Letters to the Editor

Condom cartoons better than alternatives
RE: Column “Condom cartoons, not funny at all,” Jan. 18

Adam Fowler has seen fit to turn his right-wing agenda against United Nations-backed condom commercials. Apparently, an overpopulated world rampant with venereal diseases and HIV/AIDS is preferable to commercials urging people to have protected sex. Mr. Fowler finds such ads offensive. Maybe he’d rather see people die than have good Christian ears defiled by discussions of sex. Mr. Fowler is not alone; religious fundamentalism puts repression of knowledge that is deemed “immoral” ahead of the needs of the world. That is exactly why such commercials are needed in third world countries; there are people who don’t know that a condom can save their life, because the information is suppressed by their loving priests, ministers and mullahs.

Mr. Fowler has the same reasoning that other religious zealots have — sex before marriage is a sin, so let the transgressors be punished by his “benevolent” God. Mr. Fowler also worries that these ads might offend Muslim fundamentalists. Yeah, that’s what we need, Adam, more tolerance of people who want to turn back the clock on civilization a few centuries and murder a few hundred million infidels in the process.

If the Christian conservative coalition finds such ads offensive, I have a revolutionary idea for you — don’t listen to them. My mother, who grew up in communist-occupied Hungary, told me that birth control was rarely discussed or made available in her country. The result: an enormous abortion rate among those who couldn’t resist their passions. Funny, but isn’t abortion one of those things you folks find problematic? Even if you don’t care about those “sex fiends” who impregnate or become pregnant, I assume your ideology wants to limit abortions, back-alley or otherwise. So why not give your Puritanism a day off and consider the implications of not discussing birth control and condoms?

Peter Z. Pastor is a graduate student in the English department.

Fair rights to vote apply to everyone

The right of everyone to vote is one of the principles for which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought most fiercely. But in a surreal bastardization of celebrations nominally meant to honor the legacy of Dr. King, USF has rejected a request by a local civil rights group to distribute information regarding restoring voting rights to ex-felons. The response from Ms. Nicole Glenn of USF is quite disturbing and contrary to the spirit of Dr. King: “It is not necessarily going to enhance the quality of the program we are providing.”

On the contrary, distributing information to restore voting rights that were taken away during reconstruction with the intention of keeping Africans from voting would certainly enhance the quality of a program honoring Dr. King.

Everyone in the USF community should phone Ms. Glenn’s office, 974-5111, and ask that she please honor the legacy of Dr. King and allow information on the restoration of the civil rights of ex-felons to be returned in order to commemorate the 18th Annual MLK Celebration.

Seán Kinane is a Ph.D. candidate in biology.