Of Bible-bashers and frat-daddies

To the contrary of negative stereotypes, many Greek students bury their heads in textbooks rather than the above beverage.

Plenty of the top students at this school are Greek. Not all of the Baptists believe in restricting gay rights. There are athletes who are better at organic chemistry than most. I suppose my point is cliché, but it remains valid. Don’t judge a book by its cover; otherwise you might be shocked when reading its pages.

People have an innate ability to see patterns where there are none. For example, non-Greek students who come into the school with a preconception that all Greeks are lazy boozers running off Daddy’s trust fund will have the tendency to only pick out those fitting the stereotype.

However, I personally know several Greeks who spend the majority of their time studying hard and earning some of the highest grades at this school.

Yes, people fitting the negative stereotype exist at Mercer. But at the same time there are non-Greeks handing their parents a $30,000 bill while coasting on a 2.0 GPA and a 24-pack of Natty Light. Before you start to judge someone based on their clothing label, try getting to know them first.

I also have strong words in regards to stereotyping students based on their religious affiliation. Several of the most religiously committed people on campus are also the most open-minded — they have traveled extensively to cultures with different beliefs. Some of the non-religious folk are also incredibly happy, intelligent and generous.

Yes, there are also negative examples of both — Baptists who are judgmental towards those who believe differently and atheists who are smug and self-involved. In the end, it all depends on the person, not the affiliation.

However, I do have one caveat. I don’t believe one should attend or support a religious organization if it preaches principles with which one disagrees. I’m not advocating that hundreds of sects be formed due to minor scriptural disagreements. But when pro gay-rights students attend RUF (which has specifically condemned gay marriage), they are committing themselves to a negative stereotype.

If they wish to break free of that unfavorable view, they should join a campus organization that not only worships God but also preaches equality. Yes, they exist. If one doesn’t suit the purpose, at the very least they should not attend the services of the previous group.

Leaving one’s comfort/friend zone for one hour per week is not much to ask, especially when the support of a persecuted minority is on the other end of the scale. Friendships will most likely survive such a shift — I continue to be friends with multiple RUFers even though I haven’t attended in years. Who knows? Perhaps other schoolmates will tag along.

Remember, clichés can still be useful regardless of their overuse. Avoid stereotyping others while making sure to avoid being a negative one yourself.

Comments on this opinion can be sent to this terrible, evil, ‘Merica-hating liberal at [email protected]