Category Archives: politics

faith’s fine lines.

what a week. the previous seven days were overrun by sickness, brief hospital stints, recovery, near-fatal exams, and getting my laughter back. what a week. i’m proud to have survived it, and thankful that spring break will be showing its glowing self soon. fishing and target shooting with my dad in the boondocks, a mission experience with my switch kids, and seeing some old friends are sure to refresh me for what is left of this semester. then, of course, the two papers i also have to knock out will snap me back to academic reality. oh well. sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.
i have a deep and important favor to ask of y’all. my presentation over public schools’ accommodation of religious practices for my church/state class is swiftly approaching, and i’m dying to hear some outside opinions on a few issues i’m examining. i would love, love, love to hear your thoughts, so please share them with me in a comment if you get a spare moment!

  • some public schools with significant muslim populations are now providing rooms for students to perform their obligatory prayers in and are being excused from class periods to do so. is this at all a promotion of religion, or is this accommodation acceptable?
  • the university of michigan’s deerborn campus has pledged $25,000 of student fee dollars to construct foot-washing stations in bathrooms for muslim students who must perform this ritual cleansing before prayer. walking a fine line, or promoting safety and sanitation for those who would otherwise be forced to wash their feet in sinks?
  • christmas programs are a longstanding tradition in many schools, filled with both secular symbols and faith-based carols. should kwanza and hanukkah programs also be held? is a “christmas” concert or program a violation of the establishment clause?
  • the head scarf, or hijab, that many girls in islam are required to wear has become a hot-button issue with public american schools. an elementary student in muskogee, oklahoma, was suspended several years ago for violating her school’s head covering policy with her hijab, and her plight was eventually supported by the federal government. should religious wear be exempt from these policies?
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the farewell tour.

okay addison, i’m copying some of your creativity today! slipping into another january is always an exciting, unknown moment. and, being my retrospective self, i’d like to pass along a few things that made this year what it was. i have a whole new appreciation for the past twelve months after looking back at this list. =)

  • began my second semester of college with a break-up i thought would surely kill me
  • took my first class in the honors program at obu
  • maintained a 4.0
  • initiated my last year as an official teen in february
  • experienced further heartbreak from my first love
  • attended the memorial service of his precious little cousin on my birthday
  • realized i had the most loving and supportive friends and family [once again] as a result of my darkest hour
  • spent priceless weekends with family who had been on the west coast for far too long :]
  • had a good ole red dirt night at a randy rogers band concert with my best hometown friends
  • initiated into the phi eta sigma national honor society
  • continued serving with switch at lifechurch.tv and discovered amazing ministry opportunities
  • went on a mission trip to eureka springs with my switch kids
  • helped construct a kickin’ gravel driveway on said mission trip =)
  • drove to phoenix with my sister, niece, and mom, and watched my sweet cousin marry his soulmate under palm trees
  • got published in the bison
  • played on a few slot machines with my mom and her best friend from college, hehehe
  • experienced a medical scare that tested me financially and spiritually
  • watched my brother successfully run his second full marathon – complete with hand-painted signs and loud cheers at almost every mile marker =)
  • received scholarships that were blissfully unexpected
  • watched a dear friend from back home graduate and accomplish great things
  • craved an apology which i was sure would fix everything
  • served as a team leader for the first time at super summer
  • received the apology i had been craving, and remained unsatisfied
  • lived in edmond for a summer
  • became a member of the lifechurch.tv prayer team
  • saw another close friend marry the sweetest girl in all of texas
  • worked at a new place may through august and met splendid new people
  • began doing on-stage activities at switch
  • witnessed the greatest fireworks show of my life on independence day
  • served as a sponsor for the first time at falls creek
  • went to the mountain view-gotebo free fair and saw many old friends
  • started serving at fuse
  • began my third semester of college
  • caught the domestic bug
  • started teaching conversation classes with the international students at obu
  • became the switch what’s next coordinator
  • began a new job at the wellness center
  • went on a retreat with sweet friends and opened up my heart
  • participated in my first race for the cure with my family
  • spent fall break with my mom on a girls’ trip to branson
  • published in the bison again
  • voted in my first presidential election
  • learned how to play texas-hold-’em
  • learned my sister is pregnant again!
  • survived my first semester of western civ with an a
  • realized i won’t find happiness if i won’t let go
  • rekindled an old, dear friendship
  • wrote a blues song =)
  • learned a few french phrases
  • maintained a 4.0 again
  • discovered a love for the food network
  • played the heck out of hungry hungry hippos with my precious nieces

