LETTERS TO THE EDITORWritten by Autumn Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Although I do not agree with Crystal Dixon’s opinion, I respect her for her conviction and willingness to express her personal beliefs. Unfortunately, it didn’t do much for her credibility in her position at UT. In hindsight, she may have done well to heed Ecclesiastes 3.7, " … a time to keep silent and a time to speak … "
The "core values" of the University of Toledo strategic plan don’t seem to be in line with her personal beliefs. If she were being genuinely true to her personal beliefs, she would be questioning whether or not she can effectively perform her duties as vice president of human resources, not Dr. Jacobs, UT administration or any of us. It may seem that her salary is more important than her beliefs, but Ms. Dixon is the only one with the real answer.
By the way, I was just wondering … What if the associate vice president of human resources was a male Caucasian who admitted to having an association with a white supremacist group?
Rosemary Dutkevicz, Sylvania
Sickened by Dixon
As a long-time resident of Northwest Ohio and of Toledo/Lucas County area, today I am sickened to even affiliate myself with this area anymore after reading the outpouring of vulgar comments regarding the Ms. Dixon op-ed piece. I am disheartened to see so many speak about "a lack of progress" and see how this has become yet another battleground against those who seek to punish anyone who believes in the Living Word of God as being absolute truth and the absolute law.
I am a moral conservative. I am a Christian. I do not align myself with any political party, but would fall more under the heading of a Libertarian or Constitutional Party member if I were to be pigeonholed into one.
I have several friends who are homosexual, both male and female. They all know that I do not approve of their lifestyle based on God’s Word in The Holy Bible and accept this, just as I accept that they are going to still have these emotional feelings toward members of the same sex. And for the most part, we keep those things where they belong – a private matter. We all have great relationships together and are great friends.
But thanks to the political pandering of such people as county commissioner Ben Konop and his recent movement to afford special rights and privileges to the homosexual community of Lucas County, we now have a powder keg of Christians versus Atheists, conservatives versus liberals and straights versus gays. Thanks Ben – gotta love how you fight for 1.1 percent of the Lucas County population while ignoring the other 98.9 percent. By the way – made any bold initiatives lately to land more high-quality jobs for the people of Lucas County?
I am sickened at the residents of NW Ohio, especially of Lucas County, who are nothing but a bunch of "mi-mi’s." Meanwhile just a few miles south of us in Wood County, Republicans and Democrats alike manage to put aside petty and trivial differences and land over 5,000 new prospective jobs for their work force in North Baltimore while people like Carty, Konop, Gerken and the entire lot on Toledo City Council debate things like "ethics" and "morals" in the media. This area is far too opinionated – or should I say hypocritical and political – and needs to take a lesson from so many others in the homosexual community who just want to lead a quiet life and be left alone.
But no – comments by Ms. Dixon are paraded out on to the national stage and once again Toledo, Lucas County and NW Ohio are given a black eye thanks to the shortcomings of liberal politicians and their eager band of merry men, women and children who fight battles about free speech and gay rights instead of looking at the bigger picture here. What ever happened to news about how badly this area is suffering because our politicians are lazy, greedy, over-bearing bullies that I like to call "mi-mi’s" because that’s all they live for is themselves – just like far too many people in Lucas County are doing.
People scream of tolerance and of progress – meanwhile this county and the central hub of it decays daily before us just as do the moral and family fibers which used to bind all of us together as self-righteous people use The Holy Bible as a weapon rather than as a guide to how your life should be lead. All the fancy degrees and the years of studies obviously taught so many nothing when it comes to how to grow up, act your age, and get along with others.
Perhaps if people stopped tossing about scripture that best fits their particular battle and instead read The Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation and stopped looking for pull-quotes they might learn something. Oh and then it might help to actually read the Constitution one and learn the place of government and how it has no place in the lives of the common person but is here to just do its job we have elected it to do, such simple things as manage our roads, bridges, infra-structure and other things that seemingly get left in the lurch while we fight over ridiculous notions of governments running market places and kicking our Marines.
If we all stopped listening to pandering politicians from the left and the right and picked people who know how to get along, get things done and brings jobs to this county we might not be losing hundreds upon thousands each year to Michigan, Wood County or other places within this nation. By ignoring the "D" or the "R" and look at the moral qualities of the man or woman instead we might not have men in power who allegedly use their positions to gain sexual favors from employees or who parade their pooch about government buildings and make special rules just for them alone.
