1. Religion & Spirituality

Discuss in my forum

Austin Cline

George Fox University: Christians Lynch Barack Obama in Effigy

By September 25, 2008

Follow me on:

hristian Lynchings in the South
Christian Lynchings in the South
Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Some Christians pretend that their religion couldn't possibly harbor or be compatible with hatred and bigotry, but the facts tell an entirely different story. The history of Christianity is replete with all sorts of bigotry, intolerance, discrimination, and hatred. It doesn't necessarily have to be that way, but Christianity is a human belief system and as such is subject to all the flaws and foibles of humanity — including hatred.

The latest example — which is only a continuation of many more such examples — is an incident from George Fox Univeristy in Oregon. Students at this private Christian school hung an image of Barack Obama in effigy. When you hang a black man like that, proper term is really "lynch," a practice vigorously pursued by many good Christian gentlemen in the American South. How many students at George Fox do you suppose come from the South and are simply continuing to practice the traditions of their forefathers?

A campus custodial crew discovered the cutout of the Democratic presidential nominee about 7 a.m. Tuesday. Crew member Katlyn Search, 21, a George Fox senior from Battle Ground, Wash., said the cutout was hung by fishing line from a tree near Minthorn Hall. She, another student on the crew and their supervisor took down the cutout and reported the incident to the administration. Search said Obama cutouts can be purchased at a local supermarket.

The cutout was accompanied by the words "Act Six reject." Act Six is a scholarship program that was established two years ago and is aimed at including more low-income and minority students in the George Fox student body. Students are chosen for their leadership potential; all receive full scholarships.

Baker, the university president, said about seven of those students are African American. About 20 percent of the student body is minority, "which for us is a really significant achievement," he said.

Source: Oregon Live

George Fox University, by the way, was founded by Quakers — some of earliest abolitionists in America. It's a "significant achievement" to have a whole 20% minority students? This should tell us something about the school and just how white it is. How many students at George Fox University prefer a school with an even smaller minority population? How many see no difficulty in combining a racist ideology, White Supremacism, with a conservative, fundamentalist form of Christianity?

It’s interesting that while conservative evangelical Christians are unequivocal in their support for racial equality, the very structures of their faith serve to perpetuate inequality. It’s true that opponents of racism, slavery, and segregation have been inspired by religious beliefs. It’s true that anti-slavery activists, like civil rights activists, organized and worked from Christian churches. If this activism has been anywhere close to the equal of activism on behalf of racism, slavery, and segregation, though, why do Christian churches seem to remain the most segregated institution in American culture?

According to the research done by the authors of United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation as an Answer to the Problem of Race. only 7.5 percent of the more than 300,000 religious congregations in America are racially mixed, but only 5.5 percent of Christian congregations are racially mixed. Thus, as bad as religious groups in America are about encouraging racial and ethnic diversity in worship, Christian groups are actually worse.

Almost as bad is the manner in which many Christians enable this sort of behavior by denying its presence in their ranks.

Jared Rogers, a 21-year-old senior, also was among those who found out about the incident when he read the campus-wide e-mail. "I was surprised. Obviously. it's not something you'd expect for a Christian campus," Roger said. "To me, it's someone who wanted a lot of attention."

He said he thinks the hanging of the cutout was "definitely racist."

"Why would you connect Obama to Act 6 unless you were intending racist undertones?" he said. But he added, "We've never had anything like that on campus. In general, George Fox is not racist at all."

At least Jared Rogers recognizes that the act was racist — the fact that he needs to point it out so specifically and strongly suggests that others at the school may be denying the racism. Nevertheless, Rogers is still having trouble recognizing that racism is something you should expect just about anywhere in America. A Christian campus not only isn't exempt, but in some cases Christian campuses have been some of the strongest bastions of racism. Has he never heard of Bob Jones University?

When it comes to the idea that "George Fox is not racist at all," I think that a good response comes from alumnus Auguste at Pandagon:

George Fox is a weird conundrum, in a way: The faculty is very moderate for a Christian school - the perennial conflict is when sheltered fundies get their kids to the school, find out the Biology program has a course in Evolution, they raise a stink about it, and the administration calmly tells them that if their kids don’t want to learn evolution, they’re more than welcome to stay as far away from the science building as their conscience dicates, thank you very much.

Of course, this throws a wrench into the plans of a few pre-med creationists. Win-win, n’est pas? - but the student body skews crazy. I’m talking Sarah Palin, God-bought-my-swimming-pool crazy. And although you don’t have to be a BMW-driving evangelical to be a complete, unrepentant bigot, it certainly helps.

Of course, not only the fundies have unexamined privilege issues: This is a private college in Oregon, after all. And although when I was there 10+ years ago...there were several racially charged incidents on campus, I had both hoped things had improved and wondered what the reaction was to Obama’s candidacy, given the overwhelming conservativeness of the students. Both questions were answered for me yesterday, and I wish I were more surprised. [emphasis added]

So, the student body skews "crazy right-wing Christian" and, at the same time, the campus has a history of racially charged incidents. Well, everywhere in America has a history of racially charged incidents because the entire country has a long, tragic history of racism, so in a sense George Fox University is probably pretty average. On the other hand, there is also a strong correlation in America between conservative religion among whites and racism. Because of that, it would be legitimate to wonder if perhaps the correlation here is more than coincidental.

Ku Klux Klan (KKK) Salute a Steel Cross, December 2, 2000, Cincinnati, Ohio
Ku Klux Klan (KKK) Salute a Steel Cross
December 2, 2000, Cincinnati, Ohio
Photo: Tom Uhlman/Getty Images

If so, the only way forward for the administration at George Fox University is to confront racism directly. They have to acknowledge the past history and present reality of racism in America — which is to say, that racism isn't merely historical but is instead a very real and present factor. They have to acknowledge the extensive involvement of Christianity in American racism, doing a lot of the heavy ideological lifting necessary to provide religious and political justifications not only for slavery, segregation, racism, and discrimination, but also for the current denials of continuing racism and the rejection of programs which would address the effects of racism.

Basically, George Fox University has to make its students feel responsible for the state of race relations in their community, families, and churches. They have to make the students participants, not spectators, and get them to realize that White Supremacism is a systematic problem which must be attacked on the level of institutions, not merely a personal sin which can only be solved through personal salvation. So long as white students feel that standing on the sidelines as passive observers of others' racism means that they are removed from the problem, then the problems will continue and those who are willing to lynch blacks — in effigy or in reality — will feel empowered to continue doing so.

To see where this sort of Christianity leads, we need to move to the other side of the country. In New Jersey, a white nationalist organization has distributed flyers attacking Barack Obama simply because his skin color is darker than theirs:

They show unflattering photos of Obama, including one that makes him look like Osama bin Laden above text that says: "Black Ruled Nations most unstable and violent in the world."

The black-and-white flier cites poverty, HIV and unemployment rates in Haiti and South Africa and says: "The United States of America will be next! Why should we seal our fate by allowing a black ruler to destroy us?"

Source: Huffington Post

The Smoking Gun has a picture, if your stomach is strong enough. The League of American Patriots, which is listed on the flyers as being responsible for them, says that their membership is "restricted to adult heterosexual men and women who are entirely of European Christian ancestry." To be fair, they only say "ancestry," so I suppose technically that if your ancestry is Christian, but you're currently Jewish or Buddhist, they would accept you — right? Waddaya think? Yeah, maybe they wouldn't go for it.

They do seem to favor many of the most popular issues with the Christian Right, though they predictably take things just a bit further:

For decades, contraception and abortions on demand have been crippling the daughters of Europe’s ability to grow our people beyond a mere replacement level. Every means at our disposal must be used to discourage Western women from terminating the life of coming generations of our people. We strongly encourage our people to get married as young as possible so that the best women may remove themselves from the workforce to have and raise children. Employers must be compelled to pay a “family wage” thereby allowing a husband to adequately support a wife and children in relative comfort.

When Southerners wanted to leave the Union and create a slave-holding nation, they managed to find ample support in God’s words for that. Throughout the course of the war, they cited God and the Bible to argue that the South was engaged in a holy and righteous cause. Their attitudes really weren't that far different form the Christian Right today — and it's no coincidence that the modern Christian Right is strongest in precisely the same geographic area that once made up by the Confederacy.

Southern slave owners had little interest in general liberty or maintaining a democratic republic. Their ideals were founded upon patriarchy, timocracy, and authoritarianism — not liberty, democracy, or other values people tend to take for granted today. In effect, Christianity constituted an important basis for anti-democratic movements in the South designed to deny liberty to large numbers of people, primarily (though not solely) slaves. The same is very much true today of the Christian right: their authoritarian theology is far more compatible with authoritarian government than it is with democracy and liberty.

 

Update: Several George Fox students who commented here didn't like the fact that I assumed that the perpetrator(s) studied at the university or was even necessarily Christian, even though it was implausible that the incident was committed by non-Christian outsiders — and even though these same objections came from people who kept assuming that the incident was committed by just a single person. Well, as it turns out that the virtual lynching was indeed done by George Fox University students. Four of them, to be precise:

A statement from the school said the penalties against the four students were "immediate long-term suspension and public service." The school cited federal privacy rules in not disclosing more about the students or their punishment.

The FBI is investigating whether any civil rights were violated.

"A criminal investigation is much more rigorous than an academic one, obviously," said Beth Anne Steele, an FBI spokeswoman. She couldn't say when the investigation would be complete.

Felton said the university's own investigation led to the four students. "To the best of our knowledge these are the only people involved," he said. "We're not pursuing it any further."

Source: AP News

Auguste, the George Fox University alumnus quoted above, explains that the punishment is awfully light but this may be to make the FBI investigation easier.

Comments
September 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm
(1) MATT says:

As a George Fox Student I think you’ve got things so unintelligibly skewed.
1) Give me the list George Fox’s racist historical events.
2) Do we know that the act was produced by a student of George Fox?
3) How can you indict all of Christianity for the act of one person?
4) HOW CAN YOU BLAME CHRISTIANITY for something it neither condones nor can itself commit?
5) Do you know anything about sociology? The separation of people based on commonality (e.g. skin color) is very much a natural phenomenon and not a racist byproduct.
6) If you could only go and be with the students on the campus you would see that they are heartbroken and angry about this incident. This is not just a horrible misrepresentation of the environment at George Fox – it is a despicable act towards those we love.
7) GEORGE FOX AND THE ENTIRE STUPDENT AND FACULTY BODY IS ANGRY TOO! How are we being painted as racial bigots for the act one person?

