Of Hannity and Hecklers

I like to think that my university is pretty awesome. In fact, I like to think that Liberty is better than most colleges. But on Wednesday of this past week, I went through a whole range of emotions about my school, from disappointment to anger to surprised pride.

You see, this WSean Hannityednesday, we had Sean Hannity visit Liberty for Convocation. That in and of itself is no different from normal. We have all types of people come for Convo. We’ve had pastors, evangelists, celebrities, politicians, etc. come to talk to us. Some are better than others, and I don’t always (or often) agree with everything they talk about. But anyway, back to Sean Hannity. If you don’t know who Sean Hannity is, you’ve probably been living under a rock and/or you don’t own a television, a computer, or a radio. But, just in case you fit that description (and are somehow reading this post), Hannity is a conservative radio and television host who has a very successful show on Fox News. He’s come to Liberty before and someone thought it would be a good idea to bring him back.

The Convo started normally. Stand up. Music. Sit down. Prayer. Stand up. Music. Sit down. Speaker. It took me, and presumably most of the university, a while to be interested in what Hannity was saying, partly because we’d just had John Luke Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame) share the funny story about the building he got for free and partly because Hannity was just doing the usual politician spiel about how the other side stinks, or whatever. Not that I disagree with him, but if I wanted to hear that, I would have listened to his show. He did give John Luke 50 grand as a surprise gift to help him with his project to end sex trafficking in Louisiana, which was pretty cool.

The interesting part about this Convo happened at nearly the end. Hannity was finishing up his talk. He talked a bit about how the President refused to acknowledge that we are in a war against Muslim terrorism (which is a big problem, y’all). Suddenly, some girl in the back piped up yelling about Chapel Hill. If you don’t know about Chapel Hill, a quick overview is that a man murdered three Muslim students over a parking spot. It’s deplorable, of course, but it wasn’t terrorism, and that’s basically what Hannity said. Anyway, he kept going and then he mentioned 9/11. And that’s when another person decided to start shouting. He shouted, very loudly, “9/11 was an inside job.”

*Sigh* Seriously, of all the things he could have shouted about…

I believe that there is a time and a place to publicly disagree with someone. However, shouting from the back of a ginormous room filled with 10,000+ people is not the place or time to do it. That’s pretty much what the whole school thought too. Hannity, who is rather used to being heckled at colleges, just looked at the guy and said, “Okay, Michael Moore,” which made us all laugh.

But at the same time, I was mortified for my college. “We’re better than this,” I thought. And, usually, we are. I don’t remember a time since I’ve been here when someone had the nerve to heckle one of our speakers in the middle of Convocation. I couldn’t believe how rude those two people were being. But again, I thought it was over.

Yeah… no.

Hannity started talking again, and less than a minute later, the 9/11 truther guy started shouting again. This is where the surprised pride I was talking about earlier comes in. I have no idea what he said, because the moment he started shouting, I kid you not, the entire student body shouted back “Shut up!” It was seriously the best thing ever. The Convo ended without incident after that.

As embarrassing it was to have people heckling our speaker, it was great to see all of us standing up against the one guy who didn’t want to show respect. I hope Sean Hannity realizes that we aren’t normally like this. We are usually much better about showing respect to the speakers that come to talk to us. Above all, I hope we learned something from this experience. If nothing else, I hope the collective “Shut up” will discourage any future hecklers for a couple of years.

P.S. By the way, if you’re interested in John Luke Robertson’s project to end human trafficking in Louisiana, you can click here to donate. I know the site looks a little sketchy, but it is legit. I would love to help out myself, but right now, I am the epitome of a broke college student.

What’s My Gift?

We’ve been talking a lot about using our gifts in my evangelism class at Liberty, and it made me think, “How are you supposed to know what your gift is?” Now, I know what mine is. Or at the very least, I know what my primary one is. I write… Clearly. But there was a time when I didn’t know what it was, so I want to share my theory of gifts with you.

Let me start off by giving you a little scenario. It’s 3 am. You fell asleep four hours ago, and you have to get up in four more hours. Now you’re awake. You’re groggy and tired, but your mind won’t let you fall back to sleep. You’re thinking about something. You want to do something, just to get that thing out of your head.

