February 11, 2007

College course in gay lit gets 'dishonorable mention'

BOULDER, Colo. -- A self-proclaimed conservative group targeting college liberalism is assailing a University of Colorado course that examines gay and lesbian literature.

The CU course on the Foundation's hit list includes poetry by Walt Whitman, who some say was gay, as well as works of novelist Virginia Woolf, who had an affair with a woman. The syllabus also includes films such as the gay cowboy tale "Brokeback Mountain."

There is a waiting list of students eager to take the course. [....]

The Young America's Foundation, based outside Washington, DC, gives the CU course "Introduction to Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay Literature," a "dishonorable mention" in a study titled "The Dirty Dozen: America's Most Bizarre and Politically Correct College Courses."

On its Web site, the Foundation says, "The nation's campuses continue to be staffed and controlled by leftist radicals who seek a monopoly on what is said and thought."

Foundation spokesman Jason Mattera said the courses edge out traditional scholarship and waste money and time. A recent poll, he said, finds Americans are more likely to identify the characters on the television cartoon The Simpsons than rights included in the First Amendment.

"There are a lot of soft courses," Mattera said. "Classes in American history go by the wayside."

Apparently Mr. Mattera himself missed a few history lessons along the way. It took a lot of ignorance for him to reference the First Amendment as justification for trying to limit "what is said and thought" to his own point of view -- but then it took a lot of arrogance to call his group "Young America's Foundation," when it's anything but.

To follow Mattera's logic, perhaps we should make college electives an historical anachronism by limiting courses to those already taken and approved by YAF members. All we need are their college transcripts so we'll know, from a higher authority, which studies are appropriate and which are inappropriate for every student in every institution of higher learning across the nation (and to check YAF members' grades in American government - if they ever studied it).

Or, we could ignore American history and the First Amendment by adopting a national standard -- say, Liberty University's course catalog and list of majors. If it's good enough for Jason Mattera and Jerry Falwell, it must be good enough for the rest of us - maybe too good for some of us, huh.

Under our new guidelines, professors who strayed from YAF-sanctioned course content could either be fired or forced to accept counseling from a newly-minted Genesis International, an "ex-liberal ministry" for the New Enlightenment - something along the lines of Exodus International for "ex-gays."

Students who questioned their college's policies could be channeled into Healing and Restoration 101, a three-year, distance-learning program by James Dobson and Ted Haggard (send that love offering today, hon).

Does that sound like the American history you studied?

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