September 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm
(2) Austin Cline says:

1) Give me the list George Fox’s racist historical events.

Did you see the quote I gave?

2) Do we know that the act was produced by a student of George Fox?

Why would a non-student reference Act 6? The category has no relevance for anyone else.

3) How can you indict all of Christianity for the act of one person?

And where, exactly, did I “indict” Christianity more than humanity in general?

4) HOW CAN YOU BLAME CHRISTIANITY for something it neither condones nor can itself commit?

I’ve blamed Christianity to the extent that it is blame-worthy. Ignorance — or worse, denial — of the long history of Christanity in justifying, defending, and promoting racism is part of what helps incidents like this occur. People who are not explicitly racist but how are in denial about racism ultimately enable racist incidents.

5) Do you know anything about sociology? The separation of people based on commonality (e.g. skin color) is very much a natural phenomenon and not a racist byproduct.

And that’s why people “naturally” separate into mutually hostile communities of different hair color, eye color, and height?

6) If you could only go and be with the students on the campus you would see that they are heartbroken and angry about this incident.

I’m sure many are, but what have they done to prevent such acts from occurring in the first place? Why is the minority population there so small?

This is not just a horrible misrepresentation of the environment at George Fox – it is a despicable act towards those we love.

Feel free to show how I’ve misrepresented anything.

7) GEORGE FOX AND THE ENTIRE STUPDENT AND FACULTY BODY IS ANGRY TOO!

They should be angry, but merely being angry won’t help if people are also in denial.

How are we being painted as racial bigots for the act one person?

Hey, you’re the person who thinks it’s “natural” for people of different skin colors to “separate” (which, in the context of race, is known as “segregation”). So tell me the ways in which describing racial segregation as “natural” is a sign that one doesn’t harbor any racial prejudices or assumptions at all.

September 25, 2008 at 3:45 pm
(3) DaveTheWave says:

YOU GO AUSTIN!!!!!!

I would bet it’s crocodile tears being wept at George Fox. Poor, oppressed christians. Hey Matt, is evolution taught at Fox?

September 25, 2008 at 3:55 pm
(4) Dean says:

To be fair, in a state that is over 87% white and less than 5% black, it IS an achievement to have a student population that is 20% minorities. The whole country is about 23-24% minorities, and they are not equally distributed. The population of my county in SC (Richland) is nearly 50% black. Are we supposed to bus our ‘extras’ off to Washington so they can have more than 20% minority representation? I don’t think so.

Other than that, I think Austin is pretty close to the money. He may be guilty of letting his passion get away from him, but in this context some passion is appropriate.

September 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm
(5) Matt says:

Natural in terms of geography and commonality. This is not some deeply engrained racism – it is a sociological observation not made by me.

“I’ve blamed Christianity to the extent that it is blame-worthy. Ignorance — or worse, denial — of the long history of Christianity in justifying, defending, and promoting racism is part of what helps incidents like this occur. People who are not explicitly racist but how are in denial about racism ultimately enable racist incidents.”

Of course, taking your reasoning to its logical conclusion means it is Atheism that is responsible for the worst acts of History. Since Christianity cannot in itself do any of the things you charge it of, we must conclude that the common NRA cry is true “it is not guns that kill people; it is people that kill people.” You cannot indict CHRISTIANITY for something it neither condones, nor cannot itself commit.

“I’m sure many are, but what have they done to prevent such acts from occurring in the first place? Why is the minority population there so small?”

Actually, we promote diversity through numerous abroad trips, diversity assemblies, act 6 and etc. It is not exactly easy to have diversity at a school that exists in a small and predominately white town. Also, these acts have been discouraged by the message of Christ’s love and all encompassing embrace of all people. And we are not merely angry – we have taken proper action by consulting the authorities and assembling the students. Of course not judicial action can occur because it was deemed as “freedom of expression.”

September 25, 2008 at 4:22 pm
(6) Matt says:

“Hey Matt, is evolution taught at Fox?”

To the dismay of many parents, yes it is. Our biology professors do not only teach it, they believe it. Evolution and Christianity are not mutually exclusive.

September 25, 2008 at 4:52 pm
(7) Austin Cline says:

To be fair, in a state that is over 87% white and less than 5% black, it IS an achievement to have a student population that is 20% minorities.

This assumes that schools will reflect the makeup of the surrounding area. Many schools do in fact bring in lots of students from outside the area and from across the country. Isn’t George Fox just such a school?

September 25, 2008 at 4:56 pm
(8) Austin Cline says:

Natural in terms of geography and commonality.

And how does this apply to race in George Fox?

Of course, taking your reasoning to its logical conclusion means it is Atheism that is responsible for the worst acts of History.

Atheism isn’t an ideology or belief system which encourages or discourages anything. It’s a state, like being short or bald. Is shortness or baldness responsible for anything?

You cannot indict CHRISTIANITY for something it neither condones, nor cannot itself commit.

Except that many Christians have argued that Christianity condones and/or requires exactly the bigotry at issue.

Actually, we promote diversity through numerous abroad trips, diversity assemblies, act 6 and etc.

Trips and assemblies don’t do much for “diversity.”

It is not exactly easy to have diversity at a school that exists in a small and predominately white town.

The legacy of racism makes fighting racism very hard, but the denial you’re demonstrating here is worse.

Of course not judicial action can occur because it was deemed as “freedom of expression.”

Lynching was a form of terrorism perpetrated by white Christians against blacks — usually Christians themselves. Virtual lynching like this is little more than a terroristic threat.

September 25, 2008 at 5:16 pm
(9) MattB says:

I am saddened that this incident has happened especially at a Christian school. And I resent the fact that the writer said that Bob Jones University is racist. Has he ever been there? There’s black people walking around unharrassed and frankly I don’t see it in a lot of places I go Christian or not. Maybe I’m just sheltered?

September 25, 2008 at 5:36 pm
(10) Harmony says:

Hello Austin,
I appreciate your passion. Passion is a powerful tool that helps us convey ideas and concepts well. I would like to tell you that as a person who has a specific belief system, I agree with your overarching statements about the history of the Christian religion. The organizations which humans have created and, which they claim, represent Jesus Christ have been the cause of great bigotry, murder, racism, hatred, and many other common enough human characteristic manifestations. As you state, Christianity manifests all of the failings and shortcomings of humanity itself. Humans use their ability to organize and empower themselves through group activities to shut out and hurt others who do not “belong”. This is an unfortunate truth. Many people who have claimed no belief system have stood against this. These people have stood against injustice and racism and other atrocities. And at the same time, those who claim to be Christians have been the greatest instigators of horrible acts or have closed their eyes while horrible acts were committed. Both the United Kingdom and The United States of America turned their backs on thousands of Jews who were expelled from Germany in 1938 on freighter boats. They came to American harbors and were turned away with little to no food and clothing. Thousands died because no one wanted to open their boarders to Jews. It should be said that the majority of those who died were white, but that made no difference. Skin color did not endear them to American hearts. However, there have been great men and women of belief who have stood up for what is right. Martin Luther King Jr. was a minister of the Gospel, for example. He being dead still speaks to us today against the injustice of racism. Mother Teresa saved the lives of thousands in India in her lifetime. She was also a missionary of the Catholic Church. Suffice it to say, these people and others believed they were moved by a greater love than their own to help others overcome hatred, bigotry, poverty, fear, and famine. My point is this: Love has a name and the name is not Christianity, or any religion for that matter. Love is what changes people. When people manifest love, they are really showing who God is even if they do not call themselves a Christian. Jesus taught love. He took in prostitutes, ministered to outcasts, healed the sick (all things which I readily admit I cannot prove) and he died so that all men everywhere can experience what real love is. So Love has a name and His name is Jesus. He isn’t denominationally affiliated. He is a friend to the friendless. When we really get to know him, the issues of bigotry, racism, fear, hatred, poverty, disease, famine, and so many others are solved, not because we now belong to an organization that can bully others around but because He is the solution to all the failures and shortcomings of humans. Have a great day.

September 25, 2008 at 5:37 pm
(11) Austin Cline says:

I resent the fact that the writer said that Bob Jones University is racist.

That was a reference to BJU’s past — that statement wasn’t in the present tense. Or are you trying to claim that BJU has never been racist?

September 25, 2008 at 6:07 pm
(12) Matt says:

“And how does this apply to race in George Fox?”

I’m not sure why geography would not apply when it comes to dealing with diversity. Diversity very much depends upon location. I hope you don’t presume to incite the same racist charges against the Ashanti Tribe in Africa for having virtually no diversity.

“Atheism isn’t an ideology or belief system which encourages or discourages anything. It’s a state, like being short or bald. Is shortness or baldness responsible for anything?”

Of course this disregards the ACTUAL dictionary definition of Atheism: “the doctrine or belief that there is no God.” Having the REAL definition of terms makes all the difference. Atheism is indeed a belief because it makes its claims without sufficient evidence. You must be confused with agnosticism. A belief is very much volitional – if baldness were volitional I’m sure we’d see an increase in crazy hairdos.

“Except that many Christians have argued that Christianity condones and/or requires exactly the bigotry at issue.”

See now, you are still confusing Christians with Christianity. If a democrat goes on a homicidal rampage, we do not presume that it is the democratic ideology that is responsible. Admittedly, Christians can do stupid things (and atheist’s are not without a tragic history of stupidity as well) but you are again trying to indict Christianity for something it neither condones, nor can itself commit. An atheist arguing that atheism requires mass slaughter does not make it so.

“Trips and assemblies don’t do much for ‘diversity.’”

Raising awareness is not an effective instrument for both prevention and promotion? What then do you intend to accomplish here?

“The legacy of racism makes fighting racism very hard, but the denial you’re demonstrating here is worse.”

Except I am not denying that racism exists, I’m challenging your assessment of George Fox and its campus.

“Lynching was a form of terrorism perpetrated by white Christians against blacks — usually Christians themselves. Virtual lynching like this is little more than a terrorist threat.”

What was done was wrong, and it had all the markings of a hate crime. Unfortunately the local authorities did not deem it as such and thus no formal investigation will occur. If you will remember, Stalin purposed that religion was anti-science and must therefore be eliminated. There is no bigotry inherent in science, but Stalin used it as such. Unfortunately some Christians have done the same thing.

