Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Beliefs don’t justify insult


Don’t use your ideology as an excuse to be a terrible person.
I’ve been a part of only two things for the entirety of my time at Augustana: the Observer and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Despite my journalism major and career goals, the latter is most important to me.
Through IV, I have built valuable relationships with Augustana students as well students from other campuses on retreats and conferences. At a recent weekend retreat, I met students from the InterVaristy chapter at Knox College. However, Knox IV and Augie IV may not get to interact in the future because an LGBTQ+ group at Knox has threatened their chapter’s livelihood.
The LGBTQ+ group at Knox has a right to be wary of Christian groups, but their argument is not that the Knox IV chapter cease to exist as a Christian group; they argue that they cease to exist as an InterVarsity group.
InterVarsity as a national organization came out years ago with a restatement of their traditional marriage views. However, many individual chapters don’t actively enforce or care about this. For Knox to disassociate from InterVarsity as a whole would sever the tie to the anti-gay statement, but it would also sever ties to other campuses and resources that campus-specific Christian groups don’t get. Besides, the anti-gay statement is already fairly unrecognized at the chapter level.
This LGBTQ+ group isn’t saving themselves from anything; they’re only hurting the students in InterVarsity. This is an unsolicited attack justified by civil rights.
Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, it has no effect on your ability to be a decent human being. Christian, atheist, liberal, conservative, Democrat or Republican, we are all people who deserve better than persecution. The Christian church and LGBTQ+ groups should not discriminate against the other without knowing the individuals first. The groups we exist in do not define who we are or what we believe.
We all have a tendency to drift towards unbridled rage aimed at that with which we don’t conform. But that’s not fair. It isn’t a protection of liberty. It isn’t in alignment with what this country has historically stood for.
Prejudice is protected speech in this country, but it’s not protected action. Speech can quickly take a turn to harassment and hate, so careful steps in our interactions with opposing views are imperative to a well functioning society.
I don’t give two craps about your beliefs, but don’t use those beliefs as a reason for your harassment. Just don’t be a terrible person, and stop using your beliefs as an excuse for it.

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Beliefs don’t justify insult