Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

Point is speech freedom

On a hot August day, unprecedented numbers of customers swarmed popular fast food restaurants. The massive lines brought traffic jams and record sales to Chick-Fil-A stores Aug. 1. The overwhelming support for the restaurant came as an uprising against criticism of company President Dan Cathy when he spoke out in favor of traditional marriage. Numerous conservative Christians, as well as some from the opposite side of the gay marriage argument rallied together to promote freedom of speech. For Temple, Texas, Chick-fil-A owner, Steve Joy, the onslaught of patrons that surrounded his establishments hit hard and did not relent. Joy said, “It started about 8:00 in the morning and ran through closing time.” Supporters were impressed with how well the employees handled the crowds. “First of all they were really tired, and second of all, I think they were inspired, too, by being part of a really big event,” Joy said. More than 170 miles away in suburban Houston, UMHB sophomore nursing major Rebekah Bogaard was working her summer job at Sugarland’s Chick-fil-A location. On Support Chick-fil-A day, they had nearly 3,300 customers. Bogaard said, “It was a historic day for my location, having a total sales of $26,000, which was more than it made at its grand opening back in 1996.” While Bogaard served the masses in Sugarland, sophomore church music major Christopher Stroup paid a visit to Stonebriar Mall’s food court in Frisco, Texas. He said almost all the customers were at the Chick-fil-A booth. Much of the criticism of the support effort attacked Chick-fil-A supporters by calling them hateful. Some people who generally disagree with mainstream conservatives patronized the restaurants because they understood that freedom of speech is a two-way street. According to CBS Los Angeles, Rosanne Barr, an actress and former presidential candidate, blasted Christians and Chick-fil-A supporters by tweeting that people who eat Chick-fil-A and worship Christ deserve to get cancer. After a backlash of tweets from people who had lost loved ones to cancer, she apologized by tweeting, “Christian liars: I never wished cancer on you. I said Jesus will punish you for your deceit. I said processed foods cause cancer.” It is this kind of speech that leaves many people wondering how standing in line at a restaurant that shares their values is hateful. Those opposed call for open-mindedness, but where is the tolerance in many of the things they say? It seems that liberals can say whatever they want, but when conservatives share their views, the idea of tolerance has...

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Forgive and Forget

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Missouri Republican Representative Todd Akin said of a rape victim’s chances of becoming pregnant. Since the comment, a volcano of criticism has erupted all over the country. People, women in particular, were offended that Akin would say such a thing since he is a man. They asked themselves how would he know what a woman could do in that situation. Akin, a six-term congressman running against Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill, was asked in an interview Aug. 19 in St. Louis if he would support abortions for women who have been raped. Forty-eight hours after the initial storm, he acknowledged that he “misspoke” and added that he understands that women can indeed get pregnant by rape. After he ignited such a political fire storm with his remarks, many Republicans want to eject him from the race. Despite many phone calls to pull out, including one from Republican vice president candidate Paul Ryan, Akin said that he would stay in the race against Democrat Sen. McCaskill. But let’s think about this. Akin isn’t the first politician to stick his foot in his mouth. What about Vice President Joe Biden, Republican Senator from Idaho Chuck Winder or former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi? None of them stepped down from their positions. One of them though who utters thoughtless words is Biden, who once suggested that Republicans would usher in a return of slavery. “They’re going to put y’all back in chains,” he said to a Virginia audience. Back in March, Winder suggested that women might falsely use rape as an excuse to obtain an abortion. “I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage. Was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape? I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on,” Winder said. When Pelosi spoke about the new health care law, she said, “We have to pass it to know what’s in it.” Former Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Martin Frost said, “It’s very hard for party officials to force someone off the ballot. When I was chair of the DCCC, we always tried to encourage people to run, but once they won the primary, that was it. We never tried to force nobody off.” At some point there may be reason to remove someone from office or for them to step down because they really go overboard by saying mean and...

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Letter from Dr. O’Rear
Aug21

Letter from Dr. O’Rear

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor! Whether you are a new student experiencing college life for the first time, a returning upperclassman or a graduate student back on campus after summer break, we are glad you are here. Over the summer, our faculty and staff have been praying for you, preparing for you and anxiously awaiting your arrival. Now that you are here, we are excited to kick off the 2012-2013 school year! When you look around campus, you will notice many changes have taken place. The Baugh Center for the Visual Arts, UMHB’s brand new art facility, just opened on the south side of the university. Next door, work continues on the Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center, while the student union building and the first on-campus home for our football team, Crusader Stadium are rising up out of the ground. The ongoing construction is a physical reminder of the blessings and growth we are experiencing at UMHB, and I am glad you are here to be a part of what promises to be a remarkable year in the life of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. As we start the new semester, I would like to encourage you to get involved in the many activities available to you at UMHB. During the fall, there is always something happening on campus. Go to as many events as you are able, try new activities, enjoy your classes and immerse yourself in the Crusader traditions. It is my hope that when you cross the stage to accept your diploma at the end of your educational journey, you will truly have received an education for life and had the experience of a lifetime. I am excited about our future here at UMHB, and excited that our future is you. Welcome home, Crusader!   Randy O’Rear, Ed.D....