September 25, 2008 at 6:28 pm
(13) Austin Cline says:

I’m not sure why geography would not apply when it comes to dealing with diversity. Diversity very much depends upon location. I hope you don’t presume to incite the same racist charges against the Ashanti Tribe in Africa for having virtually no diversity.

I hope you don’t presume to compare the two, or are you going to argue that the Ashanti tribe goes out to recruit people to come join them?

Of course this disregards the ACTUAL dictionary definition of Atheism: “the doctrine or belief that there is no God.” Having the REAL definition of terms makes all the difference.

Yes, it does, and you need to get a better dictionary — or at least quote it fully.

You must be confused with agnosticism.

No, but I suspect you’re as misinformed about agnosticism as you are about atheism.

See now, you are still confusing Christians with Christianity.

Christianity is defined, in large part, by what Christians actually do because there is no Christianity independent of the beliefs and actions of Christians.

If a democrat goes on a homicidal rampage, we do not presume that it is the democratic ideology that is responsible.

If he does so in the name of the Democratic Party and points to Democratic ideas which legitimately support his rampage, then yes.

Raising awareness is not an effective instrument for both prevention and promotion

Trips and assemblies don’t do much to “raise awareness.” That’s only really accomplished through daily interaction.

What was done was wrong, and it had all the markings of a hate crime. Unfortunately the local authorities did not deem it as such and thus no formal investigation will occur.

And yet you want to challenge my assessment of George Fox University.

September 25, 2008 at 6:37 pm
(14) The Sojourner says:

Harmony:

Since when is Jesus CHRIST not denominationally affiliated? That’s news to me. Do you mean to tell me that a belief in CHRIST is not by it’s very nature “denominationally affiliated”?

What then is a CHRISTian, a believer in Zeus? One does not need Christ or any other to be a loving, compassionate human being. As a matter of fact, many so called Christians are about as non-Christlike as they can be. They are bigoted,judgmental,unforgiving and hateful; yet they still profess to be following Christ.

You will probably say “Oh, these are not the true Christians”. Well they claim they are just as Christian as you are. Apparently, Christianity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Please spare me the platitudes of your loving god who will throw you into eternal damnation and suffering if you do not accept him.

When the Christians can accept the rest of the world without being self righteous, holier than thou, and thumping the bible at anyone who dares to differ, I may be more inclined to at least listen to them respectfully.

However, until they are truly respectful of others beliefs, opinions, yes, even sexual preferences, you have lost my consideration for you and your views.

When they stop trying to steamroll their religious beliefs over science, history, and anything that doesn’t fit in their book of myths, I will believe they really are compassionate and loving. Until then, Do not rave on about Christ’s love and compassion, etc. IT DOES NOT COMPUTE!

September 25, 2008 at 7:26 pm
(15) MATT says:

“I hope you don’t presume to compare the two, or are you going to argue that the Ashanti tribe goes out to recruit people to come join them?”

So it is better not to actively seek to diversify our school? The difference between the Ashanti Tribe and George Fox is that George Fox seeks out diversity. So you knock it for its effort and its apparent unsuccessfulness. So George Fox would do well not, through scholarships, trips, assemblies, awareness and invitation, to try and achieve diversity?

“Yes, it does, and you need to get a better dictionary — or at least quote it fully”
I quoted the entire first definition of atheism from Dictionary.com. Here let me give you both definitions, from both American Heritage and Dictionary.com.
Dictionary.com
1.the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
2.disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings

American Heritage:
1.Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
2.The doctrine that there is no God or gods.

As you can see, the point still remains. Of course your “definition” still affirms that atheism requires belief. And I do not need any help with defining either atheism or agnosticism – their meanings are explicit merely by their Greek roots.

“Christianity is defined, in large part, by what Christians actually do because there is no Christianity independent of the beliefs and actions of Christians.”

That’s great. Now just so were clear, is it defined by a majority of Christians, or a small faction of Christian fundamentalism? If it is defined by the former then your case for Christianity is false. Is atheism defined but what a minority of atheist do?

Just as atheism independent of its believers is “the belief that no god(s) exist,” so Christianity apart from its believers is “the belief that Jesus Christ died on a cross for sins and rose again.” Or even “to be Christlike.”

“If he does so in the name of the Democratic Party and points to Democratic ideas which legitimately support his rampage, then yes.”

So lynching an effigy of Obama with defamatory remarks is not against scripture and is in fact “legitimately” condoned by Christianity? Chapter and verse please…

“Trips and assemblies don’t do much to “raise awareness.” That’s only really accomplished through daily interaction.”

So let me get this straight. Trips and assemblies do not raise awareness of diversity, only a daily interaction with diversity does? What sort of circular casuistry is this? In order to raise awareness about the need for diversity you must first have diversity?

“And yet you want to challenge my assessment of George Fox University.”

If your assessment was merely “that was wrong,” I would agree. But your assessment is really a tirade on how Christianity is bad for the world.

September 25, 2008 at 7:56 pm
(16) Austin Cline says:

The difference between the Ashanti Tribe and George Fox is that George Fox seeks out diversity.

That’s exactly my point about why your analogy is invalid.

So you knock it for its effort and its apparent unsuccessfulness.

Should they be praised for the lack of success?

I quoted the entire first definition of atheism from Dictionary.com.

LIke I said, you need a better dictionary. What you cited is little more than an abridged pocket dictionary.

Of course your “definition” still affirms that atheism requires belief.

I think you need to re-read the AH definition. Pay particular attention to the very first word: disbelief. Dictionary.com chooses to put it second. Most comprehensive, unabridged dictionaries put it first.

And I do not need any help with defining either atheism or agnosticism – their meanings are explicit merely by their Greek roots.

Well, since you concede that the Greek root are dispositive, then you concede that you are wrong. The root “a” means “absence of, privation.” Attached to “theism,” we’re looking at the absence of belief in gods.

So lynching an effigy of Obama with defamatory remarks is not against scripture and is in fact “legitimately” condoned by Christianity? Chapter and verse please…

So, you’re admitting that you have no idea whatsoever how Christians justified slavery, segregation, anti-miscegenation laws, etc.?

So let me get this straight. Trips and assemblies do not raise awareness of diversity, only a daily interaction with diversity does?

Trips and assemblies introduce a subject, but cannot inculcate real tolerance and acceptance. Daily interaction with people who are different — in this case, people of another race — can accomplish this.

But your assessment is really a tirade on how Christianity is bad for the world.

Now you’re confusing my comments about the school with my comments about Christianity. I’m sorry, but if you can’t maintain a clear separation of the two, I don’t see how I can have a conversation with you.

September 25, 2008 at 8:51 pm
(17) Josh says:

Austin, I just wanted to let you know that Jesus loves you.

September 25, 2008 at 8:59 pm
(18) MATT says:

“That’s exactly my point about why your analogy is invalid.”

Yet it still shows the inanity of your reasoning: Better to not try than to try. Of course George Fox has succeeded in bringing diversity to George Fox, just apparently not up to your standards.

“Should they be praised for the lack of success?”

George Fox has succeeded in bringing diversity to George Fox, just apparently not enough to meet your standards of success. When there is more diversity at the school per capita than in the city they dwell, I would say they are making good progress.

“I think you need to re-read the AH definition. Pay particular attention to the very first word: disbelief. Dictionary.com chooses to put it second. Most comprehensive, unabridged dictionaries put it first.”

How ever you change the emphasis the point still exists. If you do not believe that there is a God it necessitates that you believe that there is no God. Put even more simply, disbelief in gods, requires belief that there is no gods. Agnosticism takes the truly neutral route with its emphasis on the uncertainty. Could you please syllogistically explain to me how disbelief in gods does not require belief that there are no gods? It seems you are making a distinction in which there is no difference.

“So, you’re admitting that you have no idea whatsoever how Christians justified slavery, segregation, anti-miscegenation laws, etc.?”

No, I’m telling you that their justification was not legitimate. If you would please present your case as to why it WAS indeed legitimate.

“Trips and assemblies introduce a subject, but cannot inculcate real tolerance and acceptance. Daily interaction with people who are different — in this case, people of another race — can accomplish this.”

Oh, it isn’t “real” tolerance and acceptance? Have you ever spoken with someone of the Ashanti tribe (or interacted daily with one)? If you have not than you must know that you have no “real” tolerance or acceptance of them. Your defense is literally self-refuting, starting with a variation of the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. In addition, George Fox students ARE exposed to daily interaction with people of another race. Remember we do have some diversity.

“Now you’re confusing my comments about the school with my comments about Christianity. I’m sorry, but if you can’t maintain a coherent separation of the two, there’s just no use trying to have a conversation with you.”

Your comments about the school were very much comments about Christianity as a whole, citing George Fox as a microcosm of typical Christian bigotry. If I am confusing the comments it is only because the two are so conflated.

September 26, 2008 at 12:26 am
(19) x.m.plif.i. says:

You’re an idiot. I’ll say that right now.

You make a big deal out of nothing. You only know what you’ve seen on the media, and nothing firsthand. Did you know the media gives us a skewed perspective on news?

Secondly, it said that the sign was hung with fishing line. Did you see it? Did anyone say the fishing line was used as a noose around Obama’s neck? No, because it wasn’t. It was merely used as a crude device to put the sign in place.

Thirdly, do you know what Serve Day is? I’ll bet you don’t. The media hasn’t told you what serve day is. Serve day is a day where the entire resident campus of George Fox goes out and VOLUNTEERS for the community. They do it once a year, and its completely voluntary. Students are highly encouraged to go, but they don’t have to. We do yardwork, clean animal cages, feed the poor and paint murals for Sunday Schools.
George Fox also has two Friday night groups called Urban Services. One group delivers food to Portland, while the other delivers food to Salem. This food is used to feed the homeless and the hungry.
George Fox does many programs like this, several times a year.

For the last part, the majority of people that come here are white, not because whites choose to come here, but simply because the majority of University students around the country are white.
Also, Act 6 is meant for any underprivileged teen that applies. The majority of applicants are not white, but from different minorities.

So get over your supremist view on your life. Find something better to do than spout worthless nonsense, you’re worse than Bush.

