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Challenging authority is OK

This letter is in response to the May 31 letter in defense of recent actions by Dr. Joe Aguillard, president of Louisiana College. The letter stated that "it ... is cowardly and markedly un-Christian for anyone to publicly admonish a figure of authority whom you are commanded by God to respect."

Does this mean that Christian abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison should not have held their protests against slaveholders? Does this mean a Christian like Martin Luther King Jr. should not have challenged insidious racists like Alabama Gov. George Wallace? And what of Christians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who actively fought against Adolf Hitler and Nazism? Were all of these Christians cowards? Moreover, Christ never commanded his followers to support authorities without question. In fact, he challenged quite a few himself. Instead, as Christians we have a fundamental responsibility for making sure our leaders uphold the values of justice, compassion and intellectual honesty that Christ embodied. What's happening at Louisiana College has nothing to do with Christianity. It has been -- and continues to be -- about power. Nothing will change at Louisiana College until good Christians open their eyes to the fact that fundamentalism is nothing more than a political movement hiding behind the masks of fear mongering and religious demagoguery. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." Bart Marable Austin, Texas