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2 men will face trial in murder of Carissa Horton PAGES 5-6

Oral Roberts University • Jan. 20, 2012

BUILDING A LEGACY ORU photo by Mark Moore

Armand Hammer Alumni Student Center begins yearlong construction PAGES 10-11










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2 • Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 • THE ORACLE

Contents 5 7

Life: Accused killers of student will go to trial Life: Students volunteer for Iowa caucus


Sports: Men’s basketball team winning


Center: Lower lot parking removed


Faith: Missions teams raise money for trips


Scene: Recipes aid New Year’s resolutions

Stunt of the Week Got a photo of you or a friend planking somewhere awesome? Send it to and you might see it in the next edition!

Nathanael Robertson planks two recycling cans on the second floor of the GC.

Photo by Stephen Salmon

Do you have a story idea for the Oracle? Email or tweet @OruOracle!

Photo by Stephen Salmon

Students gathered in Zoppelt Jan. 17 to watch a screening of “The Help” for Diversity Week.

THE ORACLE • Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 • 3

By Nathanael Robertson

Internet Photo

Life News in brief

Want to stay in the loop and find out more information on campus news? Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter! @ORUOracle

Former ORU band enjoys moment atop iTunes chart SafetySuit, a band made up of former ORU students, enjoyed a moment as the top U.S. album on iTunes the first week of January 2012. Originally known as “Crew,” the band is composed of ORU alumni Tate Cunningham, Doug Brown and former ORU students Jeremy Henshaw and Dave Garofalo. Their new album “These Times” was released Jan. 3 exclusively on iTunes and Jan. 10 nationally. Formed in 2002 for ORU’s Battle of the Bands, the group then moved to Nashville in 2004 to pursue a career in the music industry. As of last weekend, they ranked No. 10 in the iTunes Top U.S. Pop Albums chart.

Tulsa philanthropist dies Walter Helmerich III, a Tulsa philanthropist and ORU donor, died Jan. 10. Founder of the Tulsabased Helmerich foundation, his gift of $100,000 to the ORU Anna Vaughn School of Nursing financed ORU’s pediatric simulator lab in 2004, which was named the Helmerich Foundation Pediatric Skills Lab in his honor. In 2005, the Helmerich Foundation issued a grant challenge to ORU, offering $60,000 if ORU would match the donation for a new Biotechnology Core Lab, which ORU matched. His most recent gift came last fall when he gave $250,000 for a new engineering facility at ORU. 4 • Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 • THE ORACLE

SA picks Smith as new VP ORU Student Association has a new vice president after former Vice President Joe Ninowski stepped down for personal reasons in December. Senior finance major Dennis Smith, former SA chief programs officer and a three-year member of SA, now holds the position. Appointed by SA President Jentre Olsen, with the approval of Dr. Dan Guajardo and Stephen Gunn, Smith was deemed the most suitable and logical candidate due to his experience and familiarity with SA, according to Olsen. As the vice president, Smith will oversee the General Assembly, among other duties.

ORU to host Science and Science Fiction Conference in April ORU is set to host “When Worlds Collide: Science Faith, and the Imagination,” an on-campus conference on science and science fiction, on April 12-13. Co-organized by ORU English professor Mark Hall and mathematics professor Andrew Lang, the two-day event will focus on exploring hard science, social science, theology and their relation to science fiction. Guest speakers include Templeton Prize-winning author and theoretical physicist Paul Davies, as well as Campbell Award-winning author and biologist Joan Slonczewski. The cost is $125 for individuals and $75 for students, and includes the cost of meals. For more information, visit

Guajardo, Gunn promoted to new positions Dr. Dan Guajardo, formerly the dean of student development, has accepted a promotion to vice president of student life. The position was created by President Mark Rutland and will serve as a liaison to create a smooth transition for Provost Ralph Fagin who will be retiring after this semester. As the vice president of student life, Guajardo will now have a seat on the Vice Presidents Council for the university. The Vice Presidents Council is made up of the president, provost, executive vice president and chief financial officer, executive vice president and chief operating officer, vice president for academic affairs, vice president for enrollment management, vice president for development, vice president of sponsored programs and administrative affairs, and the athletic director. Stephen Gunn, former director of student development, has been promoted to executive assistant to President Rutland. Cody Miller formerly held this position and came to ORU with Rutland from Southeastern University in 2009. Miller accepted a position on the pastoral staff at The Assembly church in Broken Arrow in December. As director of Student Development, Gunn was in charge of overseeing SA. These job responsibilities are now transfered to Student Association President Jentre Olsen who will now report directly to Guajardo.

Vice President Dan Guajardo

Internet Photo

Accused murderers to stand trial New evidence revealed in killings of ORU freshman, boyfriend


Courtesy Photos

Carissa Horton, top, and Ethan Nichols, bottom, were fatally shot Sept. 18 in Hicks Park, near 31st Street and Mingo Road.

By Charlie Meadows A Tulsa County judge recently decided that the state has collected enough evidence to bring to trial two defendants charged in the Sept. 18 murders of ORU freshman Carissa Horton and her boyfriend, Ethan Nichols. Tulsa District Attorney Tim Harris has not yet announced whether he will seek the death penalty against Darren Price or Jerard Davis, who remain in jail without bond on murder and robbery charges. A Jan. 10 preliminary hearing revealed that both Price and Davis admitted to police during their arrests that they were in Hicks Park the night of the fatal shootings, but each is trying to accuse the other of pulling the trigger. The hearing before Special Judge Deborrah Ludi-Leitch lasted 10 hours. Fifteen witnesses testified, and more than three dozen pieces of evidence were certified in the case. Most of the proceedings involved members of the Tulsa Police Department testifying to how they conducted their investigation, what led them to the suspects and the subsequent arrests following separate chases in a stolen car and on foot. Price, 19, and Davis, 21, were scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 17 and a possible trial date set by Tulsa District Judge Bill Musseman, but those actions have been postponed until Feb. 27.

