Redhawks vs. Covid: Who’s Winning?

Campus Life * by Joseph Marziale

Joseph Marziale is a co-founder and co-owner of The JMAK. He specializes in mathematics and physics but discusses and researches topics in political philosophy and science, economics, social justice issues, popular mechanics, and the occasional music review. He is a sophomore at Roberts Wesleyan College.

As an extension of being compassionate to the concerns of others, we as students must realize that the present faculty and staff are working their hardest to serve us.

Really nobody wins from a deadly virus. But as athletes, we can choose the rate at which we adapt.

The short answer is the Redhawks. 

The longer is that we’re working on it, but we’re slowly opening up to the point of normalcy. Rapid, cyclical testing is giving athletes and staff a sense of security as students are testing negative for the virus on a daily basis. It gives them evidence that opening facilities and exercise rooms is worthwhile and safe to all users. However, this doesn’t come without its frustrations. Skeptics exist across the board who question the usefulness of masks, testing, vaccines, and the dreaded rules and restrictions. Many Redhawks view COVID-19 security measures as an oppressive threat to their liberties as students and athletes. Conversely, there are many others who, in the face of these skeptics, are confused at best and angered at worst. As cliché or centrist as it sounds, it’s incredibly important for individuals to understand and validate the concerns of both sides here. It’s ultimately OK to hold personal liberties to a high regard. It’s also reasonable to enjoy good health and to not want to get others sick. And as an extension of being compassionate to the concerns of others, we as students must realize that the present faculty and staff are working their hardest to serve us. They work to put rules in place for our own safety, that we might not have to go home in unison due to a virus that we, thus far, have fended off with an incredible, energetic vigilance. 

So before we get upset about how the racquetball court isn’t open, how the cardio room has a max capacity, and how we’re not in season yet, it’s critical to put on that aforementioned veil of thankfulness and humility. These are virtues that we’ve all had to work on during the pandemic; as the world’s understanding of the virus changes daily, we’re required to adapt accordingly. At this point, it’s the only thing that we can do, other than to continue in anger or frustration. Only then do the Redhawks truly win against Covid.

Tradition and the Modern World

Religion & Faith * Ben Deacon

Ben Deacon is a senior management & social entrepreneurship major at Roberts Wesleyan College and a guitarist for ReapR. He is a pro-capitalist with a libertarian slant, looking to depict modern events with a Judeo-Christian worldview.

“Biblical truth and sound theology is far more important for the practicing Christian than the packaging under which it is delivered.”

How is the Bible to be reconciled with modern sensibilities? Are we to reject the contemporary changing world or should our view on biblical truth evolve as the culture around us does? For a young adult who is trying to make Christ the center of their life, this question is bound to be asked either explicitly or implicitly at some point in their life and answered by following one of the camps of “traditional Christianity” or “progressive Christianity.” This article should serve as a guide for the young adult who is distracted by all of this noise between arguing ideologies and is instead concerned with finding truth to ground themselves with to lead a life that results in real spiritual growth.

It is important to note that I’m not talking about worship styles or whether your pastor is in a suit or skinny jeans. Biblical truth and sound theology is far more important for the practicing Christian than the packaging under which it is delivered. When Christian circles
cannot agree on major issues of sin and salvation, there is serious reason for concern and a need for guidance. For this reason it is necessary to break down both major Christian worldviews and
attempt to give a pathway for the average person to find truth.


The traditional Christian sees a world that has strayed from the fear of God and has conceded too many large issues of sin to “secular society.” The loss of a culture that was defined by the Church and by the values of the past is the driving force of this view. Consequently, the
traditionalist will view the progressive Christian as a secularist who is attempting to squeeze a belief in Jesus into a culture that rejects his teachings.

In contrast, the progressive Christian sees a world that needs to make amends for the sins and hypocrisy of the past and focus on the acceptance of others rather than condemning them. A sense of cultural relativism and an emphasis on “gray areas” in Christian morality is the driving force of this view and to them the traditional Christian is attempting to hold the world back to a time where good wasn’t being done even though more people appeared reverent.

Simply put, I believe that both of these views are deeply flawed. Attempting to tie the teachings of Christ to any given time period will always lead to sin and hypocrisy because every time period has its own sins of choice that the Church has to struggle with. For example, the traditional Christian is right to stand against the promiscuity and other sexual sins that dominate modern culture just as much as the progressive Christian has the right to stand against the racism and intolerance that have defined large sections of Christendom for years. The standards of God do not change, so we should continually adapt ourselves to God’s will and not the other way around.

“Attempting to tie the teachings of Christ to any given time period will always lead to sin and hypocrisy because every time period has its own sins of choice that the Church has to struggle with.”

