| Affirmative Action
or Redemptive Action?
Mars Hill Forum #29, 12 April 1996, Santa Cruz, California
The guest of the forum was Patricia Ireland, president of the National
Organization for Women (NOW). The event was part of a "Fight the
Right" weekend sponsored by the Santa Cruz chapter of NOW, and a
brief description was included in the chapter's newsletter, shown below.
(see here for
The Santa Cruz preliminary events continued on Friday night at the Light and Life Community Church on Brommer Street where Ted Jefferson hosted his nightly radio show for KSCO AM as an open public forum.
At this forum Patricia Ireland, the President of NOW, debated Rev. John Rankin from the Theological Education Institute in Hartford, Connecticut on the topic of Affirmative Action.
Ireland began with an 18 minute statement of her views. She said that she likes to define feminism as she saw it defined on a tee shirt as, "the radical notion that women are people." She also said that she herself has been the "proud beneficiary of Affirmative Action."
She argued that the economic disparities in this country can not be ignored and quoted the depressing statistic that 1% of the country controls 40% of the wealth.
Rev. Rankin then was given the same amount of time to explain his views. He noted that his Christian world view demands that any policies he supports be "consistently affirmative" for everyone involved. He explained that because some people are denigrated by Affirmative Action policies, he is opposed to them.
Following the presentation of both sides of the issue, audience members were invited to participate by asking questions on air.
The atmosphere was charged with tension during the question/answer period as both sides grappled with understanding and listening to the opposing views.
People stayed on to talk to both participants in the debate even
after the two hour time period was over. The evening ended with many,