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April 07, 1987 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-04-07

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OPINION
Tuesday, April 7, 1987

Page 4

The Michigan Ddirly

JLETTERS

te mgd tganrt oMig
Edited and managed by studentsat The University of Michigan

'God is dead'

Is

offensive

Vol. XCVII, No. 128

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

Weapons research on campus:

The future of end use

THE END USE CLAUSE BANS LIFE
endangering research from the
University. Any limitations put on
the end use clause would permit
people to study more effective
ways to kill.
The end use clause arose from
student protest of lethal, inap-
propriate technologies being
developed at the University and
used in Vietnam. Other universities
around the country established
similar guidelines. Since then, the
regents limited the end use clause
to only apply to classified research,
and a review commission decides
which research projects are actually
life threatening by majority rather
than unanimous vote. If six out of
eleven people consider a project
non-lethal, the research will take
place.
Lethal unclassified research
already is commonplace. This year,
the University conducted research
projects on components of
advanced weapons systems and
effective military intervention. The
CIA currently sponsors research
concerning the viability of a nuclear
first strike. The research review
board recently approved a project
on submarine warfare
In response, students and faculty

members as well as several
citizens' groups lobbied the regents
to make the end use clause more
inclusive. The regents decided that
the current end use clause is
inappropriate.
They established a committee to
study the end use clause, classified
research and the University. The
majority report advocated voiding
the end use clause. Instead of the
end use clause, it advocated a ban
on classified research generally.
Currently, the publication time on
unclassified research is one year
after the end of the project.
Essentially, lethal research could
take place on campus and people
would learn of it one year after the
so called benefits - lethal benefits
- of the project were reaped. All
types of life endangering research
could occur on campus cloaked in
obscurity.
. Faculty and student members of
the committee wrote a minority
report that advocated extending the
end use clause to all research.
The regents now decide whether
the University will develop more
effective ways of killing or not.
This editorial is part of a series on
the future of the end use clause.

Daily is not God
To the Daily:
You seemed to think that
your portrayal of God and
Christianity was humorous
indeed. But as a Christian, let
me say that I found it ex -
tremely offensive. You seemed
to place God on a level with
everything that is base in our
society. Though I have found
many of your other editorials
disagreeable and haven't re -
plied, I could not let this pass
without saying something.
First let me say, it was not
funny. Some may accuse me of
not having a sense of humor,
but if everything that made
your life worth living was
being subjected to the abject
scorn that you have shown to
God, would you find it funny?
Second, even though I am not
Catholic, I do not think that
your jabs at the Pope were
even close to nice. We all
have our traditions, Blacks,
Asians, Whites, Christians,
Jews, and the list goes on and
on. Even in Christianity there
are different traditions and
ceremonies. But as the Daily
has pointed out so often in the
past, just because something or
somebody is different should
not make it/them an object of
scorn. If something is wrong,
say it is wrong. Don't skirt
around the issue. If you have
something against Christian-
ity, don't hide behind a curtain
of jokes. If you decide to use
the tactics like this, don't be
surprised if you are placed in
groups with others who used
such tactics (e.g. racist poster
placers in Couzens and Mojo.)

And last, if you had attempted
this sort of humor at the
expense of any of the minori-
ties on this campus, there
would have been an uproar, and
rightly so. If you will remem -
ber, when WJJX tried their
hand at "humor" with a bit of
off color jokes, they were
closed down. Now, I'm not
suggesting that we close down
the Daily, but I do think that
you should at least try to make
the Daily a respectable paper,
instead of lowering it to this
level of "humor."
-James L. Cox II
April 3
Daily insensitive
To the Daily:
As a black alumnus of the
University of Michigan, I
followed the events surround -
ing the recent racism debate
with some interest and was
pleased that the Daily con-
demned the blatantly racist
"humor" which sparked the
protests. Now, in the name of
humor, the Daily printed "God
is dead." I couldn't believe that
a supposedly progressive and
sensitive paper could print such
an insensitive article. It was
not funny; it was insulting to
all people who believe in God.
Furthermore, as a Roman
Catholic, I am very highly in -
sulted at your treatment of
Pope John Paul. You owe an
apology to the entire Uni -
versity community for your
irresponsible use of humor and
insensitivity.
-George Williams
April 3

Daily will get
what it deserves
To the Daily:
I am sorry that you didn't
think twice before printing the
"God is dead" article. I don't
think you understand that April
Fools Day is not an excuse to
mock God, his existence or the
Pope.
The article displays an
extremely warped sense of
humor and human pride that is
utterly disgraceful. Do we
consider it our right to put
ourselves higher than God and
write articles that attack speci-
fic people in such an offensive
manner? The article has it
backwards, and if you want the
truth, I challenge you to print
this from God's word:
"So listen to me, you men of
understanding, Far be it from
God to do evil, from the
Almighty to do wrong. He
repays a man for what he has
done; he brings upon him what
his conduct deserves. It is
unthinkable that God would do
wrong that Almighty would
pervert justice. Who appointed
him over the earth? Who put
him in charge of the whole
world? If it were his intention
and he withdrew his spirit and
breath, all mankind would
perish together and man would
return to the dust." Job 34:10-
15