For the young adult who doesn’t know where to go or what to do, I’ll leave you with these three steps to make sure that your life is defined by the saving work of Jesus Christ:


1) Find a spiritual mentor to guide you and correct you;
2) Read theology, even the views you don’t like;
3) Lead others to Christ. Taking on the Great Commission will give you a sense of responsibility to be intentional about where you are placing your faith.

Whose Turn To Speak?

Social Justice * by Joseph Marziale

Anonymously or by name, anyone can write to The JMAK using thejmak.org/submit.

“I see I am on the unpopular side … [I’m] not trying to catch major heat from, like, every single friend I have.”

Anonymous Freshman
Within their friend groups, many individual students feel that their opinions are unwelcome. They remain silent to keep the peace.

These days, few people are looking to take on more fights than those which they have to participate in on a daily basis. Waking up is usually a fight on its own, followed by the myriad, beautiful everyday struggles of a typical college student. Humans don’t normally like it when others bash heads. It’s why we find so much joy in the things in our lives that give us a sense of peace. One who has a habit of procrastination is fueled by the temporary joy gained by putting his or her labors aside.

One of the main ways that people find peace is through a group of friends. I can confidently say that my friends at Roberts are some of the finest people I’ll ever meet in my life, and I love their personalities. In short, I feel at peace when I’m with them. This is because I can be who I am around them.

Everyone deserves good friends like mine. But, while we feel safe in peaceful areas, there is also a time to stand up. To be heard. An unintentional downfall of a god-sent friend group is the collective tendency to not vocalize disagreements. Many students even suffer under the pressure of fear: if I say something, will people get mad?

An unintentional downfall of a god-sent friend group is the collective tendency to not vocalize disagreements.”

Ironically, living in silence is somewhat dangerous.

I’ve witnessed this firsthand. I was running an anonymous poll to receive reactions from Ben Deacon’s Free Speech in the Digital Landscape. Mixed reactions were present, but most students leaned on Deacon’s side with a libertarian slant, i.e. that social media companies have almost no right to censor its users. However, there were perspectives on the other end. I was talking to one freshman who claims that private companies should have considerable control over their own platforms. While this student’s argument was completely valid, they were afraid to come forth with it in the public realm, not because they felt they were uneducated, but for the fear of others giving them “heat” or hostility.

This interaction confirmed the fear that I have about our campus culture. As fellow humans, we don’t exist to drown out minority opinions. However, I believe that much of campus culture is geared towards removing conflict and expecting that everyone gets along all the time. This should only be true in the civil sense. But, we all deserve the space to voice an opinion, even if it’s not kosher. If everyone doesn’t have a platform to speak, then we are failing each other and our democracy.

Today, I’m encouraging everyone to examine their friend groups and ask themselves, am I creating an environment where my opinion is drowning out those of others? Do I grant others the time to speak? Am I a good listener? Conversely, am I a victim of suppression? Am I lacking s platform? If we all honestly answer these questions, then I believe that we’ll achieve a much more equitable and moral society, one that isn’t afraid to address conflict, but one that is accepting of others and is willing to “work it out.” Only then can we say that we’re truly acting as advocates for others.

A Country Divided

Social Justice * by Michelle Garrett

Michelle Garrett is a Roberts Wesleyan College graduate with a B.A. in Communication and former editor-in-chief of The Beacon. She is an artist, writer, advocate, feminist, and dedicated follower of Christ.

I believe what is easiest right now is for each of us to choose our side … scream that everyone else is wrong and refuse to listen to any opposition. But if we all choose this path, I also believe that we are signing up for a very ugly and bloody future.

As history casts its eyes back on the absurdity of the year 2020, it will be remembered as the year of COVID. I will never forget the shock that came last March when our whole world changed overnight. One day everything was normal and the idea of a school shutting down mid-semester, of graduations and proms being cancelled, of not being able to even sit down and eat at a restaurant – was absolutely absurd. Yet practically overnight, all those things we took for granted became luxuries we couldn’t have.

I believe that this sudden change in society brought about a new attitude in Americans. It was as though everyone finally had the realization that everything we felt was never-changing – the policies, the injustices, the powers at be – could be moved after all.

It was in the past year that many people found their voice and became louder than any of us had ever heard before. Black Lives Matter, the second impeachment trial, a stock market heist, a storm of the capital, and much more. On the day it was announced Biden was to be president, I myself was in Washington DC and it was an inspiring example of a city making themselves heard. The day was filled from morning till midnight with happy honking, yelling, flag waving, literal banging of pots and pans, and spontaneous rallies.