What is it?

For me, it’s writing. I could literally write all day, every day. I can’t get the stuff in my head on paper fast enough. I just have to do it. That’s my gift. That’s my calling. What’s yours? What could you do any time of the day? I’m not just talking about things that would be appropriate for the time of the day. I’m talking about a compulsion to go out and get something done even if it’s midnight.

Is it singing? I have a friend that could sing the spots off of a Dalmatian. She’s doing it All. The. Time. It’s what I believe she was meant to do. Or maybe it’s art. My little sister makes the most amazing paintings and drawings. Case in point:

Source: Christina Martin Art & Design Facebook page

Source: Christina Martin Art & Design Facebook page

Maybe you’re a writer like me. Maybe the ideas come so hard and fast you don’t have time to catch your breath, much less write it all down.

It doesn’t have to be a talent, either. It could be an idea or a concept. Maybe it’s the needy that keep you up at night. Maybe your heart bleeds for starving children in Africa. You could have a message that the world desperately needs to hear. Heck, it could even be politics. I don’t know your heart.

The point is that whatever that thing is, the thing that won’t let you sleep, the thing that fills you with joy just to think about doing it, do it! And do it for the glory of God. Gifts are no good if you don’t use them.

P.S. If you liked that painting, go check out more of my little sister’s stuff by clicking here.

I Don’t Like Black People

I do not like black people.

And I also don’t like white people.

Before you just start thinking that perhaps I just hate the world, let me explain something. I do not like “black people,” but I have black friends that I like. I don’t like “white people,” but I have white friends that I like.

Am I making any sense yet?

You see in my family, we were raised “colorblind.” This means that when I meet you, I will not care what color your skin is. I will judge you on how you treat me, and ultimately, how you treat the other people around you. In Dr. King’s words, I will judge you “by the content of your character.” I have met people with black skin that I love dearly. I have also met people with black skin that I did not get along with. The same is true for the people I have met with white skin. It’s all about the individual for me, and I think that generalizing certain groups of people is probably the biggest problem in our society today.

If you had asked me a year ago if I believed that racism was a big problem in the United States, I most likely would have told you no. But today… I’m not so sure. In the last few years, I have seen things that make me wonder. I watched as the whole country passed judgment when a light-skinned Hispanic man shot a black teenager. I watched as people ignored who these individuals were and focused only on the color of their skin. Everybody had an opinion before anybody knew the facts. A few months ago, I watched it happen all over again when a white police officer killed another black teenager. Instantly, the only thing it seemed that anyone could focus on was whether or not the police officer was racist. I saw few who really wanted to know why it happened. People rioted in the streets and demanded the job and sometimes the life of a man who could have possibly been defending himself. Both of those men were found innocent of wrongdoing, but no one cared.

So yes, I think racism is a problem in this nation. But I also think that racism is one part of a larger issue, because we don’t just judge people on the color of their skin. We judge them by the color of their hair. For instance, supposedly red-heads are more fun to be around and blondes are ditzy. We judge others by their clothes. We judge them by the games they play. We judge them by their bank accounts, by their houses, by their cars, by their political views, and by where they live. Our whole life is filled with preconceived opinions that tarnish the way we think about people from before they can even open their mouths. It is just this prejudice that causes many of the world’s problems.

But here’s the truth. Not every white person is racist. Not every black person lives in the hood. Not every blonde is stupid. Not every sloppily dressed person is lazy. Not everyone who plays first-person shooters is violent. I could keep going, but I’m guessing you get the point by now. It’s not about the color of your skin. It’s about who you really are as an individual human being.

Now you can leave today and pretend that you never read this. You can keep living your life letting stereotypes and prejudices affect how you view people. Or, you can choose to believe that every person you will meet is going to be different and has intrinsic worth as a human being. You can learn to get to know someone before you pass judgment on them. You can stop referring to groups of individuals with generalizations. You can do all of those things, but the real question is, will you?

