The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, April 30, 1991, Image 2

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Mail Call
The Battalion is interested in hearing from its readers and welcomes all letters to the editor.
Please include name, classification, address and phone number on all letters. The editor reserves
the right to edit letters for style and length. Because of limited space, shorter letters have a better
chance of appearing. There is, however, no guarantee letters will appear. Letters may be brought
to 216 Reed McDonald or sent to Campus Mail Stop 1111.
Education income tax unnecessary
I find it hard to believe the Texas Student Lobby (consisting of college stu
dents who are supposed to be intelligent) couldn't think of anything better to
support than a state income tax to alleviate higher education budget woes.
Who pays for such a tax? Mostly the lower-middle and upper-middle class
families who don't itemize their federal returns (because they usually don't
have home mortgages or other heavy interest debt) and who thus will not
take advantage of the deductibility of the state income tax on their returns.
The tax will also collect money from the very wealthy (not bad), but will ba
sically ignore the group which sends the most people to college — the middle
class. An income tax solely for higher education would be even more regres
sive than the already regressive sales tax.
The alternative? Double or even triple tuition! Maybe this isn't the most
selfish thing to do, but it is, nevertheless, the right thing. Students who can't
afford tuition now won't be paying anything extra. Pell grants already cover
more than three times current tuition (which is currently among the lowest 10
percent for state schools in the nation).
Instead of an implicitly regressive tax paying for higher education, those
who receive the services and benefits of college would pay. Studies indicate
that the social returns to a university education are far lower than private re
turns — the public being taxed is not going to benefit from your college edu
cation as much as you are. To put it simply, it's ridiculous for students driving
BMWs to be paying less than $300 a semester in tuition; especially at the ex
pense of the upper-lower and lower-middle classes.
Before anybody rushes to pen an ad hominen letter about how I must be a
rich snob — I'm not. I pay for all of my educational and living expenses
through work. Pell grants and scholarships.
Finally, students like Ty Clevenger and the rest of the Texas Student
Lobby, who take it upon themselves to give ignorant and unreasoned opin
ions to the legislature in the name of all students, must be more careful in the
future. Take some time to think about the consequences of your opinions and
actions. Try to reason through highly complex issues which demand more
than knee-jerk appeals to “hot" solutions, like a state income tax or, equally
ridiculous, a student on the board of regents (sometimes, such as in this case,
exclusion is more powerful than inclusion).
Most importantly, if you, as student representatives, don't know all rele
vant information, consult professors here on campus — they are not only
valuable resources, they are interested parties.
Brennan Reilly '91
Bicycle article shows bias
This letter is in response to your April 23 article "Hell on wheels." Could
your article have been more biased? I think not. Did you ever consider (with
you microscopic specks for brains) the plight of the bicyclists?
When will A&M ever put in real bicycling or fitness paths? A line drawn
on a poorly paved road does not cut it. Especially when cars/trucks generally
drive and park in this so-called "bicycling path." How about ticketing these
vehicles? Also, consider that many traffic lights have magnetic sensors which
the bicycles cannot always trip.
Don't the University and College Station police departments have some
thing better to do with their time than harass bicyclists? What's next, arresting
people for jaywalking or not brushing their teeth? Just because bicyclists shat
ter A&M and College Station's philosophy centered on the "auto-parking mo
nopoly," don't rag on us because of your lack of vision. Let's put the blame
where the blame squarely lies, automobiles. They shouldn't be allowed on
campus, no ifs, ands or buts. However, it will never happen, since this is
A&M's "secret ocean of free cash."
A&M's motto "... a world-class university" would be much more appro
priate if it were changed to something like "... the antithesis of environmenta
lism, health/fitness and academic freedom." With the publication of such a
pathetically biased article, maybe The Battalion would be more suited with a
name like "Shangri-La."
Christopher B. Green '91
Library more crucial than sports center
Bravo! In response to the Battalion Editorial Board's comments (April 26)
on the Sterling C. Evans library, I just wanted to say that the library needs an
increase in its budget and not a budget cut. If the University needs a new rec
reational sports center then get the money from somewhere else (like
alumni). Don't make the students pay a new fee for something they don't
NEED. Sure a new sports center would be nice, but a good library is a neces
If this fact isn't enough for the administration, maybe I could appeal to
their University pride. Just think of all the Aggies that have to go to that place
in Austin to research for papers!
