Convocation 10/30/17: Anthony Scaramucci

I honestly don’t know what to say about this convocation. From the start, it had the potential to go one of two ways: it could be a standard political convo or it could have gone off-the-rails. Many students went into the vine center Wednesday expecting the worst. In addition to this was the events on campus prior to convo.  Liberty University managed to out-controversy Scaramucci! I wasn’t even certain that was possible. As a result of these two developments, nobody had any idea of what to expect going into convo. We could have gotten anything.

And what we got was a relatively tame, political speech. Scaramucci, an investment banker and White House Communications Director for “11” days, spent most of Wednesday’s convo telling anecdotes about childhood and about a meeting he had with Donald Trump. The rest of his speech was him stressing the importance of forgiveness and then answering questions from the student body. Other than that, not much was actually said.

I couldn’t find anything to really latch onto in Wednesday’s message. There did not appear to be any overarching theme or even point to his message. He started off speaking about the importance of forgiveness in relationships but quickly segued into personal storied. Only at the very end of his message did he bring up forgiveness again. Politics could hardly be called the focus, it was touched on for maybe 10 minutes outside of the Q&A. I frankly did not know what to make of his message, it seemed to lack any sort of cohesion or planning.

Of what little Scaramucci did say, most of it was fairly good (ignore politics, the arena of opinions). Of all the commands in the Bible, the command to forgive is one of the most often repeated. Paul calls us to emulate God by practicing forgiveness in Colossians 3:13, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (NIV).  Similarly, Jesus calls us to forgive in Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (NIV). As Christians, we are called to forgive those who sin against us, both as an act of obedience and as a way of emulating Christ. Although Scaramucci did not use scripture to advocate forgiveness, he was right on the money in this regard. 

Overall, it was a pretty confusing convocation. Scaramucci’s speech lacked a central theme or point. However what he actually said wasn’t bad.  Politics aside, his comments on forgiveness, both of others and yourself, were pretty good. I also appreciated his willingness to take non-prepared questions from the student body. Many of our speakers are not brave enough to do such, so he should be applauded for that. And even if you didn’t like it, at least you can say you heard Scaramucci (Yes, that Scaramucci) talk at your school.

Lightning Round:

  • LU praise was fantastic as always. Definitely one of my favorite parts of convocation.
  • ScaraGucci? really? We had the chance to ask someone who served in the White House anything, and we chose to ask him about his fashion? The other questions were pretty good, but that one? What a wasted opportunity.
  • What is with all of the new security measures they keep adding to convo? First they require students to present their flames pass to get into convo. Then they remove the schedule. Next, they put LUPD at the doors to search students bags. Now, they are going to require students to go through metal detectors? It is becoming quite a hassle just to attend convo (and it already took long enough to get in the vine center). If it requires such extreme measures (and invasions of privacy, may I add) to keep students safe, why not just get rid of convocation entirely?
  • I won’t be addressing the Jonathan Martin controversy in this post. Expect a post solely dedicated to that fiasco in the coming days. That deserves my full attention.

Bible verses quoted: 0

Bible verses quoted all semester: 61

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Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Liberty University leadership or administration in any way. This post is solely a matter of personal opinion. The opinions expressed here are solely my own and should be not be taken as the opinion of the University, its staff, or the student body.

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