08 Sep A Baylor Bear’s Plea to the Board of Regents
Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.”
My grandmother and grandfather on my mother’s side met at Baylor University just after the tornado tore the city of Waco apart. They would go to the drive-in movie that is now the flea market and eat at Health Camp together. My father, the son of a Baptist preacher, decided to go to Baylor because he was a recipient of a scholarship given to PK’s… all of his siblings followed in his footsteps. As a child, I went to Baylor games, alumni meetings, homecoming parades, ceremonies that dedicated a room in the stadium to my late older brother. I had stuffed bears that sang “That Good ‘ol Baylor Line” and I would don my cheerleading uniform to the games. When I became a senior in high school, it was the only school I applied to. As an educator, I encouraged my seniors to apply to Baylor, too. I led tours down to Waco and gave out no homework on Monday if the Bears had won on Saturday. Baylor isn’t just my alma mater, it’s my life story.
On May 26th, I was giving a final exam to my students when I got the text message that Art Briles had been removed from his position as Head Coach. I was devastated for my school. I was devastated for him. I was devastated for those girls. I was devastated for the world around me in which sexualization has turned into a culture where rape is now the norm. I cried that day. I’ll never forget it. I remember thinking back on knowing Art Briles in disbelief that a man so kind and good could allow such terrible things to happen. I had no idea at the time that I had been blinded by sensationalism and the effect of a culture where everyone comes to their own opinion and is quick to accuse behind a computer keyboard.
For the next few months, my family sat in limbo while we tried to figure out what the truth was and what exactly had happened. No one was forthcoming and the honesty of the whole situation is something I questioned because the facts were kept hidden away. The first game of the season was just… icky. That’s all I can say. The overall feeling in the stands was excitement tainted by a sickening feeling about all that had transpired.
Yesterday, an investigative report was aired that proved my original hunch was correct. Baylor University, my alma mater, let those girls down. Baylor University mishandled situation after situation and propelled forward a culture that is not only Non-Christian, it’s harmful. Baylor University needed to prove that they were handling the situation in a big way. Baylor University fired a man who actually could be innocent, ruining his reputation on an international scale. Baylor University let so many people down. Men and women representing my alma mater, crippled by the pressures of the media, could have, knowingly, used a good man as a scapegoat to turn national attention away from the issues at hand. If this is true, this is heart wrenching.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.”
As a freshman at Baylor, I remember being thrilled to attend a school where I could worship freely with others who love the LORD. I also remember learning that hard lesson that just because someone is a Christian doesn’t mean they’ll act accordingly. I also learned the hard lesson that that Christian is often times me; that I may not always act the way I should as a believer, but it’s God’s grace and mercy through His son, Jesus Christ, that drives our faith forward. Pride comes before a fall, but it’s the grace of God that makes everything whole again. You CAN find reconciliation in all circumstances. No matter how big the problem is, God is bigger. Love is bigger.
Hatred stirs up conflict,
but love covers over all wrongs.”
That is why I’m calling for my university to step up.
I’m calling the Baylor Board of Regents to speak up. Share the truth. In humility, apologize to those girls. Apologize to Art Briles. Apologize to Baylor Nation. Isn’t that what Christian’s do? Don’t they recognize the hurt they’ve caused? Don’t they turn to God for forgiveness and do what they can to make it right? If Art Briles is innocent, apologize. Share the truth with the world. Own up to your mistakes and make them right. You have a chance, on an international, public platform, to show the world what TRUE Christianity looks like. What humility looks like. What Jesus looks like.
I’m calling out Art Briles and the Briles family. If the Board can own their mistakes and apologize, please forgive them. Recognize that we’re all only human and that LOVE and FORGIVENESS and GOD is bigger. You have a chance, on an international, public platform, to show the world what TRUE Christianity looks like. What forgiveness looks like. What Jesus looks like.
I’m calling out to Baylor Nation. SPREAD LOVE. These findings have made us all angry and sad. Let’s remember that there are victims in these horrible acts and let’s not make it all about football. Instead, let’s stand for what is right. Hatred is not right. Rape is not right. Pushing the blame on an innocent to hide your guilt is not right. Pride is not right. Lying is not right. Calling for the entire board to be fired is not right. Forgiveness is. Love is. Grace is. As a family, let’s rise up and stand for what is good and just. Let’s do it in love. You have a chance, on an international, public platform, to show the world what TRUE Christianity looks like. What grace and love and kindness looks like. What Jesus looks like.
What if it all could be reconciled? What if pride was removed, innocence was proven, reconciliation was attained, victims were helped and love was shown in the public, international, media-consumed spotlight? To my alma mater’s leaders… YOU have the chance to be the hands and feet. Will you do it? Pride comes before a fall… this is your chance to give it to God and watch Him work. It’s never what is easy, but it’s ALWAYS what is best.
We all have the chance to show the world what Christianity really is. We could be the picture of love and grace that Jesus calls us to be. Isn’t that what Baylor University was made to do? Let’s do it.
This Saturday, I will have P330 [Proverbs 3:30] written on my left hand at the Baylor game. I’ll have CAB written on my right. Feel free to join me.