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.

Stopping to smell the roses and water them, too

Half of this semester is gone. Some students may feel relief from this fact, but “not I,” said the opinion columnist, the resident assistant, the athlete and the student. In case you were wondering where the random list came from, those things currently describe my life in a nutshell. It is such a blessing to be able to do them all, but it is definitely a real challenge at times. On many days, I find myself rushing from lunch to class or from class to practice or from practice to RA duty. Days like these are a whirlwind, especially when I have to fit in a little homework too. Things get really busy, usually all at once. It’s funny because I am intrinsically wired to be an easygoing, mellow fellow. I walk slowly. I eat slowly. My mentality is that “I’ll get there when I get there.” Last year, it was easy to be easygoing because I did not have as many priorities. I had lots of free time to spend with friends and time to have fun. I am still that guy on the inside, but with all that is on my plate this year, it’s harder to make time to relax. I actually find myself hurrying to class or inhaling my lunch within minutes quite often now. All this rushing around goes against my nature, but I have to do it so that I do not neglect any of my priorities. It’s hard to give a hundred percent of myself to everything I do, and I feel like I’m giving just a fraction of that at times, but I do my best to give the best of me to everything. I don’t love being so busy, but I love all the things in my life that are keeping me busy. I had a lot of fun during my freshman year playing tennis and spending time with friends. With that said, however, this year has been so much more amazing than last year, even though it is currently lacking in free time. I just need to take time to smell the roses. This old expression means to appreciate what’s around you. Realizing that half of the semester is already over is a slap in the face. I do not want to arrive at Christmas break and look back and have this semester seem like a blur. It seems to be moving by very rapidly because so many different things happen each day. My goal for the rest of this semester is to slow down. It is easy to appreciate the beauty of every day when I think about...

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College life: students sleep, study, exorcise

A resident assistant and ministry student at Berry College in Georgia was fired last month for performing an exorcism on a fellow student. Yes, exorcism. The dean of students told the local school paper that a college campus is not an appropriate place for an exorcism. As an RA, I’m not sure what I would do if one of my residents approached me possessed. It probably wouldn’t be too much worse than a normal Thursday night on a college campus, but I doubt my first action would be casting out the spirit. My lack of white collar and holy water does not make me a prime candidate to be an exorcist. I don’t even have a black briefcase. If schools were filled with possessed students, the learning atmosphere would be hindered. I doubt that demons hold much regard for being quiet in the library or cleaning up for room checks. Resident halls would make a killing off the fines the victim incurred. Eating chicken fried steak at Hardy would be less fulfilling with the sounds of teeth gnashing filling the room. The student exorcist is convinced that he has been called by God to cast out demons. Jesus himself used seven of his approximately 35 miracles to cast out spirits. However, the Georgia RA’s radical faith is impacting the campus in a negative way. Jesus certainly did not draw this much attention to himself. In fact, when He performed miracles, he told the people to remain quiet. Jesus did not go on podcasts and news channels to proclaim his actions. The RA says that the exorcism was a success. The student he performed it on has since transferred schools. Other students are staying quiet. When students go to medical school, they learn how to treat patients. They even perform procedures, they are always under supervision. Ministry school should be no different. It is a place to learn how to heal the sick, not actually do it. Possession is an extreme spiritual illness and should be left to professionals. One UMHB faculty member said that demons should be exorcised wherever they are found, but if he came across one, he would call a priest. If you find a demon, get backup. Completing Old Testament Survey does not make you a certified exorcist. Med students do not perform brain surgery; ministry students should not be...

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Part of the game

To play a sport in college, one must have a significant amount of talent. Most athletes have trained almost their entire lives to get where they are today, and they’ve developed their bodies to do extraordinary things. Not only must they be fine tuned physically, but their mind has to be equally sharp. A lot of pressure comes with competing at the collegiate level, and mental toughness is crucial. When athletes take the field or court of the opposing team, fans are ready and waiting to heckle in an attempt to knock them off their game. But where is the line drawn, and how much nonsense is an athlete expected to take? At any college basketball game, fans are behind the glass backboard shouting and waving at players to make them miss a free throw. “Brick!” This is considered acceptable behavior, and the player is supposed to block it out and make the shot. It’s all a part of competition, right? Suppose fans get the roster of the players and began personalizing their jeering. “Miss it, Jacob!” Is this acceptable? What if they disregard an athlete’s playing ability all together, and go after their physical characteristics? “Hey, Jacob, you got big ears and your eyes are too far apart!” Athletes deal with these types of conditions on a regular basis, but how much abuse must they endure before they crack? In all honesty, it’s just a part of the game. There are always going to be unruly fans who do and say things that may be considered unsportsmanlike, but players know what they’re getting into when they decide to participate at this level. It’s not a recreational league. Moreover, heckling the other team is a tradition in sports that has been around since the beginning. For spectators, it’s a way for them to feel a part of the game, and some players feed off of the energy. Of course, some people might behave inappropriately every now and then, and we shouldn’t condone that behavior, but that comes with the territory. Many people don’t realize it, but players have been conditioned over their playing years to handle these situations. It all goes back to being mentally tough. Athletes have to overcome setbacks, fatigue and, yes, even a little trash talk. If they can’t handle it, then they have no business playing. However, there have been some rules put in place to keep the heckling to a minimum. Alcohol has been a big issue in the past, which is why it is no longer sold at college games. Even in professional sports, it is only served up to a certain point....

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No more summer?
Oct13

No more summer?