September 26, 2008 at 3:45 am
(20) Laura says:

As a George Fox senior who is also a Christian, I am extremely offended by your insinuations. I specify that I am a Christian because not all of the students on campus are. We come from many different backgrounds and beliefs and we’re all here for various reasons. The college, and most of its students, is firmly rooted in its Christian beliefs and background. This act, done by one person or a very small group of people, is representative in NO WAY of the general beliefs on this campus. We have no idea who did this; whether a member of the GFU community or an outsider. You pick apart Matt’s comment asking you how you know the act was produced by a student by saying, “why would a non-student reference Act 6? The category has no relevance for anyone else.” Nobody knows 100% that this was a student. It could have just as easily been a member of the Newberg community, whether it makes sense for them to do that or not. You’re jumping to conclusions when you state in your article, as fact, that a student did this.

Auguste attended Fox OVER TEN YEARS AGO. Things have changed in 10 years. We’ve gotten so much more diverse just in the 3+ years I’ve been here. We have 65 Chinese students on campus this year, which is considerably more than when I was a Freshman, as well as other students from all over Asia attending Fox.

Matt asked for a list of racist historical events and all I see from you is a quote from an alumnus who graduated over 10 years ago simply saying “there were a number of racially charged incidents on campus”

Matt also says, “how can you indict all of Christianity for the act of one person?” You respond with, “where, exactly, did I “indict” Christianity more than humanity in general?” Right in the title of your article. “CHRISTIANS Lynch Barack Obama in Effegy”

And Matt is right, the entire student body and the administration here is angry. You say, “but merely being angry won’t help if people are also in denial” In no way are we in denial. Before this happened, we had no reason to believe that racism existed on our campus, but we still DID hold race discussions, I’ve attended several myself, we had talk-back sessions, we have a multicultural club, as Matt tried to tell you, but whether it was a student or not, it got us talking even more. We’re discussing it in our classes. We’re discussing it in chapel. We’re discussing it in our residence halls. There are NUMEROUS talk-backs scheduled to discuss it. We’ve already had several events on campus discussing this event. Our faculty and administration are taking it very seriously and doing everything they can to use it as a teaching tool. Right on our website you can find how our administration is addressing the issue. http://www.georgefox.edu/featured_stories/campus_incident.html

“To be fair, in a state that is over 87% white and less than 5% black, it IS an achievement to have a student population that is 20% minorities.
This assumes that schools will reflect the makeup of the surrounding area. Many schools do in fact bring in lots of students from outside the area and from across the country. Isn’t George Fox just such a school?”
NO! George Fox DOES attract mainly students from the area. Just a quick check on collegeboard.com will find that 68% of students come from Oregon. And most of the other students come from Washington, California and Idaho. And NO, we do not have many students from across the country. For a school with 68% Oregonians, who live in a state that’s 13% minority, and a huge percentage of the last 32% from mainly white Washington, yes, 20% minorities is a big deal. However, I like x.m.plif.i’s comment in noting that most of the University students around the country ARE white.
“What was done was wrong, and it had all the markings of a hate crime. Unfortunately the local authorities did not deem it as such and thus no formal investigation will occur.
And yet you want to challenge my assessment of George Fox University.”
Even if that WAS true, and the local authorities chose not to get involved, it would NOT have been George Fox that didn’t deem a formal investigation necessary, it would have been the local police. But there IS actually an investigation. The local police ARE involved and investigating.
I pray that after hearing more of the facts and also hearing what x.m.plif.i mentioned about all that we do around the community to serve, that you’ll have opened your eyes to what the true culture and the true beliefs of the George Fox community really is. What we really stand for and believe in. That this was one single act, whether made by a student or not, does not define us and our beliefs, or Christians in general.

September 26, 2008 at 6:16 am
(21) Austin Cline says:

Better to not try than to try.

That hasn’t been my reasoning.

You’re very confused here. Perhaps you should take a step back and explain what it is you think I am saying before you continuing to spin around in circles like this.

George Fox has succeeded in bringing diversity to George Fox, just apparently not enough to meet your standards of success.

And is this recent incident a sign of that success?

When there is more diversity at the school per capita than in the city they dwell, I would say they are making good progress.

Only if that city is the primary source of students.

How ever you change the emphasis the point still exists.

And the point is that atheism is defined broadly as the lack of belief in gods.

If you do not believe that there is a God it necessitates that you believe that there is no God.

That is logically incoherent. The absence of something is not the negation of that thing. The phrase “not believe (x)” is not equivalent to “not (believe x).” The fact that I don’t believe you own a red car does not mean that I deny that you own a red car. There are lots and lots and lots of things that you and I don’t believe – or to put it another way, there are lots of propositions and possible propositions which you and I do not currently affirm as true. Merely not affirming them as true, however, isn’t the same as affirming the opposite.

Not affirming as true while not affirming as false, by the way, isn’t the same as agnosticism. That’s a common mistake, but a-gnosticism is about knowledge, not belief. This is related, but still a separate issue. Being agnostic about some matter may be a reason why you neither affirm a proposition as true or false, but it’s not the only reason why you might… and you might affirm a proposition as true or false despite being “agnostic” (i.e., not being able to claim to know for sure that it’s true or false).

I notice that you are ignoring the Greek roots, right after incorrectly pronouncing them as support for your idea about the definition of atheism. Are the roots only worth paying attention to so long as you think they support you? I think that ever word with the prefix “a-” means “absence of or privation of” whatever the root is: a-moral, a-political, a-tonal, a-synchronous, etc.

No, I’m telling you that their justification was not legitimate. If you would please present your case as to why it WAS indeed legitimate.

Since I don’t accept the authority of your traditions or scriptures, I can’t claim that either of you are “legitimate” from a religious perspective. You, however, are more than welcome to explain why so many millions of Christians through history were so wrong in thinking that racial prejudice and worse was at the very least permitted by Christianity if not in fact justified by it.

Personally, I think it’s curious how many Christians are convinced that millions and millions of other Christians throughout history have been completely wrong while only they and others who just happen to share a similar cultural, economic, national, and social background happen to be right. They can all find scriptural “foundations” for this and there’s no way that culture, nationality, economics, and other factors could be playing a causal role here.

September 26, 2008 at 6:19 am
(22) Austin Cline says:

You’re an idiot. I’ll say that right now.

Is everyone who disagrees with you an idiot?

You make a big deal out of nothing.

Lynching a presidential candidate in effigy is “nothing”? Why not?

You only know what you’ve seen on the media, and nothing firsthand. Did you know the media gives us a skewed perspective on news?

And is there something about the context that makes lynching acceptable?

Secondly, it said that the sign was hung with fishing line. Did you see it? Did anyone say the fishing line was used as a noose around Obama’s neck? No, because it wasn’t. It was merely used as a crude device to put the sign in place.

There are lots of ways to affix something to a tree. Hanging a person by the neck is not the most obvious unless you’re trying to send a message.

Thirdly, do you know what Serve Day is? I’ll bet you don’t. The media hasn’t told you what serve day is.

Unless you can explain how it’s relevant to lynching someone in effigy, why should they?

For the last part, the majority of people that come here are white, not because whites choose to come here, but simply because the majority of University students around the country are white.

Um…. 80%? If not, your argument fails.

So get over your supremist view on your life.

Feel free to point out how I have expressed any such view.

September 26, 2008 at 6:28 am
(23) Austin Cline says:

I am extremely offended by your insinuations.

I’m sorry that you are offended by your interpretation of what you think I mean to say. It seems to me that you should be more offended by racist incidents on your campus than by someone who is critical of such incidents, who is critical of Christianity’s history of racism, and who is critical of the denial of racism that is so common today among white Christians.

In no way are we in denial. Before this happened, we had no reason to believe that racism existed on our campus

So, you’re not in denial… but in the very next sentence, you effectively admit that you were all in denial. Unless you imagined that you were somehow special and unique, you had every reason to expect there to be racism on campus and among students – maybe not overt cross-burning-racism, but at least the implicit prejudices, assumptions, expectations of privileges, etc.

And now you’re “discussing” it. How many of these discussions are all or mostly all white people? How many of the discussions are about the endemic nature of white privilege and the ways in which evangelical Christianity makes it easier for institutional racism to thrive?

Right on our website you can find how our administration is addressing the issue.

I see a page linking to condemnations of the incident. That’s “addressing” the issue?

I’ve already written about how institutions like GFU need to address racism. By pointing me to how much less is being done, you aren’t convincing me that I’ve been mistaken in any way. On the contrary, you’re only confirming the idea that denial is running deep and strong.

Just a quick check on collegeboard.com will find that 68% of students come from Oregon. And most of the other students come from Washington, California and Idaho.

Given the higher minority rates in Washington and California, you’re shooting yourself in the foot here.

But there IS actually an investigation.

Maybe you and Matt need to get together to get your stories straight.

Do you agree with x.m.plif.i. that this wasn’t a big deal?

September 26, 2008 at 10:47 am
(24) Dean says:

Washington was the state which I pointed out is over 87% white and less than 5% black. Oregon is between 86 and 87% white and less than 3% black. Most universities DO get the majority of students from the state they are in and much of the remainder from neighboring states.

OTH, George Fox has less than 2% African Americans in the student population, most of their 20% of minorities come from other groups, so when it comes to blacks they manage to go below their representation in the states they are drawing from. Not so dramatically as USC Berkeley, however, which is about 3% African American in a state that is over 7% black.

September 26, 2008 at 11:58 am
(25) Jen says:

Austin,

All I can say is that you have no right to make accusations or assumptions about a university that you have never been to. You do not know the facts about anything going on at our our campus, thus it is not your place to state who we are and what we are about based on just several news articles about what went on here. Maybe you should come visit so that you see what we as students, mainly Christians, and a university are really like.

September 26, 2008 at 12:15 pm
(26) Austin Cline says:

All I can say is that you have no right to make accusations or assumptions about a university that you have never been to.

And what accusations have I made?

You do not know the facts about anything going on at our our campus, thus it is not your place to state who we are and what we are about based on just several news articles about what went on here.

And what have I claimed about who you are and what you are, aside from generalizations which are true about everyone?

September 26, 2008 at 1:29 pm
(27) MATT says:

“That hasn’t been my reasoning.”

It may have never intended to be your reasoning, but it has certainly come to be your reasoning. George Fox receives most of its students from the surrounding areas and it has succeeded in having more diversity than the surrounding area. The Ashanti Tribe has no diversity because they do not seek it out. George Fox seeks it out and thus does in fact have more diversity per capita than its surrounding area. According to your logic, which is better?

“And is this recent incident a sign of that success?”