Apologies

Clearly, I sort of bombed the whole “post everyday” thing in November. I made it less than two weeks. Sorry…

But, I had a good reason. That reason is the reason that everyone who’s ever been in school can understand: finals. I got lost in the business of studying for my finals, which actually weren’t spectacularly difficult in retrospect (probably because I studied so much). In fact, I can really only think of one final that was in any way challenging. The last final I had was a two hour, two essay test for my honors Western Civilization. I’m sure you can imagine the hand cramps. But I made all A’s!

I tell you this to try to come up with a good excuse for messing up NaBloPoMo. And it’s a pretty good excuse, if I do say so myself. However, I’ve been on break since December 10th, so there’s no good reason for me to have been neglecting my blog since then. But I’m going to try to give you one anyway.

You know that awkward moment when you’ve failed at something and you feel so guilty about failing that you don’t want to go back and try to keep doing it. Yeah, that’s kind of how I’ve been feeling. I, like most people, don’t like admitting that I’ve failed at something, even if it’s just a stupid blog writing thing that I imposed on myself.

So, I’ve been avoiding you. Sorry?

In any case, I can’t keep avoiding my readers forever, especially when I keep getting notifications that people are still reading my posts even when I’m not posting anything new. Seriously though, you guys are awesome.

In other news, Happy New Year! My New Year’s Resolution is obviously to not neglect my blog as much.

Wish me luck!

Postmodernism… Well, it’s Just Stupid

Over the last few years, I’ve learned quite a bit about postmodernism, and may I just say, it is the most utterly stupid idea I’ve ever heard. Seriously, I’ve heard a lot of stupid idea, such as, “Let’s fence with PVC pipes. Nothing could possibly go wrong,” but this one takes the cake.

The basic premise of postmodernism is that truth is created by human beings. There is no divine originator of truth, so truth must necessarily be relative. It is a fundamental rejection of any idea of absolute truth. Now, nice though it might sound to say, “What’s true for you isn’t true for me,” it just doesn’t make sense.
For starters, the statement, “There are no absolutes,” is an absolute in and of itself. There cannot be both no absolutes and a statement that they don’t exist. It’s a contradiction. In fact, if you’re truly trying to live as a postmodernist, you’d have to be mute. And stupid. These people literally couldn’t say anything because even untruths are absolutes. Seriously, “I’m hungry” is an absolute.

The second reason postmodernism is stupid is because it has completely changed the definition of the word “tolerance.” Basically, the old definition was that I could respect you as a human being, but I don’t have to agree with, or even like, your opinions. Now, with the postmodernist ideas that everyone’s opinions are equally true and equally valid, “tolerance” means that I have to agree that everything you’re saying is true. That’s entirely the opposite of the traditional idea of tolerance. But again, it contradicts itself.

If you’ve ever really put any thought into people who call others intolerant, you’ve probably realized, they are intolerant by both the old and new definitions. They are intolerant by the old definition because they have been reduced to insulting their opponents for their opinions, which violates the respect part of the old tolerance. But they also violate the rules (however impossible to follow) of the new tolerance. As a Christian, it is my view that Muslims are wrong about how to get to heaven. If someone else says that I am being intolerant because I say that someone else’s view is incorrect, then they are necessarily wrong. All views are equally valid, right? So how am I being intolerant? I’m only expressing my view, which is just as right as the view of the person calling me names (by their definition), and for that matter, the Muslim, who would say the same thing that I did. If anything, they’re the ones being intolerant… But then again all views are true, so… no one can be intolerant. It’s confusing, right? Incredibly contradictory? I know!!! Trying telling that to the next person you hear calling someone intolerant and enjoy the steam that comes out of their ears.

Okay, rant over. I want to know what you guys think about this. Have you ever put any real thought into this, or am I just weird?

*For more thoughts on tolerance, click here for one of my Silly Word Series posts.

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My post tomorrow will be on something… I haven’t decided yet. Honestly, you’re just lucky you got something today. I had my first final and a massive video project to work on. The next few weeks aren’t going to get any less busy. I can’t even tell you how much I am looking forward to Christmas break. A whole month of nothing to do. What am I going to do with myself?

