts the faith
it once confined to a private sphere of wor-
ship. The enlightenment's faith in the perfec-
tability of humanity began to establish itself
as the dominant public faith, not just in
America but throughout Western civilization.o
It took Hitler and the Holocaust to make
humanity aware that its proud optimism and
autonomous faith in itself, alone, was at best
naive.
When Christianity comes out of the closet
and goes public, it distinguishes itself
primarily by what it is against. It has no
positive program of public justice to offer ex-
cept for what it has uncritically borrowed
from the annals of classical liberalism:
limited government, more freedom for
business enterprises, and a stronger defense.
The criticisms of liberalism it does offer do
not go far enough.

IF MORAL MAJORITY were more
thoroughly biblical it would criticize a liberal
welfare economy for prolonging instead of
challenging the assumptions of capitalism. It
would speak out against critics of this liberal
political economy who are motivated,
primarily, by their desire to preserve a com-
fortable, middle class lifestyle with their
backs to the poor. It would challenge instead
of adopting the closed, intolerant nature of.a
majoritarianism that claims to speak for all {
groups but systematically excludes many of
them from being directly represented in
proportion to their numbers.
FINALLY, IT WOULD take to task
liberalism's failure to be more theoretically
positive about the role of governiment. It
would seek to entourage public policy alter-
natives rooted in tie positive responsibility of
government to protect and encourage the
development of all groups.
What is coming to us from Moral Majority, 4
instead, is justification of the trappings of
American nationalism. It should not stgrprise
us, then, when groups like Moral Majority
emerge to support the American civil religion
and to embrace majoritarian politics.
But we who criticize such groups have our
own blindness to contend with. In a country
where the government rewards one set of
beliefs through its educational system and
secures its beliefs by forcing them down
everyone's throat, we must learn to see that
Moral Majority is a creature of our own
making. If public policy making continues to
close off the possibility for structural changes
that make possible real alternatives in
education, political representation, etc., there
is a good chance we will get exactly what we
deserve: a growing reactionary response to
the polite totalitarianism we have already in-
stitutionalized. Monsters breed only fac-
similes of themselves.

lRZAA n ! GAAI, y£ .A A l J u1V
sity, a center ' of Palestinian
nationalism north of Jerusalem that
had just begun a commemoration it
called "Palestine Week." The Israeli
military was concerned about what it
described as fervently anti-Zionist
songs and speeches. In a display of
scorn for freedom of expression, the
government closed down the univer-
sity for perhaps the umpteenth time -

Somebody has to give in on
something, sometime, and as the
Israelis are in the powerful position of
controlling their own lives, we think it
ought to be they. But even the hastiest
action of compensation for the most
recent deaths would probably come too
late to avert a continuation of the
violence. The end of the bloodshed is
nowhere in sight.

Alan Toth is a devout Christian
former Washtenaw County
missioner.

and a
com-

4

Higgins

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
SYL disruptions denied rights

'C I(,s jl' do THE DAILIN
S o Wes

. nt- .
i

/ ,
i-;,;%"
,. ,.
" '

To the Daily:
I attended the lecture on Mon-
day night about South African
apartheid with Helen Suzman
and Percy Qoboza and was very
disturbed with several members
of the Spartacus Youth League
who were also present.
During the question and an-
swer period, a total of four Spar-
tacus Youth League members
rose to read prepared speeches.
Several did not even bother to ask
questions of the distinguished
participants of the lecture. Even
more annoying was when the
moderator, who exhibited ex-
treme patience and understan-
ding, politely asked one Spar-
tacus Youth League spokesper-

son to either ask a question or
please sit down. The spokesper-
son continued, disregarding
numerous additional requests
from the audience to stop.
This is not the first time the
Spartacus Youth League has
disrupted distinguished speakers
at The University of Michigan.
Their obnoxious and unbecoming
shouting at Secretary of State
Muskie at the recent Peace Corp
rededication made the national
news, much to the delight of the
disrupters, I'm sure.
I sincerely suggest to the Spar-
tacus Youth League that if I wan-
ted to attend a lecture and hear
members of their organization
read their rhetoric, I would at-

tend their weekly meetings.
I want to make it very clear
that they have the right of free
speech and that they may cer-
tainly attend any lecture or
gathering at this University and
express their views. However,
they will certainly not convince
me of their views by violating my
rights. They are obnoxious, self-
righteous pseudo-liberals who
believe they can speak and shout,
all they want while denying
others their rights. Must I be sub-

jected to the Spartacus Youth
League's interruptions again and
again and remain silent?
If the Spartacus Youth League
continues to violate my rights
and the rights of other University
of Michigan students, I suggest
the new chant will shift from
SMASH THE KLAN to SMASH
THE SPAR TACUS YOUTH
LEAGUE!!!!!!!!!
-Seth D. Moldoff
November 17
4

/. r
JAI

S YL should open eyes

Distinguishing CARP

To the Daily:
Messrs. Hilbert & Humbert
(Daily, November 14) are quite,
justified in their indignation over
the fact that the Daily labeled the
Collegiate Association for the
Research of Principles an
organization of the "extreme
right."
The extreme right, as these two
officers of CARP define it, is the
ideology of free enterprise

ideas, which in this case means
an opposition to left-of-center
politics. CARP also criticizes
Western society, according to its
officers: Its stand is anti-liberal
as well as anti-communist; and,
according to, Messrs. Hilbert &
Humbert, it is a "revolutionary
organization dedicated to the
construction of a new
society ...''
D .i ., ,. ic _ n __s n

To the Daily:
In responding to the Spartacus
Youth League (Michele Lubke,
Oct. 31, 1980), I'd like to question
the validity of the position of at
least one of its members. The
SYL seems to know what is right
for us in America: We should
follow the path of the Soviet
Union in finding true com-
munism.
There are at least two obvious
premises here. First, that there is
one right way to live. If that is
granted, then seemingly all that
remains is to find the correct
path or paths toward the least-
imDerfect society. Then, even

existence will have been
destroyed.
A class system exists in the
Soviet Union. There is a ruling
elite, and it has been dictating to
the people, the workers, the in-
tellectuals, and the scientists for
over sixty years. How- many
decades do we have to wait
before we see and admit that the
Soviet Union is not truly com-
munistic? Or that Marx was
wrong?
I submit that to ignore the vast
volume of information on the sub-
ject is wrong, and unforgivable'in
a community where knowledge is

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