Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

This is in response to Ms. Bischoff’s reply to my letter on the 22nd of September.

I will not justify the existence of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly the School of the Americas) in this letter. The House had proposed a bill in 2005 (H.R. 1217) to the Armed Services committee to shut the school down. I couldn’t be more in favor of that. Sadly, the bill has remained ‘pending comment’ since last April.

On the other hand, I find your example of ‘oppression’ rather confusing. The arguments for ‘Intelligent Design’, though primarily proposed by Christian groups, is supported by Muslim groups as well. In fact, Intelligent design does not discriminate; since ID only requires a ‘God/Designer’ to exist, it is a theory quite ecumenical. It is also pseudoscience, being unable to pass the test of falsafiability. It is this reason why it cannot be included in a scientific curriculum: ID is simply not science. ID is a philosophy requiring a deity, and thus violates the First Amendment. The current popularity of ID does not constitute oppression – it’s being fought in the courts and losing badly. I invite Ms. Bischoff to read histories of Zoroastrianism or Bah’ai in to learn what religious oppression is.

No nation is perfect; No person is perfect. As Ms. Bischoff said, we cannot assume that ‘our side’ is spotless. It is not by any measure. However, we must also refuse to cultivate a moral equivalency that does not recognize proportion. A court battle over Intelligent Design is far less oppression than a religiously-ordered death sentence for someone who converts.

Dr. Ethan Deneault

Assistant Professor of Physics

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