Yesterday, in response to the arrest of two arsonists on campus, BSC sent out a press release. In an age where reconciliation and redemption are so often forgotten, I was proud of this statement:
"The entire community of Birmingham-Southern College—students, faculty, and staff—pledges to aid in the rebuilding of these lost churches through our resources and our labor. Together we’ll stand as a reminder of the strength of communities that transcend the differences of religion and place, as well as the effects of mindless cruelty."
One of the reasons I chose to go to BSC was the college's emphasis on serving the community. I'm hoping that some of the widespread press will focus on the efforts of the college to help rebuild the churches. In fact, if I was a betting person, I'd put money down that someone at the school had already been planning to send a team to help with the rebuilding projects before they knew that any BSC students were involved in the arsons. That's just the way most of the students, faculty and staff are wired-- they seek to help where help is needed.
And for Mary, who asked below if there was a motive-- the only thing they've said so far is that it was a joke that got out of hand; however, these biographical articles shed some light on their personalities (and some of the reporter's descriptions make me laugh). Who could've forseen ten years ago that the media would be quoting blogs for research? At least there are some quotes from people who actually knew the boys in real life. If I were them, I would delete any facebook/myspace/blog sites I had immediately.
I hope that Moseley, et al don't get off somehow as misunderstood. Serving time in jail hopefully will wake them up to the seriousness of their actions. Multiple communities have lost their central meeting place because of a couple of late-night detructive sprees. Growing up in a small town, I experienced the power of the local church's influence in the community. Perhaps because they didn't grow up in a rural area, they didn't realize this, but I still can't understand what kind of person would return to more churches and start more fires in order to selfishly cover their tracks. A very confused person, I imagine. I join with others in praying for the boys and their families, as well as those affected by the fires.