Writing for The Signal educates, strengthens viewpoints

I bet quite a number of you are surprised that I am writing again after receiving so many negative responses in the past two weeks.

Then again, seeing as how I never received many positive responses to begin with, perhaps this isn’t much of a surprise.

Why do I keep coming back despite reactions that range from neutrality to deep hostility?

It is because I like writing for The Signal.

Since I began writing for The Signal last semester, it has been both a source of amusement and a crucible for my beliefs.

I have enjoyed being a columnist because it gives me a chance to improve my writing skills and to try out new ideas.

It allows me to see what type of reactions I receive from all sorts of people.

It gives me insight into the views my fellow students hold on politics and the meaning of life.

Further, writing is slowly helping me figure out the flaws in my own style of arguing.

Most importantly, writing Signal columns gives me a way to communicate with people I otherwise would not have the chance to meet.

Communicating, I feel, is something that a lot of people do not do.

As G. K. Chesterton said, most people “rely altogether on a few cynical maxims which are not true.”

Take for instance, the idea that any argument that supports moral values is necesarily a religious argument.

I have encountered this mindset from many people.

No matter how much I try to base arguments off of reason, there is inevitably someone who gets back to me saying that I should not impose my beliefs on others.

Yet, to me, trying to explain to someone why premarital sex or having no spirituality is objectively dangerous to oneself is much more real than any debate over foreign policy.

So, I write in order to see what people think of these ideas and perhaps convince them of my point of view.

And, if I am wrong, it will help me figure out where I have erred.

Some have told me that they have stopped reading the articles entirely because they feel conservatives have taken over the opinions section.

This is the absolute worst reason for them to stop reading The Signal.

In doing so, they are openly admitting that they do not want their ideas to be challenged.

As a conservative on a liberal campus, I have learned many of the shortcomings of conservative thought.

I do not believe, for instance, in the death penalty, destroying the environment for our own gain, prayer in public schools or the agenda of the National Rifle Association.

But, where I do believe in conservative values, I am all the stronger because I have been exposed to the exact opposite so many times on this campus.

In these articles, I am not hoping to win a fight as much as I am trying to get people to see a different point of view that they probably would not have encountered otherwise.

It enables them to broaden their perspectives and become intellectually stronger.

Still, some might be dissuaded from taking an interest in The Signal because they feel this campus is apathetic and its students do not care about the world around them.

While this might be true in a lot of cases, I still disagree.

Just two weeks ago, I received major backlash from people who thought that, in my article attempting to expose problems with gay marriage, I was judging homosexuals.

In response, I received not only two pages of complaints in The Signal but also many messages over the Internet.

This is a very strong indicator that the campus does care and students should express themselves more often.

Until someone does step up, I am going to continue voicing my opinions unchallenged, no matter how unpopular those opinions may be.

I would encourage everyone who disagrees with what I or anyone else has to say to start writing for The Signal.

If a person feels his or her voice is not being heard, there is no reason for him or her not to do this.

Writing columns only takes a few hours a week and those hours go by quickly if you care strongly about a certain issue.

Furthermore, there is no reason to fear editorial censorship.

Despite holding opposing viewpoints, the only changes Signal editors have made were to make my columns stronger than they would be otherwise.

Also, regardless of what field you enter, writing a semi-weekly column and gaining your name in print will probably look good to an employer.

Lastly, no one should be dissuaded simply because he or she isn’t a natural writer. After all, I am a math major who disliked Rhetoric and that has not kept me from writing.

So really, why not give it a shot?

If I can do this, so can you.