I'll Pray For John Allen Chau, But I Won't Pity Him

I'll Pray For John Allen Chau, But I Won't Pity Him

He crossed a line he knew better than to cross.


If you've heard in the news recently, John Allen Chau traveled to North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal to declare Jesus to the Sentinelese Tribe that inhibits the remote island. The 30,000-year-old tribe off-limits visitors without their permission and is known to be incredibly aggressive to outsiders. The tribe has their preferred lifestyle. They are set in their ways.

John Allen Chau knew the tribe would reject him if he attempted to enter their land and become one of them. His diary suggests this.

"I made sure to stay out of arrow range, but unfortunately that meant I was also out of good hearing range…I regret I began to panic slightly as I saw them string arrows in their bows…I felt some fear but mainly was disappointed. They didn't accept me right away." He wrote over the two days of his attempted mission.

But Chau disrespected the Sentinelese Tribe's ideals and attempted to make contact on the island not once, but twice.

Chau paid a fisherman 25,000 rupees to smuggle him as close to the island as possible. On his first attempt, one of tribespeople (only about 10 years old…maybe a teenager) fired an arrow that struck his Bible.

A warning shot. But this was not enough of a hint.

The next day, Chau prepared a second approach which he described in his diary as, "You guys might think I'm crazy in all this, but I think it's worth it to declare Jesus to these people."

"The eternal lives of this tribe is at hand and I can't wait to see them around the throne of God worshipping in their own language."

Chau turned his diary over to the fisherman and took a kayak to the North Sentinal Island.

The next day, the fisherman reported seeing a body being buried on shore, which appeared to be the body of John Allen Chau.

To me, that warning shot suggested "stay away – you are not welcome here," not "welcome to our tribe."

Let's recap. Chau's diary suggests he knew what would happen if he made contact with the Sentinelese Tribe. He survived his first attempt but went back for a second attempt. He was convinced these people needed Jesus.

I do not feel remorse for Chau. Not the slightest bit. He knew his actions were going to cause horrific consequences. And then he had to face his consequences.

I have no problem with people believing in a deity, following a religion, or leading a spiritual lifestyle. People have the freedom to believe and practice as they please. But when people start forcing their religion on others, especially those who clearly do not want it, it becomes an invasion of personal space.

If someone doesn't want your religion, leave them be. If they want your religion, they'll come looking for it. Therefore, I feel absolutely no sorrow for Chau.

Do I feel sorry for his family? Sure, they did just lose their son, brother, and uncle, after all.

But he was arrogant for attempting his mission to declare Jesus to the Sentinelese Tribe. Feel free to disagree but disrespecting the tribe's lifestyle is uncalled for.

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Just Because You Can Throw A Ball Does Not Mean Your Rape Is Admissible

Why are university athletes more likely to commit sexual assault?


I wish rape didn't seep into every sphere of my life. But, like ink, it has.

Interpersonally, my childhood friend was gang-raped by members of the University of North Texas basketball team. As uncovered in an investigation, her circumstances were not isolated, unlike what it says in UNT's initial statement. I am proud to know my friend. I am proud to stand with her. However, I am ashamed at the situation and the commonness of her suffering among students just like me, on college campuses.

Politically, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, promotes new fortifications for students accused of sexual assault. Basically, the rules would reduce the legal classification of harassment while offering protections for those accused of wrongdoing. In my emotions, I firmly believe in the American ideal of being "innocent until proven guilty". However, even in a crime so entrenched in emotions, I must look at facts. Facts say that the falsification rate of rape is the same as most other crimes, somewhere around 5%. Therefore, I believe that DeVos' proposal would tilt investigations in favor of the committer and significantly lessen the number of victims who would have the assurance to come forward and tell his/her story. In a campus-setting, where 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted, her "solution" adds gasoline to a country-wide fire.

Educationally, Brock Turner, a swimmer at Stanford University received just six months in county jail after being found guilty of five felonies, all of which amount to him raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. In defense of the light sentence, the judge said, "the more time (Turner spends) in jail, the more severe impact" on his future, who wanted to go to the Olympics. Never mind the future of the victim.

First off, rape culture, a sociological concept in which sexual assault is pervasive and normalized, exists. And while it exists everywhere, I can only speak with any authority on the campus setting, where hook-up culture is both catalyzed and camouflaged. Here, the area that needs the most treatment is in the locker room, on the court, or on the field.

Student athletes are proportionally the greatest perpetrators of sexual misconduct.

While a tiny 3% of male students are athletes, male student athletes are responsible for almost a fifth of sexual assaults on campus. And that is just the events that are reported, (just so you know, about 3 out of 4 go unreported). However, the NCAA has no policy that lessens a student's athletic eligibility in the face of sexually violent behavioral patterns. If you have allowed these numbers to simmer in your mind, you can see that this is unacceptable.

