Student responds to Back Page article on Christian identityBy LEANNDRA PADGETT Contributing Writer
To be perfectly honest, when applying for Georgetown, I did not know much about its religious affiliations. I was vaguely aware that it had a Baptist background, but knew little more than that. It was not a large factor in my decision to enroll (I’m not even Baptist). After almost three semesters here, I have come to find the college’s position comfortable and to my taste.
The school is Christian in that there is prayer at campus- wide events, the school sponsors chapel services and religious events and Christian faculty are the norm rather than the exception. Yet even within this atmosphere, the faith rarely seems forced. Chapel is not required and it has been my experience that religion is not shoved down students’ throats. This has only been my experience however and, as a Christian, I am within the majority group. People of other faiths may feel much differently.
Obviously, not all GC students are Christians. There is, however, a large and active population of Christians on campus. The two main religious organizations —Campus Ministry and Campus Outreach—have devoted staff personnel and passionate student leaders. More and more students attend Outreach’s conferences every year and FFG (an aspect of Campus Ministry) has had unprecedented participation this fall. The greatest indicator of the health of these organizations is their cooperation. The leaders of the two separate groups meet monthly for corporate prayer. Just last week there was a combined worship service sponsored by the two. The separate organizations are marked by cooperation and unity in their goals when they could be scarred with unhealthy competition and backbiting. Christian groups are alive and well on campus. I believe that this reflects the truth of the statement “less is more.” When religion is not dictated (chapels are not mandated, small groups are not forced), people are more receptive to it. In choosing to participate in religious life on campus, students take ownership of their faith and truly grow. It is easy to be a Christian at Georgetown; there are opportunities almost daily for corporate worship or study. Still, it is easy not to be a Christian at Georgetown, as well. Students must make some effort to participate and are not entirely spoon-fed.
While I see room for the arguments of others, I am personally satisfied with the position of Georgetown’s religious life. There seems to be little chance of the school becoming more conservative. The question is how far to loosen rules and regulations without compromising Christian foundations and principles. There are tricky areas to navigate; these questions are not easy. Still, I believe that through careful thinking, open discussions and prayer from the leadership, faculty, staff, students and friends of the college, the solutions, compromises and answers are coming.
Adventure is beyond the bubbleBy ETHAN SMITH Opinion Editor
The rumors are true: the crimson tide of Christmas is upon us, and this is the Christmas issue of The Georgetonian. However, you’ll find no “This is why Christmas is awesome” or “Let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas” diatribes. Nor will I rain on the spirit of Christmas; I shan’t speak of how it’s become commercialized, or argue whether or not we celebrate it as much as we do for the right reasons. I won’t twist arms or butt heads, I will only make one request that I think will help me, you readers and our community; you can take it or leave it. My request is this. Live.
Really live. Live and think. Wake up and look around. As I have noted in the previous articles I’ve written, I am not guiltless. I haven’t lived the way I should, and I’ll be the first to admit that. I’m not instructing readers to do anything specific. I feel that many of us in the niche that is the college population are apathetic. I said it earlier this year, but I’ll say it again. We live in a bubble. A college bubble, not even a big bubble like a public university. Our campus and all of our facilities might only take up a square mile (this is only a rough estimation mind you) and yet we rarely leave this bubble. We stay on it during the week, only leaving to make daring runs to Taco Bell and Waffe House. On the weekends, people either go home, go to bars or stay here and “hang out” watching TV. There’s nothing wrong with reconnecting with your family or having a good time bolstering your relationships with friends. However, I know many people who would rather have a drink than an adventure (not unlike hobbits). There are often times when I’m more concerned with my GPA than what’s going on outside our school’s walls.
Again, I too have had my hobbit days, where I’d rather enjoy the comforts of my room, house or a familiar face. But our lives are like our bodies. If you don’t work your body and do things that aren’t always fun or comfortable, your muscles experience atrophy. Likewise, without adventure, without novel experiences our lives stagnate. Without it, I do not think we can be the well-rounded people we aim to become during our college experience. I have no doubt there are those who are still reading this article who feel this is a ridiculous suggestion to make considering the timing of this publication, and it is. Finals is not the time to make major lifestyle changes. But you all are well aware of what is right around the corner: Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year, and the substantially long homework- free time period that comes with it. So, since the burdens of schoolwork are about to be lifted, go out and do something. See a foreign film. Meet somebody new. Do something you’ve never done before. Go where you’ve never been. Help somebody you don’t know. Learn about the world around you. I’ve heard that young children can identify hundreds of product brands and labels, but they can’t identify 10 local trees or plants by leaves. A lot of us are fairly ignorant of world affairs; read a newspaper or magazine. Try and get a grasp on what’s happening in our world and why. Did you know that NASA recently discovered a planet that could host life? Were you aware that only a few days ago a 1.8 ton British bomb dropped during WWII was found and defused in the Rhine River at Berlin, Germany? Should this be a reminder that the repercussions of war last long after the treaties are signed and the soldiers head home?
I have enjoyed writing this article, but the Finals Conch is being trumpeted and its bellow beckons me to a paper I have yet to finish. So, in conclusion, live. Look around. Experience new things. Be aware of your world. Didn’t Socrates say in Plato’s “Dialogues” that the unexamined life is not worth living? Just a thought. Merry Christmas.