Small-town victims Both of the victims were from Keokuk, Iowa, and moved to Tulsa last year to continue their romance. Nichols, 21, had moved here with his family last March, and Horton, 18, arrived in August for her first semester at ORU. Nichols’ sister, Leanne Clark, testified at the preliminary hearing that she last saw the couple early in the evening of Sunday, Sept. 18, at the house where she lived with her brother, parents and her brother’s childhood friend from Iowa. Clark said she remembered seeing her brother’s white Pontiac Grand Am at the house in east Tulsa and Horton’s gold Ford Mustang parked there as well when Clark left to attend a small group gathering at her pastor’s house. She said she returned sometime between 10 and 10:30 p.m. and found only Horton’s car there. Clark said it concerned her when she awoke the next morning around 8 and didn’t find her brother or his car there, just Horton’s Mustang. She left for work at a hair salon in Broken Arrow. A little while later, her father, Scott Nichols, called her to say that Ethan had not shown up for work at Blue Bell Creamery in Broken Arrow. Clark said she called St. Francis Hospital to see if her brother had been injured, and the hospital recommended that she call police. She said she filed

WHAT’S NEXT? The two men charged with murder and robbery are scheduled to appear before a judge Feb. 27 in Tulsa County District Court. a missing person’s report around 11:45 a.m., providing a description of her brother, Horton and his car. Unbeknownst to Clark, Tulsa Police were busy at that hour investigating a crime scene at Hicks Park, near East 31st Street and South Mingo Road, not far from where the Nichols family lived. Two bodies had been discovered by a man and woman walking their dogs there the morning of Sept. 19. Another park visitor also spotted a wallet and several I.D. cards at the other end of Hicks Park, near a creek. The I.D. cards bore the name of Ethan Nichols. Clark meanwhile was calling her brother’s cellphone, texting him, “Where are you? I called the police.” She testified that she received a text back from Nichols’ phone saying he was fine and that he didn’t want to talk right then. Clark said she became frustrated and angry that her brother wouldn’t answer his phone. That’s when she received a phone call from Tulsa Police Detective Victor Regalado. Continued on page 6

THE ORACLE • Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 • 5

District attorney unsure about death penalty Continued from page 5 After subsequent phone calls, Regalado had connected the missing person’s report and the Hicks Park homicides. He asked Clark to leave work and meet him at the family’s home. It was there that Regalado told Clark her brother was dead. She showed the detective the texts she had received a little while earlier from her brother’s phone. Regalado devised a plan

to see if he could lure the person who had Nichols’ phone. He asked Clark to text that she had received Nichols’ paycheck from work and wanted to meet him so she could cash it and give him the money. That text was sent at about 1 p.m. Four hours later, Clark received a text response: “Yes.”

Stolen car aids police The other lead police


Internet Photos

Defendants Darren Price, top, and Jerard Davis, bottom, have been charged with first-degree murder and robbery.

6 • Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 • THE ORACLE

were pursuing that afternoon apprehended them a few said both Price and Davis was Nichols’ missing car. minutes later. admitted during separate Officers were asked to be The driver was identified interrogations that they on the lookout for a white as Darren Price, and he were present in Hicks Park 2001 White Pontiac. was taken into custody for the night of Sept. 18 when The distinguishing feature, questioning. Police found Horton and Nichols were Clark had told them, was Nichols’ cellphone on Price. shot execution-style during a a light blue front tag with The passenger, Richard robbery. green palm trees on the Ponds, was interrogated and Regalado said Price frame. and Davis Officer blamed the D.J. shootings Seeking the death Daugherty, on each penalty “changes the a 27-year other, but veteran of that other whole complexion of the the police details of the trial. You have the guilt department, crime were stage and the was on corroborated eastside by each punishment stage.” patrol that defendant’s afternoon account. Tim Harris and decided Tulsa District Attorney to drive through nearby apartment later released. complexes. Regalado testified at the Death penalty? At 2:34 p.m., he spotted preliminary hearing that Tim Harris, a 1983 the car at the Salida Creek Price tipped police to Davis’ graduate of ORU’s former Apartments at 10149 E. identity and told them that law school, has served as 32nd Place. Davis lived at the nearby Tulsa’s district attorney for 14 He testified that the car Windsong Apartments, 9750 years. was backed into a parking E. 31st St. During that time, he has spot, revealing the distinctive Police obtained a search sought the death penalty in Malibu-style front plate. warrant and entered the 10 cases and convinced a The car was unoccupied. unoccupied apartment a few jury all 10 times to impose He backed off and parked hours later. that sentence, he said in a two blocks away where he Several officers testified phone interview Jan. 13. could monitor the vehicle that they found Nichols Harris said the until officers in unmarked black bag in Davis’ defendants’ ages – they’re cars arrived. apartment as well as a semibarely old enough to be A little while later, two automatic 9 mm pistol in a classified as adults – makes suspects were seen entering bathroom drawer. it even more difficult for a the vehicle. Officers said the gun jury to recommend they be Once the driver steered contained ammunition that executed if found guilty of Nichols’ stolen car onto later was identified as similar the murders. 31st Street, police began a to shell casings found at the He said he would weigh chase that ended with the murder scene in Hicks Park. that and other circumstances Grand Am crashing into an Davis was spotted in deciding whether to pursue iron gate at the Bradford outside on the grounds of this as a capital murder case. Creek Apartments, just east the Windsong Apartments “It changes the whole of U.S. Highway 169 near complex a short time later, complexion of the trial,” 31st Street. and officers chased him Harris said. “You have The driver and passenger down and arrested him. the guilt stage and the took off running, and police Detective Regalado punishment stage.”

Students volunteer for Bachmann at caucus By Hannah Rundell Before former Republication candidate Michele Bachmann dropped out of the presidential race earlier this month, she received support from her alma mater. Over Christmas break, from Dec. 29 to Jan. 2, assistant history professor Beverly Garrison and assistant government professors Winston Frost and Sonny Branham lead a group of about 40 students to the Iowa caucuses. “It was more real than I expected,” said freshman Allison Boswell. “A lot of times, people don’t seem very real from inside the TV and the computer screens. When you get to shake their hand and meet their children and their parents, they become a person who really does care and isn’t perfect just like everyone else, but is trying to make a difference.” Professor Frost saw the experience as an opportunity for to not only help in the campaign, but also give them an inside look at American politics. “Students manned phone banks, canvassed neighborhoods, wrote call scripts, recorded robo calls, did opposition research, participated in rallies, organized data, recruited caucus speakers and met the candidate, her family and worked together with professional campaign staff in the closing days before the caucuses,” said Frost . “They also toured the campaign bus, attended church

with the candidate, helped host a donor event and dealt with the national media on a daily basis.” This trip helped students learn about the behind-thescenes work that goes into a political campaign. Although Bachmann ran as a Republican candidate, both Republican and Democrat students came to volunteer. “The ORU students were well qualified, singularly dedicated and worked into the early hours of the morning to help out,” Frost said. “These students are a real asset to any campaign they volunteer for. They made over 22,000 phone calls, and provided much needed help in data base management, public appearances and provided real assistance in the waning days of the campaign.” This hard work certainly did not go unnoticed. Branham expressed his appreciation for the dedication each student gave toward the campaign. Garrison agreed, saying that the students displayed maturity and talent the entirety of the trip. Even through the tediousness of the campaign, many students took something away from the experience, making the work worthwhile. Senior Melody Ruano was one of those students. “I learned so much,” Ruano said. “This was my first time volunteering for a

political campaign. I didn’t know much about Michele Bachmann and hadn’t really paid much attention to any of the Republican candidates at that point, but I was really interested and saw this trip as a unique opportunity to familiarize myself with the current political climate.” All in all, the students learned the importance of standing firm in one’s values when running in an election. “These days, the world of American politics can be a scary place for Christians who are not stable in who they are in Christ and use wisdom in how they share their faith in this particular arena,” Ruano said.

