All posts by ATapp

Drew Tapp is Royal Scribe’s Assistant Editor. He graduated from Southport High School in Indianapolis, IN. He is a freshman studying Preaching and Youth Ministry. In addition to working in youth ministry, Drew hopes to obtain his master’s and doctorate in the New Testament. One thing he would enjoy in the future is watching a kid bring their friend to Christ and then baptizing them, as he has a heart for middle and high school students and believes that they will radically change the world. Some of his hobbies include crosswords, watching Netflix, and spending time with friends. His passions include working with refugees and supporting his friends. He wanted to attend Johnson because of the belonging he felt when visiting, and the great ministry program. He appreciates the uncommon community and the support and love people give each other at Johnson. His favorite thing about the local area is getting to the top of a hike and looking out at the view. It reminds him that things in life may seem big and impossible to deal with, but in reality are quite small, and he serves a great God who will help him through them.

Opinion

SOTU: a welcome change, changes 2020 election set up (Opinion)

On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union address. As I read the transcript after the fact, I was shocked and surprised. I was shocked at how much cross party appeal there was and how much he applauded the work of not only his administration but also the work of Congress.

I know this is widely known, but it has to be said: Trump lied in his speech. Most of his lies were simply him making facts seem better than they were or something along similar lines. For example, Trump said that the American economy is considered “far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.” This is just downright false. The American economy only expanded by 3.5% in the third quarter of 2018. Latvia, Poland, India, and China all had higher economic growth than America. That is one example of many other lies.

However, as I finished reading the transcript of his speech, I couldn’t help but wonder where the normal Trump was. The words I read seemed, for the most part, to be more focused on bringing the country together. This was a drastic change in his normal divisive rhetoric. While there certainly were things I don’t necessarily support, his speech was a welcome change from his normal rhetoric.

In the days to come, I’m sure we will hear several politicians and political pundits give their takes on his speech. I’m sure more reports will come out about things he wasn’t fully truthful on. However, what we cannot forget moving forward is how he was asking for bipartisan efforts.

If Trump continues with this type of unifying rhetoric and he actually passes a lot of things he says he wants to that have wide cross-party appeal, meaning not the wall, then I think he could very easily be reelected in 2020. How he handles himself and his administration in the months to come and what the Mueller probe does or does not reveal will drastically shape this coming election. Until then, we cannot know how it will turn out.

Overall, his speech tonight was a welcome change. I hope he continues with this language, but I fear his twitter in the coming days will prove my hopes to be in vain. Not only do I hope that this language continues, but that he actually gets serious about working with Democrats to pass meaningful legislation that will help America.

I hope both parties can put aside their political blinders and work across the aisle. I continue to urge all Christians to pray for our leaders and that they ultimately will do the right thing for our nation.

HomeOpinion

Opinion: It’s time to listen to one another

We are just coming out of the longest government shutdown in the history of our nation. We are already preparing for an election that is 21 months away. One need not look too far for hints of strong division already spewing from the candidates’ mouths. As of October 2018, 53 percent of Americans polled by the PEW Research center said it was “stressful and frustrating” to talk about politics with those who disagreed with them, which is up seven percent from March 2016. I’m not going to say Trump is the sole cause of all of this hate and division, but it would be hard to deny he is a factor.

It’s not hard to look at his twitter feed and see where he has been hateful and just downright rude. As I write this during the morning of the day of the State of the Union, Trump is already taking to twitter to bash Democrats and the media, two of his favorite targets. Hear me on this: Trump has the right to say these things, but we as Americans have an obligation and a duty to our great republic not to fall to his level. Especially those of us in the Church who have been called to something better than petty name calling and all of this hateful talk. It would be naive of me to say that I have been perfect at this. Those who know me know that I have been hateful and divisive with my own speech from time to time. However, lately it has been on my heart to change the words I use and exchange words of hate and divisiveness for love and unity. One of the key ways we all can become better at this is by listening to one another.