Ms. Dixon was entitled to her opinion, guaranteed under the Constitution in the First Amendment. Right or wrong is not for you to decide. Grow up and learn to agree to disagree instead of allowing such juvenile antics as political correctness to pit neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, human against human. Politicians, elitists, populace and academia alike have a lot of growing up to do and you all deserve to stand in the corner with your bottoms tanned pink and dunce caps all around!
K. Kyle Siwa, Whitehouse
Appalled by UT
I am appalled to discover that an institution of higher learning would be as closed minded as University of Toledo in the case of reprimanding Crystal Dixon. In the past, universities not only applauded freedom of speech, but also freedom to think, form opinions, and decide moral values. Apparently UT has decided to become a police state which governs speech and thought. Diversity on paper has become mute in reality. In the president’s response to Dixon’s article he said, "The University of Toledo welcomes, supports and places value upon persons of every variety." Apparently, Dixon falls outside of that "person of every variety’ because she is obviously not welcomed.
Usually victims of repression who have found freedom are quick to defend the freedoms of others. However, when the homosexual community was granted freedom to express their views, they seemed intent on inflicting a gag rule on anyone who does not agree with them. Watching TU cowering because of fear of reprisal from one statement shows they do not encourage diversity or higher learning, but only a parroting of the accepted party line. I am disappointed that the Free Press has not done more to stop this type of lynching of Ms. Dixon who obviously believed that the press in America was free.
Jeannie Vogel, Chicago
I have been following the developments of the controversy surrounding Ms. Crystal Dixon’s column, "Gay rights and wrongs: Another perspective." As many of you know, Ms. Dixon has been fired from her position at the University of Toledo as a result of the article. It seems to me that as journalists, you and your paper have an obligation to defend Ms. Dixon and her right to freedom of expression.
Ms. Dixon’s column suggests three things: first, that homosexuality is a choice and not a genetically pre-disposed condition; and second, even if it was genetically predisposed, Ms. Dixon suggests that looking at real wages there doesn’t appear to be any discrimination to combat; finally she suggests that the comparison made was invalid and that in fact the University of Toledo was trying to be fair.
Obviously, she wasn’t fired for suggesting that UT was trying to be fair to all of its employees, therefore she must have been fired for one of the other two statements. Now it must be noted that Ms. Dixon was clearly not trying to represent the university in her column, but rather her own thought. This being said, it seems that the university would only have grounds to terminate her if her statements were blatantly false and incendiary, radical and ideologically charged, or just plain hateful. However, it’s clear that none of these was the case-as is demonstrated by the fact that Ms. Dixon defends the God given value and dignity of all people in the very first line of her letter. Rather Dixon is making her case based on facts, facts that can be disputed, but which shouldn’t be dismissed and quashed.
Is homosexuality genetic, (environmental), or a choice? I don’t know, but what is more important is the leaders in the relevant fields of science don’t know either. Although most theories are at least in part deterministic, from what I have read in the fields of genetic and behavioral science, a growing consensus of scientists believe that it might actually be caused by a combination of nature and nurture; this doesn’t necessarily have to negate the reality of free will. Without malice, Ms. Dixon overlooks the possibility that it could be an environmentally learned orientation taught to a person from childhood, and thus extremely difficult to overcome.
This being said, in my experience I have come across people who have chosen to abandon this lifestyle, and as a student of philosophy I am a firm believer in human freedom, and our human ability to choose to act even against our habitual inclinations or predispositions. Furthermore from a biological, evolutionary point of view, no matter what the cause of homosexuality, I don’t see how one can hold that this orientation can be said to be normal human sexual behavior – and thus promoted – because it does not fulfill the fundamental natural instinct of all sexual creatures: propagation of the species. In this regard Ms. Dixon has a point when she says that being black is a normal state of affairs that is neither good nor bad, but simply is; this is not proven to be the case with homosexuality.
Her second point is that even if it was shown that either based on nature or nurture homosexuality was completely determined, i.e. we were not free to act against or ignore homosexual inclinations, the reality of the socioeconomic status of this group shows that they are not in fact being discriminated against. I find this proposal to be more logically problematic because if for instance the black minority in the United States were abnormally wealthy it still wouldn’t justify denying them what is promised to all married couples. This logical error however does suggest a more credible argument; namely, that homosexual relationships are not primarily about child rearing, whereas heterosexually families implicitly are, and that the rational behind family benefits is the common good of society, i.e. the procreation and rearing of children. To put it in a less Christian, less human, more materialistic, way: families naturally produce future workers, consumers, citizens, and soldiers, and this is a compelling state and private interest which used to be promoted by both the government and private sectors. Again we can debate the facts, but if as she suggests homosexual partners are financially better off than heterosexual families as Dixon suggests, then this fact begs the question, why? What can we learn from this fact? I don’t think this is the place to have this argument, but it does seem to be a valid academic argument, not hate speech or an insane rant.
