As a publicity stunt, it seems a cabal of Godless young enterprisers at the University of Texas at San Antonio are offering their fellow students porn in exchange for their bibles. According to the student atheist group, pornography is no worse than the text of the Bible, so why not do a fair exchange? Well, not to get too technical, but the standard dictionary definition of pornography is: “films, magazines, writings, photographs, or other materials that are sexually explicit and intended to cause sexual arousal.” (Emphasis added.) While there appear to be arguments out there (way out there) that the Bible contains some passages that could be interpreted as slightly suggestive (eg., The Old Testament’s Song of Solomon), one can hardly seriously argue that these rise to the level of sexual explicitness intending to cause arousal. Or to put it another way, if you’re reaching for the Bible to get your jollies, you’re pretty pathetic.
At any rate, there is nothing novel about yet another group of self-important college students employing sophomoric shock tactics to seek attention. However, what is news is the school’s reaction to the event. When asked for comment, school officials mildly replied that the atheist group is perfectly within its legal rights to conduct the swap. According to University Spokesman David Gabler: “As long as students are not violating laws or violating the Constitution, they have the freedom of speech and assembly.” He elaborated, “We are a marketplace of free ideas here at UTSA, and our students have all constitutional rights afforded to all individuals in the United States.”
Well isn’t that nice. Apparently, the school is not the least bit scandalized by any of this. At a time when colleges seem to think of every reason under the sun why a conservative group cannot have this or that speaker appear on campus, how refreshing it is to see the open-minded University of Texas officials suddenly standing up for free speech and assembly in the marketplace of ideas. Given this new laissez-faire approach, one wonders if they would be quite so accommodating of other groups employing similarly obscene tactics. Suppose a Christian student group decided to do a Bible for Quran exchange? What if a white supremacist student group offered an exchange of Hitler’s Mein Kampf for copies of the Torah? Or an even greater sacrilege: an exchange of Mein Kampf for Barrack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope. Would the liberal thinking administrators of the University of Texas still be so tepidly neutral?
Our rights are guaranteed under the Constitution and are there for our protection, not for our abuse. On the spectrum of bad examples the school could set for its students, the only thing worse than condoning the abuse of a right (in this case free speech), is the picking and choosing of when and for whom a right applies, and when and for whom it does not. And that is nothing short of obscene.
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Tags: barrack obama, bible, christian, college, constitution, exchange, free speech, gabler, good schools gone bad, hitler, mein kampf, Old Testament, porn, pornography, quran, sexually explicit, song of solomon, student group, the audacity of hope, torah, university, university of texas, utsa