To all Trent students who have read the letter in Arthur addressing Newfangled (and recommending it be burned):
as a Christian and a Trent student, I would like to extend an apology. I am sorry that this was written in the name of Jesus Christ because it directly opposes His teachings. The title “God is Dead” is controversial and likely to spark strong reaction.
However, having actually read the articles myself, I can assure you that the goal of this publication was not to attack, but rather to start an open philosophical discussion. I am by no means offended by what was written, and if the author of the letter had actually opened the cover, perhaps they would feel the same.
But even if Newfangled’s intention had been to offend, does that mean they should “leave and never come back”? I can only speak for myself (I don’t have the audacity to claim, “I stand up in favor of the majority”) when I answer no. No, I don’t think that things I disagree with should be made to disappear. If you disagree with a publication, then you can write to the student newspaper and express your thoughts. You’re free to say what you think. Let others do the same. Don’t burn their work and try to suppress their voices.
Book burning has a long and dark history and it really saddens me to think of thoughts being silenced. That’s the sort of censorious fundamentalism that is neither “progressive” nor “pluralistic.” When someone is burning a book, they are showing utter contempt for all of the thinking that produced its ideas, all of the labor that went into its words and sentences and all of the trouble that befell the author. I encourage you not to burn Newfangled, but to pick up a copy and read it for yourself. Since I started this letter with Jesus, let me end with something He said: “a new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you”.
Fire Fighter not Lighter