Letter to the Editor

This is a response to the October 2 Bells writing that referred to Muslims, and ostensibly a film, in a tenor exemplified by such phrases throughout as “no brains, brainless mobs in the Muslim world, turned violent, ridiculous, unruly crowd, irrational, herd mentality, against their better judgment, dangerous, scary, politically profitable to defend the honor of Islam, violent mob, blind obedience,” on par with crass media stereotypes of Muslims, film or no film. No comparison/framework is given characterizing Christians who kill millions throughout history, or even in reference to U.S. un-Christian policies in the Middle East. A film or any one thing (such as the acquittal of police beating a Black) is basically only a precipitating factor as it called in social science, and blowback (as the CIA refers to responses to those policies of ours deemed criminal and immoral) occurs, or as a Congressperson admitted, there was already a “long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012.” Since we are in academics, note that much of Islam and Arabic culture laid the foundation for much of academia. Since we refer to ourselves as being in Christian academia, note that Islamic and Arabic cultural emphasis is on hospitality to others. In fact regarding the latter, a Waco Baptist missionary who has been in the Middle East for 30 years reiterated that here recently as well. Dr. Jose Martinez,...

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‘New Normal’ in families

By Jasmine Simmons From June Cleaver to Snookie, there has been an obvious change in family dynamics over the past half century. As society becomes more tolerant to alternative lifestyles and social practices, family life develops new facets as well. In today’s post-modern society, families are breaking June Cleaver’s utopian picture of happiness in the home all over the country. It is an understatement to say that the standards of the average family have changed from the days of Leave It to Beaver to present day. If a family from the 1950s were to gaze into an American household today, they would be shocked to see single parent homes, households with teen mothers and same-sex parents to list a few deviations from the 1950s American household. Divorce, a concept that was basically taboo in the 1950s, has impacted a large majority of households. Teen pregnancy is on the rise in the States. High schools are now making child care centers in school buildings, so teen mothers can continue their education. Six states have legalized same-sex marriages, and activists in other states are fighting for its legalization. Unconventionality is running rampant in families across the United States. While the reasons behind such families may vary, it is still alarming how far contemporary households have veered from the model of the conventional family in earlier generations. Oddities in families are cinematic gold for media outlets like television and movies. The MTV television program Teen Mom showcases the lives of high school teenagers who have become mothers. The New Normal, an ABC sitcom, tells of a single mother who works on becoming a surrogate for a gay couple. Movies like Baby Momma and The Back-up Plan depict single women who desire to have a baby without a partner whatsoever. These television shows and movies acknowledge the changes in family dynamics and profit greatly from them. Standards are being refined as it pertains to the home and the family dynamic. Still, acceptance is not always the best policy. Within this era, where there is a development of different ways of life, a line must be drawn when deciding between what is permissible and impermissible. Things are not as they once were. People are not as they once were, and as a result a new normal has been set for the U.S. and the families that exist within...

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Why I’m voting Democratic

By Ella Rowand I consider myself a moderate Republican. Nevertheless, I am voting for the Democratic candidate. Mitt Romney, like any politician, has his good and bad policies and ideas. However, I feel that as a presidential candidate, he has more of the negative than positive. The biggest reason I am voting Democrat is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare. The controversial legislation, while not perfect, has many benefits for me and my family as well as millions of others around the nation. For example, millions of young adults are covered under their parents’ health insurance until they are 26 or married (myself included). Abortions have dropped 62% since the birth-control mandate went into effect. I could continue on and on about the benefits of this bill. Romney wants to “repeal and replace,” meaning he will distribute waivers to the states while he works on repealing the bill and then leave it up to the states to deal with the issue. Each state would have its own laws and policies regarding health care. The problem with this is that it puts us back at square one. If the states had been taking care of the issue all along, ObamaCare would not be necessary. The Romney campaign says that the ACA will take money from seniors, raise taxes by an exorbitant amount and add to the deficit. However, rather than taking money from seniors on Medicare, Obama is reducing overpayments that have been being made to providers. The bill does raise taxes, but not in the way Romney suggests. And while there is much debate on whether or not ObamaCare adds to the deficit, in the long term, the bill is meant to reduce health care costs across the board. This is not to say Romney does not have any good points. For example, his Social Security reforms are a solid step in the right direction. Closing loopholes in the tax code is a smart and long-needed reform. But saying that lowering taxes and cutting regulation will create jobs just is not true. A lack of regulation is part of what caused the recession. While Obama has been president, he has worked diligently to lower the unemployment rate. Since the peak of unemployment in 2010, the rate has steadily declined under the Obama administration. Romney says he has a great plan to jump-start the economy, but he has yet to state any real specifics about this plan. On his website and during the debate, he touts his “5-Point Plan”: energy independence, emphasis on higher education and job training, trade reform, eliminate the deficit and encourage small business...