I’m talking to you, liberal, and to you, conservative. Instead of yelling at each other and saying that the other’s opinion shouldn’t be heard because you disagree or someone might be offended, why don’t you sit down and listen? You can order some pizza and peacefully discuss your opinion and honestly listen to each other. But don’t waste the opportunity. Earnestly try to understand where the other is coming from.

I’m talking to you, Christian, and to you, Muslim. You both have your own belief system. This is what we want in an open society like ours, but instead of bringing up various scriptures and doctrines to hurl back and forth at each other, why don’t you pull up a table next to the liberal and the conservative? Get yourself a slice of pizza, and civilly discuss your viewpoints and beliefs. I think you’ll learn more from each other than if you had been screaming back and forth for a couple of hours.

And, yes, I’m talking to you, President Trump, and I’m talking to you, everyone who disagrees with him. I personally see where you both come from (whether I agree or not with you is another matter). Are we hearing one another and debating or are we just sending angry tweets back and forth and screaming at each other without solving the problem? While you might need a slightly bigger table, pull up some chairs. Keep the pizza coming and LISTEN to each other. We cannot spend the next two years in the lead up to an important election in this state of disarray and division.

We cannot afford to spend anymore time running further away from each other. As Paul once wrote, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Make every effort.

So, put away the executive orders for a second, lower the protest signs for just a little bit, and give one another a chance to present their arguments as to why they think what they are doing is right. Listen to each other and figure out how we, as the people and government of the United States of America, can live in peace and harmony with one another.

The time for this unnecessary violence, bigotry and division is over. It’s time to come together, everyone.

HomeStaffStudentsTennessee

JU Students and Professor Attend Leadership Conference

This past week, two JU students and a professor had the opportunity to attend the United States Naval Academy Leadership Conference in Annapolis, Md.

The theme of this year’s conference, “Inside Out Leadership”, was primarily focused on helping leaders know themselves first so that they could better lead those they’re in  charge of. There were a multitude of speakers and panels covering the various facets of leadership.

Some of this year’s speakers were former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, the 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Peter Pace, and President of Operations at NPR Loren Mayor.

“(The speakers) were excellent,” sophomore Elijah Muller said. “They gave me a lot to think about when it comes to my leadership abilities.”

This was the largest attendance the conference has ever had with over 400 delegates coming from over 120 institutions around the world. The delegates were allowed to discuss the information they were learning at the conference as well as get leadership tips from one another in discussion groups that were moderated by midshipmen at the academy.

“One of the most enjoyable parts of the conference was getting to interact with the other delegates,” Dr. Daniel Overdorf said. “Getting to meet with students from other universities and military academies and also seeing the caliber of the students at the Naval Academy was amazing.”

Throughout the week, the delegates from JU got to explore the grounds of the Naval Academy, tour a patrol boat, and explore downtown Annapolis.

Dr. Gerald Mattingly, who helps coordinate the trip for the JU delegation every year hopes that the students and professors that go will return and use what they learned at the conference to better JU.

HomeNews

Trump Addresses Nation Amidst Government Shutdown

On Tuesday Jan. 8, President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office, his first time doing so since taking office in January 2017. He addressed the crisis at the border and put before the public his thoughts and proposals for how to end the humanitarian crisis.

“This is a humanitarian crisis — a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul,” Trump said.

Shortly after his address, newly-elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) addressed the nation and rebutted some of what the president said while laying out their own solutions to the problems along the border.

“The fact is: We all agree we need to secure our borders, while honoring our values,” Pelosi said.

Both of these addresses were given during what is now the longest federal government shutdown in the 231 years since the Constitution was ratified. Since 1976, when the modern budget process began, there have been 20 shutdowns. Some of them only lasted hours; however, some, like the current one, have lasted weeks. The previous record for the longest shutdown occurred in 1995 and lasted 21 days.