No this recent incident is apparently your excuse for ignoring its success. If George Fox is to be defined by the majority of its students and faculty (and not by a small margin), than why focus on the aberration as if the aberration is a clear picture of the universities character and environment.

“The absence of something is not the negation of that thing. The phrase “not believe (x)” is not equivalent to “not (believe x).” The fact that I don’t believe you own a red car does not mean that I deny that you own a red car.”

You not believing that I own a car is still absolutely volitional and cannot be compared to shortness or baldness. Since agnosticism is an understanding that there is no certainty on the matter, what is atheism? Is there certainty in atheism?

“Merely not affirming them as true, however, isn’t the same as affirming the opposite.”

So affirming that something is not true is not in essence affirming that it is false? Tell me Mr. Cline, do you believe Christianity to be false? Let’s think as college students. We have a true or false essay. There are 3 boxes for “Christianity is true.” True, False, and I don’t know. Where would you put your mark? And even if you were correct, and baldness and shortness are comparable to atheism, you are still so very wrong. Surely even you would say that shortness and baldness can be causal factors for numerous atrocities – maybe mass genocide of those who are tall.

“They can all find scriptural “foundations” for this and there’s no way that culture, nationality, economics, and other factors could be playing a causal role here.”

No one disagrees with you here. You are treating those who persecuted others as if they had legitimate scriptural support. I’m asking you to show me where. I happen to believe they were more influenced by other factors, in which case, it is not Christianity you ought to blame but rather the factors in which are truly responsible. Either you have a legitimate case as to why Christianity is to be blamed or you do not.

September 26, 2008 at 1:39 pm
(28) Austin Cline says:

It may have never intended to be your reasoning, but it has certainly come to be your reasoning. George Fox receives most of its students from the surrounding areas and it has succeeded in having more diversity than the surrounding area. The Ashanti Tribe has no diversity because they do not seek it out. George Fox seeks it out and thus does in fact have more diversity per capita than its surrounding area. According to your logic, which is better?

1. Apparently, GFU has a lower percentage of blacks than the state.

2. GFU and the Ashanti aren’t analogous because they exist for entirely different purposes. They can’t be held to the same standards.

No this recent incident is apparently your excuse for ignoring its success.

No, it’s a sign that the success hasn’t happened to the degree you assume.

You not believing that I own a car is still absolutely volitional and cannot be compared to shortness or baldness.

No, beliefs are not volitional. I don’t “choose” to not believe you own a red car or a blue car any more than I “choose” to not believe their are elves under my desk.

Since agnosticism is an understanding that there is no certainty on the matter, what is atheism? Is there certainty in atheism?

An atheist may feel certain or may not; atheism itself, however, has no requirements on the matter. Atheism is nothing more or less than the absence of belief in any gods.

“Merely not affirming them as true, however, isn’t the same as affirming the opposite.”

So affirming that something is not true is not in essence affirming that it is false?

Please, don’t change my words and then pretend that you are responding to me. This entire exercise is to explain to you that not affirming the truth of some proposition is not the same as affirming that the proposition is not true. You changed the location of the “not” in the sentence and thereby changed it’s meaning.

I’ll phrase it correctly: “Not affirming that something is true is not, in essence, affirming that it is false.”

No one disagrees with you here. You are treating those who persecuted others as if they had legitimate scriptural support.

They believed they did and, from my perspective, their arguments are no less sound than their opponents.

I’m asking you to show me where. I happen to believe they were more influenced by other factors, in which case, it is not Christianity you ought to blame but rather the factors in which are truly responsible.

Funny, but I think that you are all heavily influenced by a large variety of other factors, but you only recognize those factors (if at all) when looking at others. That’s why their arguments are no less valid to an outsider than yours.

September 26, 2008 at 2:42 pm
(29) Truth-be-told says:

This was not a racist act!
Racism: rac-ism (noun); a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
Personally, I didn’t see anywhere in this act where there was a declaration that any race was superior to another (nor did I see that it was proven that it was a white, Christian; not that it wasn’t my first thought too). Also, the question arose as to why choose Mr. Obama as the representative for Act Six. With a quick visit to his presidental campaign website, you find multiple references to urban, low-income, and under-privileged assistance programs or initiatives. Whether you believe these are good ideas or not, you cannot argue that he is THE MOST FAMOUS person that is actively supporting and advertising these ideas.

September 26, 2008 at 3:48 pm
(30) John Hanks says:

George Fox founded the Quakers – a non-violent and non racist religious persuasion. What a bogus irony?

September 26, 2008 at 5:15 pm
(31) x.m.plif.i. says:

Not everyone who disagrees with me is an idiot. Some people have very valid arguments, and when backed up with a series of facts have the right to state that argument. You have very few facts to back you up. Sure George Fox about 20% enrollment of minorities, and the current Freshman class has about 25%, but compare that to the US Census Bureau’s statistics, that say only about 29% of American College students are minorities. If that, 11% are Asian, 7% are black, and a little over 9% are some sort of Hispanic descent.
That means our overall average is only 9% below national, and the freshman class is a lot closer to 5%.
Act 6 is permitting minority students to come to college by giving them money (and non-minorities that cannot afford it) to come to college.

The act is a big nothing. Why should the entire school be judged by the stupid actions of one immature person that may have not even gone to the school? Since Act 6 is used with local minorities, maybe there was a prospective student who couldn’t come because Act 6 did not accept him, and thus took it out on the school. I’m not saying that there is no way possible a student did not do this, but even if one did, that is only one racist person at a school of 3,600. I wouldn’t condemn the entire school on the basis of one person. Are Muslims automatically terrorists because there are a few religious extremists?
I’m saying if there is one racist in a group of 20 people, and those people tolerate him, then it doesn’t make them racist. Or possibly in a way you can understand. If there is one Christian in a group of Atheists, and they accept him, then are all the Atheists automatically Christians?
And it’s not lynching on a sign. It’s also not lynching or hanging when the wire is not around the neck.

The reason I said the perspective of the media was skewed is because the media also had no firsthand experience of the occasion. They took eyewitness accounts and skewed them to be in the stories own words. Also, the word hung does not mean the same thing as lynched in the context of the article.

The only reason I brought up Serve Day is the fact that the media did not report the entire school doing something to help the community. The media only reported on the immature antics of one person. You’re only hearing about the bad on the news, and not the good. I don’t know why you are an Atheist, but there is no reason to blame the antics of one person on an entire body of people, or even on a University. Although they do what they can to prevent it, they aren’t our parents. They don’t watch us every second of the day like grade schoolers, they expect us to be mature Christians, and yeah, one person who is an idiot can screw things up. People are all entitled to their own viewpoints, and I’ll sit there and roll my eyes at some, but we aren’t going to all be treated like we’re in boot camp. The school gives us their expectations, and people can choose to either abide by them or not. It’s called free will, and we all are adults and are expected to make good decisions.
I’ll say it again: The actions of one person do not reflect on the whole.

As a Christian, I am an accepting person. I do not mind people who choose a different route of sexuality, people who have a different religion. I believe everyone is of the same race, because we are all Children of God. I do have a pet peeve about the stupidity that can result with some people’s actions. I don’t mind if someone believes in abortion, or that we should cut down the rainforest. I will engage them in a proper debate and explain my view, and listen to theirs. Only by doing that can I take down my own walls and look inside myself to have a better understanding of the world around me.

I say that mostly because I think it is strange that the media would report on the antics of one person in context to the whole university, rather than report on the antics of many in the university to try and create some good in the world.

September 26, 2008 at 5:41 pm
(32) Austin Cline says:

The act is a big nothing.

This says a lot about you.

I’m saying if there is one racist in a group of 20 people, and those people tolerate him, then it doesn’t make them racist. Or possibly in a way you can understand. If there is one Christian in a group of Atheists, and they accept him, then are all the Atheists automatically Christians?

Condoning Christianity doesn’t justify saying that you are a Christian; condoning racism, though, can justify saying that you are a racist. There are lots of good reasons to tolerate the presence Christianity without having to be a Christian. There aren’t a lot of good reasons for tolerating the presence of hate and racism without possessing some measure of those qualities yourself.

Which is not to say that there aren’t situations where a very anti-racist person might justifiably tolerate racism – I’m thinking of things like their last, elderly grandparent who just can’t let go of their racism. I’ve never been in such a situation, but I think I’d tolerate it for the sake of spending time with them. I could not, however, tolerate it among friends and colleagues without thereby enabling that racism and thus becoming complicit.

I say that mostly because I think it is strange that the media would report on the antics of one person in context to the whole university, rather than report on the antics of many in the university to try and create some good in the world.

Well, if this incident really isn’t a big deal, then the media attention on it isn’t a big deal either.

September 26, 2008 at 6:29 pm
(33) x.m.plif.i. says:

I’m sure at one time or another, everyone has had a friend tell a racist (american, mexican, jewish), sexist (blonde, brunette, redhead), or religious(rabbi, priest, pastor) joke at one point or another in their lives. Most the time we chuckle as we think of how segregational these jokes are.
I know a few people who are very racist (I don’t think I’ve met anyone racist at George Fox), and when they bring it up, I honestly tell them that they are acting stupid, and change the subject. I continue to be their friend, because i appreciate all of their other good qualities. If their blatant racism (which does highly offend me) gets out of hand, I won’t be their friend anymore. It’s just like if I had a friend who was crude and talked about blatant sex all the time. I would feel offended at his rudeness and stop being his friend until he learned to control himself. It’s not that I’m a prude, it’s that I think stuff like that should remain personal, just like racism or intolerance should be kept personal.

I’m not trying to condone the Obama act in any way. I think it was a wrong thing to do, and the person who did it made a very bad choice. I do not however, think that this person was thinking properly. He or she probably did not thoroughly think out the consequences of his/her actions, and thus the whole thing was blown out of proportion. Now we will not know who this is, because of the fact that their name will be blown up on local and National headlines, and it will affect them greatly. They could be expelled, and worse, a company could refuse to hire them in the future. These consequences arose because someone made a stupid decision.

I guess the act wasn’t that big of a nothing, but I think all it merited was for the student to get a slap on the wrist from the president while remaining anonymous, and having to write an (again, anonymous) apology letter to the campus and (perhaps unanonymous) to Barack Obama.
Local, National, and International news had no need to get involved. I just don’t think it was that big of a deal, perhaps because I don’t believe in racism, and I believe in the fact that everyone has their own beliefs, and the opportunity to express them. People make fun of and throw crude remarks at George Bush every day, and no one cares.
Simply speaking, the world is bigger than this.

