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UNC Journalism Student Couldn’t Google Discrimination

UNC Graduates

Oh, Hannah Macie, how did you manage to get so much wrong in just four short paragraphs? Let’s start at the beginning and take this point by point.

I’m having a hard time understanding where “discrimination” came into play here. The novel depicts graphic sexual scenes between two women, which he felt contradicted his Christian beliefs, but in no way is this discrimination.

Duke freshman Brian Grasso did not claim the novel itself discriminated againt Christians. If you would read the Daily Tarheel report you cited, It clearly states “the selection process for the summer reading book discriminated against religious people,” not the book itself.

In the very next sentence, Grasso expands on this claim. He says, “They talk a lot about challenging ideas and challenging beliefs at orientation, but really the only people who are challenged here are religious people.” I haven’t reviewed the entire list of past summer reading choices, but I’d wager Duke University hasn’t selected many titles designed to put the fear of God into Grasso’s more promiscuous peers, despite the school’s Methodist and Quaker roots.

The novel depicts graphic sexual scenes between two women, which he felt contradicted his Christian beliefs, but in no way is this discrimination. The word “discrimination” tends to be associated with repeated unjust prejudices. Think: racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.

Again, it was the selection process, not the content of the book itself that Grasso felt discriminated against Christians. As for your word association, your contention that certain forms of discrimination are more common is irrelevant. I doubt you would claim sexism is nonexistent simply because racism is more common, or vice versa.

I find it hard to believe that a Christian man would find himself challenged in a society that was founded — and continues to be governed — by Christian men. How a freshman would believe that Christians face discrimination in college based upon his two-week college career is ludicrous in itself.

Perhaps Brian Grasso is just smarter and better read than you, Hannah Macie. Christian groups have lost their recognition at dozens of colleges, both private and public, for refusing to compromise their religious beliefs. Wesleyan offered its students LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM housing. “Evangelical housing” is not an option.

The only thing ludicrous about your last sentence is dismissing a student’s concerns because he’s only been at the university for two weeks. If a black freshman wrote about being called the “n-word,” would you similarly dismiss his claims, or would that headline be plastered across the front page of the Daily Tarheel?

One final note–and a point of agreement. The title of your article was “exposure to ideas is not discrimination.” Perhaps you’ll remember that the next time your fellow students vote to boot conservative speakers off campus.

Title photo by Evonne on Flickr, CC BY 2.0.