What People Fear…

I came across this statement from one of my favorite undergraduate professors. As noted below, it was made by Harding University’s first president.  He stated:

All progress of truth – scientific truth, political truth, or religious truth – all truth – has depended on free speech and progressive teachers who were not afraid to teach their honest convictions.” – J.N. Armstrong

Harding, like a number of conservative institutions, has a particular right of center point of view. I guess I love this because it was made by a “highly” conservative university leader. Moreover, though I am questioned less of late for my ideological and intellectual beliefs, there are still a small few that fear my mind. Thus, the notion of a Christian teacher being open-minded about intellectual and political arguments can be a tough pill for some. I am fortunate that this is not an issue on my campus, nor among my students. The ability to love free thought and the diversity of thought reflects the true identity of a secure person. I say this only to say this: People fear what they cannot understand, or what they have closed their minds to understanding. I am fortunate that my students nor my colleagues are this way. They might see things in a different way, but they at least listen.


9 thoughts on “What People Fear…

  1. It is great that your campus is so accepting. I have always believed that diversity in all things: experiences, race, and ideas makes for the best combinations. Whether it is a classroom, workplace, or simply society- our differences make us unique and special.

  2. I keep coming back to the idea that there are an astounding number of people who live their lives in constant fear. That’s the only reason I can find for most of this…

    Did you see this?

    I want this as a poster in my class….

  3. fear can also manifest in a multitude of words that never truly get to the heart of compassion and understanding or touch the heart of the brokenhearted.

    it does amaze me how the general public is so threatened by difference to the point of intolerance. the church can also be this way, and sadly, i think we will stand before the judgment seat with nothing to say because we did not love those that Christ came to die for……

    hmmm 🙂 soap box sunday i guess! hahaah

  4. I agree that HCHS offers students the opportunity to express their ideas freely, however, they sadly do not utilize this gift. I do not believe it is fear that causes their hesitance, however, I believe that some of these students lack the ambition and dedication to express such free ideas. It is a shame too, for there are so many students that are not granted such freedom in their schools (such as Westside). Many of the students in schools are (forgive the extremity of this word) brainwashed in many of their classes. They are taught to believe and think in a certain way. For example, I have seen some of the textbooks my friends from public schools read and each one of them (especially the government and history books) have such biased information. I feel blessed to be able to attend such a free-thinking school but it angers me when I see some of my fellow students treat this gift with such ambivalence. I know kids that would kill for this kind of freedom. Do not misunderstand me, there are students who do utilize this opportunity at HCHS, but the majority do not.

  5. It is true that students tend to be slow to speak up and voice their point of view; I try to help students see how empowered they van be intellectually; I am not sure if it is just an age matter or what; I suspect in part, some of it is apathy. I would like to hear more about what public school texts say the HCHS does not. In the history dept, we only use (as of this year) college textbooks. How are the public school texts biased?

  6. I talk to many students and it is not that they are slow to speak (though some are) but many of them just “don’t care.” They’re parents pay money for them to attend a high end school for them to not care? This angers me to no extent. I cannot recall the text book I read this in but it mentioned (not as clear as I am saying) that people can “choose” their professions. It does not mention anything about the population that grew in poverty or only knew poverty (which is quite a substantial population in my opinion) who end up working in McDonalds. I do not believe they chose such a profession. I am sure they had chosen something much more glamourous or at least more interesting. It makes our country seem like a goldmine for jobs which it is, but the difference in pay is large. People can’t just choose to be doctors or surgeons or rocket scientists (sorry for the cliche). Education is not the same everywhere because if it was, I do not believe there would be as many private schools. Many, not all, private schools are known for or have the persona of higher learning. This is just one example, but there are more which I find quite disturbing. If I find the name of the book I will let you know.

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