Photos by Jeanette Derubeis

Top: Nydia Gutierrez and Michele Bachmann pose during a rally. Bottom: A group of supporters, including some ORU students, stand next to Bachmann’s bus in Iowa.

THE ORACLE • Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 • 7


The Sports Editor is Billy Burke. You may contact him with comments or questions at

Men’s team rises to top By Billy Burke This past December, the NBA lockout ended, the NCAA bowl season began and Michael Jordan got... engaged? Yeah, A LOT happened in the world of sports over winter break. Perhaps the most satisfying and overlooked December-ish sports story is the dramatic emergence of the ORU Golden Eagles. The Eagles went 8-1 during a four-week span and claimed the No. 1 position while remaining undefeated in the Summit League (8-0). According to Golden Eagles starting center Damen Bell-Holter, unselfish play and chemistry are the reasons for ORU’s explosive play. “We’re putting our personal goals to the side to

win,” Bell-Holter said. “We have five to six guys that can score 20 in a night, but we have a ton of talented players and we can all make huge plays if some aren’t playing well. That’s the best thing about this team.” But that doesn’t mean the Golden Eagles lack star power. Senior Dominique Morrison has exploded this year and is playing like a possessed man. Recently, he won the Lou Henson Award National Player of the Week for averaging 27 points in three Summit League games, including the game where he scored a career-high 38 points against South Dakota State, putting ORU in first place in the Summit League. “He had a great week,” ORU head coach Scott Sutton said. “What he

8 • Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 • THE ORACLE

did [against SDSU] was unbelievable when you think about scoring 38 points on 15 shots in the most important game we’ve played.” Ironically, the biggest reason for ORU doesn’t lie in their ability to light up the scoreboard. The Golden Eagles currently rank No. 6 in the Summit League in scoring offense, but they rank second in scoring margin. Translation? Defense. The Golden Eagles have played suffocating defense this season and rank second in the Summit League in scoring defense. They have also been crashing the boards, averaging a +3.8 rebounding margin, putting them first in the league. Be aware, although ORU is hot, this doesn’t mean the

Courtsey Photo

Guard Warren Niles races down the court on a fast break. other teams in the Summit League don’t stand a chance to win. In the Golden Eagles’ victory over Western Illinois, the game stretched into a double overtime thriller, their first of the season. The game came down to a foul shot by Morrison with 1.4 seconds on the clock. After securing the win, the Golden Eagles would go on to remain undefeated in the Summit League. After the game, Coach Sutton emphasized that winning close games is crucial. “I just told our guys that to win a league championship you are going to have some games like this where you don’t play very well, but you tough it out and find a way to win,” said Sutton. The Golden Eagles are

peaking and in a prime position to win the Summit League. Seven of their last 11 games are at home and are all (minus the ESPN Bracket Buster) against Summit League teams. Coming down the stretch, if the Eagles continue to play unselfishly with a defensive mindset, they could end up being the favorites to win the conference, and dark horses in the big dance.

Upcoming Men’s Home Games: • Saturday, Jan. 21 vs. Oakland • Thursday, Jan. 26 vs. South Dakota • Saturday, Jan. 28 vs. UMKC. All games start at 7:05 p.m.

Women’s team builds momentum, looks to finish strong Lady Golden Eagles are tied for second place in Summit League By Cres Stophel It’s January at ORU, and class is back in session. Grab your reading glasses, Red Bull and another loan just to afford books, because it is time for spring semester! And while the Tulsa weather is more bipolar than Lady Gaga’s hair, the Golden Eagles women’s basketball team is heating up and plans to keep it that way. So while your mind takes a break from contemplating the etenal importance of your humanities lecture, check out this Golden Eagles women’s basketball mid-season report. The Golden Eagles started out the season as hot as your 80-year-old professor’s classroom, winning their first five regular season games. The streak ended, though, with a loss to Missouri State at home and a road loss at Tulsa. Overall, the Golden Eagles finished November 5-2, but the month of December would be no easier. The Golden Eagles got into the

Upcoming Women’s Home Games: • Saturday, Jan. 21 vs. Oakland (2:05 p.m.) • Monday, Jan. 23 vs. IPFW (7:05 p.m.) • Saturday, Jan. 28 vs. UMKC (2:05 p.m.)

spirit of Christmas giving early by giving a spanking to Southern Utah at home, scoring a season-high 109 points. Unfortunately, a week later the Golden Eagles found themselves scoring a season low, losing at Arkansas, 37-65. December continued like a tennis volley of wins and losses, winning only two of their next five games. Overall the Golden Eagles ended the calendar year losing six of their last nine games, and were sitting on an icy 8-6 record. When asked about this season’s struggles, All-American shooting guard Kevi Luper looked at the losses as a positive motivator for the team. “Nobody likes rough patches,” Luper said. “But as long as you learn and grow from it, there’s a bright side to them.” Although tied for second place in the Summit League conference, the Golden Eagles knew they would have to pick up the pace if they planned on winning the league and carrying momentum into post-season play. And the team has done just that. Four games into the 2012 calendar year and the Golden Eagles have already picked up three conference wins. The Golden Eagles celebrated New Year’s right by beating the conference-leading South Dakota State Jackrabbits 71-65 at home. The bullied bunny beat-down was followed up by wins against North Dakota State and Western Illinois. The Golden Eagles are currently second in the Summit League and

Courtesy of ORU Photography

Guard Kevi Luper remains among top five in nation for steals and sixth in nation for points. hold a season record of 11-7. While the team is averaging 10 points less per game, defensive play has stepped up only allowing opponents 68.4 points per game, seven less than last year. Kevi “Swiper the Fox” Luper is again listed by ESPN among the top five in the nation in steals per game and ranks sixth in the nation in points, averaging 23.1 per game. Looking ahead, the Golden Eagles hope to keep momentum, playing four straight home games to finish

January. The home stand is followed by the team playing five of their last seven regular season games on the road, making the home games must-wins. “Fans coming out to the games is so important,” said point guard Jaci Bigham. “It fuels the team and encourages us to play our hardest!” The Golden Eagles will continue conference play at home Saturday, Jan. 21, at 2:05 p.m. in the Mabee Center, where they’ll take on the Oakland Grizzlies.