And you must harbor some hate in your heart for christians to label the entire christian body on this account. Yes, the bible spoke about slavery (Matthew 10:24), but I do not believe it condoned slavery or racism (Exodus 23:9). I believe it condones being one with all the other children of God (Ephesians 2:19, Zehariah 7:10)

Again, the act of one, or even the blatant acts of a few are not enough to condemn the majority.

September 26, 2008 at 6:36 pm
(34) x. m.plif.i. says:

I guess my biggest complaint is your title, and your whole article.

The whole article reeks of Anti-Christianity and how the whole university, and the whole religion is at fault for the act of one.

All along the course of history, there have been good people and bad people. The same is with Christians, some are good and some are bad. In fact, it’s the same with every religion, including the Amish. We remember what happened with them a few years ago.

In your article, it just seems to blame racism on Christianity, and accuse Christians as being the source of hate. It also seems that you are trying to denounce George Fox as a Bible-Thumping Looney bin.

September 26, 2008 at 7:08 pm
(35) Austin Cline says:

And you must harbor some hate in your heart for christians to label the entire christian body on this account.

Feel free to point out where I have done so.

All along the course of history, there have been good people and bad people.

Funny, but I said that in the article.

September 27, 2008 at 2:40 am
(36) KM says:

Until you have stepped foot on the campus of George Fox University, you have no right to make judgment calls on the entire student body.

Obviously you have nothing better to do with your time than respond to all of these comments until you “prove your point” that Christians are the cause of all the problems in the world.

Christians believe in forgiveness…forgive and forget. Let’s forgive, learn from what’s happened, and move forward. What’s done is done…it wasn’t right, but move on!!!!!!!!!

September 27, 2008 at 2:55 am
(37) GeckoRoamin says:

Random thoughts on the ever popular belief/disbelief debate:

If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice…

You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to…

It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is…

September 27, 2008 at 3:19 am
(38) Scott says:

Austin, you don’t live here, you never will and you have know idea of what goes on here, no idea of the kind of family and community we have. Your speculation and opinions portrayed as facts is sickening. Christians aren’t perfect, never claimed to be, we struggle with real life issues like everyone else. It’s an honor be held to a higher standard but sometimes we fall short. Our Savior forgives, and we do as well, whoever did this ugly, detestable act, we forgive you. Forgive you for the trusts that have been broken that will take time to heal. Austin I don’t know why your so angry at Christians and try to deny the existence of a living God but if your ever hurt, cold, tired, hungry- a real Fox student will take you in. Even though you boldly accuse us of ugly things you have no authority to, we will still show you love and mercy. We are George Fox University.

September 27, 2008 at 6:19 am
(39) Nick says:

And what accusations have I made?

I didn’t have to look past the first line for that one. “George Fox University: CHRISTIANS Lynch Barack Obama in Effigy”. Are you kidding me?

Unless you know who did this, which you don’t, that sounds like an accusation to me. Even if this was a Fox student, not everyone at GFU is a follower of Christ, nor do they claim to be.

Maybe you and Matt need to get together to get your stories straight.

http://www.katu.com/news/local/29773899.html

The Secret Service is investigating. Is that okay with you?

If you are going to sit at your computer and make wild accusations and assumptions, I would at least expect that you would be following the developments of the story.

What else do you expect George Fox University to do about this? You said (and I won’t quote it… there’s no way you would deny saying this) that speaking out against it, teaching students how to be high caliber individuals who act out of love and selflessness, conversing (and no, it isn’t just white students, often times students and staff of diverse backgrounds are the ones leading the discussion…) and engaging regularly with the issues through gatherings with the multicultural club, or symposiums, isn’t enough. What do you want GFU to do? Find the perpetrator and tar and feather him? The authorities have been involved since day one, first local, and now federal, with the desire to cooperate from George Fox. This probably isn’t a crime, and so it’s unlikely any legal action will be taken. If this is a student, however, I would suspect harsh punishment would be coming their way from GFU.

I’d love to hear about what George Fox should do to “not tolerate” this. What I fail to understand is how, because this sickening prank took place, we are condoning it. That makes absolutely no sense. I would appreciate if you didn’t dance around this one, respond with a cute little jab, or another question.

September 27, 2008 at 7:21 am
(40) Austin Cline says:

Until you have stepped foot on the campus of George Fox University, you have no right to make judgment calls on the entire student body.

And where did I make judgment calls on the entire student body?

Obviously you have nothing better to do with your time than respond to all of these comments until you “prove your point” that Christians are the cause of all the problems in the world.

And here I thought that responding was a matter of being polite.

Why are you posting if you don’t want a response?

Christians believe in forgiveness…forgive and forget. Let’s forgive, learn from what’s happened, and move forward. What’s done is done…it wasn’t right, but move on!!!!!!!!!

It’s a popular refrain of unjustly privileged classes to insist that we “just move on” from incidents like this. They don’t understand — or don’t care — that “forgiving,” “forgetting,” and “moving on” makes it easier for the bigotry and discrimination to continue.

September 27, 2008 at 7:28 am
(41) Austin Cline says:

Your speculation and opinions portrayed as facts is sickening.

For example?

Our Savior forgives, and we do as well, whoever did this ugly, detestable act, we forgive you.

That doesn’t actually help eliminate racism or the effects of racism, does it?

In fact, it’s the evangelical Christian focus on personal sins and personal forgiveness which has made the continuation of racism easier.

Austin I don’t know why your so angry at Christians

I don’t know why you think you can interpret the presence of anger in any of my words here, but the truth is that it’s you who is upset, not me. Are you familiar with the concept of “projection”?

and try to deny the existence of a living God

I’m not aware of any gods to “try to deny.”

Even though you boldly accuse us of ugly things you have no authority to

Feel free to point to any instances where I have accused all George Fox students of anything.

we will still show you love and mercy.

What you George Fox students have shown me is that you are willing to raise all sorts of complaints and accusations about what I’ve done, but you don’t invest any effort in offering any examples. From what I can tell, you are accusing me of things you think I’ve done — which the most common one being the ironic accusation that I’ve leveled unfair accusations against others.

We are George Fox University.

Indeed. The other thing I’ve seen George Fox students do is express deep, strong denial about racism, it’s effects, and what needs to be done to address it.

And yet, I still don’t claim that any of this is necessarily true about all George Fox students. Never have. You are the only ones making inappropriate personal accusations here.

September 27, 2008 at 7:39 am
(42) Austin Cline says:

Unless you know who did this, which you don’t, that sounds like an accusation to me. Even if this was a Fox student, not everyone at GFU is a follower of Christ, nor do they claim to be.

No, but given the context I don’t think that it’s an unreasonable conclusion. Technically, we don’t know for sure that the perpetrator is white — but would you really raise a fuss if that adjective were included? I doubt it. The chances of the perpetrator being a Chinese Muslim or Latino Buddhist just aren’t high enough to take seriously. Incidents like this are pretty consistently done by white Christians and only white Christians.

Now, as to the question you were trying to answer: it was alleged that I made accusations about the university. Tell me how the first line is an accusation about the university.

The Secret Service is investigating. Is that okay with you?

It’s hardly surprising, but it doesn’t really address the point: one student says there will be no investigation and another says there will be. I took them to be talking about investigations by local authorities. Didn’t you? The involvement of the Secret Service was a foregone conclusion — they take almost anything as a potential threat and will at least look at what happened.

If you are going to sit at your computer and make wild accusations and assumptions

Like? A “wild accusation” is one which is random and aimless — completely unjustified by facts, context, or background. So if you’re talking about the title, you’re trying to say picking a “Christian” as the perpetrator was random, unjustified by any facts, evidence, or context. Do you really want to stake out that position?

What else do you expect George Fox University to do about this?

I think I gave a clear enough summary in the article. Did you read it?

What I fail to understand is how, because this sickening prank took place, we are condoning it. That makes absolutely no sense.

I agree, and I never said that.

What I’m seeing here is that you are asking me something that I already explained and insisting that I said something I never did. It’s as if you never read anything that I’ve actually written — or, if you did, you just didn’t pay attention.

September 27, 2008 at 10:15 am
(43) mobathome says:

(19) x.m.plif.i. says: Did anyone say the fishing line was used as a noose around Obama’s neck? No, because it wasn’t. It was merely used as a crude device to put the sign in place.

From an AP article: University spokesman Rob Felton said Wednesday that the commercially produced reproduction had been suspended from the branch of a tree with fishing line around the neck. Obama effigy hung from tree at George Fox

September 27, 2008 at 12:11 pm
(44) born-again atheist says:

Hi, Austin.

I feel kind of sympathetic towards you. You seem to have taken quite a battering on this particular issue. Too bad. Some people don’t seem to ‘get it’. :(

September 27, 2008 at 1:41 pm
(45) Amanda says:

Can you tell me how denouncing the act isn’t “addressing” it? “Addressing” means “a speech or written statement, usually formal, directed to a particular group of persons” Denouncing IS addressing, but we’re doing MORE than that. We’re discussing how it’s affected our community and how it’s affected the Act 6 students. We’re sharing our feelings in forums that have been set up specifically since this happened. What kind of “addressing” would be sufficient to you? Acknowledging that it happened? We’ve done that. Acknowledging that racism still exists, and may very well exist on our campus? We’ve done that and have been doing that prior this happening. Write a formal apology letter to Obama, whether this was done by a student or not? Our president has done this.

And “denial” is having reason to believe something, but ignoring those reasons. I’d be in denial to say that the Obama cut-out never actually existed. Before this happened, we truly did not have “reason” to believe racism existed on the campus because there’s never been this sort of act committed before. Still, we didn’t ignore that it may exist. We weren’t in denial that racism may exist on our campus because there was no evidence of it existing, but we acknowledged that it COULD exist.

September 27, 2008 at 2:22 pm
(46) Austin Cline says:

Can you tell me how denouncing the act isn’t “addressing” it? “Addressing” means “a speech or written statement, usually formal, directed to a particular group of persons”

When you looked up the word “address,” I assume you saw it had more than one meaning. In this context, “addressing” an issue means dealing with it, not merely talking about it. You can’t address the effects of racism or racism itself simply by making a speech to the students.

Can you?

What kind of “addressing” would be sufficient to you?

You know, I actually addressed that in the article.

And “denial” is having reason to believe something, but ignoring those reasons.

