We;ve been having a medium sized tempest in a teapot in my neighborhood. There are a couple of newspapers run by students from the U of O. They aren't affiliated with the university, but do recieve some student activity fees. They may also have bulk mailing privileges but that's suddenly open to interpretation. Anyway, one is self proclaimed conservative and the other is, well if the name Student Insurgent suggests that this is tends to be a bit on the liberal, ok anarchist side of the fence you'd be right.
The self proclaimed conservatives published the infamous Mohammad cartoons from Denmark. The Insurgent responded by putting out a request for cartoons about Jesus. I've only seen two of them and yeah, they're pretty offensive. I'm not sure how many of the papers actually made it out the door becuase the university suddenly announced that the paper had been using the wrong bulk mail permit or something and held up seven hundred copies.
Anyway, the battle was joined. You'd think this is the absolute worst thing to happen in the last 2000 years. Several of the letter writers on the "you wouldn't do something like this to anybody else and get away with it side" don't seem to understand why no one else is as upset as they are. The U of O has been attacked by spokesmen for the Catholic church in Boston and by none other than Bill O'Reilly of Fox (That's almost a badge of honor) among others.
I don't know if this will end up in the local paper, but this is the text of a letter I wrote on my break this morning.
"Is it possible that those of us who call ourselves Christians would get more sympathy when we claim discrimination if we hadn't already shot ourselves in both feet over the centuries.
Constantine legalized Christianity within the Roman Empire and we haven't allowed each other a peaceful day since.
We've hurled heresy charges against each other in the early centuries. Split the church between Roman and Orthodox in the Great Schism. Preached a crusade against our own in southern France in the 1200's, followed by the Inquisition, and the European wars of religion. Protestant denominations have split and split again over perceived purity of doctrine, or the lack of it. The Southern Baptists are the latest in a long line to purge their own from any position where they can preach or teach.
Perhaps if we showed more charity and understanding for each other, we'd receive the same from others."
One good outcome from thesejournals is that I finally feel like I can express myself well enough to even send in a letter, much less hope it might appear in print.