I feel like I have been gone for so long. For those of you keeping score at home, I am still about a paper and a half away from finishing the semester, but I am glad to get to be back in the blogging world for just a bit.
Why, you may ask, this obvious attempt to humanize myself? Well, my plan for today is to get a little personal. The problem has been that I am so tempted to respond to those who seem to think I am about a 3rd grade girl, judging from the tone of their comments, that I forget to respond also to my friends and supporters.
Lately, I have been getting this question a lot: do you enjoy doing Save OBU? or the alternative, Why do you do it?
Well, these are very good questions, and let me take them one at a time.
I do enjoy writing for Save OBU. I enjoy doing what I think is right by bringing light to an issue that is very important to me. I enjoy being a good alumna in the best way that I can see to do it right now. I enjoy finally feeling like I might have a voice that can do some good and letting many others out there know that they are not alone in their hopes that OBU will not turn into a fundamentalist bible school.
But there is something else that keeps me writing, even on days like today when I should be thinking about Christianity in the 1700's or the use of hesed in Ruth. (See? I go to a real seminary!)
Growing up, my parents always had two separate copies of the same poster. One is in their room and one is in my Mom's office. It may seem silly, but it is this quote from Martin Neimoller:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
The truth is, I do Save OBU because I was taught that when you see someone doing the wrong thing, it is your duty as a human being (and especially as a Christian) to work for justice.
In my time at OBU I saw demotions, firings, mis-hirings, the angriest Owens Hall you can imagine, and above all, a pattern of intimidation and disrespect for those who did not simply lie down and take it. I saw students being bullied by those in power followed by feeble attempts at mollification which insulted our own intelligence.
I can be angry about these things as much as I please, but in my family, your anger is only as good as whatever it inspires you to do. I write for Save OBU to bring light to injustice. I write for Save OBU because it is the best way I know how to do what is right and to stand up for those who have no voice or no public voice. I write for Save OBU because I cannot get fired or expelled-- but there are many who cannot speak up because they can. My status as a human demands my voice stand in solidarity with theirs.
First they came for the philosophers and I knew that a university cannot continue without a philosophy department.
Then they came for the women, and I knew that OBU needs the voices of women in high places and especially the voices of women in theology.
Then they came for the religion department, and finally everyone got mad enough that real things started to happen and we all spoke up.
Then they stopped coming, because they knew that vigilance was too high and they could no longer get away with it.
Or, at least, that is my hope, and my motivation to continue blogging.