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Letters to the editor

Oct. 18, 2005

Play doesn't represent reality

While I realize that the play Heathen Valley is just a play, the portrayal of Appalachian people as violent, superstitious, drunken and ungodly degenerates is both a derogatory and false portrayal of the people who settled this region and those who reside there today.

As was the case throughout many areas of the South, northern missionaries came to Appalachia in the 1800s to save the residents there from their "unchurched" ways. In reality, religion has always been an extremely important part of everyday life for Appalachians with the church being the center of religious as well as social gatherings.

Although these churches were often outside of the mainline denominations and were usually led by lay ministers who relied on the teachings of the Bible rather than formalized religious training, thus making them different from the standard northern church, they nonetheless strengthened the congregation's strong religious beliefs and values by which they lived their lives.

Unfortunately, the people of Appalachia are still subjected to falsehoods associated with the region in which they live. A few years ago, a Baylor professor addressing an audience of newly hired professors made the comment that a friend of his had been banished to a college in the wastelands of eastern Kentucky (in the heart of Appalachia). Obviously, education does not eliminate prejudice and ignorance.

I have enjoyed many fine plays at Baylor and am not asking anyone to boycott this presentation; however, please remember that this is a play and not an accurate depiction of Appalachians.

Dr. Tom Riley
Lecturer in history

Team's actions disappointing

I was very disappointed with the Baylor football team this past weekend as they took on the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers.

No, I wasn't disappointed with how they played -- I am certainly not a good judge of that. The fact that we lost doesn't concern me a bit. What makes me extremely angry is the fact that the team did not stay for the playing of the Baylor Line at the end of the game.

To add insult to injury, at the last home game -- which we won -- the team did indeed stay for the playing of the Line. The team's refusal to stay and listen to the school song is an insult to the fans who have stuck by them -- even at the worst of times -- for the entire game, no matter how badly the team performed.

The football team's actions seem to say that when we win, it's OK to stay and listen, but when we lose we have to retreat with our tail between our legs, when we should instead stand proud of our accomplishments -- no matter how small they might have been.

Cameron Talley
English 2006

Wage campaign about people

I am writing in response to Michael Khaleq's letter to the editor on Thursday, regarding the 1 John 3 campaign and enacting a living wage at Baylor.

I have a question for Khaleq. Have you read the verse the campaign is named after, 1 John 3:17-18? Or how about Matthew 6:19-21, James 5:4-5, Matthew 19:16-30 or the countless other points in the Bible where Christ refers to loving your neighbor, putting others before yourself, or the emptiness of accumulating vast amounts of money and things?

Never in the Bible that I read do I recall anyone ever saying, earn all you can and keep it, exploit others so that you can get richer or who cares about other people as long as you get what you need.

I don't think that the point of this campaign is to take money and hand it out, as charity, to people. Its goal is not to take as much money as possible from students and staff and give it to these workers.

While numbers are an important part of implementing a living wage, the real point is people. These are the faces of workers we see every day, and many we don't ever see that make Baylor function. They deserve our thanks, gratitude and respect.

This is not about charity; it is about giving people what they deserve. We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. I think its about time we start doing it.

Laura Newitt
Social Work 2006