Demands apology
and dismissal
To the Daily:
In response to the "God is
dead" editorial, a committee
called "Students Against Reli-
gious Intolerance" has been
formed to protest the offensive
and intolerant nature of this
editorial.
We demand:
1)That a written apoloy
appear in the same column wa
the editorial which ackno*-
ledges: A. That this editorial
was intolerant and bigoted. B.
That this editorial should not
have appeared in the news-
paper. C. That this type of
religious intolerance is no less
serious than the racial slurs
recently aired over WJJX. D.
A pledge that this type of
religiously intolerant article
will not be printed again.
2)That the individual(s)
responsible for this editorialbe
dismissed immediately from
the staff of the Daily.
-Thomas W. Prichard
Mitchell L. Seitz
April 6

A

Appalling

-Claire-Lise

Baldwin
April 3

Nicaragua exploits city

Big Brother at the door

COVERT ACTIVITY IS NOT a tactic
the government reserves solely for
the international arena. The U. S.
government has used and continues
to use infiltration and other so-
called "counter-intellegence" tech -
niques on domestic political
opposition. The extent of such
practice sometimes reaches
laughable, if frightening, extremes
- even involving the seduction .of
nuns.
Seducing a nun is one of the
things that Frank Varelli said the
FBI asked him to do while he was
one of their paid agents. Linda
Hajek, former nun and current
head of the Committee In Solidarity
with the People of El Salvador
(CISPES) chapter in Dallas, was
the object of a government-
sponsored blackmail plot,
according to Varelli. The FBI
admits that Varelli was employed
by the agency from 1981 to 1984
but disavows the extortion scheme.
What the agency does admit is
that Varelli was paid to infiltrate
and spy on groups opposing the
administration's Central American
policies. Varelli, who appeared
before the House Subcommittee on
Civil and Constitutional Rights on
February 20, compiled what is
called a "terrorist photograph
album" of pictures and dossiers on
critics ranging from U.S.
congressmembers to Mexican
bishops.
The part of Varelli's testimony
which may have the most far-
reaching consequences is his
assertion that two FBI agents broke
into the Dallas office of CISPES.
This may help explain a nationwide
series of break-ins at the offices
and homes of those opposed to the
administration's Central America

Such behavior on the part of the
FBI is not unprecedented. Break-
ins, phone-tappings, and group
infiltration were common FBI
practice during the 60s and early
70s until they were exposed by a
congressional investigation. Some
feel that under an administration
favorable to covert activity the FBI
is returning to its former ways.
One of those who feel this way
is Robert White, former U.S.
Ambassador to El Salvador. As
White tells it, he knew of the
diversion of funds to the Contras
before it was announced by
Attorney General Meese. White
learned of the diversion from
inspecting flight logs of Southern
Air Transport, obtained by the
International Center for Devel -
opment Policy. White called
several reporters with the story but
did not get any response - at least
not the response he was hoping
for. Four days later, the diversion
was announced by Meese; three
days after that, the International
Center was broken into and the
flight logs stolen. White believes
that "somebody in the White House
learned that we were on to the
scandal and decided they had to
find out just how much we knew."
While White's suspicions may
never be confirmed, it is beyond
doubt that the government is
spying on its critics. The Old
Cambridge Baptist Church, a
center of foreign policy critics, was
told that release of FBI files on it
could "reveal the identity of an
individual who has furnished
information to the FBI under
confidential circumstances." Fur -
thermore, in last year's prosecution
of religious people for "illegally"
aiding refugees from- El Salvador,
the anverrnment' nc r t-

To the Daily:
"Sibling City Strangled."
Gosh, that's horrible! We can
hardly sleep at night knowing
that such an atrocity can
happen in our own progressive,
liberal-minded Ann Arbor. The
question is, who is strangling
whom?
Isn't Proposal A the
neatest? For almost an entire
year, Juigalpa has graciously
allowed the intelligent, world-
wise, citizen statesmen
taxpayers of Ann Arbor to
shower this Central American
paradise on earth and its
simple, wholesome folk with
"humanitarian" aid in many
forms (mostly monetary),
including what every budding
Nicaraguan town dreams of-a
sleek, shiny new garbage truck.
And, best of all, it is not like
we didn't get anything in
return! Why, just recently, the
taxpayers also got to pay for a
delegation of our beloved
Juigalpan siblings to visit Ann
Arbor (I sure hope the people
of Ann Arbor weren't so rude
as to make them fly coach
class). Since we already have a
garbage truck, they couldn't
bring us one of those. Not
merely wanting to be on the
receiving end of such
generosity, the Juigalpans
allowed themselves to be
entertained free of charge at the
highly acclaimed Fiesta de
Juigalpa. What a deal!
Hopefully at least a few
concerned citizens learned to
say "Hi, I am from Ann Arbor.
Hsve some more money!" in
Spanish. Maybe a few lucky
people were even able to make
a small donation on the spot.
Sure, it's nice to send Mayor
Pierce and a planeload of
essential personnel down to
Nicaragua to shell out the
dough and other goodies, but it

