Small Town Scandal

by

Hi loves!

If you’ve been around awhile you know I don’t tend to write about politics, news stories, or controversies on my blog but when my alma mater’s name is being drug around the internet I feel as though I need to step up and take a stand. 

I don’t know about you but I stand for truth and justice and due process. Last time I checked we live in a democratic country and are guaranteed a fair trial and are innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, in the social media age we’re living in everyone seems to feel as though they have a right to be both the judge and the jury regarding the news. If you’ve read the articles circulating you know that there are some Wheaton football players accused of hazing in March 2016 and felony charges are now being pressed against them ( I will link sources below). There are a lot of “facts” being published and people are up in arms regarding this scandal. But my hope is that we can remain level-headed and wait for all the details to come to light before attacking Wheaton as an institution as well as the faculty and football team/coaches. 

Scandals sell. End of story. No one wants to read about some players hazing another player and doing community service for their crime. Boring. No no we want to hear that Christian athletes kidnapped and abused a teammate “all in good fun” and got away with it in and higher-ups knew about it and didn’t do anything so we can storm the gates, pitch forks in hand and take a stand. Add it to the growing list of Wheaton’s down falls in the news the last few years and it’s the last straw for many alumni/onlookers. But we need to be careful because there is always more to the story. Let’s not be so quick to judge. Was this player hazed? Yes. Were the players punished? Yes. Is hazing ok? No. Those are facts we can trust at this time. It seems as though there are a lot of details that have not been confirmed from both sides so we need to cease the passing of judgments until everything is released to the public. The 5 players are being further charged “after an investigation by Wheaton College exonerated him (one of the accused) over one year ago”and we will see what comes of it. If all the details are true regarding this incident I pray there is justice for the victim because the published details are horrifying but if he (the victim) is fabricating the story and dragging these players and the college’s reputation through the mud for a pay-day then that is some serious slander. A lot of people are getting hurt through this scandal on both sides and it’s just not ok. The way the media is taking this story and running with it is awful. Though after the election we just had I guess we can’t really be surprised. Ugh. I wish people would remember to take news stories with a grain of salt. 

There is a Wheaton College alumni Facebook page that has been on fire this week. Full of #notmycollege #fireryken #fireswider “I’m ashamed of my alma matter” rants and it’s so heartbreaking. Alumni are throwing opinions and accusations around like they were there and demanding justice for the one-sided story that has been published. I posted asking everyone to remember there are two sides to every story and to wait for the details to come out and also shared an anonymous letter that was forwarded to me (no I don’t know who wrote it) and have been getting some flak for it.  My goal to remind others to try to be genuinely level-headed was met with “do you call yourself a Christian”, “you’re the worst that evangelicals have to offer”, “you’re defending rape culture”, “thanks for the reminder that this school and alumni are awful” comments. Wow. I’m not gonna lie, comments like that sting a little. Putting my character into question is offensive. But in true Taylor fashion I will just shake it off. 😉 Last time I checked we are all on the same team/side so why is the hate necessary?! Why is lashing out against anyone the chosen method to handle your own personal frustrations? Yes I am a christian and I seek to love others and I will teach my daughter to do the same. At the end of my life I will stand before God and be held accountable for everything I have said and done in my life. We all will and that’s a fact. I know I don’t deserve the grace and mercy that God offers me everyday, none of us do. But it is our job as Christians to offer that same grace and mercy in return to everyone we meet whether in real life (or virtually) and I will continue to do my best to do so to everyone even when I don’t want to. I will continue to turn the other cheek and be the bigger person. I challenge you to do in the same even in times of crisis. Sadly we often don’t see justice this side of heaven because this is a fallen world and no one person or institution is perfect. The world will fail us everyday. We will feel victimized, hated, mistreated, unloved, abused, targeted and unheard. People hurt people. Evil sometimes wins. But my friends, God. Never. Fails. He loves us and has a plan 100% of the time. Even when we don’t deserve it/ see it/feel it. Seek Him for your validation, refuge and acceptance. Turn to Him when the world fails you.

I know a lot of people have been hurt by Wheaton College and that is really unfortunate. It is unfair, however, to hold the college to a standard of perfection. In doing so it is setting them up to fail. It is impossible to make everyone happy in every situation or scandal. I had a less the rosy experience at Wheaton myself but have chosen to move on with my life and not be defined by the few individuals that took advantage of, belittled, disrespected, mistreated and judged me. I came away from my 4.5 years at Wheaton with a quality education, amazing friends and a wonderful husband. The college provided experiences and learning to further my knowledge and understand of Christ and the gospel and they continue to do this to and for every student that walks through those doors. They will forever stand for and on the biblical truths they were founded on, even when the world tells them to do otherwise. That’s something to be proud of if you ask me. 

I look forward to all the details being disclosed and the truth of the situation coming to the light soon because too much speculation is circulating right now and people would love to see a Christian institution fail. Until then I ask you all to join in prayer for everyone involved in this situation, the victim, the accused, the families, the football coaches and players, students past/present and future, faculty and staff of Wheaton and President Ryken. Pray for justice and truth. Pray for wisdom and discernment.  Pray for people to come together instead of being divided no matter the outcome. Pray for healing for the people who feel mistreated/victimized and wronged by Wheaton. Pray. Pray. Pray.

 

“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8

 

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo,

Madelyn

 

News Coverage:

The Wheaton Record

USA Today

Chicago Tribune

Rolling Stone

New York Times

2 Responses
  • Jess
    September 22, 2017

    I was home sometime last year and me and my dad were watching ESPN, and they were talking about something that had happened at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, and I remember saying to my father talking about accusations made against players. And my fathers response was every time I see something like this happen I bring up the Duke Lacrosse team (back from I wanna say anywhere from 2005-2007), and immediately after we watched the ESPN 30/30 the Duke Lacrosse team. After I was done watching it really had my mind going about freedom of the press and what one person says can really damage someone’s future and their livelihood. I almost feel that the 30/30 should be required watching so everyone gets a better understanding about how things are spread whether they are true or not. It also shows how the truth can bring out justice to either the accused or the accuser.

    • MadelynWeaver
      September 22, 2017

      Yes, absolutely! That whole situation has been on my mind a lot this week as well!

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