I had been to Jake Macaulay’s talk. He gave a talk on the relationship between Christianity, Religious Freedom, and what is said about it in the U.S. Constitution. I had recently picked up a copy of the Constitution so I can read it for myself (after all, it is a foundational document along with the Declaration of Independence). There was only one reporter who had attended Jake’s talk (Ukkelberg), and his article in the Spectrum was actually the best because he had made numerous quotes of what Jake actually said and was actually unbiased.
There was another article where the president of Lutheran Student Fellowship, had been interviewed regarding the controversy of Jake’s talk. While he was being interviewed, he had refuted the main points of contention, yet none of his points were included in The Spectrum article. All of his points explaining how things were taken out of context were all left out.
I am concerned that there is a liberal bias in The Spectrum, and in the media in general, because two articles in a recent publication came from people who weren’t even there, and didn’t quote a single thing that Jake had actually said to support that Jake was indeed racist, homophobic, etc. Another example was last year during the election process, The Spectrum had, as a group, given an actual endorsement of Hillary Clinton. Didn’t know they could do that.
I have found that when controversies like this come up and a speaker presents a hot-button topic and makes positive references to God, The Bible, Jesus, and displays sympathies to more conservative beliefs, that it gets easily misconstrued and people become easily offended and react negatively. For example, about two to three years ago, I had attended a talk from a guy during BisonCatholic week at NDSU Great Plains Ballroom who was talking about the Church’s position on same-sex marriage. A couple of girls sitting maybe 3-4 rows ahead of me had stood up in front of everyone and started making out as their way of protesting.
As a graduate student who minored in Religious Studies during my undergraduate years, I have had some reservations regarding people speaking against more traditional or conservative Christian views. I remember taking a Religious Studies course that was taught by a visiting professor, and he had said that he had told somebody who aspired to be a scientist (but had more creationist beliefs) that his or her parents had brainwashed that person and that he or she couldn’t be a real scientist with creationist beliefs. I am concerned that biased situations like this are actually a rather common occurrence.
If there’s going to be suggestions to check the background of the speaker, may I add a suggestion to actually attend the talk and hear what he’s really saying instead of automatically painting someone in a bad light based on misinterpretations, and give both sides of the story a fair shake.