Would You Take the Shot?

Ashton Childress, Freelance Reporter

If you were told to raise your hand if you like ice cream but were told that if you did you wouldn’t get any would you raise it? If you stole a classmate’s textbook and the teacher asked if anyone had the stolen textbook, would you turn yourself in? If you were told to line up and stand if you believed in something but were told your life would be at risk, would you stand? If you answered yes to these questions, I assume that you are very honest strong-willed person who keeps their beliefs ahead of their well-being. People like this influence society in such a positive way.

A few months ago in Oregon, a scenario similar to the ones above took place. An armed gunman went into a school, lined people up and asked them to stand. He then went down the line asking each person whether or not they were Christian. The first person, not knowing the “correct” answer, was honest to themselves and said “yes.” They were then shot in the head, dying immediately. The next person answered with “no” and was shot in the leg, just being injured. To some people’s surprise, nine more people responded with yes and were killed on the spot.

Seeing this, you may think “Why would anyone else say yes if they knew they would be killed right then?” Well, there’s a pretty simple answer. Either 1: They have enough faith in what they believe in, so they will stand up for it no matter what, or 2: They’d prefer to die than live with the guilt of denying their belief.

This made me ask myself: “What would I have done? Is my faith strong enough to allow me to say yes? Would I only answer yes so that I wouldn’t have to live knowing that I lied to myself?” I don’t know if I will ever find an easy answer to these questions, but I hope that if the time came where I had to risk standing up for my beliefs or denying them for a more selfish reason, I would be 100% attached to my faith in my belief and know I made the right choice in the end.

Would you die for what you believe or live with the guilt of denying something you truly do believe in? I feel this world not only needs more people like the first responder, telling the truth, but especially the following people with honest opinions answering “yes,” knowing the consequences. If everyone was always honest and had the guts to stand up for what they believe in, life would be so much easier. Being able to trust people is a big part of anyone’s life. Once we find that its okay to speak our mind, a whole new atmosphere will emerge with sensational people in it.