THE ORACLE • Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 • 9

Can you see it? Student center takes shape as construction begins By Hannah Covington The last time ORU erected a new building, gas cost a modest $1.09. Audiences were flocking to see the 1985 hit “Back to the Future.” The University of Oklahoma had just won the national championship in football. Twenty-seven years have since slipped by. And now that tally of years is finally coming to an end. Students returned from Christmas break to see the first signs of life on a project over a decade in the making. On the field east of the Prayer Tower, a chain-link fence surrounded unearthed Oklahoma soil as crews look for the footing of an old building. It’s the last step before workers finally break ground on the long-anticipated student union. The project is slated for a January 2013 completion. ORU Executive VP and COO Tim Philley explained that this date is tentative, as unforeseen conditions may affect finishing construction. And with snowpocalypse, a historic blizzard that dumped an unprecedented 14 inches on the Tulsa area, still fresh in the mind of ORU students and staff, Philley was not altogether joking. At this point, however, workers are enjoying unseasonably warm and dry weather to prepare for the official groundbreaking ceremony to take place Jan. 25 after chapel.

symbolism of ORU’s other structures, Philley said the building will still have definite spiritual touches. “The design of the building wasn’t centered around any spirituality, but there are some things that through the process of building will be spiritually symbolic.” Director of Public Relations Jeremy Burton named prayer as one of these components. “Students should definitely be encouraged to pray for the building as we go along, for the safety of the construction workers and that everything would get here in a timely manner,” he said. For Burton, the main message the new building sends is one of “forward momentum.” He said the building also testifies that the university is student-focused. “The intent of the building is for the students. They are the lifeblood of the university, and this is a big investment into the student body,” he said. Sophomore Jonathan Hutchins said the new union will particularly benefit ORU commuter students. During his freshman year, Hutchins commuted and said he noticed the lack of places for commuters to go and mingle with other students. “I had to make a constant effort to get connected outside of classes, and I can see why a lot of people don’t,”

ORU photo by Mark Moore

From left: Ossie Mills, Tim Philley, Clarence Boyd, Mark Rutland, Dan Guajardo, Ralph Fagin and Michelle Finley pray over construction site Jan. 5. The union will officially be called the Armand Hammer Alumni-Student Center. The name traces back to a key donation given by the Armand Hammer Foundation over 10 years ago. Around $10.6 million in gifts and pledges have been given to date. Because the building will be built completely debt-free, Philley explained that the process of picking a suitable design based on a preestablished budget has been a bit like “reversed engineering.” What has resulted is a 28,000 square feet. building with clean, sloping lines and a curious lack of the gold color scheme that character-

Completion Dates

izes the futuristic design of the other structures on campus. Philley explained that the ultimate goal was to create a building with an entertaining environment. With three restaurants, a game tech zone, multiple lounges and seating inside and outside, he called the new student center a place of fun and fellowship. After the basement of the current Hamill Student Center closes, Chickfil-A will move to the new union and will join two new food services: Moe’s Southwest Grill, a Tex-Mex restaurant, and Jasmine’s Café, a Sodexo brand coffee shop. Though it lacks the biblical dimensions of CityPlex Towers or the


May 8 Steel Erection July 31 Roofing

Feb. 20 Concrete Foundation

Oct. 23 Drywall

Dec. 4 Painting

What about parking? Lower lot passes have been revoked

he said. Hutchins wants to see the new union “bridge the gap” between commuters and residential students. “I hope it becomes an avenue to get connected.” Twenty-seven years have passed since the university last broke ground on a new building. One year ago this February, President Mark Rutland announced that it would be happening again at long last. And despite cursory moments of skepticism, now it has. “I had doubts that it would actually happen, but it was a pleasant surprise,” Hutchins said about the construction of the student union. “They’ve been talking about it for years, and seeing actual progress is a very encouraging thing.”

Dec. 25 Flooring

Courtesy Photos

These computer-generated architectural renderings are the future plans for the inside of the entertainment-friendly student center. For more excusive photos, visit


Dec. 27 Food Service Installation

Jan. 1 Flooring

Feb. 26 Building Open to Public

Jan. 22 Security Systems and Electronics

By Hannah Covington Students with lower lot passes are moving up — literally. Due to construction on the new Armand Hammer Alumni-Student Center, students with lower lot passes must now park their vehicles in upper lot. Director of Public Safety and Security Jerry Isaacs said the new parking situation will be in effect until construction ends in January 2013. At that time, security will begin reissuing lower lot parking permits. He attributed liability of accidents and space needed for construction supplies as some of the “main concerns” leading to the adjustment. Out of the 220 parking spots in lower lot, student leaders and student workers held claim to roughly half of them. That places nearly 110 additional cars into upper lot. As head residential advisor for lower Frances, Katelyn Yeary held one of these lower lot passes. Over Christmas break, she received an email from her hall director informing her of the change. Yeary holds an off-campus job and called the parking change “an inconvenience,” making it harder to get to work on time. In light of the construction and additional flow of traffic from workers, Executive VP and COO Tim Philley called the parking adjustment something “you can’t get around.” Yeary said the switch is minor when compared to the end result it is helping to bring about. “The big picture is getting the student center,” Yeary said. Effective immediately, students who fail to move their vehicles from lower lot will be ticketed and issued a fine.


Got a picture you’d like to see in the Oracle? Send it to and you may see it in the next issue!

Photo by Stephen Salmon

Heather Wheeler auditions for “Oklahoma,” ORU Theatre’s major spring production. The play will debut on College Weekend, March 1-4.

12 • Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 • THE ORACLE

Photo by Stephen Salmon

Students and community members donated baby clothes and supplies to Team Ghana.


