Reply to Letter in Queen's Journal

The Executive Committee of Queen's Alive has composed a response to the letter from Paul Tye published in the Journal recently:

RE: Offensive Tactics

From Mr. Tye’s letter, it is clear that our club’s purpose and mission have been grossly misunderstood. Therefore we would like to clarify our position in general and the purpose of the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity in particular.

Queen’s Alive is one of over thirty pro-life campus groups across Canada. One of our greatest concerns is that unlike other countries such as Ireland and France, Canada has no legislation regulating abortion, thus allows abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. Our primary mission is to promote dialogue on issues such as abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research.

The Silent Day of Solidarity is just one of the many events we hold each year. Its purpose is to “educate others about the plight of the innocent children we are losing every day”. Students do this by wearing red duct tape with the word “LIFE” written on it over their mouths and handing out pamphlets containing Canadian information and statistics about abortion. We choose to give up our voices on this day each year for those who will never have one. We want to take this opportunity to clarify that this event was by no means intended as an “arm band campaign”, though some participants did choose to wear the piece of red “LIFE” tape on their arms.

We invite everyone to discuss this critical issue of human rights with appropriate civility, and to avoid all forms of misrepresentation.

The Queen’s Alive Executive Committee

This response has not been published in the Journal. However, a letter from our Treasurer has been:

Irrational rhetoric

Dear Editors,

Re: “Offensive tactics” (Oct. 23, 2009).

In his letter to the Journal, Paul Tye assailed members of Queen’s Alive who participated in the Silent Day of Solidarity. Mr. Tye completely misrepresented the event, which was not intended as an “arm-band campaign” of any kind. Any connection drawn to the Holocaust comes entirely from him.

Although he speaks of reason, Mr. Tye refuses to make any rational argument, instead taking recourse entirely to ad hominem attacks. He howls that those who publicly defend the rights of the unborn are “moralistic,” “crazy,” “childish,” and “infantile,” which is all well and good rhetorically. However, for the sake of the rational discourse which Mr. Tye claims to cherish, I’d ask him—and those who share his views—to make an argument defending the killing of innocent human beings that doesn’t amount to saying pro-life advocates are “anti-woman.”

Mr. Tye concludes his letter by mentioning Christianity, as if the recognition of human rights were something unique to the Christian community. In fact, the conviction that every human being has intrinsic worth that cannot be destroyed or discarded is a fundamental criterion of decency for every person, Christian or not.

It’s those who ignore this grave and ongoing violation of human rights who should be ashamed, not those who expose it.

Paul Griffiths
Comm ’10, ArtSci ’10