A shutdown may not seem like a big deal, but a lot of people are being affected by it. According to Quartz, a U.S. news organization focused on the global economy, 800,000 government workers are directly affected. Many critical security positions, such as FBI agents and TSA inspectors, are calling in sick or working without pay.

One of the greater ironies of the shutdown is that it was sparked by illegal immigration and differing views on how to approach the problem. Due to the government being shutdown, a service, known as E-Verify, which allows employers to see if potential employees are allowed to work in the U.S. is operating at a reduced rate. It can still give out some information, but cannot verify if someone is legal or not. Another irony is that because the government is shutdown, the Department of Homeland Security cannot award contracts from the $1.6 billion it has already been given to expand border security.

However, one cannot also forget about the people being directly affected by this shutdown. Due to the IRS not verifying tax returns, people buying and selling homes cannot close on deals. For all you sports fans out there, college basketball is also being affected. For example, David Ugochukwu, a forward at Penn State, cannot get play because his mom works for the Treasury Department and her paycheck covers his tuition, according to Quartz.

There are ongoing talks to reopen the government, but there is no concrete deal as of the time this article is being written.

HomeSatireTennessee

Satire: Emailagedon Sparks Campus Crisis

On Sunday December 2, a campus-wide crisis took place when an email was sent out to all staff and students, but nobody responded.

Dean of Students, Dave Legg sent an email out to everybody on campus, but many students and staff, such as freshman Ben Soper, were too afraid to respond after the first emailagedon of 2018 concerning payment for succulent Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuits.

“I…I responded to that first email about the Chick-Fil-A biscuit,” Soper said, “the retribution I received…it was just too much.”

Many students were concerned as to why they got the email concerning the payment. Some in particular were concerned about data usage while others wanted to argue that DC is better than Marvel.

On Dec. 2, Legg sent another email out asking everybody to respond to a survey about open dorms. However, instead of sending it to just students, he accidentally sent it to everybody involved with Johnson, including alumni, staff, and donors. After seeing what he had done, he was fearful of a second emailagedon.

“You would think after that first mistake with the chicken biscuits I would have learned,” Legg said. After saying this, he just started chuckling, smiling, and shaking his head. While shrugging Legg said, “It is what it is.”

When nobody responded to the email, the Student Life Office immediately went into a panic as they didn’t know what to do in order to make a decision about open dorms for the coming semester. It didn’t take long for the panic to spread out among the campus and soon heated arguments broke out among the two factions that formed: the Responders and the Deleters.

“Do you understand how annoying it was to be getting all of these dumb emails that late at night,” said sophomore Justus York, spokesman for the Deleters. The Responders declined to comment.

After the many fights and debates were finally broken up by campus security and various administrators, Johnson finally decided to just delete the dreaded JU info email address.

“That email address was probably a necessity to have,” Legg said, “but the risk of another outbreak like this was too great. It’s just for the best we deleted it.”

HomeOpinion

Opinion: Christians should be advocates in government

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, the 2018 midterm elections took place. At the end of the night, the Republicans maintained control of the Senate and the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives.

While there are still a few races waiting to be called, it is clear that America will have a divided government. In the past when there has been a divided government, it has taken people on both sides of the aisle to compromise so that laws could get passed. Now many fear that in the current political climate politicians won’t work together.

Another thing Christians need to keep in mind is whether or not this government is going to be one that supports Christian ideals. To illustrate this point, I’ll use Deuteronomy 27:19 to compare and contrast a few Christian ideals with current politics.

Deuteronomy 27:19 says, “‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’”

So let’s start by talking about the sojourner. First, it’s probably going to be easier to talk about the sojourner in terms we use today. Let’s call them an “immigrant”. Second, when you say that, depending on your political leaning, you’re going to have two different reactions. However, we as Christians cannot ignore the teachings throughout the Bible that say to care for the immigrant. We have to care for them and we cannot care for them if we don’t let them into our country. The idea of building a wall along the border is idiotic. However, if you are a firm believer in the idea that we shouldn’t let immigrants into this country, then what can we do to help them? We cannot, as Christians, sit idly by and watch them be poor in their home countries and do nothing. We are called to be active in our faith and that means taking an active role in helping those that we can.

