I am writing to express dissatisfaction with the columnist who wrote “The story of a Baptist in the wild” and “Blue Gatorade, melancholy postcards, and the soul.” Although the most recent article was less concerning than the first, both exhibit a sense of superiority in the writer’s voice. I take issue with both articles because the content and style of writing is damaging to Christianity.
The author of these columns describes his experience working with a Christian ministry. However, the writer describes his peers based on their practical, physical, and moral defects. In his first piece, he mocks the program director’s lack of talent with technology, describes one person as “a four hundred pound woman cuddling a double-double,” and describes another woman, Natalie, as “a cross-eyed, illegal immigrant.” In the most recent article, the writer refers to the “ex-cons” introduced in the previous article, and further elaborates on Natalie’s appearance by describing “the red dots that ran like angry fire ants across her face,” as well as “the tattoos on her chest.”
Furthermore, the author never mentions any physical or moral faults of his own, but seems to look down on those around him. In the first article, the author speaks about “the eloquence [his] voice would assume” when writing letters home. In the second article, he describes how Natalie was “looking at me as though I were that unnamed person for whom she had prayed her entire life.” In addition, the writer seems unhappy about being with these people, hence, “melancholy postcards.”
We live in a world where those who do not have a relationship with Christ view Christians as self-righteous and out of touch. It is critical that Christians treat broken people with love and acceptance, no matter what physical defects they have or what they may have done in the past. Jesus spent his life on Earth showing love to the people forgotten in society and didn’t focus only on the faults of each person.
I am a broken, fallen human. We are all fallen, and Christians must never forget that. If the people this author is referring to ever found out that he was describing them this way, I would be mortified. When Christian’s put other people down because of their faults while forgetting their own defects, this poisons any effort to share the love of Christ with others.
Austin Tallman ’14
Victoria McCaffrey’s article (“Rock n’ Roll Is Noise Pollution”) disturbed me greatly. The claim that rock n’ roll is, in fact, noise pollution and not just an AC/DC song couldn’t be further from the truth. When looking at some of the biggest hits over the years, yes, some of them are overly sexual, but the medium is not limited to songs strictly about sex. It can even have a positive influence on listeners.
The most notable example that comes to mind is the band Minor Threat. Many people are probably unfamiliar with Minor Threat, but they were a hardcore punk band in the 1980s that spawned a movement that changed the lives of many adolescents for the better. In 1981, Minor Threat released the song “Straight Edge.” Unlike many songs that came before it, “Straight Edge” was not about sex, drugs, or any other stereotypical rock n’ roll theme. In fact, it was about the opposite. The lyrics encourage listeners to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Although only 45 seconds long, “Straight Edge” has a devout cult following that continues its ethos to this day.
This song, along with hundreds of others that I discovered during my adolescence, helped shape the person I’ve grown to be. Minor Threat is only one example of the positive influence that is out there. Music is a wonderful thing and can be about so much more than sex. If you look in the right places, you can find edifying music today.
Tim Broxterman ’16
I appreciated the article “‘Townie’ Dehumanizes Hillsdale Residents” by Savannah Tibbetts for a number of reasons.
As a “townie,” I have often been a little insulted by that title over the years because of the connotation that I was “subhuman” because I chose to live in Hillsdale. My father is a Hillsdale College graduate. He was a two-time All-American football player in the late 50′s and was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame last May at the college. Because of his ties here, we moved back in 1967 so he could teach and coach at Hillsdale College. I have lived in the area ever since.
I have had several management positions in the area and have owned a business here. Your article struck a chord with me because of a particular incident that happened about 8 years ago at the end-of-the-year party on the hill. A locally-owned ice cream company, for which I was Quality Assurance Manager, was supplying ice cream for the event. I was dipping it voluntarily. One of the students came up to me and said, “This is for the students only. Do not give any to the townies.”
Needless to say, that comment didn’t go over well with me. I answered as politely as I could, “You mean like me?” After trying to backpedal and explain away what she said, the young lady left.
I have been around long enough to know that she did not speak for the entire Hillsdale College student body. I also know that there is some animosity from locals toward Hillsdale students, mainly because of similar incidents to the one I described. I believe Savannah’s article is a necessary reminder that we who live in Hillsdale are people, with all the dreams, struggles, and values which that brings.
I have always believed that Hillsdale students and the people that live in Hillsdale would both be better served if we could work together. Hillsdale College is at the top of the list of assets to this area. Because of its high standards and expectations (which speaks well of the people of the college), I would hope that the students would take the high road and make it their mission to help us turn our community around so that we could all enjoy those same standards and expectations around the college, not just in it. To say it’s merely a choice people who live in Hillsdale make, to live with lower expectations, is naive and over-simplifies the reality that people need patient guidance to be able to make good choices. Thank you again for printing that article. I hope it accomplishes the goals for which it was written.
David L. Trippett Jr.