Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Chik-fil-A Ordeal

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How do you determine between a hateful, bigoted comment and an individual’s personal opinion? And does that statement necessarily represent the establishment they represent?

These are the questions Americans had to ask this summer when Dan Cathy and his popular restaurant chain Chik-fil-A were targeted by angry gay-rights activists over an interview in which the owner presented his unpopular opinion towards the long-debated controversial topic.

Customers line up to show their support for Chik-Fil-A. Protestors lined up outside the restaurants or staged “kiss-ins.” (Jebb Harris – AP)

Only moments after the article was published, the support and protests were lighting up social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. During the end of the month of July, it seemed that one couldn’t open up any of these webpages without being bombarded with passionate opinions on the subject. Soon enough, people began taking their information from these sites and word of mouth rather than from the source.

So what was in that interview that sparked such an uproar?

On July 16, Baptist Press, a religious news source, conducted an interview with Dan Cathy, a known devout Christian who frequently implements his spiritual beliefs into his company policies – such as closing the restaurant on Sundays.

But when the questions came around towards whether or not the assumptions of Cathy’s support of traditional family, he replied affirmatively that “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit…”

Apparently, this was enough to ignite a lot of fury towards the otherwise loved American food service. Events such as boycotts or “kiss-ins” (in which same-sex couples would attempt to stir up discomfort by kissing near or inside Chik-fil-A restaurants) became the latest social service project to support.

Partners of Chik-fil-A, such as the makers of Muppets, responded as well by pulling out their toys that went along with kids meals. In explanation, the company posted on their Facebook page that “The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors.”

With all the fuss citizens and even companies are making, one must ask whether or not the aggravated reactions are merited. In other words, did Cathy really attack homosexuals in the interview and, more importantly, does Chik-fil-A as a whole represent this viewpoint?

The answer is no. In no part during the interview did the owner”bash” homosexuals. Dan Cathy did, however, state his, and his family’s personal opinion on the subject – which, since last the Constitution was promptly spread out and thoroughly checked, is still covered under the imperative First Amendment that Americans hold so dearly.

And as far as whether or not Chik-fil-A as a company should be held responsible for the manifestation of such a right, the establishment has firmly reiterated its stance on the matter, saying “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect –regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

Meanwhile, the fury has died down, but there are still grumblings against Dan Cathy.

The entire situation can be confusing, considering the fact that the entire argument for gay rights and same-sex marriage is based upon a citizen’s right to do whatever he or she pleases without interference from the government. However, that is conveniently ignored in Dan Cathy’s case. His personal opinion during an interview is declared as “wrong” or “hateful”. It seems as though there is only one correct opinion on the matter and whoever disagrees with it is immediately cast down.

This is not an argument for or against gay rights, but rather an introspective look on Americans’ (at least the vocal Americans) views on freedom of speech. The idea appears to be that if one should speak up about their personal beliefs on a subject, and that belief is not in accordance with society’s standards, then they are somehow infringing on the rights of whomever opposes them.

It’s incredibly ironic how the very group that is determined to have their views be heard and listened to is condemning one person for relating their opinion to a religious publication (one might wonder, what else did they expect?). Dan Cathy should not be punished for expressing his views, and whether or not they are agreeable to the majority or minority is irrelevant. If anything, he should be applauded. To speak out with an unpopular opinion alone is impressive, but to also be the representative of a flourishing franchise that would inevitably, though incorrectly, implicated is a true testament to this man’s faith and character.

 

 

NHS hosts first vespers of the year

Andrews Academy’s first vespers of the year was hosted by the National Honors Society (NHS). It was held in the commons on Friday the 24th, from 6:30-8:30pm with 50-60 attendees.

The program began with a choice song service that led straight into the worship thought. The guest speaker was Stevensville’s Youth Pastor, Jason Vyhmeister, who gave a very inspiring message on health’s connection between mind soul and body.

Vyhmeister’s message “perfectly kick started our (NHS) theme of health that will continue to be emphasized throughout this year!” said NHS President Jessica Yoong.

Students sat on blankets spread out on the floor, “Giving it a sort of friendly, informal atmosphere,” said junior Kaitlin Litvak.

