Although I had many issues with the letter to the editor submitted by Carl Fruechte, I would like to focus on the questions that he put forth to the Diversity Club, namely asking if Christian students who believe homosexuality is a sin would be welcome to share their opinions with the group. Based on his letter, I am going to make some assumptions about where Mr. Fruechte stands on this issue.
First, he believes that not tolerating all opinions within a group is intolerant itself and would go against the value of tolerance that he assumes this group was created to uphold.
According to the article, the goal of the Club is to “better educate Caledonia High and Middle School on various topics like disability and ableism, LGBTQIA+ identities, race and ethnicity, immigrant narratives and the like.” They will accomplish this through bringing in speakers and providing a safe space for members. I hear nothing about allowing room for all opinions, including ones that may pose harm to the very members for whom they are trying to provide a safe space. As philosopher Karl Popper says in his “Paradox of Tolerance”, “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant... then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.” Based on the article that was written about the Diversity Club, I would gather that folks like Mr. Fruechte is talking about would not be welcome nor should they be.
The second assumption is that he believes that opposing the opinions of Christian students who believe homosexuality is a sin is the same thing as standing in opposition to the existence of the people themselves who identify as LGBTQIA+. I can only assume that is what he means when he asks if “anyone including people that oppose LGBTQIA+” will be welcome. Opinions cannot be told that they cannot serve in the armed forces. Neither can they be victims of violence or murder; people can, and those who identify as LGBTQIA+ often are at alarming rates.
As a personal aside, I have had no communication with this group and don’t know what their ultimate mission statement will be; as they have yet to host their first meeting as of this writing, I doubt they know completely the direction that it will ultimately take. I felt compelled to write this as I felt that Mr. Fruechte was acting in an aggressive manner, immediately putting students on the defensive just because they are taking what sounds like a step in a positive direction by learning more about marginalized and minority groups and doing their best to provide a supportive atmosphere. He was ultimately calling out these students as intolerant, and to be honest, trying to galvanize people in the school and community to harass these young changemakers. To the students forming the Diversity Club, I wish you well with this important endeavor. There is obviously a lot of work to do.