Means of expression

In rebuttal to the letter of April 8 by the “Friends of Michael McVey,” I do feel obliged to point out that Mr. McVey’s actions do warrant comment by others. McVey’s friends assert that he is simply a zealous pro-life Christian. If this were so I would have no problem with him.

It is not McVey’s opinions which bother Ms. Alberti and her friends (myself included): It is his way of expressing those views by hostile confrontation, speech or actions which several of my female friends find personally intimidating or even threatening. His beliefs do not frighten them (as McVey’s friends seem to think); rather, his actions do. Michael’s erratic behavior can be intimidating to women who do not know him, whether they are pro-choice or not. As his friends state, perhaps Mr. McVey does not hate women—although I am not convinced of that. In my opinion, his letters and oral statements make his aversion to women quite clear, and it is equally apparent to me that his bias has affected the tone of his anti-abortion arguments.

Further, his friends’ attempt to appeal to the ethical authority of Rush Limbaugh (?) and William Bennett (!) cannot excuse Mr. McVey’s conduct (which led to Ms. Alberti’s “polemic” against him). He is entirely responsible for his own life. Comparison of his ideas to that of these men cannot in any way justify his behavior if others find it objectionable or threatening. To be precise, I am not referring to his moral outlook, but to his overt anti-abortion tactics toward others, especially women. If Limbaugh or Bennett were to condone such behavior, then they would assuredly deserve censure. I too want every person to know Christianity and to live in a Godly manner, but I feel that the basics of Christianity (or any religion) can be better communicated by living as one believes, and expressing that belief with love, not by adversarial tactics.

McVey’s friends (I don’t know their names) pose a rhetorical question: How can an employer allow his employee to express negative sentiments about a “customer?” This is a non sequitur (“it does not follow”). As a citizen Ms. Alberti has the right of free expression, which she chose to exercise (once) in response to Mr. McVey’s (many) letters to The Northern Star. Her status as a university employee does not affect that right in the least. I suggest that his friends reread the Constitution.

Finally, veiled threats of intimidation and harassment (“anyone who continues to slander him or question his character can expect a visit or note from us”) are hardly Christian. Ms. Alberti (or anyone else) will be justified in exploring their legal recourse if they are the victim of such threats. The right of Mr. McVey and his friends to express their views ends at the point where they infringe others’ right to live and work in peace. Unfortunately, their zeal seems to have blinded them to that elementary fact.