Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tragedy at Virginia Tech

Read my post about the questions I asked after the shootings at Virginia Tech, posted at MyNewsMuse. It's not what you expect.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Some of you know that I returned to college, working toward a BA in journalism and English at the University of Iowa. This experience deserves a blog itself, but today I'm struck by a conversation with a grad student in my editing class this week.

Sitting across from me before class, he read a headline aloud from his laptop accessing the news wirelessly: "How Would Jesus Pastor?"

Intrigued, I said the article sounded like something that should be required reading for all seminary students. The grad student looked surprised, but claimed that Jesus was intolerant. I countered by explaining that Jesus was actually a rebel in his day, and in fact, the religious leaders of his day hated him. The grad student didn't absorb this and exlaimed, "Jesus taught all this about 'love your neighbor' but then if you didn't agree with him," (made a sound of ripping) "he cut you off."

Our professor, overhearing the discussion, offered that he was more bothered by the God of the Old Testament who was the intolerant one. The grad student, on a roll, claimed--with a lot of boisterous cynicism and good humor--that God doesn't care what happens here at all, that God doesn't love anyone. To this I quietly replied, "So that's why He sent Jesus." Then class was called to order.

Today is Good Friday. It's the day to remember how Jesus was crucified. In two days, it is Easter ("Resurrection Sunday"). But for now, let's remember two important facts:

1. The phrase, "Love your neighbor as yourself," is incomplete and is commonly taken out of context. Jesus actually said: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, AND love your neighbor as yourself." (Two commands, instead of the ten commandments or a zillion man-made laws.)

2. And for those who say God doesn't care? "For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His Only Son...." (John 3:16)

Happy Easter.