In one of the more positive stories I’ve read on young people, The Orange County Register has an article on an open debate held between two Christians high school students and two atheist students (one from high school and the other from college). And no rioting, no cursing, just a civil debate.
Capistrano Valley Christian School hosted the debate with Christian teacher and writer Sean McDowell providing two students named Andrew Sears and Hannah Schaller (both 18-year-olds). The other side was brought by The Orange County Freethought Alliance with Devin Leaman (16) from Redlands High and Daniel Buehler (24) from UC Irvine.
The debaters covered topics such as the existence of god to freewill to why there’s evil in the world. Neither side was declared the winner as that would be pointless because the real goal was to bring students with differing views together to create a discussion. Said teacher Sean McDowell, “It just occurred to me we’re having the most sophisticated student conversation in the world right now.” Most certainly he was correct. Can you imagine this ever happening in a public high school? As much as I agree with separation of church and state I would love to be able to see students debate their beliefs as long as nothing is being forced upon them.
No controversy here, just a positive story. The students are to be congratulated for participating and making the news.
SIDENOTE: When I try to pull up The Orange County Freethought Alliance I get this page so I hope it is correct. Any members of that group reading this can correct me. For Christian teacher Sean McDowell, you can find his site here and his funky hairdo here (hey, I like funky hair).