The Evangelist’s speech today on South Patio elicited varying, but intense responses from students on campus. The vast majority of the responses have been negative, and for good reason: the doctrine itself is controversial given the progressive mode of thought of much of today’s youth, and the manner in which it was presented was provocative, to say the least. I would argue that it is healthy to be exposed to a different mode of thought and have one’s beliefs challenged, especially by someone so passionate in their own beliefs. Having said that, I fear that the speech, untempered by its proper context, may be detrimental to some students’ perception of Christianity and religion as a whole. In light of the drastic changes in society regarding social and religious belief systems, it is becoming increasingly important to maintain an open mind and keep oneself well-informed as we progress into a new era; the best way to achieve this is by being educated in the conflicting belief systems so that each person may decide for him or herself which system best suits them.
Additionally, the dominating belief system among students is Christianity; while this fact itself is not an issue, the stance which many of these individuals take toward other belief systems can sometimes further alienate those who do not share the same beliefs. It would be immensely beneficial to invite speakers from other denominations of Christianity and other religions to expose students to different belief systems. To have other perspectives available to students is not only an important part of the learning environment of a university, but it would also be a great stride toward the acceptance of differing belief systems in society as well as help foster the rising generation of intellectuals.