Letter: Response to Iowa State College Republicans United

Daniel Scanlon

The recent April 22 letter penned by Iowa State College Republicans United situates an interpretation of Christian morals at the center of its contempt for the freedom of expression of diverse others. Symptomatic of reactionaries in the face of the unfamiliar, language within the letter is operationalized to both bully and degrade the local LGBTQIA+ community and its allies.

This language conveniently conflates free expression with the vulgar, the perverted, the degenerate and the socially degrading. The entirety of the letter leans no less than fascist resulting in part from its failed attempt to exploit the inherent good of Christian ideology. The repressed and prudish conception of sexuality is foundational to its exclusion of a community not conforming to Victorian-era sexual constipation via language consistent with authoritative orthodoxy and fear-mongering conspiracy theories.

In excluding others, their own fearful response to diversity presents a direct conflict with the freedom of expression they (falsely) claim to uphold (“…we do not believe that vulgar expression to this degree should be permitted on [a public] campus…”). This desperate and menacing contortion of truly accepting Christian morals is applied as a tool of oppression, in the process creating a slippery slope itself in its attempt to define and even limit the constitutional freedoms of those they judge and cast out.

Perhaps it would be more becoming of Iowa State College Republicans United to focus on more pressing issues, such as campus sexual assault, and less on cancelling Halloween. God bless America.

Daniel Scanlon is a graduate student in education.