Academic Writing Sample

I just discovered that one of the requirements for getting into Nashotah House is an academic writing sample. It’s been 25 years since I’ve done one of those, so now I need to come up with a topic, and figure out just how long this needs to be (one source recommends 2-5 pages). One potential topic is part of something I wrote about 4 years ago:

Is morality declining? There’s an interesting quote I read recently from Orson Scott Card: “Tolerance implies disagreement — it means that even though we don’t agree with or approve of each others beliefs or actions, we can still live together amicably. When we agree, we aren’t being tolerant, we’re being uniform.” And in America, everyone tends to want to be considered “tolerant” of everyone else, but of late, disagreement is what is being stifled. If you don’t agree with what is currently politically correct, you’re a bigot, racist, intolerant, phobe of some sort — rather than simply having a different opinion, and each allowing the other to live their lives as they choose. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to teach my children that what you’re doing is okay — my job is to teach my child what I believe to be correct. I would be derelict in my duty and raising an *amoral* person. Not immoral, but simply without morals. And I think that’s where the problem is coming from.

We’re no longer allowed to teach our children that disagreement is okay, that thinking differently from the PC crowd is not a bad thing. If they don’t comply, we’ll send you to training programs, diversity programs, tolerance programs, etc. until you will quote the PC line chapter and verse, even if you don’t agree with it — because you can be sued, lose your job, lose your house, lose your business, be defamed in the press, etc. otherwise.

So I don’t think morality is declining — I think it’s being caused to disappear, and we are starting when our kids are very young in the school system, and continuing through their formative years through college. If it’s not PC, it’s not okay to express, and we’re getting uniformly *amoral* people. That’s actually a rather scary thought.

Another topic not yet written about is persecution of minority religions in the Middle East. My father’s suggestion was actually persecution of Christians.  I pointed out that it wasn’t just Christians being persecuted, that ISIS/ISIL had destroyed an entire town of Zoroastrians (which I didn’t know there even were any anymore!), and has continued their persecution of Jews and Baha’is as well (entire National Spiritual Assembly of Iran has been in jail for over 7 years now). The oddity is that the Koran actually considers Christians and Jews as people of the Book and therefore they *should* hold a protected status under Islamic law. These people are going against their own teachings, so you really can’t predict anything but the fact they’re out for power.

Okay, here’s another idea (editing this entry, just to keep it all in one place). One of my old bosses is currently defending the JONAH program which actually deals with programs that assist homosexuals who are uncomfortable with their sexuality and want to find a way to change it. This goes to freedom of choice, which the PC crowd is objecting to. I could write to L to see if he would be willing to outline the program he went through in order to become Mormon, and how he felt about both the program and his current place in life. I’m not sure it would be limited to 5 pages, but potentially I could do it. These programs are not designed to force homosexuals into changing, but rather people who already want to change, but need some help with it. This one may be the topic… Or it may fit into the morality one above.

The school itself would actually be in favor of programs like JONAH. They differ from the Episcopal church in their support of same-gender marriage. What I’m looking at is that it could show the thesis – God granted free will, and it’s not up to the government or society to take that away. If someone is truly uncomfortable with their sexuality and *wants* to conform to the more gender normative relationships (I say normative in the sense that only 4% of the population identifies as preferring same or both genders as sexual partners), and *wants* assistance with that, should we not allow them to explore that choice – which is as much of a choice as homosexuality sometimes can be. Hence, why I chose L as a potential resource, given that he came to the conclusion that he made the choice to be a homosexual so that he could never have a child and would therefore never treat a child as he was treated (D was quite abusive before M entered his life). Once he understood that he wanted children, and felt that he could be a good father – well, within the confines of the religion he was exploring (Mormon), he would have to figure out how to also have a wife. He and T have been married for 20 years now. So, he has now spent as long married to a woman of the opposite sex as he was in a relationship with a man of the same gender.

I’m not saying that in every instance it is a choice, but in thinking about the lesbians I know, and how many of them chose that lifestyle because of molestation or harm caused by men, how many of them would have made that choice had circumstances been different and they were not driven by fear?

{{{Sigh}}} I’ve gone too broad in topic. Nature v. nurture on the whole choice concept in homosexuality is a book all by itself. Free will v. societal mores; tolerance v. uniformity; morality v. amorality.  I’ve only got 5 pages, double spaced, max.

To my lovely sister, if you have suggestions, I’m open!

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