The Faith Editor is Josh Copeland. You may contact him at

Missions teams raise funds for trips

By Josh Copeland It’s the start of a new semester, and for the 32 ORU mission teams preparing for trips over both Spring Break and the summer, it will be marked by much dedication and diligent work as their trips draw closer. For students new to ORU this semester, it is important you understand that missions is a large part of the ORU community. It is part of the ORU mission “to go...” “The focus for all mission teams this semester is first and foremost fundraising,” said Jordan Carter, regional missions coordinator. “If teams or team members don’t make their 50 percent deadline, they will be dropped. You can do all the praying and preparation to go someplace, but unless you have the funds you aren’t going anywhere.” The 50 percent deadline for all Spring Break

trips is Jan. 30, and the deadline for the summer trips is Feb. 13. The final 100 percent deadline for the summer mission trips is April 9. “The 50 percent deadline is the biggest hurdle for a majority of teams,” said Carter. “The second focus for this semester is prayer and intercession for the nations, the contacts and the tasks that the teams are going to take on whether they are halfway around the world or right here in the U.S.,” said Carter. Other things that the teams will be doing over the course of the semester in preparation for their respective trips include: • Big Team meetings every other Tuesday night, where team members will receive general information and training concerning missions, travel and evangelism. • Individual team meetings where the teams

meet, pray and prepare for their trip specifically. • Leadership training for team leaders every Tuesday night. Team leaders will meet with Bobby Parks, regional coordinators, and other members of the mission department staff. • Fundraising, fundraising, fundraising... Participating in ORU missions is a huge time and financial commitment, but one that many students consider worth the investment. “I am most excited about growing closer to the men on my team as we prepare for the trip by praying, reading and training together,” said Jon Patterson, ManTeam team leader. “What the student body can do is watch for opportunities to help send the teams,” said Carter. “There will be events and things that the teams will do to raise funds that the student body can participate in to help.”

Baby shower held to raise support for Team Ghana

Photo by Stephen Salmon

A baby shower was held Jan. 18 by the all-nursing Team Ghana, above, who will travel to Africa the first week in February to bring aid to orphans.

THE ORACLE • Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 • 13

Survey shows Mormons more accepted in recent year

Pro-life movie to debut in March While thousands of prolife supporters will gather in Washington, D.C., this weekend to mark the 39th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion, others are looking ahead to March to use Hollywood as a new weapon in their battle. The film “October Baby” will debut March 23 in theaters nationwide. It is the story of 19-year-old Hannah, who finds out she is adopted and is the survivor of an attempted abortion. She goes to find answers, locate her birth mother and, ultimately, discover how powerful forgiveness can be, according to a press release about the film. The producers say “October Baby” offers viewers an “enjoyable, entertaining, intensely human film about friends hitting the road together and finding more than they bargained for: adventure, romance, truth ... and the power to forgive. But, the film is more than that — it tells the story of one young woman’s journey based on hundreds of stories of abortion survivors. The flim honestly and evenhandedly invites audiences to explore their own views of life’s value and the importance of their choices.”

The movie “October Baby” also includes music by contemporary Christian artists such as Casting Crowns, Michael W. Smith and Francesca Battistelli. The cast includes John Schneider of “Smallville” and “The Dukes of Hazzard,” Jasmine Guy of “A Different World” and “American Idol’ finalists Chris Sligh. The film was produced by the Erwin Brothers and American Family Studios, but is being marked and distributed by Provident Films and Samuel Goldwyn Films, whose work has included “Courageous,” “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants.”

The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life recently surveyed Mormons in America and found that they feel they are misunderstood, discriminated against and not accepted by other Americans as part of mainstream society. Yet at the same time, a majority of Mormons think that acceptance of Mormonism is rising. The study was done because the religion has taken center stage as Mitt Romney currently leads the race among Republican presidential contenders, a musical on Mormonism is currently on Broadway and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is airing extensive commercials on television as part of an awareness campaign. The study says Mormons compose about 2 percent of the American public. The survey, called “Mormons in America: Certain in Their

Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society,” found that: • 62 percent of Mormons say the American public is uniformed about their religion. • 46 percent say that Mormons face a lot of discrimination in the U.S. today (compared to 31 percent for blacks and 13 percent for atheists). • 68 percent say the American people as a whole do not see Mormonism as part of mainstream American society, but 63 percent of Mormons say Americans are becoming more likely to see Mormonism as part of mainstream society. • 56 percent say the Ameri-

can people are ready for a Mormon president. Additional key findings include several tenets that separate Mormons from evangelical Christians, who often refer to their religion as a cult: • 94 percent of Mormons believe that the president of the LDS Church is a prophet of God. • 91 percent believe that the Book of Mormon was written by ancient prophets. • 95 percent believe that families can be bound together eternally in temple ceremonies. • 94 percent believe that God the Father and Jesus Christ are separate, physical beings.

Pat Robertson makes another “prophetic” claim

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Televangelist Pat Robertson recently told viewers on his “700 Club” program that God has revealed to him who the next president of the United States is going to be, but he’s not sharing the divine secret. “I think He showed me about the next president, but I’m not supposed to talk about that so I’ll leave you in the dark -- probably just as well -- but I think I know who it’s gonna be,” Robertson said on the “700 Club” episode that aired Jan. 3. The founder of the Chris-

tian Broadcasting Network and Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., then said God doesn’t support President Barack Obama’s agenda and says that only “overwhelming prayer” can bring a new leader who will stop the country from “disintegrating”. Robertson said God told him the nation’s downfall would be triggered by an economic collapse. He suggested that God told him this would come about if Obama was elected to another term.

Scene ORU Theatre to debut “Oklahoma”

The Oracle Scene Editor is Halle Byrams. You may contact her with comments or questions at