There are abundant reasons to realize that racism is endemic throughout society and, unless your community is something so unique that it’s unlike any others that exist anywhere else in America, then it must also therefore have currents of racism and prejudice running through it.

You’re a largely white, insular community in a largely white state in a nation that has been built and run, in part, on white privilege and racism.

So, yes, you had reason to believe that racism existed in campus. You don’t need to have incidents like this to tell you that; incidents like this merely wake people up out of their denial. A little.

But it is one of the privileges of whites that they can ignore and be in denial about the racism around them because they aren’t directly impacted. Minorities don’t have that privilege because at the very least they always have to wonder, and are frequently confronted by it directly.

It existed. It was always there. It was merely part of your privilege that you could imagine that it was only a possibility and therefore not something you had to deal with.

September 27, 2008 at 2:27 pm
(47) Michael says:

I was enriched by the perspective of this article by Mr. Cline. Although this in no way undermines the thesis, It is important factually to point out that I’ve not read any article saying a student on campus was found to have done this. Mr. Cline all but says this in Paragraph 2.

None the less, people have all experienced the comfort of being in a homogeneous groups racially or in beliefs and the ‘prickly’ of it’s disruption, and hopefully have self-awareness mental sub-routines to dispell it. I will include Cline’s writings in my diet of many perspectives…

thanks

Michael

September 28, 2008 at 12:52 pm
(48) Drew says:

(10) Harmony says: “When people manifest love, they are really showing who God is even if they do not call themselves a Christian.”

What bullsh*t. When people manifest love, they are being loving. When I show love, it has nothing to do with Thor, Zeus, or Yahweh, the cruel and petty desert god of Jews and Christians. Pretending that hateful gods are “love” is the irrational, illogical, and intentionally dishonest last-ditch defence of “moderate” theists who cling to a god which societal pressure forces them to retain. Harmony, and all theists, should read their holy books and discover the real nature of their gods, all of whom were invented by human priests to keep the tribal people under control. No loving deity would condemn to torture the brightest and most educated humans of history, ie those smart enough to figure out that they do not exist.

September 28, 2008 at 2:24 pm
(49) The Sojourner says:

An afterthought:

It seems to me that whether it happened on the university campus, whether it’s a Christian university, or whether any students were responsible, or it’s an integrated educational institution, are not the issues.

To me, it is the fact that the surrounding environment would allow such utterly disgusting behavior to even exist, no matter who was responsible.

That, to me, is the quintessential issue. No matter who denies or claims responsibility, all are guilty.

September 30, 2008 at 11:18 pm
(50) Nolan Lynch says:

The media is retarded. This was a thoughtless prank, not a racist statement. Obama was the target because he is famous, not because he is black. His race is totally incidental to the prank, in my opinion. And to connect it to “Christian lynchings in the South” is pure manipulation.

Any opportunity to take easy shots at Christianity, I suppose.

October 1, 2008 at 3:10 am
(51) The Sojourner says:

Nolan:

So I guess lynching an effigy of Obama is an OK thing, then? A harmless prank, based on a hateful, lawless, idea? There is nothing pranklike about a lynching. I bet if this was an effigy of McCain or Palin or some other WHITE Politician, no one would say “Oh just a prank,just some more Christian bashing”–sure it is. Give me a break! By the way, just to clarify this, I happen to be white.

Spare me the fake outrage and indignation, please! This was WRONG, period! I also find it interesting that your last name happens to be Lynch, if that’s your real last name.

October 1, 2008 at 7:09 pm
(52) act six says:

I would just like to say that as an Act Six student, this past week has been sad and upsetting. However, we cannot change what has already happened and as Christians, we must forgive what has been done and move on. We won’t forget and we cannot forget because these are the types of things that will help change our campus for the better in the future. I’m actually glad that this happened here because it’s true…some students(not most, but some) are in denial about racism in our society or that it could ever happen here, especially being a Christian campus and now they can see the reality. This has opened doors for us to be able to dialogue with students about racial tensions in our community as well as the rest of the world.

October 13, 2008 at 3:31 pm
(53) jane doe says:

It is amazing to me how quickly people are ready to jump on the racist bandwagon. The effigy of Obama, was a political joke, not an ugly racist act. I actually thought it was pretty clever. To make a statement about the lack of ability in leadership that one of the presidential candidates has…was very creative. Tying a cardboard cutout of Obama with a sign that he would have been an “Act Six Reject” was genius. If you actually THINK about it…but then I don’t expect many journalists to do that these days. It is more fun to wave the racist banner than it is to get to the bottom of the story. Act Six Scholarships are given out to students who demonstrate leadership potential…not just minorities, but all students (some perhaps, because of financial struggles). But the Act Six Reject referenced the fact that whomever was wearing the sign, did NOT have the leadership potential to LEAD…therefore, they were a reject for the scholarship program. DUH! IT had nothing to do with race. It was a political statement about the lack of leadership potential in OBAMA. HELLO!! And fishing line was PURPOSELY used and NOT rope (they had rope) so people would not confuse the issue of race…this was NOT a racial attack, but a political JOKE! And all of the media (LIBERALS) jumped at the chance to turn this into a racial attack to bring more attention to Obama. What a sad state of affairs. You Journalist make me sick.

October 13, 2008 at 4:45 pm
(54) Austin Cline says:

It is amazing to me how quickly people are ready to jump on the racist bandwagon. The effigy of Obama, was a political joke, not an ugly racist act.

Lynching a black man in effigy is not only racist, it’s terroristic in nature. Racist, terroristic threats are not “political jokes,” they are racist attempts at intimidation made by insecure white people who fear losing their special privileges and power over others.

October 13, 2008 at 5:52 pm
(55) The Sojourner says:

Hey Jane Doe – and I bet you’d love wearing a KKK outfit on Halloween, too… (ain’t it a hoot?)!:

Your attempt to make something light out of something this grave, proves what a shallow, bigoted person you are. All the rationalization in the world can’t make this into an innocent way to state an opinion. If this is your idea if a joke, how come I don’t think it’s funny? I shudder at what they must be teaching at Fox. Your attitude truly is repugnant and disgusting.

October 14, 2008 at 12:19 pm
(56) jane doe says:

I know the people who did this and it was not racist. The cardboard was not hung, but suspended by fishing line to look as if it were standing on the ground. It was a spur of the moment decision to state their free speech rights and state that Obamam lacked the leaderhip potential to lead…not a racist attack. Since when is stating a political belief about someone’s lack of ability to lead, a racist act? I don’t even agree with their opinion necessarily, but I do agree with their creative RIGHT to express their opinion.

October 14, 2008 at 12:30 pm
(57) Austin Cline says:

I know the people who did this and it was not racist.

Your conclusion does not follow from your premise.

The cardboard was not hung, but suspended by fishing line to look as if it were standing on the ground.

The words “suspend” and “hang” mean the same here. To “suspend” an effigy by the neck is to hang it by the neck — and when you hang an effigy of a black man by the neck, that’s called lynching.

Since when is stating a political belief about someone’s lack of ability to lead, a racist act?

When you express yourself via violent, terroristic imagery.

I don’t even agree with their opinion necessarily, but I do agree with their creative RIGHT to express their opinion.

Of course they have a right to express their political opinions. They also have a right to express racist opinions. They do not, however, necessarily have a right to express their opinions in ways that look like threats.

Tell me: if this act really was so innocuous and so devoid of racism, why were the perpetrators punished? Why aren’t you publicly organizing a protest on your campus to fight for the right of students to express their political opinions in addition to making anonymous comments here about how the act wasn’t really racist?

Indeed, if you really are convinced that the act wasn’t racist at all, why defend it anonymously in the first place? If the act really was the expression of a plain political opinion, there shouldn’t be a problem with defending it publicly. There are lots of good reasons to remain anonymous when posting on the internet, but somehow I have trouble seeing the justification here — except, of course, if one feels that the act really was racist and doesn’t want their name to be publicly associated with any defenses of it.

October 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm
(58) jane doe says:

Obama is half WHITE also….so why is it all of a sudden that they were hanging a BLACK man?

I have no need to protest, I have already written to the president, the board, the Act Six Director, the public relations director, and several others.

I have been writing and telling their story because it was not a racist act and they do not have a voice to tell their story. It was a college prank to express their political view that Obama should not be the next president because he does not have the leadership potential necessary to run the country. PERIOD>

October 14, 2008 at 5:03 pm
(59) Austin Cline says:

Obama is half WHITE also….so why is it all of a sudden that they were hanging a BLACK man?

Are you sincerely unaware of the extensive racism directed towards Obama? Are you sincerely unaware of the fact that having one parent (or even one grandparent) be white is completely irrelevant to racists.

I have no need to protest, I have already written to the president, the board, the Act Six Director, the public relations director, and several others.

And did any of them believe your claims that the act wasn’t racist?

I guess not. Why do you think that is?

It was a college prank to express their political view that Obama should not be the next president because he does not have the leadership potential necessary to run the country. PERIOD

I’d love to hear your non-racist explanation for how you measured his leadership potential and found him lacking.

October 14, 2008 at 5:40 pm
(60) jane doe says:

I have given a voice to the kids who did this…who do not have a voice. I am a mom, not a student. I know the kids personally and have spoken to them. I know the motive behind this and it was not a racial motive. They were college kids expressing their opinion of a presidential candidate…not racially motivated.

I am tired of trying to get you to see this…but you , I guess, belong to that liberal media who write what you want without regard for the TRUTH. The truth is that the cutout was NOT hung by the neck….but attached to with fishing line….NOT around the neck. Just because some media folk reported it as being attached around the neck, I know for a fact that it was not. I spoke with the person who did this and they purposely did NOT use rope NOR attach it around the neck.

For someone who claims intelligence…I am having a hard time understanding which WORDS you don’t understand. This was NOT a racial act, but a political statement…plain and simple. PERIOD.

October 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm
(61) Austin Cline says:

I have given a voice to the kids who did this…who do not have a voice.

What, they can’t type?

I know the motive behind this and it was not a racial motive.

Even the absence of an explicit, conscious, racist goal does not entail an absence of racism or racist motivations.

I am tired of trying to get you to see this…

Given that your arguments have apparently been unpersuasive to so many of the other people you have tried to offer them to, could it be that the flaw lies in the arguments themselves? That would be the common factor here, right?

but you , I guess, belong to that liberal media who write what you want without regard for the TRUTH.