In our country there are so many emotions and thoughts going on both in ourselves and in our culture about what we each believe is right and what is wrong. In the year of 2020 these passions we’ve held inside ourselves have been magnified from a year free of worldly distraction. And without being in person, we’ve moved to the platform of social media where we go to battle in the comments section. I believe what is easiest right now is for each of us to choose our side, stick with it, indulge the cancellation culture, scream that everyone else is wrong and refuse to listen to any opposition.

(Photo by Samuel Corum)

But if we all choose this path, I also believe that we are signing up for a very ugly and bloody future. Our world changes more each day. And I hope it is for the good, that these are growing pains. But standing still with apathy or fighting simply to see who can scream the loudest, is not going to challenge us, grow us, or bring love and grace upon the world around us. And I for one, want to be someone who is making the world better, not helping tear it apart.

If you agree with me, then I propose a challenge to you. I believe that when we come up against someone who has a different set of beliefs, we should simply listen to what they have to say and ask questions. Let me say that again. Listen to whoever it is you are talking with, take a place of humility, and ask questions to try and understand their way of thinking. And please do not get me wrong – I am for peaceful protests and finding ways to be heard as a united people. I am speaking of interpersonal relationships. Of not pushing away someone for disagreeing with you, but inviting them to a conversation.

Listen to whoever it is you are talking with, take a place of humility, and ask questions to try and understand their way of thinking.

And it is okay. You do not have to agree with this person or have the desire to change your own beliefs. But I think there is grace to be had in understanding one another. These are the steps each of us can choose to take if we want a future of unity and peace. If we understand one another and hear each other’s hearts, we will be able to feel seen, heard, and in turn advocate for each other and hopefully change the world for the better.

Free Speech in the Digital Landscape

Politics * By Ben Deacon

Ben Deacon is a senior management & social entrepreneurship major at Roberts Wesleyan College and a guitarist for ReapR. He is a pro-capitalist with a libertarian slant, looking to depict modern events with a Judeo-Christian worldview.

The American definition of free speech is under review as the internet rapidly expands its influence.

We as individuals are left with the responsibility to reach across the aisle and attempt to honestly understand the concerns of those who disagree with us without looking for a “gotcha” moment to shut down the other side.

On January 8th, 2021, a sitting President of the United States was banned from Twitter and Facebook. The word “unprecedented” has been thrown around a lot over the past year, but the act of cutting off a political leader from the largest social media platforms in the world can only be described under those terms as well as the violent events in the capitol that led to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg making those decisions. This has led to the questions of where the concept of freedom of speech fits in a world where discourse primarily takes place over private social media platforms and whether or not certain statements can be seen as equal to violence.

The issue of censorship on social media platforms is difficult because it relies on the reconciliation of two facts that for the time being will not change:

(1) Free speech is absolute and is guaranteed by the constitution no matter how heinous the words said by an individual or group (some legal exceptions in cases of incitement to violence and slander, but for the purposes of this article it is best to treat free speech as being absolute);

(2) Social media platforms (i.e. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) are privately owned companies that are free to set their own rules in terms of what is said on their platforms.

Twitter’s “incitement of violence” policy lead to the ban of now-Former President Trump among other right-wing politicians.

Barring a radical change in the Constitution or the adoption of a “Digital Bill of Rights” as has been proposed by certain lobbyist groups, any debate over online speech needs to treat these facts as absolutely true or else the conversation will go nowhere. With that being said, what is to be done when roughly half of the country feels that they are being censored by large social media corporations? Simply stating the fact that social media companies can do what they want is true, but it doesn’t do anything to push people away from political echo chambers where they are doomed to become radicalized without opposition to their ideas.

So what are we left with? We as individuals are left with the responsibility to reach across the aisle and attempt to honestly understand the concerns of those who disagree with us without looking for a “gotcha” moment to shut down the other side. We are led to possibly spend less time on social media and more time interacting with our friends and family members who hold radically different views as human beings. The United States of America is looking less united every day, but instead of digging our heels in for our ideology of choice at the expense of our fellow countrymen, taking on the radical responsibility to freely speak our mind as honestly as possible and listen to others as openly as possible seems to be the only way forward. No government policy, administration, or social media company can take away your freedom to work as an individual to take on the culture of outrage and partisanship to lead to real unity.

A Template to Guide Future Writers

Submit your own article * by Joseph Marziale

Joseph Marziale is a co-founder and co-owner of The JMAK. He specializes in mathematics and physics but discusses and researches topics in political philosophy and science, economics, social justice issues, popular mechanics, and the occasional music review. He is a sophomore at Roberts Wesleyan College. …This is all nice, but you will have your own bio here.

Sample image with a short caption that relates to both the image and the following article somehow.

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