Know that first off, I am a believing Christian. Although I do not agree completely with the spiritual beliefs of Stephanie Campbell, I applaud her for her courage and honesty about being an atheist in a college tucked deep in the Bible Belt. I am writing this because I am afraid that many Christian readers of the Herald will read this and get the wrong idea of the newspaper in its desire to represent all of the students.
What is sad about our First Amendment society is that many people view the expression of religious beliefs on the same level as demeaning other religions. They refuse to acknowledge the difference between the statement, “I am a Muslim and I love Allah and praying five times a day” and, “I am a Muslim because I hate Christians and other non-Muslims.”
In Lexington, there was a road sign advertising the joining of an atheist group, but since Christians in public saw it and took offense, it was replaced with an advertisement for a church. If the believer states personal thoughts and opinions logically without making a straw man argument, turning to illogical fallacies, or praising themselves while shaming others, then I would never be offended! This is what Miss Campbell (and Whitney Allen through her writing) has accomplished.
It would have been easy to make the article more biased. Because, as everyone knows, if you discredit all of the white, male, upper-middle class, heterosexual, Christian majority as cruel or ignorant, then that is being completely unbiased. But through the reading, it was not out of personal emotion and prejudice, but thought and logic concerning the beliefs of many Christians that made her turn the other way. The use of the “I have Christian friends too” section could have been a weak area of the piece, but it turned into a point of being open to others of various spiritual beliefs, despite whether or not you personally agree with them.
Although I love being a Christian and I am lucky to be on a campus where there are numerous ministries I can choose from, I will admit that it is disheartening the other beliefs are not represented enough both in the university and in our society. Is it because there are fewer non-Christians? Persecution? Both? Maybe so. But if those people — Buddhists, atheists, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Mormons, Hindus — are passionate and confident about their beliefs to sing about it on the rooftops without harming others in their message, then I will smile and support them, all the way.