Thousands of people have read the feature we published last week about Zach and Colby Roanhorse, and their story has sparked responses from every imaginable viewpoint in our comments section, inbox and social media feeds.
Some, in particular, have questioned why Calvin’s student newspaper would dare cover a story about something that is not in line with Calvin’s policies. My answer to that is simple: because that’s what Calvin taught us to do. Calvin has always told us to tackle the hard questions, not hide from them. In our classrooms, labs, auditoriums and dormitories we are constantly encouraged to explore the world and renew it, to have “courageous wonder”, so that we can be effective seekers of truth in every walk of life. We are not supposed be comfortable, to stay in our safe zones or to ignore all beliefs that might run contrary to our own.
The story we told last week had a premise which challenged a belief that is far too common: that people who don’t agree with us can’t live happy lives. But if we are going to be Christians who actively seek truth, it is just as important for us to understand those who agree with us as it is for us to understand those who don’t. Listening and understanding does not have to constitute agreement, but the more we know the more able we will be to make informed decisions.
I have been a part of Chimes for just over three years, and in that time we’ve published stories about lots of different segments of our population: Native Americans, adult learners, AHANA students, international students, missionary kids, refugees and, as some of you will recall, an extensive feature in 2013 about LGBT students. This isn’t the first story we’ve told about misunderstood people groups, and it will not be the last.
Our newspaper exists to inform the Calvin community in the interest of becoming a more educated body of believers. I am proud to go to a school which, while firm in its beliefs, is also interested in hearing every story, both the conforming and the challenging. I hope our publication will continue to facilitate those conversations.