Pray for victims at Virginia Tech

My father and mother are 1976 and 1977 graduates of Virginia Tech, as are many of my aunts and uncles. Despite defying tradition by attending the College, I am still very much a connected part of the Virginia Tech community through my family’s many years of alumni involvement.

This tragedy hit very close to home, as students died in the very places where my parents have recalled spending many happy memories during their college years. I don’t understand what could possess someone to commit such a heinous act. It’s senseless, brutal and makes you question humanity.

Our first reaction may be anger: anger at the shooter or anger at the school for perhaps mishandling the situation. However, it’s far more important to keep the students forefront in our minds.

Here at the College, we have experienced tragedy before. Perhaps it was on a much smaller scale than what took place at Virginia Tech, but the grief is just as acute. I encourage all of you to keep the Virginia Tech community in your thoughts. Their college is forever changed by this heinous, inexplicable tragedy.

Callan Wright

Religious preaching at its worst

The article titled “Hellfire and damnation fire up College” that was published last week in The Signal certainly caused a number of people to become a little wary of religion, to say the least. This event was uncalled for and extreme; it offended a great many people here at the College.

The preacher, Jeremy Sonnier, spent a good portion of the day preaching to all passing students about the judgment that all individuals, particularly sinners, will inevitably face from God. He not only shouted comments that insulted people from other religions, but also sang a number of offensive songs.

While it is acceptable for a person to choose any religion that he or she desires to practice, as backed by the First Amendment, it is not justified for that same individual to force his own beliefs onto others, especially in such an offensive manner. Sonnier believes himself to be entirely right on his take of religion and that he thus has the right to convert others to his beliefs.

The fact that he desires to spread the word of God is admirable and is, in itself, not wrong. He is certainly mistaken, however, to attempt to spread this viewpoint to others through outrageous songs and unfounded accusations. While his intentions may have been good, the way by which he went about spreading his religious beliefs is entirely bad.

In today’s society, there are a number of different religious beliefs and views on the afterlife, as witnessed by the wide variety of faiths that exist.

To assume that all individuals who don’t follow the same religious practices are doomed to “drown within a lake of fire” is arrogant and extreme. The afterlife and the existence of any type of divine being is entirely open to interpretation, and no one has the right or power to decide who is to be punished or not to be punished.

It is OK to openly voice your beliefs on religion – just don’t do it like Jeremy Sonnier.

Genevieve Kosanovich