The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


A time to respond

 A time to respond
A time to respond

A time to respond

If you’re an anime fan, then most likely you’veheard of Masashi Kishimoto’s manga and anime series calledNaruto.

But for the rest of you, Naruto is a story about NarutoUzumaki, a 12-year-old low-level ninja-in-training from afictitious village called Konoha. Whereas the rest of the membersof his class are known for special ninjutsu techniques and familybloodline limits, the other villagers shrug off Naruto as anorphan, a troublemaker and a loser.

As the series progresses, despite his physical and technicallimits, Naruto becomes known as the ninja who will not give up onhis dream to become Hokage, the most powerful ninja in thevillage.

My favorite quote, and perhaps the most memorable from theseries, is one he says during an impossibly difficult examination.He slams his fist on the desk and shouts at the examiner about hisdream to become Hokage: “I will not take back my words! Thatis my way of the ninja!”

In the years I’ve written commentaries on and off forThe Daily Campus, I’ve received quite a few e-mails,many of which criticized my views.

I never really had a chance to clarify with some of these peoplemy reasoning behind many of my arguments.

First, I recall around the end of the spring semester during mysophomore year that I wrote a commentary about how Christiansdeserve the right to support issues they agree with or protestthings that they don’t believe in. I wrote, “The pointof this is that Christians are human. They walk on the same earthand breathe the same air. And they are just as much persecuted asany other group of people.”

I received a message the next day from a professor in thephilosophy department commenting that my use of the word”persecuted” was misplaced. He said something a longthe lines that Christians enjoy more religious freedom than anyother religion in the country.

Although I can argue that point with some of our recent SupremeCourt decisions, I never really got to respond that my referencewas not only to Christians in American, but all around the world.Believers in the Christian faith come against all sorts ofobstacles in nations such as China, where house churches are tornto the ground and pastors are thrown into prison without trial.

Somehow the Puritans’ arrival and establishment of theAmerican colonies came into the electronic conversation, and Iadmit that history is not my forte. However, five reporting and twoediting classes later, I’ve finally come to understand thatwhen I don’t know something fully, get someone else to say itfor you with a Ph.D tacked on the end of his or her title.

Another message I’d like to respond to was from an SMUgraduate student.

I thought I was going to end last semester with a commentary onmy top five Internet time wasters outside of AOL Instant Messengerand blogging. However, the day before the last May issue came out,the opinion editor at the time approached me and asked for one morecolumn to finish off the year.

With a few hours and no time for research or interviews, I wroteon a subject I recently looked at in my ethics class: HowardStern.

Stern just doesn’t work for me. He may float some of yourboats out there, but everything that comes out of his mouth rubs methe wrong way.

The SMU grad sent me an e-mail with the usual defense, sayingshe had been a loyal Stern-listener since middle school and thatshe changed her political views, conveniently at the same timeStern did, to not support Bush or the Republicans anymore.

I wrote once to this SMU grad and repeated my views on Stern.After all, it’s an opinion column.

Said SMU grad responded, saying that perhaps a system run by aregime similar to the Taliban would suit me better. She alsoblocked my e-mail address.

I never really had the chance to respond. Honestly, I reallycan’t care about her opinions on Stern. My intention inwriting that column was not to convince or persuade. It was simplyto share a view on a subject that was making headlines.

If I cared about what every single person thought about what Iwrote, then I would worry endlessly over something I will never beable to control.

I can’t tell anyone to think a certain way or to agreewith what I believe in. My goal is simply to write and ask readersto think, consider and understand where I’m coming from.People agree and disagree by their own will. It is, after all, oneof the few factors that seperates us from every other living thingon the planet.

I wish I had space and time to respond to each and every commentI receive. But I can’t. All I can do is apologize if peopleare offended by my work. There’s nothing I can do to changethe way others feel.

I will not, however, apologize for stating my opinions orarguing for or against the things I believe in. No one should haveto.

Like Naruto said, “I will not take back mywords.”


Christine Dao is a senior journalism major. She may becontacted at [email protected].

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