In recent weeks, I have noticed two protests from opposite ends of the political spectrum that make me feel exceptionally moderate, and I've been meaning to address:
1) From the extreme liberal end:
Loch Wade, a resident of the small town of Boulder, Utah, insisted recently that The Nature Conservancy return a donation from the controversial EnergySolutions Foundation.
Conspiracy-theories aside, there is no logical reason that The Nature Conservancy, or any other non-profit, should be censoring donors according to what they believe, do, or practice. Consider the slippery slope down which this censoring would lead...soon, non-profits would not be able to accept donations from any corporations, or even individuals with political persuasions that are opposed to the "purists"...no Republicans allowed!
We cannot let our own "pure" beliefs about something stop important work from being done. I have seen this countless times from extremists, but one example comes to mind: I used to be a subscriber to Mother Earth News, the bible of hippy enviros everywhere. One issue had a particularly maddening letter to the editor, in which the writer blasted the magazine for using a celebrity to discuss environmental issues, claiming that this celebrity was not doing it "for the right reasons." What is this elitist "you can't help because you aren't doing it for the right reasons" view going to do to actually solve the problems we are faced with? We cannot judge the person or company that wants to help, or we will never do the important work that needs to be done.
2) From the extreme Conservative end:
The Bountiful PTA wrote a letter condemning the national PTA magazine for running an ad purchased by PFLAG that advertises a scholarship they offer. They claimed that running such an ad means the national PTA is supportive of alternative lifestyles and went further to say something about these alternative lifestyles not being based in science.
First of all, PFLAG is "Parents, Friends, and Family of Gays and Lesbians"...read: not gays and lesbians, but people who know and love them. These are straight people! Secondly, they are advertising a scholarship, not an alternative lifestyle. The truth is that there are kids out there, even in Bountiful, that are "gasp" GAY! and could use not only a scholarship, but compassion. The Bountiful PTA seems to be sadly lacking in the latter.
Furthermore, why this sudden obsession with science? It seems these people are fair-weather friends of science...only when they think it's useful will they use it, but their use of it in this case is ludicrous, false, and....well, not based in ACTUAL science. Last I recall, science was being thrown out the window in favor of "intelligent" design.
And finally, the same argument applies here as with the EnergySolutions/Nature Conservancy example...why should the national PTA turn away groups that are willing to purchase advertising space in a magazine that is an important part of an important organization trying to accomplish important things? Particularly if said ad is focused on helping our children, of all backgrounds and persuasions, continue their educations and grow as citizens?
On another note, HURRAY for Post #100!