Danny King '94
The Battalion
(USPS 045 360)
Member of
Texas Press Association
Southwest Journalism Conference
The Battalion Editorial Board
Timm Doolen,
Todd Stone, Managing Editor
Krista Umscheid,
Opinion Page Editor
Sean Frerking, City Editor
Jennifer Jeffus,
Callie Wilcher,
News Editors
Jayme Blaschke, Sports Editor
Richard James, Art Director
Rob Newberry,
Lifestyles Editor
Editorial Policy
The Battalion is a non-profit, self-sup
porting newspaper operated as a community
service to Texas A&M and Bryan-College
Opinions expressed in The Battalion are
those of the editorial board or the author,
and do not necessarily represent the opin
ions of Texas A&M administrators, faculty
or the Board of Regents.
The Battalion is published daily, except
Saturday, Sunday, holidays, exam periods,
and when school is not in session during fall
and spring semesters; publication is Tuesday
through Friday during the summer session.
Mail subscriptions are $20 per semester,
$40 per school year and $50 per full year:
845-2611. Advertising rates furnished on re
quest: 845-2696.
Our address: The Battalion, 216 Reed Mc
Donald, Texas A&M University, College Sta
tion, TX 77843-1 111.
Second class postage paid at College Sta
tion, TX 77843.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald, Texas
A&M University, College Station TX 77843-
Pornography difficult to define;
causes internal, moral conflicts
.y philosophy professor
recently asked me to define
pornography. "No problem," I replied.
The more I thought about it, though,
the more mired I became in my own
mental mud.
Since I have left the moral restraints
of my parents' household, I have made
a lot of decisions concerning a lot of
different things. I have put a lot of
controversial issues into my own little
philisophical boxes and arranged them
so that I can sleep at night.
One issue that seems to have alluded
my boxes, however, is pornography. I
don't know of any issues that can
create as many philisophical dilemmas
as that word. It combines questions of
sexual idolatry, sexual domination, free
speech, free press, religion and plain
old biology.
The problem is that guys love to look
at naked ladies. Now, if you are a non
thinking, beer-guzzling, cro-magnon
lumberjack, there is no problem. It's
the rest of us that are screwed up.
Every time I look at a Playboy or a
Hustler, I am overcome by a rush of
contradictory feelings. At first I think
"yowza!!," then I think "Oh my God,
I'm degrading all women by thinking
this." Then I think "this is giving
women unattainable standards of
beauty, this stuff should be banned,"
then "what am I saying? This is a free
country. I may not like this, but
someone else may think it's art." Then
finally, "yowza!!"
So to solve my philosophical
Reagon Clamon
problem, I try to nail down a few basic
ideals. One: the press should be free. I
don't care what Norman Schwarzkopf
has to say to the contrary. America is
supposed to be founded on liberty and
dirty pictures are a form of expression.
Silencing a form of expression is not
freedom in my book.
Two: women, like all other people,
should be treated equally. I think a
thorough investigation of the hiring
practices of the "pom" industry could
be very illuminating. The face of men's
magazines would probably change
drastically with a few more women
behind the lenses in the board rooms.
Three: we all have the ability to
control our own lives. If we are
offended or moved to chauvinism by
these magazines, it's because we
opened the pages with our own hands
and had a personality that was easily
moved. Just because some bozo read
Penthouse Forum and decided to flash
a Girl Scout troop doesn't give anyone
the right to insult my sanity by
forbidding me from reading the same
We hate pornography, that is
certain. What's not so certain is what
pornography is. Thirty years ago it was
Marilyn Monroe topless. Today, it's
anything from Robert Mapplethorpe
photos to Sheep Owner's Weekly.
Pornography is a broad term covering
all that is erotic and obscene (another
mystery word).
Prosecutors use the term
pornography when decribingtheven
descriptive music of 2 Live Crew.
Senators angrily invoke the word when
condemning a diversion of budget
funds away from military spending
and towards the National Endowmen!
for the Arts (although personally,!
think the phallic symbolism of the
tomahawk cruise missile is positively
I don't think there really is a viable
definition of pornography. Many
things arouse, shock, and abuse. Mai
of these things are supported by the
NEA; some can just as easily be seenc:
"The 700 Club." I just don't thinkyou
can call magazines that show women
gardening in the nude pornography
and ignore all the other sources of
erotica and degradation.
