Thoughts on the "NSA Hit Piece"
About a week ago, an opinion piece published in the Empire State Tribune (EST) gave rise to many animated comments and responses. That piece, “Trending Now: The 6th Century,” posited that there is a certain pattern of general withdrawal in Christian higher education in the United States that aligns with Rod Dreher’s thesis in “The Benedict Option” and is exemplified by colleges such as New St. Andrews (NSA).
You may agree or disagree with the piece on the whole, or in parts. Regardless of your particular viewpoint, we, the student editors of the EST, want to make two points clear.
First, the EST is an independent student-run newspaper, as noted in our website’s “About” section. As such, the content and quality of its journalism rests on the shoulders of the student editors and staff reporters involved with the paper’s publication. We noticed widespread confusion on this point—Christ Church pastor and influential NSA professor Douglas Wilson, for instance, conflated the opinion piece of one student journalist with The King’s College broadly as an educational institution. The King’s College does not censor or control content of the Empire State Tribune.
Second, this is an op-ed piece, not a news or feature piece. Op-ed means the essay runs opposite the editorial page, and these opinion pieces, as a matter of definition, are published pieces that reflect the opinion of the writer and are neither affiliated with nor indicative of that publication’s official stance on an issue. Because many readers didn’t seem to understand that or notice the word “Opinion” by the writer’s byline, we updated the piece with a disclaimer stating the following: “The opinions reflected in this OpEd are those of the author and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of staff, faculty and students of The King’s College.”
We had no reason to believe that the facts as written in this opinion piece were false. We believe the facts written in the piece, with the exception of a minor correction regarding the faculty at NSA, are accurate. Feel free to disagree with the piece, but we ask that you, as Christians acting in Christian charity, do so in a way that is substantive and not just insulting to the author or questioning her character. Charity begets charity, and if you thought the op-ed was uncharitable that’s all the more reason to be charitable in your response.
If you have any other questions about the EST, opinion pieces or our editorial process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.