So, this happened.
That’s kicker Jake Russell of the Ohio State Buckeyes. His bio says that he’s a freshman. When I first came to college, I was still extremely religious, having grown up in an almost exclusively Catholic environment. Meeting people with radically different worldviews was a shock. But it takes a special kind of person, even assuming that sort of background, to wish hate on someone else.
Then again, if you ask Jessica Ahlquist, maybe folks like Russell aren’t so rare.
Greg Lammers, the Missouri State Director for American Atheists, notified the OSU administration of the tweet and was assured that they would investigate immediately.
There is a fine, but crucial, line between hating ideas and hating the person who espouses them. There’s also an important distinction between hating or being disgusted by a person, and acting out of malice toward that person. In a pluralistic society that encourages discourse, those lines need to be crystal clear. From the American Atheists article:
As for Mr. Russell, we hope sir that no one ever asks anyone else to show you some hate. We hope that one day you will learn the pluralism that exists at your school and in your future places of employment and residence […] Mr. Russell has brought dishonor to his team and to his school. He has disgraced himself by displaying his bigotry in public.
Incidentally, a couple of nights ago, Hemant sent a message to roommate-in-question Max Rouse asking for his side of the story. There’s no response yet, but we’ll provide an update if/when we hear back.