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Letters to the editor

Nov. 10, 2005

Dismissal makes no sense

There is something immensely disturbing about Dr. Terry Maness firing Tim Smith on account of his sexual orientation. The economics of the decision do not add up. One of the first concepts presented in Intro to Economics is the idea of the productions possibility frontier -- the idea that resources are scarce, and that decisions must be made regarding how to use them. However, this frontier can grow via technology, new resources or new labor.

Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to curb discrimination in the workplace and hence the production (the "frontier") of the country expanded. So now the head of the business school has decided to fire someone simply because of his sexual orientation. A person cannot help but wonder if Maness missed the first few days of his undergrad economics class.

The theological implications of this decision are also troubling. Essentially, Tim Smith was fired because, from the perspective of Baylor, he was living in too much sin.

At a supposedly Christian university, something has gone horribly awry. Is Baylor going to start attaching "sin points" to various deeds? Say if your number hits 40, your scholarships are removed. Maybe when you reach 60 you get kicked out of the university.

Who wants to live like that? We are not supposed to judge other people. The Bible is hardly black and white enough for people to agree merely on how to read it, let alone establish a point system.

Maybe we should take cue from Baylor 2012: "Baylor has never required a formal statement of faith, nor has it implemented creeds, devised oaths or developed narrow dogma." In the midst of the university's new growth, this is not the time to start.

Mark Pedersen
Piano performance/pre-med

Truth should be important

This is in response to Kathryn Mulkey's letter Tuesday about the headline "Dean boots gay member from board."

Mulkey insinuated that not only should the Lariat staff have editorialized the headline, but also that the removal of the board member based only on his sexuality upheld the "standards of Baylor University and the Baptist General Convention."

The first problem with this letter deals with the ethics of the Lariat staff as well as the blatant ideal of truth-telling as one of Baylor's standards. The job of a journalist is to inform his or her audience of the events that affect the community.

I'm sorry, but didn't the dean boot a gay member from the board, or was that just a vicious lie by the Lariat staff? Not only as a journalist, but, dare we say, as a Baptist, shouldn't truth be a priority and major concern in life?

Another fun word Mulkey uses is "upholds," implying that such standards from Baylor and the BGCT are prestigious enough to be held up, instead of the opposing viewpoint that such expectations are prejudiced and unjust and should be changed to coincide with the ideals of love and truth.

I would like to commend the Lariat staff for choosing a headline that was an accurate summary of a major and controversial incident involving my school.

Finally, had the Lariat headlined its article as Mulkey suggested, I, as a Baylor student and child of a deep-rooted Southern Baptist family, would have been forced to greatly reconsider my association with both.

Jaymi Furniss
Public relations 2008