The Christian Post Opinion Page Is Not a Safe Space

Some Christian Post readers were upset to find an opinion with which they disagreed on The Christian Post opinion page. In light of this feedback, I, the opinion editor, will clarify what we, the CP editors, seek to accomplish on the opinion page.

CP and many conservative news sites have reported often on college "snowflakes" — students who feel they must be protected from views with which they disagree. They demand that college administrators provide them with "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces." Conservatives have rightly condemned these practices and I've done so myself. If anything, college should be a place where one is exposed to, not protected from, a variety of ideas.

It turns out, however, that the college snowflakes aren't the only ones seeking safe spaces. Some CP readers want CP to be a safe space, presenting only opinions that are politically and theologically conservative.

Most of the complaints I read about the CP opinion page can be summarized as: "You published an opinion I disagree with. Why would you do that?"

Here is why.

Americans are already dangerously divided. Left vs. right, Republican vs. Democrat, progressives vs. populists, urban vs. rural, rich vs. poor, white vs. non-white, religious vs. secular. Though not the worst in U.S. history, the current splits and lack of empathy among the various sides hurt efforts to resolve differences and find solutions to our most pressing problems.

Web-based algorithms designed to provide your internet searches and social media feeds with content you would find interesting exacerbates this problem. A Republican's Facebook feed looks vastly different from a Democrat's Facebook feed. Americans are, more and more, getting their news from different sources, and from sources that reinforces, rather than challenges, their own viewpoint. No wonder we have difficulty understanding each other.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., put it well in a recent speech on the Senate floor.

"We are becoming a society incapable of having debate anymore. We are reaching a point in this republic where we are not going to be able to solve the simplest of issues because everyone is putting themselves in a corner where everyone hates everybody," he said.

If CP were to only present views of politically and theologically conservative Christians, it would be contributing to this national problem.

This doesn't mean CP has no standards for op-eds. They must be thoughtful, interesting, well-written, and maintain a standard of decency. But if we avoided publishing anything that offended someone, the opinion page would have little to contribute.

The goal of the CP opinion page is to represent a wide range of views, and mostly the views of Christians, especially evangelicals. Christians don't agree on every issue. Let's not pretend otherwise. The opinion page will continue to be a place where Christians can hash out these disagreements. In doing so, as Proverbs 27:17 points out, "Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another."

Napp Nazworth, Ph.D., is the politics and opinion editor of The Christian Post.

Contact: napp.nazworth@christianpost.com, @NappNazworth (Twitter)