Columbia, SC — Ed Madden seems to think his May 1 commentary (“Limiting imagination”) about legislators who don’t want two books on homosexuality assigned to college students is “reasonable and empathetic.”
While I don’t claim to speak for these politicians, just from his description of the two books, I probably would not have a problem with the essay book. But a fictional graphic novel is more likely to be propagandistic. An essay of real stories by real people is a much better way to learn about gays than a gay comic book.
His twice mentioning being reasonable and empathetic suggests he should include the other side of the story. Rep. Garry Smith’s comment about a balanced approach sounds very reasonable and empathetic.
If you are going to expose college students to a positive portrayal of the homosexual lifestyle, they should also be exposed to the serious problems and irrationalities associated with it. There are respected scientific studies showing that such behavior is not good for you mentally or physically. This of course does not mean all gays or even most gays will have these problems, but such problems are more prevalent than with heterosexuality.
Most college students rarely if ever hear the unpleasant facts about the gay lifestyle. Allowing them to hear the other side of the story equips students to make up their own minds about a very controversial and important subject.
Dr. Madden says he doesn’t want our leaders to impose limits on what they teach; I would think he would agree to teach these things if he truly feels this way.
Edward W. Frierson