See y’all tomorrow!

Why Do I Have to Take This???

Why is it that liberal arts colleges, like the one I go to, have to force you to take classes that you don’t want to take? I mean, I get the Bible classes. I go to a Christian university. It makes sense that they would want to make us take Bible classes, and quite honestly, I’ve enjoyed the one I’ve taken. But then there’s classes like University 101.

I figure most colleges probably make students take a similar course. Basically it consists of an introduction to the college and all of the stuff you can do there, a talk or two on study skills (because apparently some people are able to escape high school without learning how to study), a long discussion on plagiarism, and other useless stuff I learned in high school. Perhaps this class is actually useful for certain people, but I find that most of my classmates hate the class and find it useless. It’s even more useless for me because I’ve already been doing college for four semesters. At the very least I wish there was some way to test out of the class, especially if you’re a transfer student.

The other class I didn’t want to take this semester is PSYC 150, AKA Psychology of Relationships. Now this class is just full of stuff I don’t want to talk about. I know there are some people out there that love to learn all about the reasons that people do what they do, but I am not one of those people. I don’t really want to go around prying open people’s brains to figure out how they tick. I just want to learn about a person as I go along and not assume that someone is a particular way just because of something I found out about them. Why can’t we all just leave each other’s brains alone?!

And then there was today’s class. When they told us last week that they would be splitting up the guys and the girls, we all knew what was going to happen. I’m not going to go into detail, because nobody, not even the people in the class, needs that. Basically, we got lectured on the birds and the bees for an entire class period. It was awkward. The students thought it was awkward. The professors thought it was awkward. The GAs thought it was awkward. I really can’t think of anything that is more awkward than this class. As an awkward person myself, that’s saying something.

I know this post makes it seem like I hate school, but I am actually greatly enjoying most of my classes. Next semester looks like a lot more fun than this one, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be taking a screenwriting class!

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I’m sorry about not posting the last few days. I had a quiz bowl tournament this past weekend, so I didn’t have time to do anything. This post will bring us back to our regularly scheduled drivel. Tomorrow’s post will be on my thoughts on postmodernism.

See y’all tomorrow!

Silly Words Series: #5 Awesome

What it supposedly means:

Oh, that’s interesting… cool even.

Why it’s silly:

How many of you have had this conversation?

“Hey, what have you been up to?”

“Oh, not much. Just hanging out with my best friend. We saw the new Marvel movie together yesterday.”

“Oh, awesome. Was it any good?”

What is wrong with this exchange? You’re probably thinking something along the lines of, “Well, I don’t know. It was pretty ordinary.”

That’s the problem. That conversation was completely and utterly mundane. There was absolutely nothing “awesome” about what those two people were talking about.

“Awesome” is not a word that should be used lightly, and yet our society insists on doing so. “Awesome” is supposed to denote that something is worthy of our awe. If we see something that is truly awesome, we shouldn’t be able to speak. Let me help you out by giving you a few examples of awesome things.

orion nebula

This is the Orion Nebula and it is truly awesome.

mount everest climbers

Climbing Mount Everest. Awesome.

Nativity 2

Jesus Christ. His birth, His death, His resurrection and everything in between… And if you’re not Christian, CHRISTMAS!!! You wouldn’t have that without my savior.

You see, these are things that really are awesome. I can’t see the Orion Nebula, or any picture from outer space for that matter, without thinking about how amazingly insignificant I am in a vast universe. I can’t imagine climbing Mount Everest without thinking about the incredible difficulty of such a climb and the feeling of utter elation the people who reach the top must feel. Finally, I can’t think about Christ without being humbled by the thought that I could never have done what He did and that without Him, I am worth nothing.

This is the true meaning of “awesome.” Let’s try to use it the right way, people.*

* In no way am I not guilty of misusing the word, but even when I do it, it bothers me. Just so you know.

Thank you all for reading the 5th installment of my Silly Words Series. My post tomorrow will be on… well, it’s a surprise and you’re going to have to come back tomorrow and find out. Yes, this is essentially my way of saying I have absolutely nothing planned. :)

See y’all tomorrow!