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The Dartmouth
February 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Acting on moral convictions with abuse is detrimental

To the Editor:

There are very few situations in which violent and abusive acts solve anything, and in countless cases, that violence usually ends up worsening any problems it endeavored to solve in the first place. The campus of Dartmouth College has certainly proven no exception to this norm.

The Nov. 3 issue of The Dartmouth reported a number of such abusive acts taking place in the Lord residence hall which apparently targeted members and supporters of the Rainbow Alliance ("Rainbow Alliance plans response to rash of 'homophobic' activity"). What the perpetrators of such vandalism had hoped to accomplish is enigmatic to say the least; what they did, in fact, accomplish is much more clear. Nothing.

A perfect analogy can be drawn between the seemingly homophobic actions taking place on this campus and the irrational actions of many self-proclaimed pro-lifers. In the past few years, a number of doctors at abortion clinics have been senselessly murdered by overzealous individuals who claim to be undertaking some sort of pro-life mission. Obviously, there is not one true pro-lifer in this country who would condone such ridiculously violent actions. Simple logic reveals that "pro-life" and "murder" are quite discordant terms. Moreover, not only do the actions of the fanatic pro-lifer accomplish nothing in the fight to end abortion, they actually devastate the cause for which he pretends to fight, stunting communication, creating embittered and angry sentiments, and tainting the overall image of the pro-life camp.

In much the same way, violent "gay bashing" acts accomplish nothing and, in fact, are undeniably detrimental. This is not to say that individuals are not allowed to have moral problems with homosexuality in much the same way as no one is denied the right to find abortion morally reprehensible. Yet in no way does disagreeing with homosexuality or the beliefs of DRA justify violent action against its constituents. The aggressors at Lord Hall are as morally skewed as they believe their victims to be.

The man who shoots the abortion doctor is wrong, and people on both sides suffer from his actions. The people who attack members and supporters of the Rainbow Alliance are also wrong, and if the analogy holds, both sides will suffer from it. Clinging to moral convictions is perfectly acceptable, but acting on them in an abusive fashion is perfectly not.