Friday, August 15, 2008

Is UK’s and U of L’s monopoly on ideological uniformity cracking?

by Richard Nelson

Move over UK and U of L. you no longer have the ideological uniformity market cornered at Kentucky’s state schools. Enter Murray State University (MSU), the oft-overlooked public school nestled in the Purchase region of far Western Kentucky. They’re billed as Kentucky’s “Ivy League” university by MSU’s public relations department, but administrative action to include sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination code has garnered attention that they probably would rather not have.

I criticized the change in an op-ed earlier this year after I failed to convince the MSU Board of Regents that the move was bad policy. In another op-ed, I criticized gay political activists for subverting the institution of marriage for their own political purposes:

Both op-eds aired as commentaries on WKMS public radio which operates on MSU’s campus. This struck a nerve with MSU professor John Utgaard. He equates my positions on human sexuality and the family with bigotry and further says that “bigotry should not have a place at the table.”

It seems Utgaard would rather not hear another perspective on this hottest of social issues and implies that people with views like mine don’t deserve a hearing. I always thought that universities were supposed to be places of inquiry and tolerance, places that welcome a diversity of opinion. Then one day my colleagues brought to my attention that UK and U of L are actually not places where diverse opinions are welcome.

It's shocking, I know.

Now, it appears that Murray State is on the brink of joining the ranks of UK and U of L as institution’s of uniform thought. Maybe I’m wrong about MSU. If so, I’m ready to be corrected. If there are any professors at MSU who think that disagreement with the special interest political agenda of gay rights groups should still be permissible, it would be nice to know.

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