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Charles Murray speaking at the 2013 FreedomFest in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia

Middlebury College: Shouting, instead of listening, learning

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By Mark Azzara

Dear Friend,

I (we) cannot seem to run far enough to avoid the constant message of modern society: Might makes right.

The latest occurrence was at Middlebury College, where childish self-described “liberal” students shouted down a presentation by Charles Murray. In doing so they cheated themselves out of the chance to learn something, including how to craft arguments that would more effectively silence the man they dislike – if, in fact, they had valid arguments. Frank Bruni subsequently wrote an instructive commentary in The New York Times that I hope you will share with anyone under the age of 30.

As I noted in an earlier letter, we are devolving into societies that do not know how to listen to each other. And as we become deaf to one another we also become deaf to God, who chooses to speak through us to each other. When we shout down those with whom we disagree, rather than engage them in sane, calm discussions that will eventually reveal truth, we don’t merely drown out the truth that others may hold.

Such actions are really a pretense for something far worse. Those who engage in this type of behavior actually are pretending to be God – i.e., the only source of truth. And if that doesn’t scare you I don’t know what will.

All God’s blessings – Mark

Mark Azzara

About Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara spent 45 years in print journalism, most of them with the Waterbury Republican in Connecticut, where he was a features writer with a special focus on religion at the time of his retirement. He also worked for newspapers in New Haven and Danbury, Conn. At the latter paper, while sports editor, he won a national first-place writing award on college baseball. Azzara also has served as the only admissions recruiter for a small Catholic college in Connecticut and wrote a self-published book on spirituality, "And So Are You." He is active in his church and a non-denominational prayer community and facilitates two Christian study groups for men. Azzara grew up in southern California, graduating from Cal Sate Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.

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