To the Editors:

The members of R.A.F.T., the Rational Association of Free Thinkers, welcome the conversation begun by students last week, responding to the Oct. 7 event staged by Students for Life. As Fairfield’s new club for those who endorse the secular point of view, we feel that accurate information about sexuality and an evidence-based approach to decision-making should be encouraged. We are therefore heartened that students have questioned the characterization of Planned Parenthood imposed by Students for Life.

Reproductive freedom has become a highly politicized topic. But for those of us with a secular orientation, accurate information about sex, sexuality, contraception and yes — abortion — is necessary for each of us to navigate this issue. We encourage students to seek accurate information from trained health care providers when making decisions about sex and reproduction.

In our view, a clear-eyed examination of the natural world — in all its complexity — is the best guide for making the world a safe and respectful place, for all of this earth’s creatures.

Secularly yours,

Patricia Behre,

Associate Professor of History

Coordinator, R.A.F.T.

3 Responses

  1. Linda Vasquez

    Dear Patricia,

    As a rational, free thinker myself, let me thank you for writing a letter that epitomizes precisely why academia is so out-of-touch with genuine intellectual exploration. I chuckled at your seemingly coy insinuation that readers should be surprised that you were “heartened” by the public discussion that occurred after the event, as if it was an unintended consequence of their exhibit, when in fact, it was precisely the desired effect of it. I’m not surprised secularists like yourself “questioned” the event, as I’m sure it was such a shock to your tenured utopia you thought an earthquake hit Fairfield University. Let me assure you that Canisius is not falling down, and the disturbance you’ve felt is only Americans exercising their 1st Amendment rights and thereby causing a public discussion, which is precisely what happens when people debate issues in a free country. I know you’re disappointed to see that not everybody falls lock-step in line with the marching orders of secular-progressives like yourself (and as a result consider free speech an “imposition”*), but take heart in knowing that if your position is well-researched and presented, next time you write a letter to a newspaper people won’t identify your thinly-veiled exasperation as a tacit reminder of your inability to tolerate opposing viewpoints. (Nice try, though.) I have no doubt that if the opinion of secularists like yourself (a minority in this country, I might add) was truly requested by the general public to weigh in on the conversation in order to enrich public discussion, someone would have come to you and asked you to comment on the event. But alas, the same 1st Amendment freedom that enabled Students For Life to have their event has also afforded you to freedom to write this unwarranted monologue. Democracy’s pretty great, right?

    We do agree on one thing, however: a clear-eyed examination of the natural world does wonders. Perhaps that’s why I so quickly identified the superfluousness and fundamentally unsound nature of your statement, and decided to respond in this forum.

    Faithfully yours,

    Linda Vasquez

    P.S.: We should get coffee sometime. I’m sure it’d be a lovely, lively discussion, as I’m not an unreasonable woman.

    *See line: “We are therefore heartened that students have questioned the characterization of Planned Parenthood imposed by Students for Life.”

  2. Linda Vasquez


    Why was my response not published? Is the Mirror playing favorites again by moderating against comments that they don’t agree with?

    Thank you,
    Linda Vasquez

    P.S.: I would appreciate a public response, as I don’t check my e-mail very frequently.

    • Shauna Mitchell
      Shauna Mitchell

      Hello Linda,

      We’ve been getting a lot of spam comments that sometimes our filters don’t catch, so we moderate comments to make sure they are written by real people. As full time students, I’m sure you understand that we check the website as often as we can to make sure comments are posted soon after they are submitted.

      Thank you for reaching out,
      Shauna Mitchell ’15
      Editor in Chief


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