By Jared Fields, Managing Editor
Since first learning what lemmings do, I’ve wondered what would makes creature leap en masse to their deaths.
Lemmings jump off cliffs in large numbers because of poor vision. They can’t tell the difference between a riverbank and the sharp edge of a cliff.
With this in mind, I arrived at ACU freshman year and was introduced to the same sort of confusing behavior. Groups of people would collectively join social clubs for not much more benefit than a few more friends who may not be made otherwise.
I saw the traditional sorority and fraternity behavior from TV and movies: physical exertion, humility, torture and other forms of hazing.
However, social clubs said their main focus is to better learn how to imitate Christ.
When someone says they want to imitate Christ, I respect that. What I don’t respect is a group claiming to imitate Christ going on to violate most hazing rules as described in the Texas Education Code hazing provisions.
A few of those provisions are: any type of physical brutality; any type of physical activity, such as sleep deprivation or calisthenics; any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid … that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student; and any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame, or humiliation that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student.
I don’t want to speak for Jesus- my words aren’t printed in red- but I don’t see Jesus as the kind of guy who treats others in a way he doesn’t want to be treated.
Imitating Christ does not mean paying the amount of money it costs to be in a club. The ACU social club handbook estimates the cost to be in a club at $350 to $600 per year and this amount can be higher for those pledging. Going broke to wear what people tell me to wear is not imitating Jesus.
He was more economical than that.
There is no problem with social clubs if its members truly want to get closer to God through their experiences. There is a problem with clubs who say putting God first is their main purpose when their actions do not show it.
The social clubs on campus have become more about being “social” and less about being like Jesus.
The commonality I see between social clubs and lemmings comes down to vision. Some people see a group running to a river and making it to the river. They join a club to grow in their spiritual life and succeed.
Others end up going off a cliff. They put up a front saying a river is the goal, but go off anyway.
It’s too bad those running off the cliff represent all lemmings.