2/18/2004 Add a comment

This article on Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University’s debating team was very interesting to me for a variety of reasons. First, it hit upon the Christians in debating phenomena. When I was a very active debater in high school, my teammates and I were always struck by the style and success of the debaters from Grenville Christian College (in Canada College = Prep School.) Christian schools, other than Catholic Schools, are extremely rare in Canada. In fact, Grenville was the only overtly Christian school in our league of about 22 schools and they consistently placed in the top 5, well above the level their “academic” reputation would have them.

Even better, the article hit upon the current crisis in American debating; namely its decent into a research driven, factoid talk fest. In Canada, British style parliamentary debating is still the dominant form and rhetoric and style in addition to knowledge are emphasized. I think this makes particular sense at the college level, as one would assume that research skills could be developed through the regular curriculum. Once I got to Swat, I gave up on debating (a rather successful career, I should immodestly add) and instead started doing improv comedy which I found more similar to the style of debating I experienced in Canada. Pablo