I am writing in response to a recent press release, posted on www.uncw.edu, which may be one of the worst pieces of political propaganda I have ever seen, even judged by university standards. The press release began by announcing that the UNCW Leadership Lecture Series recently launched its new season with a talk by Andrew Sullivan, former editor-in-chief of The New Republic. The press release then characterized Sullivan as a ?conservative.?
Make no mistake about it; the university did not just hire its first Republican speaker in Leadership Lecture Series history despite the fact that he is ?conservative.? He was hired only because he is a gay liberal who dissents from the Republican Party on this important issue. If, hypothetically, your administration was comprised solely of Republicans (as opposed to Democrats like yourself) and had hired only Republican speakers for years, a speech by ?liberal? Zell Miller would not count as a step in the direction of ideological diversity. It would just make the Democrats mad. I suspect that you understand this.
The university press release then stated that Sullivan?s speech ?presented the arguments against and for same-sex marriage.? I read this portion of the press release about five minutes after a gay student complained to me about how one-sided (i.e., liberal and pro gay marriage) he found Sullivan?s speech to be. He was also shocked that the school paid Sullivan $10,000 to merely parrot the March 23rd ?forum? on gay marriage. In case you don?t remember that ?forum,? it is the one where the ?diversity? office hosted six pro gay marriage speakers. They all shared the same un-diverse opinions in front of a mostly gay audience. I am not sure how much money that ?forum? cost the taxpayers. I am not sure that I want to know.
After stating that Sullivan presented ?both sides? of the issue, the person drafting the university press release only detailed Sullivan?s arguments against his opponents. For example, it included Sullivan?s assertion that ?marriage is not in any way an issue related to religion.? Does he really believe that the issue of gay marriage is unrelated to religion? Would he suggest that sodomy is unrelated to AIDS? Would he suggest that sexual orientation is unrelated to life expectancy? Does he really represent ?both sides? of the issue of gay marriage?