Now let’s talk about the fatherless, also known as the “orphan”. In modern political talk, this can transition to the discussion of welfare. Many Republicans want to cut welfare or put more regulations on it, while many Democrats want to expand it. Which of these two options sounds more like it “perverts the justice of the fatherless?” As Christians, we should try and support the fatherless as best we can, which also means we need to support governmental policies that help them.

Lastly, let’s talk about the widow. At the time Deuteronomy was written, widows couldn’t provide for themselves because women weren’t allowed to work or own land in most cases. In modern terms, this means that we need to support policies that help care for those who can’t provide for themselves. This means doing things that help those who are temporarily unemployed, the elderly, etc. Republicans often times want to cut spending in those areas.

Neither side is perfect. While Democrats typically are a little bit better at supporting policies that help the immigrant, the widowed, or the orphan as mentioned earlier, there are a lot of policies they do support that go against Christian ideals (e.g. their support of abortion or same sex marriage). However, one cannot be too quick to just say, “Well since Republicans are pro-life and anti-same sex marriage they’re the party I’ll support.” Republicans often want to cut programs, such as welfare or healthcare, that help the immigrant, the widow or the orphan. Neither party is perfect, but as Christians we must take an active role in our societies, which yes, does include our various governments, and try to use them as an instrument of good to the best of our ability. 

So, as the 116th Congress prepares to gavel in let us pray for them all, and more specifically, let’s pray that they are able to put their partisan blinders down and work across the aisle to do good for our country.

 

HomeSportsTennessee

JUTN Volleyball team wins first Regional match

 

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The Lady Royals beat the Boyce Bulldogs in three sets in their first Regional match.

As Regional play began, the ladies were excited to take to the court. After three matches that went 25-16, 25-14 and 25-15 respectively, the Johnson Royals came out victorious.

As the ladies head into the rest of the pool play this weekend, Coach Robin Vannoy hopes the team will keep playing hard as they continue to progress.

“We didn’t play our best game,” Vannoy said. “We missed a lot of serves, and if we’re going to continue going on in the tournament, then we’ve got to stay focused. Luckily we did some other things that were good and helped us out there in the end, but this is a great group of girls and I think they’ll come back fighting strong (on Friday).”

President Tommy Smith offered 25 free tickets to the first 25 students to email him, “I HAVE ROYALS PRIDE,” in an effort to get students out to the game. Students Wes Porter and Nick Willet were chanting “we’re VIPs” before the match started after winning some of the tickets.

HomeSportsTennessee

Volleyball Team Wins Last Three Matches of Regular Season

The lady Royals volleyball team won the last three matches of their season.

On Thursday they beat Crown College. The sets were 25-6, 25-5 and 25-5. On Saturday they were victorious against both Alice Lloyd College and Welch College. They won against Alice Lloyd College in three sets that went 25-18, 25-18 and 25-13. Later in the evening, they won against Welch College 25-19, 25-14 and 25-20.

Head Coach Robin Vannoy, who is in her third season as head coach at Johnson, said that she was really happy with how the girls played Wednesday night.

“Tonight was a team effort by everybody,” Vannoy said. “We had the opportunity to get everybody in the match. We are hosting regionals and we hope everybody comes out.”

The Lady Royals finished their season 22-7. The regional schedule should be released soon.

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HomeTennessee

JU Choir Holds Fall Concert

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On Monday Oct. 15, the University Choir and Vox Royale performed various songs for an audience compromised of students, parents, and notable members of the staff and faculty.

The choir sang “Sorida”, “Be Thou My Vision”, “Joshua” and “A Clare Benediction.” The Voy Royale sang “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel. The Voy Royale Men’s Quartet sang “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman.

