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October 26, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-26

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4

OPINION

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Page4 Friday, October 26, 1984 The Michigan Daily

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Reagan launches religious McCarthyism

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By Dave Kopel
Thanks to the "leadership" of Ronald
Reagan, America is in the midst of a
phase of religious McCarthyism.
Although President Reagan rarely fin-
ds the time to attend church, he has
taken every opportunity to pay tribute
to ultra-fundamentalist preachers.
Look at the religious leaders around
Ronald Reagan, and you'll find men
whose lips drip with bigotry and in-
tolerance. Reagan himself seems to
share their contempt for separation of
church and state.
A frequent White House guest for
consultation on church and state issues
is Rev. Jimmy Swaggert. As I detailed
in a column a few weeks ago, Swaggert
contends that everyone who is not a
born-again Protestant, especially Jews
and Catholics, is damned. In
Swaggert's 1982 book A Letter to my
Catholic Friends, Swaggert wrote, "I
maintain that the Catholic superstruc-
ture and organization is not really a
Christian organization. Its claims are
false." He believes that Satan invented
Calvinism. And Swaggert argues that

Jews' refusal to accept the protection of
Jesus led to the holocaust.
ON TELEVISION, the president
smiles and pays lip service to what he
refers to as "the wall of separation"
between church and state. But his
friends know better: the American
Coalition of Traditional Values (AC-
TV), a partisan group of 110,000 chur-
ches that was set up with the blessing of
the Reagan White House. Timothy
LaHaye, director of the coalition (and
also a key Moral Majority official) told
a group of ministers that that problem
with America was "We don't have
enough of God's ministers running the
country." The ACTV national field
director dismissed "this nonsense
about the separation of church and
state." On April 19, 1984, President
Reagan wrote ACTV leader LaHaye a
letter praising ACTV for having "the
potential to speak to millions of com-
mitted Christians," and thanking him
for his "faithful patriotism."
Under the leadership of Ronald
Reagan, the national Republican Party
has fallen under the control of ultra-
fundamentalist bigots. To open the

convention, the president chose the
Rev. James Robison, who prayed,
"We thank you, Father, for the leader-
ship of Ronald Reagan." What Robison
did not say at the convention, but has
observed before, is that an anti-Semite,

president. Said Reagan: "You can't
endorse me. But I endorse you."
And the man whose benediction closed
the Republican Convention was the
Rev. W.A. Criswell. When John F.
Kennedy was running for President in

'Under the leadership of Ronald Reagan, the
national Republican Party has fallen under the
control of ultra-fundamentalist bigots. To open the
convention, the president chose Rev. James
Robison. And the man whose benediction closed
the Republican Convention was the Rev. W. A.
Criswell.'

Kennedy's election would "spell the
death of a free church in a free state."
THE NIGHT the delegates re-
nominated Ronald Reagan, Jerry
Falwell delivered the benediction.
Falwell is the man who stated, "A man
who is not a Christian is inherently a
failure." Explains Falwell: "The idea
that religion and politics don't mix was
invented by the Devil to keep Christians
from running their country." The
president apparently agrees, for recen-
tly he told reporters, "We have respec-
ted every other religion. They're free
to practice in our country." Other than
the Christian religion? In our coun-
try?! Had Reagan paid more attention
in history class, he might have learned
about President George Washington's
1796 declaration in the Treaty of Tripoli
that "the government of the United
States is not in any sense founded on the
Christian religion."
The United States is not founded on
any religion, but religion and morality
play an important part in our political
lives. One of America's finest religious
and political leaders was the Rev. Mar-
tin Luther King Jr. While Martin

Luther King was out in the streets
fighting for racial justice, Walter Mon-.
dale was in the Senate leading the bat-
tle for civil rights and for fair housing
In 1976, when the Democratic party:*
nominated Walter Mondale for nationail
office for the first time, Martin Lutherr.'
King Sr. delivered the convention's:
closing benediction.
Contrast Mondale's attitude to King;
with Ronald Reagan's. In a 1978 radio
address, Reagan blamed King's-
assassination on themclimatef
disrespect for the law engendered by
the civil rights movement's non-violent
civil disobedience. According to
Reagan, King's campaign of civil.
disobedience was wrong, because it
violated the law and infrihged on
property rights. More recently
President Reagan wondered if King#
had been a Communist.;'
One Presidential candidate has ea-*
ned the endorsement of Mrs. Martii
Luther King Jr.; the other candidate
has earned the endorsement of Jerry
Falwell. The moral choice is clear.
Kopel is a third year law student.

"is someone who hates Jews more than
he's supposed to." According to
Robison, "The non-Christian can't un-
derstand spiritual things." In 1980,
Reagan spoke to the Religious Roun-
dtable, of which Robison was vice-

1960, Criswell published a pamphlet,
"Can a Man be Loyal Roman Catholic
and a Good President of the United
States?" The answer was "no." He
wrote that the Catholic Church was "a
political tyranny," and predicted that

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Cramer

Vol. XCV, No. 44

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Foreign policy victories?.

