A couple of years ago I happened to find a web page, via a link on The Kokomo Tribune (pronounced "TRIB-une" for those native to Howard County), to the Peter Heck Show. The image on the link was of an old-fashioned radio microphone. What I discovered surprised me, in a few ways. First, I found it difficult to believe people still rejected such matters of science as evolution or that homosexuals exist. Second, I questioned the propriety of a photograph that supposedly depicts a pile of disposed fetuses outside a clinic that provides women with health services to illustrate a piece in which the author opposes choice. Third, once I got onto the website's debate forum, I was surprised that, amidst the very far right-wing people who posted were some very thoughtful, albeit very right-wing people. Eventually I posted on the subject of whether the Constitution requires religious oaths. I used the handle "403US15," the Supreme Court reporter citation for Cohen v. California, in which the Court held a person has a First Amendment right to wear a jacket on which is printed "Fuck the Draft." Mr. Heck wrote on that thread to try and correct me on the points I raised. Eventually, after he questioned my credentials, I e-mailed him. He invited me onto his show. I was on twice.
I should not have challenged him to a debate at the end of the second appearance on his show. I should have waited. I could not help myself. As much as he has derided Roe v. Wade, his comment about how we should debate something some time just struck a spark. After he accepted the challenge, he had second thoughts. I was not invited back to the show.
Since then The Kokomo Tribune dropped him as a columnist, in a hypocritical fashion about which I posted. The radio station that carried his daily show dropped him, probably to replace him with cheaper programming purchased from a national corporation (only a guess, but that's how things go nowadays). Now his show, The 414 Project, is carried on "Indiana Talks," the same internet network that carries "Civil Discourse Now" on Saturdays 11 am-1 pm.
Mr. Heck's views are "different." His latest piece questions the scientific validity of evolution as a theory. In a commencement address in May he mentioned something about women and CEOs that caught the attention of national media. I invited him onto "Civil Discourse Now" a couple of months ago, but, sadly, did not receive a reply to my e-mail.
I believe "Indiana Talks" is a great network because it has a variety of opinions expressed. I disagree with Mr. Heck about many things. One of his favorite starts to a speech is the mention of Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death!" oration. Sadly for Messrs. Heck and Patrick, there is no first-hand evidence such a line was given in Henry's speech. We do have a letter he had written to a cousin in which Henry lamented that slaves, and he owned people as chattel, were so convenient. Henry's line would have been more accurate had he said: "Give me liberty! Give them death!" That doesn't carry the same effect on a crowd. This would be a minor matter but for Mr. Heck's Master's degree in history. One would have thought he would know about primary and secondary sources for historical information.
As he is now on "Indiana Talks," I hope we can talk once again. Maybe he even will consent to that little debate the challenge to which he accepted and on which he then reneged. And "renege" is a Hoosierism---it is pivotal to one of our State's native sports. One of those sports is basketball, and the other is euchre.