and had 20 minutes to memorize it before they By Halle Byrams performed it. The same piece will also be perORU’s theater, music and dance departments are formed at ORU’s dance department spring concoming together to produce Rodgers and Hammercert. stein’s Broadway musical “Oklahoma.” Fick is excited she has the opportunity to choThe show is set to debut March 1-4 during reograph “Oklahoma.” College Weekend. With successful auditions and “I want to bring a lot of characterization to casting out of the way, the directors, cast and crew choreography and I want to add a contempoare eagerly working hard to produce ORU Therary aspect,” Fick said. atre’s next big production. Fick said she has not watched the film adaption The show will be directed by Communication, of the musical because she didn’t want to accidently Arts and Media Department Chair Laura Holland, make some of the same choices the choreographer and the music will be directed by music professor did. Richard Sutliff. Choreography will be created by “I hope to create my own interpretation of the adjunct professor of dance Heather Fick. score through dance,” Fick said. “There is so much Holland is no stranger to directing “Oklahomovement in ‘Oklahoma,’ and the movement is ma.” She’s directed the show six times at Discovso critical to the show that I get to carry a lot of eryland, a large amphitheater near Sand Springs the weight for making the show happen. Most where “Oklahoma” is performed several days a musicals don’t give the choreographer that opporweek in the summer. In choosing the musical, tunity.” Holland says, “We were looking for a show that “Oklahoma” is known for being a musical that would highlight our talented singers, dancers and tells the plot with dance,” Fick said, theater departments.” Cast List: “It’s exciting to use our dancers for “I’m really excited about doing Aunt Eller: Kelsey Carroll that.” it again,” Holland said, “I’m lookCurly: Jared Jirele For those unfamiliar with “Oklaing at a different style. I’m trying Laurey: Becca Hyvonen homa,” it is a love story set in the to make it less theatrical and more Ike Skidmore: Stan Jones 1900s before Oklahoma became realistic with the characters.” Fred: Jared Burkett a state. It’s a light-hearted comedy When it was time to hold audiSlim: Zach Sherwood but also has some serious undertions, Holland was really looking Will Parker: Will Acker tones. for “triple-threats” -- people who Jud Fry: Travis Cox Jared Jirele, a senior communican sing, dance and act. Students Ado Annie Carnes: cations major, was cast as the lead had to each bring an 8-by-10-inch Shannon Garcia male role Curly. photograph of themselves and Ali Hakim: Nate Stahlke “I have yet to do a major produccome ready and dressed to dance, Gertie Cummings: Barbara tion at ORU,” Jirele said. “I’m really sing and perform a monologue. Filomeno excited to work with Laura HolStudents were taught a quick dance Andrew Carnes: Andrew land.” routine by Fick and performed it in Eiler This isn’t Jirele’s first time in “Oklagroups of four. Students had to sing Cord Elam: Rueben homa.” He performed it at Discoverya memorized piece from another Wakefield land in 2009 and 2011. Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Chalmers: DeVante’ “I was familiar with the show so with an accompanied pianist. Then Malone when I auditioned, I found a song they performed a light monologue. Joe: Caleb Reynolds that was like one in the show.” After that were callbacks. Jirele believes there is a lot of In addition to regular casting, history in the musical. there was a dance audition Jan. “There’s no better place for ‘Oklahoma’ than 17, which was to select dancers for the infamous in Oklahoma,” he said “If you’re an Oklahoma “dream ballet” in the show. resident or not, you learn about the rich heritage Dancers auditioning for the dream ballet were of Oklahoma.” taught a combination of steps in groups of four

Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan star in “30 Rock,” which began a new season Jan. 12.

2012 midseason TV Premieres By Halle Byrams When new and old shows return in September, it is known as the official start of the broadcasting network season. Most shows take a holiday break and then premiere again in January with new series premiering almost every week in January through February. Music-based shows are big this year, as well as smart comedies. Here’s a quick list of some featured shows that look promising: Glee (Jan. 17) The show starts back up again with Will Schuster planning a big surprise for Emma and enlisting help from the New Directions. The Voice (Feb. 5) The successful NBC reality singing competition is set to premiere after the Super Bowl. The judges and vocal coaches are Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. Smash (Feb. 6) The NBC musical series will introduce and feature Katharine McPhee, “American Idol” Season 5 runner-up, as a young performer who scores the lead role in a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. 30 Rock (Jan. 12) The NBC comedy series featuring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, based on Tina Fey’s former job as “Saturday Night Live” writer, premiered Jan. 12.

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Quick workouts add variety to routine By Patience Anderson, Amy Lecza and Katie DaCosta After relaxing and enjoying one too many desserts over the holidays, most students’ top new year’s resolution is to lose weight and get their body back to its pre-Christmas break physique. For many, the new year serves as a catalyst for finally making their promised exercise regime a reality. The biggest challenge for college students is finding time to fit exercising into an already busy schedule. With classes, rehearsals and extracurricular activities already picking up their pace, finding time to squeeze in a workout is already proving difficult. Winter weather can also be a deterrent from making the trek to the

Aerobics Center, but there are plenty of workouts that can be done in the convenience of a dorm room. Try one of these quick in-dorm workouts:

“The 100” In order, do 100 jumping jacks, 90 crunches, 80 squats, 70 leg lifts, 60 jumping jacks, 50 crunches, 40 squats, 30 leg lifts, 20 jumping jacks and run for 10 minutes.

“One-Set Workout” In order, do 50 crunches, 25 leg lifts, 50 bicycle kicks, 25 squats, 15 sumo squats, 50 calve raises, 100 arm circles (50 right, 50 left), 15 pushups, 50 jumping jacks and a one-minute plank. Many of these “at-home” work-

Photo by Sami Prichard

Jenni Randolph uses the leg press machine in the Aerobics Center. outs take up minimal amount of time but result in maximum benefits. Look on Netflix or YouTube for yoga, pilates and cardio workouts streamed directly to your computer. Some of the best ways to get healthy come from making small changes to your everyday routine.

Park further away from the building and take a longer walk, climb the stairs instead of the elevator or do crunches during the commercial breaks in your favorite TV show. With so many healthy options, your New Year’s resolutions are just waiting to happen. Good luck!

and tickets are $43.50. For sports fans, there will be plenty of events to attend during February. The Tulsa Oilers, the 918’s very own minor league hockey team, is playing many games this month. They will be facing Evansville on Feb. 11, Rio Grande Valley on Feb. 12, Dayton on Feb. 14, Evansville again on Feb. 17, Fort Wayne on Feb. 21, Texas on Feb. 24 and Missouri on Feb. 28. Tickets come in a variety of prices but range from $13-$43.50. Games start at 7:05 p.m., and doors open an hour before the game starts. For those who prefer a rougher variety of sports, there will be a Freestyle Motocross show Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Each rider will have 90 seconds to execute as many death-defying tricks as possible, but only one will emerge victorious.