President Obama recently proposed that American schools shorten summer break. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act is set for renewal. Unfortunately, the Obama administration is hoping to bring more “reform” in early 2010. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporter Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times in an interview that Obama hopes “to go from, say, roughly 180 to closer to 200 school days.” Obama says education in the United States lags behind, claiming other countries have longer days and longer school years and are experiencing success because of it. In an Associated Press article Obama said the proposal is not well liked. “Now, I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas. Not with Malia and Sasha, not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.” The Associated Press reported that American school children actually spend more time in school than children from other countries who spend more days in school. However, the United States is consistently out-scored in areas of math and science by many Asian countries. However, keeping children in school longer doesn’t mean higher knowledge will follow. The American education system is flawed, built on public school systems that are rigged to “teach the test” so they can receive more government funding to afford to pay teacher salaries. If children were forced to change to a proposed 8 to 5 schedule, chaos would soon follow. Young children’s attention spans cannot last for such rigor. Older students would lose time from sports and band activities that are normally held before and after classes. Students who work minimum wage jobs at the local restaurants would have to quit. Teachers would have to work longer hours for the same salary; or if Obama had his way, salaries would be fixed, and the taxpayers would pick up the government’s tab once more. Teachers work harder than most other professions, but they are only paid on the basis of their students’ performance rather than on their own. They say their goal is to improve the economy’s future, but what about day cares that would be forced out of business, after-school programs like Big Brother Big Sister that would lose their customers and teens who would lose their jobs? We know our kids are getting too fat, but we’re no longer requiring PE classes. A mock focus group during an advanced public relations class revealed that many Crusaders think dinner would have to be provided for young children. And with the proposed longer school days, there’s sure to be the necessity of a third frozen,...

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Health care bill paves way for free abortions

In the emotionally charged thriller The Forgotten, Julianne Moore plays the role of Telly Paretta, a mother who searches desperately for her young son, who no one says exists. When the culprit meets her in a warehouse, he tries to convince her that she only dreamed of a son. She says, “I had life inside me. I had life. I have a child. I have a son. I have a son, and his name is Sam ….” In this country, we are slowly buying into the idea that the value of an individual is measured on the basis of another human’s desire for that individual. If a mother does not want her baby, she can walk into an abortion clinic and be rid of it without legal consequence. The doctors are not incarcerated for murder. Everything is done in the name of “choice.” A new health care plan, H. R. 3200, is bouncing around in Congress. While this plan is getting a lot of heat concerning abortion, the bill is not the issue. Congress needs to reevaluate abortion practices and the involvement of government. They need to overturn Roe v. Wade and the updated Hyde Amendment. House Republican Leader John Boehner said, “During his quest for the presidency, now President Obama declared that everyone deserves access to reproductive health care that includes abortion.” This funding would come from taxpayers’ dollars. While this is reason enough for many people to avoid the health care bill like the plague, it isn’t anything new. We are already funding abortions. We like to believe we are civilized. I think both sides of the political seesaw would agree that everyone deserves access to health care. But is abortion health care? The Hyde Amendment, which began as a pro-life response to Roe v. Wade, has changed dramatically. When Henry Hyde, Republican congressman of Illinois, created it in 1976, his intention was to keep government money out of abortions. In 1997, changes were made to the amendment. Now the federal government will pay for abortion practices if the mother is in physical danger or the conception is a result of rape or incest. The American Civil Liberties Union says, with a twinge of pain, that “currently only 17 states fund abortions for low-income women on the same or similar terms as other pregnancy-related and general health services.” The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, Sec. 919a. Art. 119a says that if a woman is shot and killed while she’s pregnant, then we call it a double homicide. It said anyone who “intentionally kills or attempts to kill the unborn child, that person shall … be...

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Not everything is black & white

The infamous Kanye West is at it again. At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, 19-year -old Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video. She beat out other top artists such as Pink, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and the great Beyoncé. However, while she was giving her acceptance speech and thanking loyal West made his way to the stage and the microphone out of her hands. He proceeded to say, “Taylor, really happy for you, and I’m gonna you finish, but Beyoncé had one of best videos of all time.” He handed the mic back to Swift and calmly walked off the stage, leaving her stunned and speechless. She just stood there not knowing what to do or say for a minute until being escorted off. It was not the first time West had pulled a stunt like this. He has a history of tantrums going back to 2004. But one of his most memorable outbursts occurred in 2005 when he declared “George about black people.” He is a very talented performer and has sold millions of albums, but his antics are simply unacceptable at times. He is an arrogant artist who reverts back to a child when things don’t go his way. His behavior is terrible, but the man is consistent. Since he came onto the music scene, he has annually caused some sort of disruption at an awards show. After the MTV awards show, West’s latest act was all over the news, Facebook and in the mouths of anyone who watched the VMA’s. Some artists who were in attendance updated their Twitter accounts calling West names that should not be repeated. Yes, West is not the sharpest tool in the shed, and he tends to make irrational decisions. But what I don’t understand is why some people are making it a racial incident. As I read through comments of how people felt about what happened, there were an alarming number of posts that read, “porch monkey. We should hang him,” and “just another n*****.” And they got worse. Who are these people? Why is it that when a black person wrongs a white person, it’s assumed that racism was involved? His actions were inexcusable; he was disrespectful and that was a rude thing to do. But he certainly didn’t do it because Swift was white. He simply thought Beyoncé’s video was better. In fact, she ended up receiving an award for having the video of the year. Obviously, he chose the wrong place and time to express his opinion. West was a jerk for stealing Swift’s moment, but he’s just a jerk who happens to...

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