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

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Get off that high horse

Ruminations
 Get off that high horse
Get off that high horse

Get off that high horse

Dear close-minded individuals who go by the name of SwedeHanson:

I am writing to inform you that your piece in Tuesday’spaper sucked, slightly more than a Dirt Devil vacuum. I have neverread anything so vile, and coming from me, someone who writes awhole lot of nothing, that’s almost a jab in the face.

This won’t be an attack on conservatives, because I haveplenty of intelligent conservative friends who are capable ofpresenting their opinions without taking the mudslinging approach.Unlike you, they are capable of relaying their views withoutpointing fingers and resorting to name calling. Even they thinkyou’re an idiot.

Your piece was littered with so many fallacies that Ididn’t know where to begin dissecting it. But let me startwith the line. There is a clearly-defined, thick line betweenexpressing one’s opinion and telling someone they are wrong.That line is called respect. Surely an MBA student of thedistinguished Cox School of Business is adult enough to haverespect for individuals, even if they do not share in the sameopinions or sentiments as you.

You claim to not gloat, yet you turn around and call peoplelosers. Perhaps you do not fully understand the term gloat.”If these figures don’t scream major victory, Idon’t know what does.” I believe that is an example ofgloating.

You blast liberals for imposing their will on the public, butyou are doing the same exact thing for which you are criticizingothers. Telling people what they need to do, such as”define,” “dissociate,””designate” and “divorce,” is an act ofimposing your will onto others. Like, bonjour!

Your attempt at humor is something else to work on. I know,coming from me, someone with the sense of humor comparable to treebark, that’s like President Bush telling someone they stuttertoo much or Sen. Kerry telling someone to make up their mind.

You’ve made it clear to us that you are an evangelicalChristian, having mentioned that twice. However, your declaringmorals as solely a Christian value is a downfall of your owncharacter. In defining morals, religion is something that helps,that adds to one’s life, but it is not the only definingelement. You can memorize as many verses from the Bible as youwant, but that doesn’t make you a good person. Mr. Hanson,you remind me of a girl named Hilary Faye, who may have meant wellbut let her belief get in the way of her tolerance for others.

Are you any less moral if you are not Christian? What if you areJewish? Or Muslim? Or any other religion which I’ve failed tomention? Does that make you any less of a moral person? The answeris no. An individual can believe in God — maybe not your God— and still raise money for cancer research every year, workin a soup kitchen or tutor underprivileged children. Because yousee, Mr. Hanson, morality is not just about the Word of God. It isthrough one’s actions, and what you do in your life echoes inHeaven, the after life, the next life, what have you. Read theentire book of James if you will, but that doesn’t make youany more moral.

Does a worthy candidate have to know what the inside of a churchlooks like? An even better question: does a worthy candidate haveto be a Christian? What if he or she is not? Does that make themany less qualified? You’ve assumed too much in making such abold statement. Not everyone in America would require a worthypresident to be Christian. So here’s a suggestion forfurther, more extensive character improvement: don’t assumetoo much. Because you really do look like an ass when you assumethe wrong thing.

Though we are both Christian, Mr. Hanson, we believe in twodifferent Gods. As much as you praise President Bush, I’mwondering if he’s actually your God.

My God? My God is not so small as to be confined to our limitedhuman understanding. My God instills in me a kind of faith thattolerates other faiths and seeks to help people; a faith thatallows my hope in people to survive, in spite of people like you.But I’m tip-toeing that line of judgment, so I should stophere so as not to become judgmental. For all I know, you couldspend your time reading to blind kids and working in a hospiceaside from writing garbage.

This is just a request: spare us your misguided use of biblicalsymbols, such as the olive branch. You degrade it by tossing itinto your political jargon. You are no one important enough toextend an olive branch to anyone, so maybe it’s time you getoff that high horse.

If what you wish to do is change minds and viewpoints, thenattempt to do so by shedding light on some new ideas that willincite people to think beyond their usual; give people a reason toquestion things rather than impose your beliefs on people.Enlighten them rather than “emboldening” them. If youwant to get a meaningful point across, do so with a better analysisand eloquent words, not that ball of burning trash you’vechucked at us. This itemized to-do list that you’ve compiledfor everyone changes nothing. It is a failed attempt to changeminds in one forceful blow, but you can’t change people thateasily. You can open up new ideas, have people seeing from adifferent angle, but know that change comes on one’s ownpersonal accord.

To me, there are only two kinds of people: those who areclose-minded and those who are open-minded. That’s not to saythat one should be so open-minded that they can’t hold ontotheir beliefs. But one should not be so steadfast in their beliefsthat they take on a condescending tone and view toward others whomay not agree with them. I do believe you can exist on either endof the spectrum or somewhere in between and still bearunderstanding, tolerance and temperance.

The word “right” has several different contexts, butin particular, two that are referenced all the time withindiscussion. You should understand both. Know that coming from theright does not mean you are correct.

 

Ann Truong is a senior math and electrical engineering doublemajor. She may be contacted at [email protected].

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