Tickets are $25-$35, and doors open an hour before the show. WWE Smackdown will be at the BOK Center on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15-$60 each. For the area business professionals, students or business owners, the “Get Motivated” business seminar tour will be making a stop in Tulsa on Feb. 13. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Gen. Colin Powell, former First Lady Laura Bush and many others will be speaking on leadership and other topics from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Tickets are just $1.95 per person or $9.95 for the entire office. Tickets for all these events can be purchased online at, by calling 1-866-7BOKCTR or by stopping by the Arby’s Box Office from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

February BOK Center events heat up By Amy Lecza With its cold winds and promises of snow, February will also bring much talent to Tulsa’s BOK Center. Musical performances, theatrical productions, comedy tours, sports and even a business seminar will take place throughout the month. George Strait, revered as the “King of Country Music,” has wowed audiences with his unique style of country music since the debut of his first single, “Unwound,” in 1981. Strait has the world record for more No. 1 hit singles than any artist in the history of music in any chart or genre. His current tour is promoting his most recent album, “Here for a Good Time.” Opening for Strait is country star Martina McBride. Acclaimed country music pioneer Strait and guest McBride will be performing Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets

range from $71.50-$81.50. Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, a concert featuring several well-known Christian music artists such as Skillet, Sanctus Real, Peter Furler, Kari Jobe, Building 429, Group 1 Crew, Dara MacLean, For Kingdom and Country, and We As Human. Nick Hall will be speaking, and illusionist Brock Gill will be performing. Tickets are $10. The Feb. 25 concert starts at 6 p.m. In addition to musical performances, the BOK Center will also be hosting Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson tribute. Cirque Du Soleil: Michael Jackson will have two shows: Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 19 at 4 p.m. Tickets range from $50-$175. Famous for his ventriloquist comedy routines, Jeff Dunham will be doing a show at the BOK Center on Feb. 26. The show starts at 4 p.m.,

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New year’s resolutions for healthy eating By Francesca Lucido After the ball drops in Times Square, new year’s resolutions of eating healthier begin. Gyms make a fortune off soon-tobe unused memberships, burgers are traded in for salads and junk food is cleaned out of the kitchen panty. Unfortunately, most of these idyllic resolutions become nothing but a faint memory by the first week of February. Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily

have to be a drastic change. Simply by substituting frozen yogurt for ice cream, popcorn for potato chips or wheat bread for white, you can be one step closer to keeping your new year’s resolution. Just think, by trading in your morning latte for an Americano you can save up to 150 calories. Grilled vegetables are a healthy and effortless meal that is new year’s resolution approved. If you aren’t sure what vegetables to use, a few

great options are carrots, broccoli, garlic, fennel, kale, onions, potatoes and mushrooms. All of these vegetables work great in addition to countless others. Choose your favorite vegetables and dice them into half-inch cubes. Next, turn the stove on medium heat. It’s important to spray cooking spray in the pan as well as the sides so that the vegetables don’t stick to the bottom and sides of the pan. Then add your diced vegetables into

the pan and lightly drizzle olive oil over all the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to move the vegetables around with a spoon while they are cooking. Cook until tender and serve. Here are two yummy and easy vegetable dishes to eat as meals on their own or to accompany an entrée. With minimal kitchen equipment and ingredients, you can eat your way to a healthier body!

“We made a pact to each other to eat more rice, beans, salad and tuna.” - Jordan Pyle and Dominique Allen “I just want to eat better this year.”- Jessi Yanovitch “I want to eat more to gain muscle.” – Jon Hyre “I want to drink the amount of water you’re supposed to have daily.” – Tyler Green “I am going to eat less fast food.” – Amber Carver

Roasted Balsamic Cauliflower

Spicy Stuffed Zucchini

Makes 4 1-cup servings

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients: 8 cups (about 1 large head) of 1-inch-thick slices of cauliflower florets 2 Tbsp. extravirgin olive oil ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese Prep: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss cauliflower, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until starting

Adapted from

to soften and brown on the bottom, about 1520 minutes. Toss cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5-10 minutes more. Tip: To prepare florets

from a whole head of cauliflower, remove outer leaves. Slice off the thick stem. With the head upside down and holding a knife at a 45 degree angle, slice into the smaller stems with a circular motion. Break florets into the desired size.

Adapted from

Ingredients: 1 Tbsp. sour cream ½ tsp. salt 1 tsp. dried thyme ¼ tsp. curry powder, cayenne powder or any powdered spice you have ½ tomato 1 chopped red bell pepper 1 onion 2 large zucchinis ½ shredded Parmesan cheese Ground pepper, to taste Bacon, ham or chicken sausage (optional) Prep: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub zucchini and rinse. Slice in half lengthwise. Spoon out seeds and insides until there is about ½ inch left on all sides. Set aside. Chop zucchini pulp, onion and tomato. Make sure vegetables are dry. Saute onions in a little oil or butter until slightly brown. When onions are almost translucent, add spices and stir for 30 seconds. Transfer to big bowl. If using bacon or other meat, cook until crispy and let drain on paper towel. In big bowl, stir all veggies, thyme, salt, sour cream, pepper and optionally, meat. Lightly butter a baking dish and put zucchini boats in. Spoon mixture into shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

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The Muse Editor is Kelsie Wardell. Contact her with comments or questions at

Just tell your mom you love her By Chandler Elmore Since I have been in college, my mom turned into my biggest and longest lasting pen pal. I always liked to get snail mail, and sending it to my mom helped me write down what I was going through while at the same time getting to see what she was up to as well. She would write once or twice a week, supplementing non-letter days with emails, care packages and texts. I never knew how many letters she wrote until I recently counted all the ones

I kept. The sum amounted close to 50 over the course of three semesters. Her voice rings through these letters, her sass, attitude, love, hurts and thankfulness calling loudly from the paper. Before her death over Christmas break, my mom added a sense of comfort and stability to my life. I was always able to go to her no matter what the problem. She taught me everything from filing taxes to cooking. She gave me a strong work ethic, dashing good looks (and a sense of hu-

mility to go with it), quick wit, stubbornness and many more unique traits. I will miss the things my mom imparted to me over the years, but what I will miss more is the wisdom she gave me day to day. I never thought about what it would be like when she passed on. It is a sickly, indescribable feeling when one reads his mom’s obituary in the newspaper or picks up her death certificate at the funeral home. To wake up knowing that my mom is not there leaves a hole in my heart and a pang of hurtful longing.

Since returning to my life at ORU this month, I have been embraced countless times, prayed over, counseled and generally loved. I do not know how people without a loving community can go through the death of a loved one. I am truly thankful for the many opportunities offered here at ORU. I am currently attending the AMF support group that meets on Tuesdays, as well as meeting with Men’s Chaplain Eric Peterson. Having strong men and woman of God support me is huge. I would encourage any-

one who thinks they need counseling to take advantage of all the opportunities that ORU offers. It is free and can help you grieve and heal in a healthy way. I end with a cheesy, but as I have come to learn, undoubtedly true piece of advice. Love your mom. Tell her that you love her. Hug her. Spend time with her. Learn from her. Share with her. In the end, it is not the materialistic things that she gives you but the wisdom, the laughs, the love and her time that matter most.