The evening also featured various soloists. Jackie Jackson did a solo during “Sorida”, Allen Ramsey performed “Polonaise in G Minor” on the piano, and Jasmine Stacy sang “Lascia ch’io pianga.” Also featured during the performance of “Sorida” was a group of four students who played various percussion instruments to accompany the song.

At the end of the concert, the choir ended by celebrating the success of the evening. One of those students was freshman Emma Holley.

“I feel amazing,” said Holley. “The pieces were fabulous. I enjoy singing with this group. This is a great choir group that we have. It is filled with a bunch of loving, sweet and energetic people, and I am so happy to call them my family.”

HomeOpinion

Opinion: Exercise Your Right to Vote

About 250 years ago, a bunch of spunky farmers and shop owners decided that they were done with living under British imperial rule. In 1775, those farmers and shop owners fired “the shot heard around the world” and after a few more years of fighting, America won its independence.

Now that’s a story all of us have heard a million times in school, on the 4th of July, and several other times throughout our lives. However, it is worth repeating because it teaches us an important lesson: our basic human rights are important. And one of those rights is the right to have our voice be heard.

After the revolution ended, the founding fathers of our nation got together and over the course of a few years came to eventually draft the Constitution. Within that august document is the right for white men to vote. Once our society eventually came to its senses we finally gave everyone the right to vote. This key part of our republic has been used countless times throughout history to effect change in our nation. Countless men and women have died protecting the right for everyone to vote as well.

Fast forward to modern days. Since 1920 women have been allowed to vote. The percentage of the population that is eligible to vote who actually did vote has hovered around 50 to 60 percent. That is a huge problem! That means that only about half the population takes the time to get out on election day and exercise one of their fundamental rights and responsibilities. A right in which countless thousands have died for over the years. This is just wrong.

For years now, whenever I walk around or scroll through social media, all I’ve heard is people complaining about all factions of government. Now hear me on this: it’s more than okay to give your opinion on what the government is or should be doing, but don’t complain unless you’re willing to do something about it. The easiest thing you can do is get out and vote on election day. Do you like how your Congressman or Senator is representing you in Congress? Great, go vote for them. Do you absolutely despise your Congressman or Senator and want someone else in office? Great, go vote for that other candidate. A lot of people think that one vote can’t make a difference and that’s one reason they stay home on election day, but imagine if everyone who thought that way got out and voted. There would be thousands of new votes which could drastically change the system.

Now I understand that trying to get the poll between 6 A.M. and 6 P.M. can be hard especially for those who work or have kids. Lucky for you, the system has created a solution for you to get your vote in without having to wait in line on election day. Also, most of us college kids here at JU won’t be in our home counties on election day. This solution works for us too. Allow me to introduce you to the absentee ballot.

The way the absentee ballot works is you apply to get the ballot, it gets mailed to you and you mail it back. It’s literally that simple. JU students, you can buy an envelope and a stamp in the campus bookstore for around 50 cents and drop it off in the slot right by the mailroom. Each state has its own policy for how to get an absentee ballot, but lucky for you we live in the age of the internet and a simple google search will tell you what you need to do.

Voting is your civic duty; however, do your best to be an informed voter. Don’t just vote blindly for a party. Vet the candidates and make sure you know who you’re voting for. Almost every single candidate will have a website with some of their core beliefs on it. Look at the issues that are important to you, choose which candidate you prefer, and then go vote. If you don’t like any candidate, write somebody in. Don’t throw away your chance to affect change in your city council, state legislature, or even in Congress.

One of the best ways to have your voice be heard in this country is to vote. There are several other ways too and I’ll probably touch on those at some point in the coming weeks as well, but for now go get your absentee ballot because election day is less than a month away! Get your ballot, get informed, and then go exercise your basic fundamental right to have your voice be heard in this country.