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keeping me alive.

i really want to rip my hair out.

or just rip up my textbooks.
either one.
finals will convene this coming monday, and i am nothing short of terrified and optimistic. nice combo, eh? i do believe western civilization might bring about my before-20th-birthday nervous breakdown, and i still cannot feel anything less than love for the class. it is difficult, it is demanding, and it is passion-evoking at every end. i have learned so much and been challenged more in this course than any other. it is a year-long class which synthesizes history and literature, and is a unique thread of obu, and to pass it by even if i were able would be such a mistake. so, as i cram a semester’s worth of the roman empire, paradise lost, and the enlightenment into my brain – along with a little french, art history, and the synoptic Gospels – i will remember to stop and rejoice in the small, lovely things too. would you like to hear of them? i thought so.
after spending a sleepless night listening to the wind howl like a banshee through my semi-broken window, my roommate and i will tonight be the proud occupants of a silent night, thanks to a campus maintenance guy with some mean sealant. our dorm’s hot water is up and at ’em again too! rejoice! i have renewed hope now. :]
did i mention my siblings are wildly talented and successful in every way? my sister, who was also ranked as one of the top ten mammographers in the nation for two consecutive years, won a prestigious award at her new company, oklahoma breast care center, last night. after only being their director of patient care for the past year, she has already turned the program around. i’m so proud of her. she did the same thing at her former center in seattle, so anything less than greatness is unknown to her. =) my brother, who is on our governor’s security detail, will accompany him to the presidential inaugural ball in january – how amazing is that?! i’m so proud of him as well. here is a photograph of our family, minus dad and my brother-in-law who is behind the camera, at my brother’s first marathon last year. ain’t we cute? knowing i will always be able to come home to these faces, one way or another, keeps me alive.

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we need each other.

yours truly is now a published editorialist in the bison. :-D this might be small potatoes in all actuality, but for now i’m going to relish in having my name printed next to some stuff! last week i wrote this letter to the editor of my university‘s newspaper in response to some interesting conversations i have both witnessed and been a part of about politics lately. i’ve become so disappointed, especially with my fellow christian students, in our conduct during this presidential election. i’m sick of being looked at as uninformed and unintelligent simply because my vote will reflect conservative views. [and let me just remind you that it is quite possible for one to come from a small town, know how to shoot a gun, and still hold the title of ‘oklahoma academic scholar.’] likewise, i became sick to my stomach as my suite-mate relayed a conversation she had with another student during work. kelly very politely expressed an interest in obama, and one of her co-workers quickly began belittling this decision in a very un-Christlike manner. what is wrong with us? are we not capable of expressing our opinions without intentionally hurting or berating those who do not agree?
phew. my blood pressure’s rising just thinking about it all. so, let me leave you with the following paragraphs which explain my feelings about it all in a much calmer tone! [my
life of christ professor was pretty proud of it, which is one of the highest compliments i think i could ever receive.] whether or not you agree with mine or anyone else’s political views, it’s absolutely imperative to treat one another with dignity. we’ll all need each other eventually.

our nation’s upcoming election has sparked numerous conversations between individuals on campus, and i am quickly discovering how such a topic can both unite and divide. i have often heard the term ‘conservative’ spoken in the same breath as ‘ignorant,’ as well as many with ‘liberal’ views being labeled as ‘ungodly.’ both of these judgments have left me unsettled in the past several weeks, and i hope they unsettle my fellow classmates as well. have we become do engulfed in politics that we would forsake relationships to defend our opinions?
many of us will be exercising our privilege to vote for the first time next week. as newcomers to the polls, i believe we have the power to set a very different precedent for future voting generations. if we all understood it is indeed possible to both disagree with and respect the opinions of others, i can only imagine how improved our treatment to one another might be. throughout this election process, may we not forget that our privilege to vote and speak freely comes second to that of our call to be loving and respectful to one another.

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