Capital punishment is biblical By Dr. Winston Frost The question of capital punishment is one that can divide Christian communities. In the abstract, there are many secular arguments that have been raised against capital punishment, including, but not limited to: it costs more to execute someone than imprisonment for life; capital punishment violates the 8th Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment; it is barbaric and out of step with the rest of the civilized world; endless appeals clog the court system; there is the possibility that an innocent person could be put to death; it is disproportionally applied to minorities; it does not bring back the life of the victim; it does not allow for the rehabilitation of the party who committed the crime; life imprisonment is worse than death; and finally, many jurors won’t convict someone if the death penalty is involved. On the other hand, the arguments for the death penalty run

something along these lines: the death penalty gives closure to the victims’ families; it serves the interest of justice; it is a deterrent; it provides prosecutors with a bargaining chip in plea bargaining; it prevents the criminal from committing other crimes; and DNA testing and modern crime scene science prevents uncertainty as to guilt or innocence. However, to the Christian there is an even more important question that has to be addressed, the question of whether capital punishment is biblical. It is easy to be confused on the topic, especially when it is raised in the context of a real, live situation where an innocent student was murdered in cold blood rather than as part of a classroom hypothetical. It creates strong feelings on both sides of the issue and requires an honest analysis of what the Bible says. In preparing to teach the issue in my Criminal Law class, I used the work of a former classmate, Gregory Koukl from Stand to Reason, who provides a concise summation of the

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issue that goes as follows: Capital punishment is biblical because God commands it. Koukl argues that it preceded the Ten Commandments, being found in Genesis 9:6 which states that, “Whosoever sheds mans blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.” The basis for the penalty is based on human dignity and man’s transcendent value. It is reaffirmed in the Ten Commandments where the commandment is “thou shalt not murder” as well as the Mosaic Law. It was reaffirmed in the New Testament by Jesus in John 19:11 where he tells Pilate, “you have no authority over me except that which was given you from above,” and by Paul in Romans 13:1-2 and by Peter in 1 Peter 2:13-14. All give government authority over the wrongdoer. Koukl also points out that Jesus did not disallow capital punishment. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19, “I did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.” Koukl then goes on to

address the extra biblical arguments discussed above. He concludes that the reason for the biblical command in Genesis 9:6 is that a fatal attack against those made in the image of God is an attack on God himself, that which requires retribution in a form where the punishment fits the crime. Justice demands punishment of the guilty and goodness requires the protection of society. The execution of a wrongdoer, is in the words of Quaker scholar Gervais Carey, “a secondary measure of the love of God…for capital punishment provides the murderer with incentive to repentance which the ordinary man does not have, that is the definite date he is to meet his God. It is as if God has providentially granted him special inducement to repentance out of the enormity of his crime…the law grants to the condemned an opportunity that he did not grant his victim, the opportunity to meet his God. Even divine justice here may be said to be tempered with mercy.”

Shot Calling By Billy Burke After suffering a humiliating loss to the AFC favorite, the New England Patriots, it appears that Tebowtime has ended…for now. Recently, Denver Broncos executive vice president John Elway released a statement saying Tim Tebow will be the team’s starting QB going into training camp next year. After taking the Broncos from 2-4 to 8-8 to win the AFC west and upset the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wildcard round of the playoffs, Tebow earned the job as starter. However, despite showing outstanding leadership qualities and undoubtedly possessing the “clutch gene,” there seems to be opposition toward him being an NFL quarterback. Did he play flawless? No. Was he poised? No. But as a first-time starter in the NFL, one would think there has to be some slack for the new guy. The No. 12 overall pick in the NFL draft was Blaine Gabbert. Coming out, he was heralded as a poised pocket passer who possessed a high football IQ. But despite starting three more games then Tebow, Gabbert threw the same amount of touchdowns (12), five more interceptions (11), fumbled two more times (8) and led his team to a 4-12 record. The Jaguars also had a top 10 defense (7) and one of the best running backs in the NFL in Marice JonesDrew. Now understand that I have nothing against Gabbert, and I think that he has the tools to be a fine NFL QB. But in comparison, there was virtually zero talk or coverage of his struggles as a QB. Why is that? The reason Tebow had more press was simple: He was painted as the most controversial figure the sports world has seen in years.

Tebowtime: Criticism or Persecution?

So why did there seem to be so much controversy over Tim Tebow? He didn’t kill a dog, rape anyone, or get convicted of a double homicide. What was his crime? He prayed. He said he was a virgin. He talks about loving Jesus. I really hate to play the Christian card because I think that Christians are too sensitive about a lot of things and sometimes just need to have a sense of humor, but there have been too many shots taken

against Tebow based on his faith alone to brush it off. Earlier this year, “Saturday Night Live” released a skit mocking Tebow and his relationship with Jesus. Then soon after, SNL alum Jimmy Fallon sang a musical parody to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on his late night show, but did it mocking both Tebow and Christianity. When asked to comment on his tendency to speak freely of his faith, Tebow said, “If you’re married and really love your wife, do you tell her that you love her the day that you get married and then stop? Or do you tell her every

Internet Photo

Tim Tebow has garnered much praise and criticism for his blatant Christian beliefs and morals. Tebow plays for the Denver Broncos.

day that you wake up and anytime you get the chance? And that’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ. And if I have the opportunity to say that on national TV, then I’m going to do that.” Tebow has gotten flak from announcers, players, comedians, basically the entire press for doing this. How is it any different from players saying they’re the greatest ever, or “We’re talking about practice!” One would think that somebody not completely absorbed with himself would be a breath of fresh air. Is he the first player to ever thank God? No. he won’t be the last either. But just because somebody is passionate something they believe in, it’s no reason to bash them over it. So you’re saying you would rather your kid look up to a musician or an athlete who promotes the typical sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle? Oh of course, I’d take Mick Jagger over Tebow for my daughter any day. Look, when I’m asked about Tim Tebow, do I say he’s one of the best QB’s in the league? Heck no. He isn’t in my top 15. He has a long way to go before becoming one of the league’s elite QB’s. I love that he wins games. I love his heart and passion for the game. I love that he isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in and has the scruples to live by the standards he sets for himself. I don’t have any respect for people who attack anyone solely based on their faith. It’s pathetic, tasteless and promotes the very things that we want to change in our world. But it really doesn’t matter, because thanks to a great work ethic, competitive drive and a string of clutch performances, it looks like Tebowtime is just beginning.

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January 20, 2012 Print Edition  

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