Letters to the Editor

Calvin wear is everywhere!
Imagine my surprise when I went to my block party and saw someone in a Calvin College T-shirt! It turns out he’s not an alum — has never even been to Calvin, but his first name is Calvin, so someone gave him the shirt. We had a lot of fun talking about Calvin College. I went home and came back with some of Calvin’s promotional literature and presented Calvin with a Calvin pen. He was so excited to get more things with the name “Calvin” on them. Calvin and his wife are both teachers in the Minneapolis Public Schools; they were very impressed with the materials. Calvin was going to check out www.calvin.edu and see if he could purchase some other Calvin items from the Bookstore.

Jan Faasse Hoffer ’73
Minneapolis, Minn.

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Policy: Letters regarding the contents of the magazine will be considered for publication in Spark unless specifically marked "not for publication." Correspondence may be shortened to meet editorial requirements. We will not publish anonymous letters; however, we may withhold names upon request.

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Depressed by dorm demolition
Just one page away from finishing another enjoyable Spark, my heart sank when I saw the stark picture of the Calvin Dorm being demolished (Fall 2004). It was my home for four years; I figure that I spent well over 1,000 nights there. Those nearest two windows on the second floor just above the porch was room 209, my home for my freshman year. I was so homesick for about a month until one evening a giant, floor-wide pillow fight helped me gain friends and decide not to drop out after all. From the basement where we registered for classes and played basketball to the attic where we played ping pong, bumper pool and watched Gunsmoke, and all the high-jinks in between, it was a glorious place. I just loved the Calvin Dorm.

Joel Morris ’61
Plano, Texas

The Bible is clear
I am deeply saddened by your letter titled “Controversial ‘Notes'” in Spark (Summer 2004). Although I agree that Christians do not unite on all issues, and we can only do our best to carefully review Scripture and walk humbly before our God, I wish to refute your statement that the Bible “is not so clear [on] how the Christian community ought to relate to gays and lesbians who profess to be Christians.”

Allowing the “smooth words and flattering speech” (Romans 16:18) of Christians who profess to be homosexual to weaken our faith and stop us from standing up for the truth is wrong. Yes, we have all fallen short of God’s commands and should not elevate the sin of homosexuality above other sins, but, as we are called to do with any sin, we should lovingly attempt to bring our brothers and sisters out of their sin through counsel and searching God’s Word.

Yes, we are to follow the example of Jesus in being kindhearted. Running into a person who is struggling with any sin and turning the other way would not be following his example, but embracing that sin or showing acceptance of it would be wrong (see Romans 1:32).

I respect the intent of your letter to allow us to rejoice and weep with each other as alumni, but I pray that as Calvin presses on into the future, for every alumni letter received and printed embracing the sin of homosexuality (or any other sin), ten (or more) will be submitted and printed counseling the person to turn away from their sin and live a new life. We may not live next to each other, or even in the same city, but that does not exempt us from holding each other accountable to God.

Christy Snyder McGeehan ex’89
Zeeland, Mich.

Geographically illiterate?
For a college whose president has declared internationalization as a major theme, the alumni magazine writers appear remarkably geographically illiterate. In an article in the Summer 2004 Spark describing Rangeela, the campus’ flagship international event, the two-hour trip around the world was said to include stops in Africa (a continent), India (a country), Korea (a peninsula), China (a country), the Philippines (a country), Latin America (a cultural region), the Caribbean (an archipelago), and Russia (a country). The random grouping seems not only lazy and simplistic, but disrespectful as well. Spark should do better to properly identify and honor distinct peoples and their countries of origin.

Wiebe Boer ’97
Nouakchott, Islamic Republic of Mauritania

Donor thanks
We really enjoy reading Spark —especially the last issue (Fall 2004) with the large article on the Ecosystem Preserve. What a blessing to have such generous donors to help enhance the learning experience for the students.

Laura Postma Meengs ’95
Grand Rapids, Mich.