Tuesday, March 27, 2007

peeling off a layer of tape...

This is the letter I wrote to the students who are meeting with Pat Robertson about the issue of commencement speaker selection...

Thanks for offering to field student thoughts on this issue.

I am not due to graduate for, oh, four years? But basically, I had already decided that I will just have my diploma mailed to me. A university's commencement is not a political platform for the media. It is (traditionally) intended to encourage and challenge the graduates to go and do what they are trained to do. (And in the case of a Christian university, to do GOD'S work!)

I think that there are MANY inspiring speakers who are not political candidates, who are Christians who make a difference and who are not asked to speak at secular universities because they ARE Christians! I think of "acceptable" Christian writers like Max Lucado, or Andy Stanley, or perhaps "less acceptable" ones like Lauren Winner or Anne Lamott. (Yes, the last two would put some male graduates back on their heels -- but they speak for the generation of leaders in America who are up and coming.) I think of men and women who have returned from Iraq. I think of teachers who make a difference dealing with truants in Newport News, or a social worker in DC who helps teens stay in school, or a public defender who offers the best defense that money can't buy (literally). A Christian who is NOT a big name in the marketplace.

I'm just one voice. I recognize that. But I will not be a political pawn for a candidate I do not support. My diploma is not up for a vote, nor is it fodder for the 700 Club or the Nightly News.

Thanks for being willing to listen...

God bless you and I will be praying for your meeting!

In Christ alone-
Deb

To paraphrase Scripture, don't muzzle the student while she's writing... (grin)

Now I might get kicked out of school for this... but that's where I stand...

Deb

9 comments:

Tricia said...

Anne Lamott speaking on the invitation of Pat Robertson - now that would be something to see! And truly, I like your suggestions of 'ordinary' people who are doing extraordinary things out of the limelight. That's what we need to be hearing more of...

Deb said...

ROFL...
Yeah, I expect that specific comment will be excised from any "quotes" that he gets to read!

Always the troublemaker...
:)
d

mompriest said...

Good letter, well said. I doubt they'll kick you, how un-Christian that would be :-)

of course someone is bound to say that Christians "kick out" other Christians all the time....

*sigh*

I have two masters (M.Div and MSW) and went to both commencement services 'cuz I really felt I'd earned them...(sadly the speakers were less than inspiring)...I think having your diploma mailed to you is a fine idea...

mompriest said...

Oh, and I've heard Lauren Winner speak and she is really very good, witty and smart!

michele said...

Excellent idea about Lamott, that would be so great to have someone that outside the box come there to speak.

I agree that there is no need to bring in someone who is just pandering. I would be interested in someone who is there to encourage, who is there for the sake of the students and not there for their own self interest.

Deb said...

Actually, now that I think about it, I had my first Masters (in music) mailed to me, too... and they still let me keep it! ;)
d

mompriest said...

Excellent, you've set a precedent with mailing diplomas! ;-) Wish I'd thought of it...

QuakerPastor said...

Who was your commencement speaker in Columbus?!
Mine was Woody Hayes...nuff said

My vote's for Anne Lamott too!
QP

Sally said...

excellent thoughts Deb.