Students had time to relax and enjoy friendship over a light snack following the message. Several groups of students sat at tables talking to and laughing with each other.  Some students decided to go outside behind the AA school building where the swing-sets are located just to “hang out.”

“It’s a good place to catch up with old friends and make new ones!” said junior Ricky Moore.

This article was written by Chelcie Coleman

AA Family Meets and Greets After Registration

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Molly Thompson
The Andrews Academy Student Association is known for putting together all the fun activities the school body participates in and they received a chance to prove their capabilities in the evening following registration.
The SA Meet and Greet – which was held behind the school – was the perfect opportunity for new and old students to reconnect and meet new people. Games like football, soccer, and the bean bag toss were available as more students began trickling in.
When it came time for the ice-breaker, many students began to get apprehensive. But the activity proved to be refreshingly fun and quite clever. Students were divided into classes, given frozen tee shirts and were challenged to literally “break the ice” and thaw out the shirts fast enough to wear them before the competing classes. With the incentive of going first in line for supper, the race was on. In the end, however, the Sophomores won the contest followed by the Freshmen, Juniors, and finally the Seniors.
The SA provided dinner for everyone who came and the PPI (Parents Positively Involved) donated ice cream floats for dessert. The SA then gathered everyone in two large circles where students rotated around and greeted each other.

Students enjoy the meal provided by the SA and the PPI.

When asked for feedback, there were mixed opinions from students. “At the Meet and Greet I met a lot of cool people and I enjoyed the program that SA prepared – also the food! I think the SA is doing a great job! I like the way that they treat new people. They are really friendly!” said An-Hee Jeong, senior.
However, there were some who disagreed about the SA’s first event. “It wasn’t as bad as last year’s. I think SA did better with the activities. Even though the going around in a circle was somewhat awkward, it wasn’t as bad as the shoe throw-in last year,” Grace Yoon, sophomore, stated.
Despite the reviews, Ben VanderWaal, the Student Association President, said, “As our first SA event, I was really impressed on how it turned out. We had a ton of people show up. We had good food and activities that kept people entertained but at the same time allowed room to meet new people and get back in touch with old friends.”
Though the students had opposing opinions, the school is already anticipating what the SA has in store for the next school event.

Students, Parents Say ‘Registration Process too Slow’

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Registration at Andrews Academy has always been known as a difficult and stressing time to students, parents, and even faculty. But this year’s new and supposedly “streamlined” technique seems to be the cause of frustration for everyone involved.

“It seems a lot less organized this year,” one parent commented. “I’m not sure why but it seems to be taking more time.”

One possible explanation for the slowdown could be the plumbing incident that happened over the prior weekend. A pipe in the library had burst, causing rusty water to leak onto the walls and carpets, inevitably ruining all the hard work put in by Mr. Spoon and the rest of the summer team towards the renovation of the school.

With caution tape surrounding a majority of the library, where most of the stations for registering are usually located, students and parents are rerouted to unfamiliar venues – several of them being crammed into the already bustling commons area.

The recent inconvenience of a burst pipe may be the cause for the confusion and slowed process at registration.

 

While this may be the main cause for this year’s grueling process, other students feel as though it is an annual ritual that remains unchanged. “It’s always too slow,” Jessica Condon, Junior, said. “It would be better if it was online.”

Some of the faculty heartily agree with this statement. “In my eight years of working here, nothing’s changed [with registration].” Ms. Gracie responded.  “When you have fifty people coming in at a time, the lines are going to be long.”

Krista Metzger, also being interviewed at the time added that “when you have 220 customers and only two cashiers, things are going to go slowly.”

Not surprisingly, Pastor Glassford, who has recently doubled as a vice principal, voiced some innovative ideas on how to keep people happy, as well as speeding up the process. “I want to make it like a breakfast buffet,” he said as he proceeded to explain how he wished to make next year’s registration confined to one area, reducing the confusion and the stress on faculty.

Despite the difficult process, students seemed to be able to stay positive and lighthearted as they prepared for a new year and reunited with friends.

“Yeah it’s stressful,” one student admitted, “but at least it gave us more time to talk to each other and catch up.”

Hopefully the reconstruction and the cleaning of the library won’t delay any more school-related operations in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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