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Students volunteer for special cause
Oct16

Students volunteer for special cause

By Ke’Una Gates and Tyler Agnew Crusaders have once again shown their kindness and willingness to give back to the community. The university hosted an event entitled InKidAble in partnership with the Children’s Special Needs Network Oct. 13 in an effort to bring awareness of the assistance and resources in the area designed for special needs caregivers. The program provided resources and information to the parents and caregivers of special needs children. Since the conference was free and open to the public many families were afforded the opportunity to learn more about nurturing their children. Assistant Professor of education Dr. Kris Ward headed the event. She said, “The mission of the conference is to provide an opportunity for parents to network with each other and to learn more about raising a child with a disability.” There was a big turnout with more than 100 children coming to the event. One obstacle from having so many attendees was childcare. “We want to provide child care for them so that they can come. It’s hard to find child care for a child with a severe disability,” Ward said. “So for that purpose we completely met our goal. Every single child had at least one if not two Mary Hardin-Baylor students to keep them entertained and safe all day long so that their parents could go to the conference.” Each worker was trained to ensure that all chidren would be safe. The volunteers were a huge blessing to the families they served. Sophomore nursing major Katie Clemmer said, “I decided to volunteer because I love children, and I want to get involved more on campus.” Like many acts of service, the giver is affected just as the receiver is. Clemmer gained a lot from spending time with the special needs attendees. She said, “I learned that God’s love can be expressed in the simplest of ways and just how appreciative the parents were to have college students take time out to do so.” The event was created in an effort not only to reach out, but assure the caregivers of special needs children that others are going through the same obstacles. It was organized to teach the parents about any scenario they might encounter. “Breakout sessions included grief process, working with schools, accessing resources and networking,” Ward said. Many different groups got involved in InKidAble. From churches to entire departments, many came to lend a hand. The music department got involved as music majors, provided music teachings and game interactions while the parents were in their sessions. “We value the mission of this conference and give attention and help for parents and children...

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Mumford and Sons has fans, critics babbling about album
Oct16

Mumford and Sons has fans, critics babbling about album

By Zach Winfield Picking banjos, hammered out chords and powerful drum build-ups fill the newMumford and Sons album Babel as it hit the shelves with force Sept. 24. Within a week, the album had sold more than 631,000 copies, just short of Adele’s record sales. Mumford and Sons is an indie folk/rock band with roots from the streets of London. The band consists of Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane. They originally hit the scene in 2007 in Europe and became mainstream in the U.S. in 2010 with their first album Sigh No More. Being a computer savvy person and a little cheap, I hopped on Grooveshark and added the entire album to my playlist and continued to work on homework as it played in the background. I quickly lost interest in my studies and just listened to the music. The first songs are upbeat and loud. “Babel,” “Whispers in the Dark” and “I Will Wait” ring in the new album. The songs are catchy. They are easy to get into as they roar through the speakers heavy with guitars, banjos, drums and the occasional brass instrument. The album slow downs as you approach the midpoint with “Ghost That We Knew.” The track is a slow ballad about a struggling relationship. This one and many others have slight spiritual undertones and can be interpreted anyway you want. That, after all is the point of music. “Reminder” is another slower song that seems to be about the loss of a loved one and how the connection never fades. It shows the compassion the band has for its music. The album is different from others by the band in that the majority was recorded live and truly showcases the talent of the musicians. The live recording adds a different texture to the music. “When you’re in a room with headphones and microphones and no one else, you play it quite differently to how you play it live.” Mumford said on the band’s website. The album shifts moods from loud and rocky to soft and subtle, but the tracks appear to tell a story, which is what the group intended. Mumford said it was meant to be a story “not necessarily one that has a plot, but one that you can listen from top to bottom and make sense.” The album does just that. The music is completely subjective, and it inivtes much interpretation from the listener. Babel is a great record, with fresh muic, and I would suggest it to anyone who likes folk, indie and rock music. It is a mixture of stylistic influences for those not...

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