Self-proclaimed reverend spews free speech protected hatred
Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 23:02
On a warm FGCU afternoon, Reverend Micah Armstrong preached his message to the students of our university. His views, however, were not what modern religious scholars might call "mainstream."
His hatred for homosexuals, Jews, Muslims and non-believers was at best misguided. Realistically, his opinions are senselessly invalid.
Nonetheless, his unalienable right to preach at FGCU is something which should be upheld by all members of the FGCU community. Voltaire once penned, "I do not agree with what you say, but, I will defend to my death your right to say it."
It is hard to say that someone's right to speak their mind is more important than another's right not to listen to what they are saying. However, in our country, we have equal rights.
In retrospect, I think that the university at large handled the situation very well.Aside from one or two incidents, our campus was very respectful and thoughtful while Armstrong was speaking.
It is hard to stand idle while someone attacks your beliefs, or identity. However, as ‘thinking people,' it is our duty to examine all points of view. At the very least, this was a learning opportunity that our campus was fortunate to experience.
Remember, no one has the power to change who you are unless you allow them to do so. If you disagree with ‘Brother Micah,' challenge him on his beliefs.
No matter what anyone may tell you, the right he holds to speak his mind is the same right you have to rebut his statements.
As long as we remain civilized in the process, both FGCU students, and perhaps even Brother Micah, have a lot to learn from each other.
Let's be thankful that the FGCU administration allowed a free exchange of ideas last week, in a respectful and thought-provoking manner.