Last night's play had another aspect of meaning for me, as well as religious freedom. It also had the significance of academic and political freedom!
I commend the President, the Provost, and any others involved in allowing "the show to go on", because, I know that the culture of the university is a conservative one. The reason I think that this was a step in the right direction, is because our very nation's values are being threatened by religious zealots, that find tolerance abominable. I think that the Provost's introduction of the play and his emphasis of the university's distinctives were commendable. I also thought that the program giving reasoned reasons for certain aspects of the play that might prove offensive was gracious.
Our Bill of Rights does protect freedom of expression, whether it be in journalism, or religious conviction. Without freedom to express "another opinion" our political culture is endangered, because it becomes propagandized for a particular view or opinion. Education cannot happen in cultures that dominate, control or prohibit these freedoms of expression, because critical thinking skills are not needed where there is no "difference".
Christians should be people that believe that God is bigger than any type of expression. That does not mean that Christians condone any type of expression. The political realm can only be open and free when there is religious tolerance. And religious tolerance says that Congress shall make no legislation concerning religion or its free expression.
Grace means that we grant others the right to differ in opinion, values and commitments, because we understand that some things are just not "black and white" issues. Paul commended in the Scriptures that each man should be fully assured in his own mind. And Jesus said that we should not judge another's man's servant, because to his own master his stands or falls.
All of life is gifted and given. The play itself, as well as the university's tolerance of it was affirming of the grace that is prevenient. And I think is what Wesley would have approved.
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