E pluribus v. unum

March 23, 2010

As a followup to our discussion with President Briggs this afternoon, a few prompts, questions and discussion points we didn’t get to in our brief time in class:

  • Should Berry in fact be in the business of building character?
  • What should that look like?
  • Are we in fact a Christian community? What does that mean? How do we agree on the moral point of view Briggs asserts in his column that we should have?
  • How does freedom of expression (and religion), in  Briggs’s words, “imply that all beliefs should be considered equally valid?” Where is that implication? Who should get to decide what is more (or less) valid?
  • In Christian understanding, personal freedom “is a great good but not an absolute good.” What does that mean?
  • Paul in Romans 14 exhorts us to serve each other out of gratitude toward Christ, to sacrifice some of our radical grace (freedom) in order to build and preserve fellowship (community). Reactions?

And any question you wanted to ask but didn’t get to. Right here. Right now.

60 Minutes of Freedom

March 4, 2010

Hello Nation!

What if two people who don’t like their Freedom of Expression® topics agree — one each — to organize informational tables and representation for the Tea Party and the brand new Coffee Party? These two students would be point people for these nascent political “parties” for our big event, but not necessarily advocates of them.

These students would not have to do their chosen topics, then; they would instead research the heck out of their assigned party and handle all of the logistics to make sure the party is represented at our event — a table, brochures, someone to answer questions (which may or may not be the point person from class). The research paper would then be something on grass roots political organizing and problems with our two-party system, or something along those lines.

For those left, about nine of you, if my math is correct, we organize a “60 Minutes of Freedom” blitz — roughly 6 minutes each on your issue or topic in round-robin fashion. We kick all this off with a keynote — I have a few ideas — and we serve tea, coffee and some light snacks. I’ll get the money if I have to sell my body (to science, of course; the other route would generate something like $1.23, or whatever is in my kids’ piggy banks, collectively, to protect their Dad’s soul).

Your reactions? The comment board awaits you . . .