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Student body president welcomes incoming freshmen to campus

I want to personally welcome each of you, the class of 2016, to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. I am very excited to spend this coming year with each of you. Know that you have been prayed for, and you are still being prayed for as you begin your journey in this new chapter in your life. As your student body president, one of my goals is to see relationships formed on campus as we model the body of Christ. My prayer is that you will find friendships that you will obtain for a lifetime, and that you will have experiences that will last for a lifetime. I couldn’t agree more with the university’s motto, “Education for life…Experience of a lifetime!” I hope to see this become part of your college career. When I think over my time here at UMHB, being involved has been one of the most important aspects of my experience. Having attended a different university before coming to UMHB and not being involved there, I can truly say that this is the key to a successful next four years. Just as there are many parts to the body of Christ, there are many different ministries and organizations that make up this university and allow you to grow in your spiritual life. It is important to our campus that you are personally involved in one of these opportunities. It takes each of us to truly make this place a Crusader home. Another key to your first successful year is getting plugged into a church. Though it can be a scary moment, it is crucial to surround yourself with fellowship and believers in Christ. I pray that each of you will find a church home and plug yourself into that ministry. This year, let’s stand tall, be proud, hold up our C’s with dignity and form unity on this campus. From football players to baseball players to band members to First Year Council, let’s make this the best year this university has ever seen. Let’s truly live out Isaiah 6:8, as we say “Here am I, Lord. Send me.” This is your year, class of 2016, and I couldn’t be more excited to serve alongside each of you. Good luck as you embark on this new chapter. I am so glad that you have chosen UMHB to be a part of that. Now let’s go get ‘em Cru!   Kassidy Harris Student Body...

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Olympic athlete sprints without feet
Aug21

Olympic athlete sprints without feet

By Katelyn Holm In London, the “Blade Runner” crouches on the starting blocks, waiting for the gunshot signaling the start of his race. Like the other Olympic athletes, he pictures himself on the medal stand, his South African anthem playing over the speakers. Unlike his competitors, he runs with no legs. Oscar Pistorius, the Blade Runner from native South Africa, had both legs amputated after being born without fibulas. Even as a child, his attitude toward life remained positive and determined. Being denied entrance into the Beijing summer Olympics, this same attitude fueled his determination to compete four years later in London. He won several medals at the Paralympics, but Pistorius wanted to run with able-bodied athletes in 2012. “It’s not that I don’t want to run Paralympic or disabled races, or races for those athletes who are handicapped or amputees, but this is just a challenge for me,” he said on a National Public Radio program. “Any good sportsman that wants to be better has to face up to challenges that aren’t always as easy as some of the others.” Surely, such a feat would earn nothing but admiration from spectators and opponents. But in the case of Pistorius, his greatest achievement became one of the most widely argued topics in the 2012 Summer Olympics. His carbon-fiber legs hardly resemble his opponents’ biological ones. The prosthetics he runs with resemble knife blades rather than human feet. Using composite carbon fibers, the durability and curved shape of the blades mimic the muscles required to sprint at Olympic speeds. These special instruments generated questions about whether or not Pistorius should be allowed entrance into the Olympics. Critics claimed that the blades he runs on possess inhuman capabilities, giving him an advantage over other Olympians. Furthermore, they argued that like steroids, the prosthetics are “performance enhancers.” But can man made ever surpass that of biology? Artificial Christmas trees may be scented, adorned and treated like live ones but cannot be given life. Pistorius cannot revive the life of his legs with blades, prosthetics or carbon fibers. Man cannot make something more natural or capable than the human body. The Court of Arbitration for Sport finally ruled in favor of Pistorius, deciding that he has no real advantage over his competitors. While he works different muscles, he exerts the same amount of energy and requires the same amount of stamina as the opponents with legs that he runs against. Pistorius defied the odds, not only soaring through the Olympic qualifiers for the individual 400 meter race and 4x400m relay, but surviving his heats to make it into the semi-finals. As if that...

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Do Texans exhibit too much pride in their lone star state?
Aug21

Do Texans exhibit too much pride in their lone star state?

By Elissa Thompson In the hearts and minds of many, Texas pride is summed up in four words that have adorned countless T-shirts and bumper stickers for nearly three decades: “Don’t mess with Texas.” The slogan was first used for anti-litter messages. A series of 26 TV spots featuring various Texas musicians gave birth to what has become the unofficial slogan of Texas pride. A CNN article quoted Mike Blair, one of the geniuses behind the slogan. “The line became bigger than what the campaign was about. It was almost as much about the attitude of Texas and Texans at the time: tough-talking, no-nonsense, go-about-our-business, get-things-done kind of attitude that has always been associated with Texans.” A friend from Michigan once said she could smell the Texas pride as soon as she crossed the state line. Is Texas one of the most prideful states in the U.S.? Here, we take everything seriously. From our food, clothes, dialect, trucks, sports and TV commercials, the pride that Texans have toward their state is overpowering. Texans have special “Texas” edition cars and trucks they can buy. There are Texas shaped tortilla chips, not to mention the commercials. From Dairy Queen, Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet, these companies have Texas-themed commercials. Do other states have commercials themed just for their state? The jingles that are used in the commercials all have to do with Texas, but are they the same for other states like South Carolina? One commercial jingle comes to mind: Dairy Queen’s “D.Q. That’s what I like about Texas.” It doesn’t sound the same with “D.Q. That’s what I like about South Carolina.” Clothes are another big issue. “Foreigners” to Texas assume that all Texans are cowboys, though not all of them are. But Texans make the assumption that a true resident must own a pair of boots. Not everyone in the state owns boots. So if residents who were born and raised in Texas don’t own a pair of boots, does that mean they aren’t true Texans? We have many dialects, but the one that reigns supreme is the Southern “drawl.” Most residents have some form of the “drawl,” but some are more obvious than others. Texans love to emphasize the “y’all” and draw it out for as long as humanly possible. Sports are another huge part of Texas life. From the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks to the Dallas Stars, each major sport is taken very seriously. Texans pay big bucks for hot seats at games. The state song shows the same pride. “Texas, our Texas. All hail the mighty state.” Texas is the second largest state in the...

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