“You don’t belong here.”
These words were a few of the first that I heard as I embarked on my college journey. They were spoken to a class by a professor of mine in my first semester as I started my freshman year here at CSU, in regards to the context of the class. Let me clarify.
The class was Moral and Social Problems, and the instructor was making the point that the class was to be a breeding ground for tolerant and respectful ideas. A place where everyone could feel welcome, regardless of their political, social or religious views.
Everyone, that is, except for Christian Republicans. You see, she told us that if anyone in the class was one of “those Christians,” they should pack their bags and take their narrow-minded views over to Texas Christian University, or another private school, because we definitely don’t belong in a place where free speech and thought is encouraged.
Now let me ask this question… when exactly did tolerance and open-mindedness take on the stance of “any and all thoughts are acceptable, except for this one right over here?”
When did we as a society decide to put our own preconceived notions of what we think is right into a box, and keep all other ideas and beliefs out? Yes, I am a Christian. Yes, I am a stubborn republican clinging to his guns. But since when did it become OK for you to tell me that I’m wrong?
I’m not writing this to try and convince you to agree with me that the Affordable Care Act will horribly wreck this once great nation. I’m sharing these thoughts because I want to be able to have that opinion.
If I may, I would like to respectfully point out a good bit of hypocrisy that I believe has infiltrated the minds of this generation. Students these days pride themselves on their “open minds” and tolerant views, but once someone opens his or her mouth to argue for pro-life legislation, he or she is suddenly public enemy number one.
There is a paradigm that currently exists which I feel states, “all opinions and beliefs are acceptable and ought to be respected, as long as they meet certain criteria.”
This needs to end now.
The issue at hand, I believe, exists partially because of a general misunderstanding of truth. We live in a day and age where having absolute truth is frowned upon, and often deemed “intolerant.” For example, there are certain individuals and groups who would argue that truth does not exist, and is relatively determined by our own beliefs and experiences.
However, when did we become such a passive and overly politically correct society that we are so afraid to step on the toes of others and maybe even – oh, the horror – offend someone?
Yes, I believe that abortion is murder. Yes, I believe that gay marriage is immoral. Yes, I still love anyone and everyone associated with these things. Just as my God is a God of love, I am called to love those around me. However, He is also a just God, who will not waver in His truths and commands.
So if society is allowed to have parades and campaigns for things that they believe in, why should I not feel comfortable speaking up in a class or having a casual conversation with a peer? There is a hidden double standard at work. I will fight against the legality of abortion and the Affordable Care Act, but I want to feel the freedom to believe these things without condemnation from the majority.
I am not saying that we should be apathetic about our beliefs. I strongly feel as though the freedom and diversity of thoughts are part of what make this country great. I absolutely want to hear your thoughts and respectfully consider your values as a human being.
I am just tired of feeling harassed for believing the things that I do.
The experience with the professor that I described previously has been only one of many that I have had. So often I find that if my values and thoughts don’t align with a progressive, liberal agenda then others tell me that I need to change my thinking to align with the larger community.
I’m over the groupthink. I’m done with people bashing me and my beliefs because they aren’t the “popular” things to say or do. If true tolerance is ever to exist in this world, then all views and sides of the story need to be respected.
Nathan Bush is a junior business administration major. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.