In contrast to Ms. Dixon’s arguments, which are in pursuit of the truth about homosexuality, Dr. Lloyd Jacobs makes a politically correct but intellectually dishonest appeal to "values." Don’t get me wrong; values are a good thing, but only when shaped by reality. Ms. Dixon questioned in her letter the reality behind the "value" of homosexual rights. If her free speech was in some way heinously offensive to reality, then Dr. Jacobs has an obligation to "produce the corps" as the old legal dictum enshrined in our constitution states: habeas corpus. Does Jacobs have concrete proof that the entire scientific community is unaware of that shows incontrovertibly that homosexuality is absolutely determined by either genetics or our environment? Does he have a logical argument to demonstrate that homosexuality should be accepted as normal rather than tolerated as an exception to rule of human (and animal) behavior? Does he have a political or sociological argument to demonstrate why we should privilege homosexual partners with a benefit that at least historically was meant to assist the propagation of the species and of society? No, it seems not. Instead he has "values" which are politically correct, which might advance his political prospects in academic circles, but which are not base on arguments, proofs, evidence, or reality.
So why do you have an obligation to defend Ms Dixon? I think it was best put by the French philosopher Voltaire who said: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." As a journalistic enterprise, within the realm of reason, you should defend the rights of others to express themselves, because you would want others to do the same for you. In our culture its not just governments that interfere with free speech; it can also be private associations and corporations. If we do not defend the right of the minority to propose the unpopular position, then as a society we run the risk of missing or ignoring the fact that our ship of state is sinking.
Ms. Dixon could be wrong, but does that give any institution the right to censor their employee’s private right to freedom of expression? And what’s more in an institution of higher learning what are we teaching the future journalists, politicians, administrators – the future leaders of our society-if we allow political correctness to stifle intellectual debate? An injustice was done to Ms. Dixon, and silence suggests consent, I urge you and your newspaper to act in defense of free speech. Something, which according to my way of thing thinking, a newspaper would cherish.
Rev. Ronnie P. Floyd
Stand by Dixon
If the Toledo Free Press believes that a free press and free speech are important to America, you will stand firmly with Crystal Dixon. She made a good point, and it does happen to be true. She is not saying any thing bad about anyone, just that there is a fundamental difference between those who are born black, brown, or are permanently disabled, and those who choose a particular lifestyle. She only quoted documented cases where lifestyle choices were changed, which moved a person out of the "protected class," which a truly "protected class" person cannot do.
I did not see her pass judgment on anyone, but rather point out a very real difference in the definition of a truly "protected class."
Not being from Ohio, perhaps I can give a little perspective as an interested reader of this story. Mr. Pounds got it right … this is uncomfortable territory, the right of free speech versus civil rights at a public institution. Since Ms. Dixon has chosen to work in human resources at a public institution with values greatly differing from hers, she should have kept them out of the public square. It is that simple: If you make statements that clearly say you cannot perform your job, then you will and should lose your job.
However, I’m writing to point out the true reason for this dialogue we are having: religion-based bigotry.
Religious beliefs do not and never will enable bigotry and discrimination to get a free pass as some writers say in these pages. The establishment clause won’t allow it. Workers at catholic institutions get birth control, and pharmacies will dispense meds regardless of personal beliefs of their employees. Parents can pray over sick children, but they cannot deny them medical care. Ms. Dixon can spout off about her ridiculous religious-based bigotry, but she cannot be an HR officer at a public institution that does not support such bigotry. She mentions "choices." It seems to me she has made the consequential choice of this discussion.
So, why do you join these hate-based clubs? Perhaps the name of Ms. Dixon’s church provides me the answer: "end life….." . Ms. Dixon is pre-occupied with the childish after life notion and is more worried about what her god will do to her when she dies than how she acts in this life, the only life we have. Too bad for her; she thinks she is getting the 79 virgins or whatever her version of paradise is, but all she’ll have at the end is regrets. "Imagine no religion, all the world’s people living life for today."
David Wimberly, Pittsfield, Mass.