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Student leaves debate feeling “sorely disappointed”

As I walk onto the third floor of Warner Memorial Library, I become aware of the quiet attentiveness that accentuates the air.  A sure voice slices through the quiet, declaring that we should love everyone no matter what their sexual orientation.

I was stunned to hear this comment from the speaker, Dr. Tony Campolo, because earlier in the week several people had “prepared” me for the “Great Debate.” They painted a picture of two people who had completely opposite arguments: one rigidly against homosexuality and the other embracing it.

Dr. Campolo posed an amazing argument, calling for people to love the sinner but not accept the sin.  He is an advocate of justice and exercising God’s love towards the homosexual community.  At the end of the first 15 minutes, I felt such a rush of energy it seemed like the debate would just get better with every passing minute.

When Peggy Campolo, Tony’s wife, reached the podium, I saw that she would carry out her whole side of the debate by reading her speech.  I felt disappointed and increasingly disinterested.  She did her argument a great disservice by monotonously regurgitating what she had written prior to the debate. 

Don’t get me wrong, preparation is key in a debate, but once she began to read, her position became a lesson instead of an interactive experience.

As she spoke, the thought came to me that many people use scripture to fit their agenda.  I received confirmation when Peggy Campolo used the same scripture as her husband (Romans 1:23-27) and thwarted the meaning completely to the point where if re-written to her explanation it would make no sense at all.

Her argument lacked social, but more importantly, Biblical backing.  Peggy Campolo spoke of a friend who had been teased in their school days that inspired her to try to right the wrongs done to homosexuals.  The argument seemed to be based solely on pathos and guilt for not standing up for a friend in his time of need.

Towards the middle of the debate, I became troubled at the fact that the Campolos’ arguments seemed to blend rather than differ.  While some points were clearly in opposition with each other, the similarities began to mesh in a scary way.

The debate, which had started off on such a good note, ended leaving me sorely disappointed. 

I felt as though many, who came to be enlightened to both sides, left confused.  I also believe that those agreeing strongly with either side, left fired up under false pretense.  It was a good try, but it did not stir my heart to promote change.

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