must really be a special thrill
for an Ann Arbor taxpayer to
hand over a ten or a twenty in
person. "Con permiso, would
you like the rest on account or
gift certificate?"
However, four evil and
ignorant people on the Ann
Arbor City Council
(Republicans,yno less!) are
trying to "strangle" our
sibling. These cruel, cold,
heartless, imperialist-capitalist-
warmongering dogs refused to
vote for the continuation of
Proposal A, even after seeing
with their own eyes the
enriching, rewarding,
beautifully symbiotic
relationship that Ann Arbor
has nurtured with Juigalpa:
money, free trips, and garbage
trucks for them; the Fiesta de
Juigalpa for us. Are they blind
or what? Only an idiot couldn't
count the enormous benefits
we reap from this exchange.
And besides, does Ann Arbor
want to be outspent by the
Soviet Union, whose
contributions to Nicaragua this
year alone will total several
hundred million dollars? I hope
not.
If the people of Ann Arbor
rally now, perhaps these four
despicable tyrants, who seem
to believe they can voice their
opinion or exercise their elected
right to vote to strangle
siblings around the world,
perhaps they can be ousted
from office at the next election
in one great, glorious People's
Liberation Vote. With a little
luck and a lot of money, Ann
Arbor can look forward to
Fiesta de Juigalpa II next year.
-Kevin Singer
Bob Bold
Jason Young
Jim Burly
April 2

Outraged
To the Daily:
I am writing to you to
express how surprised and
outraged I was that you printed
the opinion entitled "God is
Dead" (Daily, April 1).'
The author of the article
apparently initially directed
his/her efforts against believers
of all faiths, by writing "God-
a.k.a. Buddha, Allah, etc.-has
passed away," yet this author
quickly zeroed in on Christians
and Christianity with references
to Jim Bakker, the Pope, Mary
Magdalene, and Christs'
resurrection.
Yet it is not whom this
author targeted, but the fact
that the Daily chose to print an
article denigrating any faith,
that shocks me. Obviously,
you realized that readers would
be offended, and apparently felt
that calling this article an
"attempt at humor" and that
"the sincere opinions of the
authors" excused you from
your responsibility to avoid
libel and offense.
I do not agree with this
estimation of your
responsibilities, and I believe
an apology would be an
appropriate response to all
whom you have offended.
-Deborah Anderson
0 April 3
Vulgar!
To the Daily:
The editorial that appeared in
your April 1 edition entitled
"God is dead" was outrageous
and vulgar! As a Catholic I am
personally offended and angered
that in the name of "freedom of
the press" you believe you
have the right to attack my
beliefs. The level of journa -
lism I saw in that article was
childish. What would have
happened to you had you
"joked" about Blacks or Jews
in the same way you showed
my beliefs. After all the talk
we hear from the Daily
Opinion Page staff about
protecting the rights and beliefs
of others, all you show is
hypocrisy.
-Donald F.J. Kaufman
April 2

To the Daily:
I am enraged by your
editorial "God is Dead" (Daily,
April 1). This "attempt, at
humor" is absolutely appalling
and distasteful. Just a few
weeks ago another attempt at
humor-a black racist joke-
caused a radio station to,,be'
shut down. Although this
"joke" was directed -at
Christians, not Blacks, the
situation is not that different. I
am a Catholic Christian and
was especially offended by the
slanderous statements written
about the Pope. The whole
article was written in bad taste
and I expect an apology as well.
as an act of reparition to. be
forthcoming from the Daily
and the author immediately.,
-Wendy Lennop
April 3
Accept GEO terms
To the Daily:
Dear Doctor Shapiro:.
I am writing to express my
concern over the imminent
strike by the Graduate
Employees Organization. As:I
will be graduating in May, my
worries stem from my role as
"prospective alumnus" rather
than as student.
However, in the
interest of the University, I
urge you to accept the GEO
terms -- not to avert a strike --
but to enable the University of
Michigan to compete with
comparable institutions to
attract and retain superior teach-
ing assistants. Averting the
strike will be a happy con -
sequence of a more far-sighted
policy.
I believe that finding the
funding to meet the requests of
the GEO is simply a matter of
priorities. If attracting quali
fied instructors for our under -
graduates is a low priority, we
need to reconsider the purpose
of this great institution.
I want to underscore the fact
that I support the University
on this issue; but in this case I
do not support the admini-
stration. I hope that our com -
mon loyalty to the larger
University community will
lead you and your colleagues to
accept the terms of the GEO. .
-Scott Dales
April 6

Wsiw~vprman

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