Sunday, May 01, 2011

Doubting Thomas

I really enjoy my church, and no, this isn't some mission column. I like it because we have a set of priests who give really intellectually stimulating sermons - today being a perfect example. The week after Easter, it's time in the Episcopal church for a Doubting Thomas passage.

All those negative connotations. He was less faithful. He required proof. He was somehow a bad apostle.

Not so, countered my priest today - to quote - doubt is not the opposite of faith; indifference is. He went on to point out that without doubt, we are nothing but asleep going through life or simply ignorant. Remember, he urged, the other 11 disciples had had the chance to see and believe earlier.

So it is in college athletics, and especially during times of crisis. Far too often, the media relations or other staff member - sometimes it may be compliance or student life - that raises a question is cast as the Doubting Thomas. They lack faith, or perhaps aren't true believers. It does not serve the institution to have persons raising questions publicly, but it does strengthen the institution to do so in the proper venue. In preparation for the hard press conference. To vet key facts in taking points. To insure the proper tone in a press release.

So just like the teach at the Advanced Public Information Officer course for Homeland Security at the National Fire Academy:

Trust in God; verify everybody else.

Here endeth the epistle.

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