Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Letter to the Editor

Here's a little gem I just sent to the editor of my school paper:

Dear Editor,
First let me say what an honor and joy it is to be exercising my first amendment rights, for there are many on campus who will not feel that I have a right to pose the following question: Why is there a Christian Center on Campus?
Last time I checked, UTA was a publicly funded university. As a publicly funded university, UTA has an obligation to uphold the separate nature of church and state in this country as laid out in the Constitution of these United States by our forefathers.
Which brings us back to the original question-- why is there a religious institution of any kind within the boundaries of UTA? More specifically, why are there only Christian (note that this includes the Baptist Student Ministry) organizations allowed dedicated buildings on campus? Why don't we have a building for every faith represented by the student and faculty of our fine university?
I don't know exactly how it came to be that we have two Christian organizations located sqarely in the middle of campus, nor do I know who actually owns the land that they sit on. What I do know is that, to me at least, it certainly sends a message. And that message is not diversity. As a non-Christian (for my religious views, see the Shorthorn article "A Tie to Bind Religions" July 28, 2005), I find it offensive that such preferential treatment is given to groups based on religious views. The sign outside the CCC regularly contains religious propaganda in direct violation of the separation of church and state. Why are specifically these two groups, and only these two groups, given such unfettered access to the campus community?
Obviously, it is not possible to build similar buildings on campus for every religious view represented by faculty, staff, and student here at UTA. Since we cannot provide equal voice to all, it is time to end the voice of the few.

Kyle A. Vernon
Philosophy Senior