About the Author
Opinion Archives
E-mail Scott
Scott's Links

Brehm's reaction to professor's blog
alienates conservative students, alumni

By Scott Tibbs, September 24, 2003

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Scott Tibbs" (tibbs1973@hotmail.com)
To: sbrehm@indiana.edu
CC: Erasmuse@Indiana.edu, Erasmusen@yahoo.com
Subject: Professor Eric Rasmusen's Web log
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 07:12:18 -0500

Ms. Brehm:

I noticed the report in the September 17 editions of the Indiana Daily Student and Herald-Times that you "condemned" the opinions of IU Business Professor Eric Rasmusen in a meeting with the Bloomington Faculty Council.

First, I thank you for standing on the side of free speech. In a major research university such as IU, the free exchange of ideas is very important. IU faculty, staff and students must feel free to express their ideological viewpoint without the threat of censorship if they say something "politically correct". I applaud you for standing firm against those Leftists who wish to silence opposition views.

However, I question whether it is appropriate for the Chancellor of Indiana University to publicly scold a professor for holding controversial opinions. You, of course, have the right to speak your mind on this issue, but I wonder if it would be better to do so in a non-official capacity.

I would let you know that many IU students and IU alumni do not agree with your condemnation of Professor Rasmusen. I think the shrill condemnations of Professor Rasmusen are out of proportion to his remarks. His blog is not on the same level as godhatesfags.com or a similar hate site.

While some people in a university community tend to forget this, homosexuality is not commonly accepted as an "alternative lifestyle" in our culture. Millions of people (including many IU students and alums) believe homosexuality is strictly forbidden by the Bible. Others have moral objections to homosexuality based on the teachings of other religions, or for other reasons entirely.

This is not an issue of skin pigmentation, national origin or another immutable characteristic. Many people have strong beliefs on sexual morality, and some of those beliefs do not match with the alleged "majority" view on this campus.

While you fret about how homosexual students will feel upon reading Professor Rasmusen's blog, I ask you to consider how conservative Christian students perceive your public denunciation of their deeply held views. Is it only the feelings of homosexual students we need be concerned about? I suggest that you are guilty of the same thing you accuse Professor Rasmusen of in terms of lack of respect for diverse views on this campus.

Much discussion of "Diversity" takes place on this campus, but not much is said about ideological diversity. You have an opportunity to show IU students that ideological diversity is just as valuable as diversity of race, national origin, religion or gender. Are you telling students that conservative views on sexual morality are not acceptable here at IU?

This is important because college campuses tend to be a bastion of "liberal" (Leftist) ideology. In the very first issue of Hoosier Review, we reported that the primary voting records of professors in the Political Science Department is heavily (and indeed almost entirely) Democratic. It is important that students who hold conservative views on fiscal or social issues know that they are as valuable to campus discourse as the University Left. With such an imbalance in mind, I find it excessive to scold Professor Rasmusen.

Instead of condemning Professor Rasmusen, you should be scolding those who have tried to silence opposition viewpoints. They are far more dangerous than a blogger who believes sexual relations between two people of the same gender are not appropriate.

While I do not agree with all of his views, I thank Professor Rasmusen for having the courage to speak from a perspective that many on this campus find "offensive". If nothing else, Professor Rasmusen has reminded us of the need to be eternally vigilant in defense of freedom.

Do they do the Macarena, too?
Poli-Sci Department Dances to the Democrat Beat
                          96-95-94   92-91-90   88-87-86   84-83
Edward Carmines                           --- ? ---
Elinor Ostrom               --- no primary voting record ---
Jack Bielasiak              -DD       D--         D-D       D-    
Norman Furniss              DDD       D--         DDR       D-    
Russell Hanson              -D-       D--         DDD       D-
Iliya Harik                 D--       ---         DDD       D-
Jeffrey Hart                -DD       ---         ---       D-
Marjorie Hershey            DDD       D-D         DDD       D-
Francis Hoole               ---       ---         DD-       D-
Jeffrey Isaac               DD-       -D-         D--       --
Gregory Kasza               --- No primary voting record ---
Leroy Rieselbach            -D-       D--         D-D       DD
William Thompson                          --- ? ---
Timothy Tilton              DDD       DDD         DDD       DD
Gerald Wright, Jr.          ---       ---         ---       -D
Patrick O'Meara             --- registered but no record ---
Eugene McGregor (SPEA)      DDD       DDD         D--       DD


Kenneth Bickers             -RD       ---          ---       --
Lawrence Hanks              DD-       ---          ---       --
Michael McGinnis                           --- ? ---
Karen Rasler                               --- ? ---
Jean Robinson               -DD       D--          ---       --   
Dina Spechler               D--       ---          ---       
Richard Stryker             -D-       -D-          DDD       D-
John Williams                              --- ? ---