Non-religious students can learn from mandatory Chapel

By Sydney Kerbow | Copy Editor

When Baylor labels themselves as “unapologetically Christian,” that can mean a lot of different things to different people. Some can take it rather positively, or some can take it negatively. There is no right or wrong opinion when it comes to religion.

But, as a current student at Baylor, one thing comes to my mind when I hear “unapologetically Christian:” Chapel.

For most Baylor students, Chapel is a mandatory class that requires little to no brain power: watch a short video, answer five easy questions and move on with your day. But, it would be ignorant of me to think that there is no meaning of Chapel at Baylor.

Chapel has been a staple at Baylor since its founding in 1845, and the tradition is still shared with every new student. It is meant to give new students a simple foundation of modern Protestant Christianity and a deeper understanding to students who already have some understanding of the Christian faith and want to learn more.

But what about those who have no desire to learn about Christianity? After all, being a Baptist school isn’t the only thing Baylor is known for.

Being an agnostic myself, it can be hard to bring value to Chapel. Although I have already done my time, I would like to have known how to continue learning from every video and question I complete.

Even with something so profound and rich as the Bible, an agnostic — even an atheist — can still value reading it. The wisdom in the Bible, and Chapel, is very profound.

I personally consider the Bible to be a work of philosophy, even though I don’t hold everything in it to be true.

For instance, the entire biblical book of Proverbs contains great wisdom about the human and spiritual experience that anyone can benefit from. Proverbs 15:1 has the simple saying of, “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath,” commenting that responding with gentleness is often the best way to confront an agreement or problem, rather than speaking with a harsh tone.

In realizing this, it is very easy to make Chapel worthwhile, and collect nuggets of truth along the way, even if you are not religious. Try this the next time you watch a Chapel video or attend a Chapel lecture.