LettersJune 4, 2003
January/FebruaryPLEASE LET ME EXPRESS MY APPRECIATION TO all who took part in the January/February 2003 publication of Baylor Magazine, particularly in reference to the back cover with the warmly spirited photograph of a Festival at St. Rita's Catholic Church. The very fact of your reaching out to embrace the brotherhood of other New Testament believers represents an immeasurable advancement, and for it I commend you with appreciation and admiration. Over the past 13 years, I have taught at the high school of the Second Baptist Church, Houston. There, I have witnessed with great comfort how Baptists have opened their hearts to the realization and inalienable rights of others who follow Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (a far cry from the days of my youth when narrowness of embrace and abject disapproval of other Christians with different labels and Jews was keenly cultivated and inculcated). Now, by the grace of God, by following him more attentively, we will find ourselves growing even closer in our embrace.
John B. Victery, BA '55, Houston, Texas
March/AprilI BEGAN MY PROFESSIONAL CAREER IN 1975 with a passion for teaching great Spanish texts. The intellectual stimulation of preparation, classes and discussions with colleagues were all naturally conducive to my publishing analytical articles. Teaching flowed into research and publication, which flowed back into the enhanced teaching of complex literary masterpieces.
But in 1977, I became a Christian, not a popular move in most academic circles. Initially, serious scholarship and my walk with Jesus did seem at odds with one another. Five years ago, I became aware of Dr. Sloan's vision for a Christian university. I was intrigued by the possibilities that Christian scholarship offered in the context he was describing, a place where being a Christian teacher-scholar was neither an oddity nor an oxymoron.
Beyond our campus, there is a highstakes "struggle for the heart and soul of America," and higher education is a major player in it. Advancing technologies and shifting ideologies set the agenda in the 20th century. In the 21st century, Baylor must be on the cutting edge of both in order to have its message taken seriously by a new generation of students and a postmodern academy.
I am not aware of another university with as daring and comprehensive a vision as 2012. If we share the conviction that Jesus Christ is "the way, the truth and the life," should this not move us as a university to be salt and light via every avenue God has put at our disposal?
Dr. Michael D. Thomas, Baylor professor and director of Spanish and Portuguese
THE ARTICLE EXTOLLING "ORGANIC" FOODS in the spring issue brought to mind a recent pronouncement by our 3-year-old granddaughter, Meredith. She eyed her supper plate askance, stating, "This looks like it's made out of molecules. I don't like molecules!"
Being fearful of food that has been exposed to "chemicals" is a similar mindset, for all life is chemical. Chemicals occurring in nature have no patent on harmlessness -- the aflatoxin we guard against in grains and nuts is not a laboratory product. To refuse foods solely because the plant's health (and subsequent enhanced nutritional value) has been insured by agricultural pharmaceuticals is as foolish as insisting a patient recover from pneumonia "naturally" instead of being treated with antibiotics. "Alar" has become a byword both for the dangers of agricultural chemical use as well as for overreaction to such use on slight or shaky scientific grounds.
I do not think we need to fear a conspiracy by farmers and chemists. Their children eat apples just as ours do. Ignorance or insufficient knowledge can cause problems in use of agrichemicals, but it is our ignorance that is the proper target, not the modern agricultural practices that have made this the best-nourished generation, worldwide, in history. Good nutrition, like good health, is not a product of simplistic solutions such as eating only "organic" foods, but of bringing a discriminating mind to bear on the subject, illuminated by common sense and knowledge.
Susan Brown Swint, Paris, Texas
I HAVE AN OLD HABIT OF FLIPPING TO THE last page in magazines to start reading. In doing so, I experienced such a blessing from "There's much to learn in how we say goodbye" (MyView). What a poignant and convicting piece. It truly touched my heart and plugged deep into the difficult subject of losing a loved one. Thanks for pointing out that love should be demonstrated even more strongly in the very end. I thoroughly enjoy your magazine!
Lee Anne Horton Brannon, BA '99, Waco, Texas
I AM A NEW EMPLOYEE WITH THE University working in the Houston Development Office and after reading your cover article ("Struggle for the Heart and Soul of Baylor") in Baylor Magazine, I wanted to give you some feedback. Your article is the best review, analysis, explanation, overview and written documentary of Baylor 2012 I have seen, and is so by a wide margin! I requested 20 copies of the issue and have been handing them out steadily. I refer almost everyone I meet with to the magazine as it contains answers to all of the most commonly asked questions we receive in the field. It is thorough, thoughtful and inspiring because of the subject matter and because it is so well written. Thank you for capturing so well, for all who love Baylor, the "heart and soul" of the Vision, the people who are the "heart and soul" of the University and our collective calling, which I believe comes from the heart of God. Keep up the great work as the impact of Baylor Magazine (an outstanding publication) continues to grow.
Patrick Murphy, BBA '77, Houston, Texas
May/JuneCONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR KIND treatment of such a reverent institution in your article about the NoZe Brotherhood. Some believe NoZe brothers should be institutionalized, but I firmly believe the brothers represent an esteemed and valued institution. While I was attending Baylor (1971-1975), NoZe performed numerous charitable activities including:
Photographing students at "Bear Downs" for a small cash donation. Never mind that the photographs were all the same picture of a donkey's backside with the donor's face in a strategic location.
Raising the bar on Homecoming floats ... NoZe never won the float competition, but did create a benchmark for all others to follow.
Providing newly entering Baylor women with a free ride to the Quad on a swanky fire engine borrowed from down the street ... plus many, many more generous and charitable acts of giving.
Answering charity with charity, a professor in the journalism department was kind enough to "loan" the journalism facilities (including copier) to NoZe for The Rope for a couple of years (1974-75) until the buzz about the source became too intense and tenure was endangered.
Michael McCann, BBA '75, (aka Bro. Froze NoZe), Dublin, Ohio
SATCH ON THE ARTICLE. A FEW THINGS about the bridge burning. The bridge was unsafe and had missing boards and no lighting. The administration would not do anything about it. When the fire department showed up, some NoZe were there roasting hot dogs! The NoZe were blamed for everything. One time, somebody (?) painted the fire hydrants pink and blue (pink on top). Naturally, the NoZe were blamed, and Abner [McCall] demanded they repaint them. Like the good students they were, they complied (blue on top). It is a little-known, unconfirmed fact that the NoZe is an outreach missionary program to the infidels and hairy legs from First Church, Elm Mott.
Carl Dean Flatt, BA '71, MA '75, Midland, Texas