From National Review via Gene Veith: Here is a brief snippet of an exchange between Christians desiring a distinctly Christian student's group on campus and Vanderbilt's response. You get the idea. I don't need to say anything.
VANDERBILT LAW STUDENT AND CLS MEMBER PALMER WILLIAMS: I
am a little confused by the fact that under your policy, I can gather
with a group of my friends, or a group of like-minded people, I can
state my beliefs, but as soon as I go as far as writing down what we
believe in, and then try to live by those beliefs as a community on
campus, then I’m not allowed to do that.
VICE CHANCELLOR [RICHARD] MCCARTY: What I’m going to challenge you to
do, [is] to be open to a member that doesn’t share your faith beliefs
who could be a wonderful member of CLS, maybe even a leader. But we’re
not saying you have to vote for that person. We’re simply saying that
person, who maybe does not profess allegiance to Jesus Christ as his or
her Lord and Savior, should be allowed to run for office in CLS. Maybe
it’s not chair or president, maybe it’s a person who is amazing at
social outreach. It would still be consistent with your goals of serving
the underserved with legal advice and legal services, but maybe isn’t
Christian but they endorse what you’re trying to do. Give that person a
chance. . . . Now let me give you another example, and this would affect
all of you. I’m Catholic. What if my faith beliefs guided all of the
decisions I make from day to day?
[At this point, the crowd applauds the idea that people should live according to their faith.]
No they shouldn’t! No they shouldn’t! No they shouldn’t! No they
shouldn’t! [Disagreement from crowd.] Well, I know you do, but I’m
telling you that as a Catholic I am very comfortable using my best
judgment as a person to make decisions. As a Catholic, if I held that
life begins at conception, I’d have a very big problem with our
hospital. Right? Would I not? . . . I would, but I don’t. . . . We don’t
want to have personal religious views intrude on good decision making on
this campus. They can guide your personal conduct, but I’m not going to
let my faith life intrude. I’ll do the best I can at making good
decisions, but I’m not going to impose my beliefs on others, not going
to do it.
I’m not going to
let my faith life intrude
-- Lord, save us from "personal" convictions that dare not become public faith and morality... lest we might actually live out in our lives what our lips profess.... BTW not a few Lutherans have received degrees from Vanderbilt, including but not limited to our good Seminary President Larry Rast...
I respect your blog, Pastor, and don't wish to do anything more than read it with the love and respect which it deserves. Other places on the internet are more worthy of contention. With that in mind, I would like your permission to add a comment on the Vanderbilt piece. I don't know Vanderbilt from any other place because I live far away. I think that Vanderbilt must come out of the greater Protestant tradition.
There is in this piece, I think, the promotion of a religious value which I think is at odds with that of Lutheranism. The great Herman Sasse in a 1930 essay wrote about the Lutheran understanding of the principle of the Two Kingdoms. Lutherans believe Christ's words when he said that 'my kingdom is not of this world.' The church is, therefore, not a secular thing.The Catholics and the Enthusiasts make the church secular. The Catholics in their work want to ecclesiastize the world and the Enthusiasts want to Christianize the world.
I feel, with all due respect, dear Pastor Peters, that the spirit of this Vanderbilt piece is in the tradition of Christianizing the world.
"We don’t want to have personal religious views intrude on good decision making..."
wow! I'd laugh if this wasnt so scary. Are personal political views ok? or personal family views ok?
What I read is when you come to an institution you must use only approved criteria for decision making? I am truly concerned about the lack of true intellectual freedom on our US college campuses (and sadly other places too)
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