By Mitch Holt, Opinion Editor
Don’t Believe the Hype
During my two years at this university, I’ve sat through many a Chapel in which I was either sleeping, doing homework or unhappy with what was being said.
Many students, myself included, have often seen Chapel as a time simply to see friends that they don’t see regularly or to catch up on schoolwork. As I experience more and more Chapels and get to know those who participate in Chapel, I realize that the reason for my discontentment with Chapel isn’t fully the institution’s fault. It isn’t the fault of the Chapel coordinator or the song leader or the freshman behind you who can’t sing.
As I reflected a bit further into this ever-present concept of Chapel, the instances in which Chapel did affect me began reappearing in my forgetful mind. Damon Parker’s talk last year on money idolatry and the importance of living modestly was one of the first to reappear. Many heavily criticized his talk and deemed it inappropriate but was something that I think everyone needed to hear. His talk may have lacked a bit of tact, but I thought his message to be completely appropriate, well-timed and accurate.
Another great Chapel speech was spoken by Dr. Jerry Taylor from the College of Biblical Studies, also in 2004. His picturesque delivery of his thoughts on how religion, spirituality and Christianity have become too politicized hit home with me.
These are just two of the several Chapels assemblies that stick out in my mind. My first reaction when reflecting on this daily activity is to criticize it because of all of the boredom and inconvenience it has caused me in the past; however, if I think a bit harder, I realize how much good it has done in my life through speakers like Taylor or Parker.
The university goes out on a limb when asking speakers to discuss controversial issues that might offend a considerable number of people, but what matters is that they do it anyway because they feel like these things need to be heard. I believe that those with a voice at the university do a solid job portraying what they see as truth and, even if you don’t agree with their “truths,” much respect and attention is due these bold individuals.
In this new school year, many boring Chapels will take place—guaranteed. However, somewhere in the mix, you will hear some truly heartfelt, brutally honest and against-the-grain ideas presented that you won’t want to miss.
Remember, Chapel is what you make it.