The campus revival

The campus revival

“How could Jesus possibly ever compete with the female orgasm?”

That’s how this article, which quotes me, begins. But it’s not as bad as that. The story is about how Salem State College was hosting a Jesus Festival (Protestant, of course) and how there seems to be a revival of faith on campus. Remember, this is Blue State Massachusetts here. Salem State is where they occasionally have “wear jeans to support the gays” days. (Never mind that everybody wears jeans otherwise.) And where, as the story alludes, the college was hosting a discussion of the female orgasm as part of Women’s History Month. Melanie teaches there; she can tell all sorts of stories.

But there is also a new Christian awakening there and among other young adults as well, where faith is becoming cool, which is where I came in:

“Kids are definitely gravitating that way,” says Salem’s Dominico Bettinelli, the managing editor of the Catholic World Report and the education director at the Immaculate Conception church in Salem. “Expressing your faith is not so stodgy anymore. It’s not just for little grandmothers in church anymore. It’s becoming hip.”

  • Dom,

    I totally agree with your reading of the situation and I praise you for your clear and concise explanations to the media.

    Being part of the media yourself, you must know how interviewers think and how they process their information and that certainly helps, but still you did a great job.

    One thing I noticed is that you seemed to report on the issue from a sociological point of view (psychological explanations, analysis of data etc), rather than a prospective of Faith (God’s plans, the appeal of Truth etc).  Since I know that you can easily take the Faith approach, I wonder if this was a conscious choice given the interviewer, and more generally what you think about the choice of tone to be used when addressing Faith issues in the public forum. 

    Granted that an overly aggressive “Jesus loves you” tone can easily backfire, what works best?

  • Actually, it was what the reporter chose to take from what I told him. I spent a little more time on the Faith approach. Still I thought the sociological point of view was likely to garner more attention from him so I included some of that as well.