You mean, without regard to the opinion of an anonymous commenter on a blog who claims to possess the “TRUTH.” There’s a big difference between the two.

The truth is that the cutout was NOT hung by the neck….but attached to with fishing line….NOT around the neck.

Do you understand that “attached with fishing line” and “by the neck” are not mutually exclusive? I can “attach with fishing line by tying it around the neck,” and all reports which describe how the attaching was done specify that it was done around the neck.

Just because some media folk reported it as being attached around the neck, I know for a fact that it was not.

Unless you were there when it was done, you do not “know,” you merely find the report of the person involved — and who has a lot to lose — more credible than the independent reports of people with nothing to lose.

For someone who claims intelligence…I am having a hard time understanding which WORDS you don’t understand.

I understand all of the words you use. I simply fail to find that those words are constructing any credible arguments.

This was NOT a racial act, but a political statement…plain and simple. PERIOD.

Do you understand that the two are not mutually exclusive?

Oh, and ending a claim with “period” in all-caps doesn’t make the claim any more credible. Your entire argument is based on the personal testimony of someone involved and who has a lot to lose if the truth is other than what they are telling you.

That’s not much of a basis for the absolutist claims you are making. It would be one thing if you made more mild claims, like that you find this position “more credible” or “more likely,” but instead you are making very absolutist statements about TRUTH and what you KNOW. I’m sorry, but the very little you have to go on doesn’t justify what you are saying.

October 15, 2008 at 11:05 am
(62) jane doe says:

“and ALL reports which describe how the attaching was done specify that it was done around the neck.”

Just beause the MAJORITY of journalists reported that it was hung around the neck ALSO does not mean that it was the truth. There were a handful of media who reported that it was attached to the back. Who better would know how it was atteached, the media who got the information 2nd or 3rd or 4th hand, or the people involved? The person who gave ME the information, 1st hand, is a very credible person with many academice honors including a job given based on her integrity. Now of course, I expect you to discredit them, but they had no reason to lie to me. They had already been suspended and they told me the whole story and everything that happened before and after it. They are not the kind of person to exaggerate to embelish, and I know I got the truth.

You go ahead and hang onto your false belief that this was a racist act. Go ahead and continue to perpetuate the lie that this was a racist act. It was not. Racism is discrimination or prejudice based on race. Since this was neither one of those, how can you say it was racist? It was NOT based on race, but perceived ability of the candidate to lead.

Back to the point of my writing, the liberal media of today LOOKS for anything they can to get a story, even if it means making something up that is not true. That is what disgusts me. That is why I wrote. YOU took this opportunity to slam Christians and an entire Christian School and MADE up a story that was based on false information. Posting pictures of true racist lynchings and the KKK. I almost laughed, but I was too disgusted with what you were attempting to do. Just because you believe all christians are hateful bigoted people, does not give you the right to LIE about an event that you know nothing about.

I feel sorry for people like you. It frustrates me when people think they are using science and logic and higher thinking to try and belittle people you deem unworthy of true argument because they happen to believe in God. I did not visit this site to argue, but to tell the truth of what really did happen. I have done that, so I won’t be back.

October 15, 2008 at 11:17 am
(63) Austin Cline says:

The person who gave ME the information, 1st hand, is a very credible person with many academice honors including a job given based on her integrity.

Strange how the school administration, which would also have first-hand knowledge of what happened, hasn’t accepted this argument of yours.

You go ahead and hang onto your false belief that this was a racist act.

Given that that’s what all the evidence points to…

YOU took this opportunity to slam Christians and an entire Christian School

I didn’t slam all “Chrsitian” or “an entire Christian school.”

and MADE up a story that was based on false information.

I wrote an article based on the best information available. Claims made by an anonymous commenter about what they say they heard from one of the perpetrators hardly qualifies as a reason to revise anything.

Just because you believe all christians are hateful bigoted people, does not give you the right to LIE about an event that you know nothing about.

I never claimed and do not believe that “all Chrisains are hateful bigoted people.” Making such false allegations while at the same time also making the unsupported claim that I have lied is really not appropriate.

I feel sorry for people like you.

I’m curious about what exactly causes you to feel sorry for me. Is it my failure to take the word of an anonymous commenter about what they claim to have heard from someone else?

I did not visit this site to argue, but to tell the truth of what really did happen. I have done that, so I won’t be back.

It’s awfully convenient that you make all sorts of false allegations about me, then proclaim that you won’t be back to have to deal with challenges to support or retract those allegations.

November 3, 2008 at 3:57 pm
(64) Dave says:

This was a very unfortunate incident to happen at a Christian school as were all the others that occurred throughout history. Christians and/or people who call themselves Christians have done and said things racially and committed acts that were absolutely tragic. But I have to point something out, which I believe is very important. A lot of these actions where you claim people are justifying them by Christianity were performed by persons who were ignorant about the Bible. Living as a Christian is a refining process. Depending on how far you’ve advanced in your walk with God, you will be susceptible to certain prejudices and weaknesses that were present before the conversion. Strong Biblical understanding is what really helps to perpetuate the transformation of the soul, which is what some Christians are lacking. The church is not perfect and Christians cannot claim to be perfect. The point is to continue to strive to be like Christ until the day when our restoration is complete. Think of it as a line approaching an asymptote, until the final day when Jesus arrives and finally merges the two lines. Also take note on that last day there will be people who claim to have known God and been His disciples but in their hearts did not truly desire to follow Him. These people will be rejected by God.

November 8, 2008 at 1:09 am
(65) Sam says:

OBVIOUSLY what those students did was UNACCEPTABLE. HOWEVER: we are called as Christians to FORGIVE. I myself am an african american student attending George Fox. I am also a Christian. I harbor NO hard feelings against these students; I understand that returning anything but the LOVE of CHRIST is of no use, benefit or profit to ANYONE.

Austin: It is not your job to “stand up” against racism in the way that you are. Go out into the world and do something positive. Think about how much more good you could do instead of writing these blogs if you went out into the world serving, loving and caring about all peoples—both white and not white alike.

As a black student…I just want to say in no way do your thoughts on this matter ring true. At all.

November 8, 2008 at 8:07 am
(66) Austin Cline says:

It is not your job to “stand up” against racism in the way that you are.

It’s not “my job” to stand up against anything, is it?

Go out into the world and do something positive.

I’m sorry you don’t think that drawing attention to racism and bigotry in America isn’t worth doing.

As a black student…I just want to say in no way do your thoughts on this matter ring true. At all.

And yet, you couldn’t actually find anything incorrect to point out.

October 21, 2009 at 11:55 am
(67) Ryan Casey says:

I’m currently in my fourth year at Fox. I’d like to dispel the notion that we’re all Christian fundies over here. I’m agnostic and so are a couple of my friends. We really don’t want to be lumped together in that particular category just because we go to Fox.

I have to admit, this was the first time I’d heard of something racist done on campus. Maybe we’d gotten better in the time between Auguste’s graduation and my enrollment, or maybe it all went underground. I think this is probably the biggest reason that there was so much debate as to whether the incident was race or politics driven. For many of the students this was the first they’d heard of anything of the sort being done here, so it was hard to believe. I personally couldn’t believe it at first either. We talk about social justice on this campus so much that I’d honestly gotten sick of hearing about it… and then a black man is lynched in effigy? WTF? (Of course, then there were the outspoken people who just couldn’t believe that *Christians* on a *Christian campus* could do such a thing… but you already know about those, I see. :p)

All I’m saying is please don’t lump us all together. Even some my Christian friends here are pretty forward-thinking as far as Christians go. One of them describes herself as a “pantheistic Quaker.” We have a professor who prays to God in the feminine and awards bonus points on papers for sexual references and metaphors. Then there are my agnostic friends (all two of them) and the atheists (who I’ve run into even less than the agnostics, but they *are* here. Mostly transfer and exchange students.) Finally we have the majority of the campus, or at least the outspoken leadership-seeking part, who are pretty much Christian humanist through and through. They won’t let us stop hearing about how Africa and Central Asia and Thailand need our help, nor about how we’re destroying the environment with our e-waste and our devotion to Coke. They distribute “New Abolitionist” flyers and tell us to “Live Light” for a week. They put up stakes all around campus to symbolize all the people with AIDS who will die in the next hour or day, or for all the people sold into sex trafficking, or for all the people living on less than a dollar a day, or for all the people who are affected by hunger. They will not let us forget about social justice. This is beside my point, but I do feel that, for all their efforts, they deserve some defense from an agnostic-atheist as well. Four students does *not* prove the campus.

(If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for reading. :-)

November 8, 2010 at 10:05 am
(68) Gary says:

Wow! Talk about American issues. You folks look at Christianity through American eyes. I’m not from the States (Thank goodness) . Austin Cline and a lot of you others sterotype Christianity as a western faith. Your faith and yours alone. Sorry, but it started long before a tea party and it’s roots are in compassion and serving. Anything else is man made. You American’s need to get your heads out of your sand and look beyond your borders, there you will see Christian faith in it’s most raw and true form. You’re pathetic.

November 8, 2010 at 11:39 am
(69) Austin Cline says:

Austin Cline and a lot of you others sterotype Christianity as a western faith.

Feel free to show where, if you can.

Sorry, but it started long before a tea party and it’s roots are in compassion and serving. Anything else is man made.

So, you’re asserting that principles of “compassion and serving” in Christianity are not “man made” I look forward to you supporting that.

You American’s need to get your heads out of your sand and look beyond your borders, there you will see Christian faith in it’s most raw and true form.

Prove it.

You’re pathetic.

Whereas making claims and accusations without any support is just fine, right?

November 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm
(70) Tim Lister says:

Those that are defending the Christians they know to be upstanding people and asking them not to be associated with this situation may be missing the point. If these Christians they know are indeed caring and intelligent individuals it is not because of their Christianity, it is DESPITE it. Christianity eventually leads people to a flawed conclusion about the nature of the universe, just as all religions do. Christians start to confuse the good things that they do and that happen to them with some form of supernatural intervention instead of giving credit where its due, probably because is a much harder target to identify depending on the particular subject. They’ve tried to simply a complex world by using a flawed premise, and that outlook will without a doubt harm them in the end. If you really cared about these people you would try to help them figure that out as best you can. You see, Austin isn’t attacking individuals simply because they’re Christian; he’s just pointing out that Christianity doesn’t actually help anyone when it comes down to it and to expend any energy defending it is pointless.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.