Everyone is so confused by their
desires. I guess we all just want toha«
fun and point the finger at the other
guy. If we, as a society, could alllearn
to be heathens or puritans ourtn
would be over. It's our confusion over
trying to mix the two that creates moral
monsters (like Jesse Helms).
Yet we continue to despise in
ourselves the very things we enjoy
most, such as sex, cheesecake or
Andrew Dice Clay. Why doesn't our
society look down on the IRS or essay
tests — things we don't like. For
example, the Cesar Chavez grape
boycott — now there was a protest!
could get behind. I hate grapes.
Reagon Clamon is a sophomore
journalism major.
Religion becomes only campus topic
Your report of my lecture on homo
sexuality in the Bible evidently touched
a raw nerve (April 8). I saw only one is
sue of The Battalion with responding
letters, but the trend of the response
was clear and all too familiar in the Bi
ble Belt.
The drivel coming from supposedly
intelligent and educated university stu
dents never ceases to amaze me. Reli
gion must be the only topic on campus
that gets a hearing.
This is education? This is honesty?
This is attention to evidence? This is
commitment to justice? This is a uni
versity that aspires to be "world class?"
Dale Legan is not embarrassed to admit
his lack of personal integrity. Is he
close-minded?, he asks. "Highly proba
ble," he answers, and he seems to be
proud of it. He's just a content hetero
sexual looking for a comfortable life.
Such an attitude is not even humanly
worthy. Yet he claims to be a "Chris
tian." How does religion create such
perversion in the name of Christ? Jesus
must be blushing if not sobbing.
Both Legan and Mike Miertschin in
sist the Bible says what it means and
means what it says. Then when was
the last time they gouged out an eye or
cut off a hand that led them to sin?
Dr. Daniel Helminiak
Reader’s Opinion
That's Jesus' literal recommendation.
And don't say, "Well, that was just a
metaphor." That's m/argument.
And if the "You shall not do it" of
Leviticus is so absolute, why do they
eat lobster and pork, wear shirts of 80
percent cotton and 20 percent polyes
ter, cut their hair at the temples, trim
their beards and do a host of other
things forbidden by the Bible, read un
critically? And don't say, "Well, that
was a different culture." That's my ar
Miertschin applies to gays Romans
1:32, "they ... are worthy of death."
("Kill a fag for Christ!" Is that what he
means? Oh, how exceedingly Chris
tian!) This inflammatory reference ig
nores the long list of sins that precedes
that statement, with not one sexual of
fense on the list. And the "unnatural"
of verse 26 —para phusin in Greek —
does not refer to "Nature and Nature's
God." This notion was not yet current
in Paul's time. The words mean rather
extraordinary, unusual, unexpected
and are even applied to God's doin?
in Romans 11:24. Surely, then, r
cal wrong can be implied.
Will Miertschin, Legan and their
never get the point? No one is den)®'
Paul's inspiraton. No one is denfl>:
the Bible's inerrance. In fact, it is’
Paul that I look for guidance. Prec$
because of that and committed to f-
sonal integrity, I am constrained to^
"What was Paul meaning to say'”
sole issue of debate is how to i
stand the inspired text correctly -"
insistence is this: You mustreada®
against its own historical context f
today's, if you want to know its te jf
ings. Only then can you apply that - "
ching to today's situation.
Contemporary, historical-critic 1
biblical scholarship offers a consist®
coherent and reasoned approach ' 'j
simple-minded, "take it for i
says" approach has to pick and ch^
switch and turn and scream and site*
as it interprets the Bible.
God gave us our minds, evider-
so we could use them. Would to ^
that the Bible quoters soon get
point and devote themselves to
building society.
Dr. Daniel A. Helminiak is a T0
in Austin.
will run
health h
The c
ing prev
uted to
cer, sue
time for
)ier sc
pier sc
of skin <
year in 1
due to b
sun's ul
the DN
and alt<
This dar
and ha
prone to
pie with
skin can
The tl
cancer a
these ca
have at
sun dair
against t
The I
All i
This offer is
Prices quot
to change <
Softlype is
•s a register
-IBM Corpoi