Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Have you heard about the incoming Christian freshmen at Duke U. who don't want to read a book?


Members of the Duke's class of 2019 have decided that they would not read Fun Home which was recommended but non-compulsory summer reading.

The Duke Chronicle reports:

Several incoming freshmen decided not to read “Fun Home” because its sexual images and themes conflicted with their personal and religious beliefs. Freshman Brian Grasso posted in the Class of 2019 Facebook page July 26 that he would not read the book “because of the graphic visual depictions of sexuality,” igniting conversation among students. The graphic novel, written by Alison Bechdel, chronicles her relationship with her father and her issues with sexual identity.

“I feel as if I would have to compromise my personal Christian moral beliefs to read it,” Grasso wrote in the post.
[ … ] Freshman Jeffrey Wubbenhorst based his decision not to read the book on its graphic novel format.

“The nature of ‘Fun Home’ means that content that I might have consented to read in print now violates my conscience due to its pornographic nature,” he wrote in an email.


Young Mr. Grasso might just want some attention. However, he uses the boilerplate that we have become so familiar with when people refuse service to gays as a means of demonstrating their disapproval — all cloaked in religious freedom. The idea that reading a book could “compromise” his moral beliefs is just stunning. At his age I recall reading Mein Kampf with no fear that it might turn me into a little Nazi. Indeed, the pages of their own Bible are filled with violence, rape, sex and slavery.

Were the reading compulsory either ADF or Liberty Counsel would have come to the students' rescue. They all want to live in a world that does not exist.

I am saddened by the lack of intellectual curiosity on the part of incoming university students and question how they got into Duke in the first place. Even more depressing is how this lack of curiosity is self-reinforcing and how that type of certitude diminishes critical thinking skills.

It is probably not these kids who are at fault. In all likelihood it is their parents who have reduced their prospects for adult fulfillment. Dummies raising dummies who will raise more dummies. This is just the start. Imagine their difficulties in dealing with gay faculty and peers. What problems will they encounter if they take biology? The university should do them all a favor by assigning gay Jewish roommates to each.

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