Self-proclaimed, preachy guru not worth the air time

  • MEGAN KRUSE / edge correspondent
  • Monday, September 11, 2000 9:00pm
  • Local News

In a society plagued by ills ranging from violence to teen pregnancy, the need for some sort of moral code is pretty obvious.

So, who has stepped onto the scene?

Dr. Laura Schlessinger, armed with pearls of Puritanical wisdom that do little more than stir up intolerance. Her constant attacks on anyone outside her circle of moral purity do nothing to promote acceptance; instead she encourages judgment and makes a game out of acting superior.

Listening to Dr. Laura is like getting a tooth drilled. Who wants to be told that they are stupid, or that their lifestyle choices aren’t the right ones? And where does Dr. Laura acquire the authority to decide what’s right and wrong?

Dr. Laura’s attention is focused on families, but only on idealized families, which are few and far between in America today. If things like premarital sex could be obliterated simply through scolding, our problems would be solved (or would never have started).

While diversity and differences have started to gain respect as important parts of society, Dr. Laura’s messages encourage hatred.

She had no problem with pronouncing Wicca an illegitimate religion, despite its 15 years of legal recognition in the United States, and her labeling of gays and lesbians as biological errors clings to the same archaic mentality that once fueled slavery, the Holocaust and other acts of intolerance.

For someone so overtly concerned with religion and morality, she seems to have no moral conflict glossing over her own hypocrisy, especially her quickness to judge and her simultaneous promotion and restriction of free speech.

Dr. Laura doesn’t grace the airwaves because she’s smart; it’s because her harsh methods draw in money. She attacks people and makes them feel stupid, and we turn up the radio.

The Dr. Laura Web site, www.drlaura.comc does not seemed geared to instill morality in the minds of youth, but rather reeks of a desire to make a profit.

Visitors are urged to "go do the right thing," which presumably means buying a large supply of Dr. Laura merchandise, from neckties to the Dr. Laura board game, where players are given a chance to "preach, teach and nag" their way to Dr. Laura-esque self-righteousness.

If nothing else, Dr. Laura is annoying. We don’t need another guru to publish coffee-table books and tell us to shape up. We just need to be a little more compassionate and responsible, and that wisdom probably isn’t going to come from a radio segment or a TV show.

In an impromptu, unscientific poll of Oberlin College students, 100 percent of those surveyed responded to the question of what they thought of Dr. Laura with negative adjectives.

Said one freshman, "I’d rather poke my eyes out than listen to her."

So go do the right thing. Turn off the radio.

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