Letters to the Editor, Week of Sept. 4

North Wind Staff

Dear Editor,

I personally would like to sit down and give the Christian response to what the preacher from Texas said and did. I am a Christian and what he did was wrong. Second – Jesus tells us to love each other. Not like free love, weird, hippy crap, but to be loving and to lovingly share His message. Some of it ends up having to be harsh. But still needs to be cased in love. What this man is doing is wrong.

Not because necessarily what he believes is wrong but you can’t yell at people and make them believe in Jesus. Well, a forced conversion isn’t a true conversion. Jesus doesn’t force Himself on people and He didn’t have to yell or be confrontational to get people to listen to Him. He simply started talking and crowds gathered to listen. I’m disappointed that this man felt it was necessary to leave students with a bad taste in their mouths about what Christianity is.

Hell is real and should be discussed. Sin is real and should be discussed. But judging and condemning people to start arguments and anger-related conversation isn’t showing anyone the light of Jesus. Start with how much Jesus loves you and go from there. Start with the grace. Start with the sacrifice. Start with the undoing of shame and guilt. Show love. Live love. Thats what makes people wonder. Not hate and yelling.

Sincerely,

Lashawna Wagner Secondary education,

Double major in math and English, Senior

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Dear Editor,

What an interesting first week of classes. NMU was visited by religious extremist fanatics every bit as offensive and vile as the followers of I.S.I.L.

Two visitors, two genuine attention whores (they weren’t at the library Friday), fractured the first week experience for many students while sowing anger about Christianity for three days on the campus academic mall last week.

Their visit was unfortunate on many levels.  My letter is an attempt to deconstruct the happening.

Just because you can read scripture, doesn’t mean you are a preacher.

Those men were not spreading the word of the Lord last week, they used their interpretation of a religious book to spew hatred and dissent among the campus community and, more specifically, broad dissent among campus Christians who roundly rejected their interpretation of biblical teachings last week.

These visitors were calling for the murder, stoning and slaughter of students.

Those visitors would have people who eat cheeseburgers or shave their faces put to death for violating ancient laws of the Old Testament. They were actively calling for the deaths of students, for someone to come and kill the students who choose to stray from God’s laws. These extremist religious prohibitions are widely rejected across Christianity these days, and persist mainly as the food guidance for Seventh day Adventists and for keeping kosher. Most devout Adventists don’t want cheeseburger-eating Americans put to death, but our visiting preachers did. Funny thing is, their beards looked neatly cropped. STONE THEM! Just kidding.

Other religious zealots walk the earth right now, putting people to death for violations of religious laws. I.S.I.L. militants are killing thousands of civilians over religion in the Middle East. Our visitors were every bit as extremist and fanatical as the people currently murdering Christians in Syria and Iraq.

The student body deserves far more respect and protection from violent ‘free speech’.  Free speech zones to corral protesters are widely used throughout the country. NMU should establish a concurrent zero tolerance, anti-hate, full respect code of conduct for both students and visitors, and establish a ‘free speech zone’ for non-university sanctioned visiting displays of expression.  A soapbox in the woods behind the Jacobetti center would well serve those who hate the students enough, they want us put to death for shaving.

There is room in our campus community for free expression and free speech, and displays of religious expression. Ministry occurs every day on campus, and people are free to express themselves on every issue they want. Assembly and sponsorship of free expression happens every semester on campus – student groups apply for and receive student money to sponsor their speakers to come to campus.

BUT, there are also reasonable limits to free expression on campus. Posters on university bulletin boards must be approved. Visitors and students alike are prohibited from free speech on the bulletin boards, and it is entirely within NMU’s purview to more closely regulate campus activities, especially those by gun-toting militants. I mean, Bible-toting militants.

Students – we should throw a big love-fest, dance party anytime the haters, ‘thought I was a preacher’ rabble shows up.

Remember: Just because a person reads scripture doesn’t mean they are a preacher. ‘Ministering’ by turning people away from scripture isn’t ministry. Getting other Christians to roundly reject your message about the Bible isn’t Christ-like. Even the devilish can recite verses from the Bible.

Mike Beck

Senior, environmental studies and sustainability

‘the man in the white hat’

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