Why are university athletes more likely to commit sexual assault?

Most experts make cultural and institutional arguments.

Culturally, student athletes are not seen as "normal" students – rather, they provide a service to the college. Where most students get something from the college, student athletes give to the college, and we should be so lucky to have them grace us with their presence. It is a part of the status quo: high-status students on campus are athletes, especially males who play the most popular sports, like football, basketball, or baseball. These students carry social privilege.

Obviously, athletes are not naturally ethically worse than other students. I am simply saying that absolutely no one is immune to the culture that surrounds him/her, and we have a weird culture.

On average, athletes are more likely than other students on campus to buy into the cross-cultural concept of robust masculinity, which, in extreme cases, can lead to increased sexual aggression. Don't just take it from a non-athlete like me. Even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, an NBA champion and a former UCLA basketball player, declared the cultural privilege from which he benefited.

"I'm especially aware of the culture of entitlement that athletes feel... they strut around campus with the belief that they can do no wrong."

I am not going to sugarcoat the point that we all know well: football players are comparable to celebrities on campus, which has dangerous implications for a certain untouchability in mindsets.

Institutionally, colleges are as inclined to protect the perpetrator over non-athletic peers. A Senate report concluded that administrators tend to do three actions to protect their athletes, and therefore, their brand.

1. Higher-ups at the school discourage victims from reporting to police outside of the university. In this method, they let the campus police "handle it" and not report to less-biased city forces.

2. Admins downplay an assault's severity, making it less 'criminal', more unintentional and of an event to "move on from".

3. The athletic department can work with the administration and strategically delay proceedings while athletes finish their season.

If these three things are not enough as far as systemic ethical transgressions go, when athletes are found responsible for sexual assault, they may face small consequences.

Just to pull an infamous example from my home state of Texas, Baylor University continues to wrestle with how to deal with battery; I don't need to go over the sheer amount of claims that they were conscious and compliant to most allegations of assault involving their student-athletes.

So, not only is our mindset messed up, but the administration who is supposed to protect us is similarly bungled.

Obviously, athletes are not bad people, only people that are subject to their environment and protected by their talent. But crime is crime. The unnamed victim of Brock Turner said it well as she argued that being "an athlete at a university should not be an entitlement to leniency, but an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law" no matter your status.

Throwing a ball does not make someone above the rules.

Yes, I realize that my words have become trite. Scary articles, documentaries, and books about the sheer magnitude of sexual crime in college abound. But I see my seemingly-repetitive diction more as a reflection of our fallen collegiate system, rather than of myself.

With my article, I only ask that you keep fighting for victims like my childhood friend, for the classmate who sits next to you in lecture, for yourself. This institutional and social discrepancy of "athletics above all else" happens at more universities than I had the breath to mention.

Your first step is taking a searing examination at the failure of American universities to grapple successfully with campus rape in the systematic pattern of protecting student athletes more than other students. The next steps follow naturally. Take part in the activism at your school, encourage survivors, and productively confront the problem. Fear not, the policies will change with your effort.

Politics aside, we are in a time for you to continue speaking the truth, even if your voice trembles.

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Trump Establishes Longest Government Shutdown And Government Employees Continue To Suffer

The wall probably won't be built.


It has been over 20 days since the government shutdown, with no end in sight. There are thousands of people that are working without getting paid. I know if I had a job where I wasn't getting paid, I don't think that I would still come into work every day. I was traveling over winter break and all of the TSA people were at work, but they were not getting paid. They came to work because they know that people would not be able to travel if they were not there. So I want to thank all of the employees that are still coming to work every day despite not being paid.

But more importantly, this government shutdown needs to be stopped. Our president needs to grow up and realize that the decision about the wall being built is not something that is going to come easily. But that we do not need to be in a government shutdown until the decision is reached. This shutdown is affecting hundreds of thousands of people, with no money, no food, and no way to pay for where they are living. Now the president wants to call a national emergency all because of the wall not being built. It seems to me that this is his way of acting out because he is not getting his way. This is ridiculous, all because he is not getting his wall built.

I do not see an ending to this shutdown any time soon because neither side wants to give a little bit. Both sides need to compromise so this shutdown can end and the people can start getting paid again.

Our president has been in office for about 2 years, and this is his third government shutdown and this current shutdown will be the longest in history.

This shutdown is all because he is not getting his way with the wall, he is being a child and throwing a temper tantrum. This tantrum has gotten way out of hand and a government shutdown or a national emergency is not a way to handle the fact that he is not getting his way with the wall being built. This wall is something that not everyone agrees on and it is not fair for our country to be suffering because no one can agree.


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