T WO HUNDRED and forty-one U.S.
servicemen died when a suicide
truck-bomber crashed into the Marine
headquarters in Beirut a year ago
Tuesday. Twenty U.S. servicemen
lost their lives when American troops
invaded the Caribbean island of
Grenada a year ago yesterday.
Yesterday also marks the one-year
anniversary of President Reagan's
refusal to allow the press to cover this
nation's military action in Grenada.
Those deaths, and the president's
decision to deny freedom of the press,
give Americans little reason to boast of
our nation's skillful foreign policy.
On the anniversary of these two
military actions and their subsequent
loss of lives, it is crucial to the long-
term health of this country that
Americans assess whether the ad-
ministration's ends justify its means.
Reagan defended his ad-
ministration's attempt to intervene in
the Middle East during last Sunday's
debate. But his claim that U.S. objec-
tives were met in that region rings
hollow. The president originally said
American forces went into the conflict
as neutral "peacekeepers," but even-
tually the United States took sides and
supported the Lebanese government.
Only after the government fell did the
administration decide that Americans
should begin to get out of the area.
Surely this cannot be seen as a suc-
cessful mission. Except perhaps by a
president seeking reelection, a
president not known for his inclination
to admit policy failures.
As for Grenada, the president feels
assured that he can celebrate this in-
vasion. He refers to it as a "rescue
mission" and the turning point in en-
ding America's "self-doubt and
national confusion." Public opinion
polls show that most Americans think
the president did the right thing. But
their feeling might be diffent had the
invasion not taken place under a press
blackout. The administration is the
only source that can say for sure what
really happened in Grenada. The Soviet
Union operates under this kind of
system, and often the people are
unaware of the real reasons for their
government's military conquests. The

Regan administration claimed last Oc-
tober that journalists would be in
danger if they tried to cover the in-
vasion. But the administration never
gave journalists a chance to serve their
country - a function the press has ser-
ved in every other American military
conflict. The journalists did not and
never will ask for special protection in
order to cover the news.
The administration's primary
motive for intervening in Grenada was
the fear that an airport being built by
Cuban engineers would be used by
Soviet and other hostile aircraft. The
administration believed such an air-
port was a menace to the security of
that region. Ironically, Americans are
now completing the construction of
that airport. Administration officials
admit that it will be used by the United
States for military purposes. But they
say its major use will be to boost
Grenada's tourist industry. Funny,
that's what the Cubans said.
There is much confusion over what
really happened in Grenada. Ad-
ministration reports of the situation
last year kept changing. The number
of Cuban and U.S. troops involved and
the reason for invading Grenada kept
changing. A mental hospital was ac-
cidentally bombed by American forces
and there were reports of U.S. ser-
vicemen shooting at each other. All of
these circumstances point to a less
than successful operation, and hardly
a mission to be lauded by the
president.
In addition, the United States is still
feeding Grenada massive amounts of
aid. American troops still patrol the
streets of the island and help run the
police stations. The administration is
violating a United Nation's resolution
of November 1983 calling for im-
mediate withdrawal of foreign troops
from the area.rAnd the United States
now has a dependent, neo-colonial
regime on its hands.
American citizens should seriously
consider their commitment to im-
perialist policies that this government
is pursuing and examine carefully the
"success" of this administration's
foreign policy in general.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY
Code editorial leaves false

To the Daily:
The Daily has performed a
great service to the University
community through its
discussion of and editorial
position against the proposed
student code of non-academic
conduct and proposed University
judicial system. Nonetheless,
one article concerning the
system's protection of students'
due process rights, "Students
call code unfair" (Daily, Oc-
tober 18), fails to mention the
main reason the proposed code
and system is more objectionable
than the current University
judicial system and rules of the
University community. The ar-
ticle gives the erroneous im-
pression that students who are
punished in the University's
system will not also face criminal
and/or civil charges.
The current non-academic code
prohibits the University ad-
ministration from taking action
against a student both in its
judicial system and in civil
and/or criminal court. The
proposed system permits the
administration to charge a
student both in its system and in a
criminal and/or civil court. This
provision in the proposed system
reveals that the administration's
purpose for having its own

wants the code not to treat
students leniently but rather to
treat them more severely than
a criminal and/or civil court
would alone.
Second, the administration
seeks the power to proceed
against students regardless of the
outcome of a criminal or civil
proceeding. Section 11(h) of the
proposed system states that if a
criminal court of law finds a
student not guilty that verdict is
not binding on the University's
own judicial system. The ad-
ministration does not want to be
"limited" by legitimate courts of
law because it views students'
civil rights as limitations on ad-
ministrative action. One mem-

ber of the University ad-
ministration, who will probably
oversee proceedings against
students should the code and
system be implemented, com-
plains that students can be
acquitted on "technicalities" in
the court system. Those
technicalities happen to be our
civil rights.
Further, the article leaves the
impression that the proposed
code's sanctions are less
stigmatizing that a criminal
court's since a criminal convic-
tion, in many cases, leads to a
criminal record. On the con-
trary, the proposed code's san-
ctions may be more stigmatizing
than a criminal court's. There is

npressio n
a provision for the permanent
notification on a student's
academic transcript of his or her
violations of the code's
prohibitions. In effect, a
student's academic transcript
may become a criminal record.
Imagine for yourself its effect at
a job interview or on a graduate
admissions officer.
In sum, the allowance of dual
proceedings against students is
just one more example of the
proposed system's bias towards
the conviction of students.
-Eric Schnaufer
October 18
Schnaufer is chair of the
Michigan Student Assembly's
code committee.

Chomsky rewrites history

To the Daily:
Not being trained in linguistics,
I cannot match the facility of
Noam Chomsky in altering the
plain meaning of words. His is a
talent well suited to the age that
goes by the code word "1984."
Being trained as an historian, I
can, however, attempt to restore
the historical record, at least in
certain of its aspects. Zionism,
BLOOM COUNTY

contrary to Chomsky, was never
a movement of "wealthy Jews."
It was the nationalist aspiration
of a people impoverished and op-
pressed and excluded from the
countries of their birth in Eastern
Europe and North Africa. It is an
egregious and inexcusable
rewriting of history to pretend
otherwise.
Recognition--and indeed, sup-

port--for the rights of Palestinian
Arabs ought not blind us to the
historical facts. And
nationalism, if it has any
legitimacy at all, is equally
legitimate for all peoples who are
seeking to build a homeland of
their own.
- Judith Elkin
October 22

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