Whatever other of Marc Galli’s recently published eight “salient values” that he suggests Dr. Hawkins may have violated she certainly did not violate #2.

Galli enumerates his second “salient value” as:

2. Loving our Muslim neighbors. Islam and Christianity have literally been at each other’s throats for centuries. We need to figure out how not to slander one another, let alone kill one another. We want to encourage fellow believers to take bold steps to foster better relationships with Muslims.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/january-web-only/wheaton-hawkins-let-us-reason-together-please.html?start=1

In a chilling admission, Galli acknowledges that “Islam and Christianity have literally been at each other’s throats for centuries.” If this assessment of Christian/Muslim relations is accurate, it is difficult to see how any institutional expression of Christian faith would not want to do everything in its power to distance themselves from the slightest hint of prejudice against our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Islam is not the enemy.

There are at least one and a half billion Muslims in the world. If Islam was intent on wiping out all infidels on earth, we would by now have been engulfed in an unimaginable bloodbath. But the vast majority of the one and a half billion Muslims alive on the planet today desire to live in peaceful harmony among those with whom they share this island home.

Marc Galli’s courageous call “to take bold steps to foster better relationships with Muslims” is an important starting point in creating a more peaceful human community.

It is difficult/impossible to see how a public educational institution disciplining a faculty member apparently for nothing more than claiming Christians and Muslims believe in the same God, is in any way a move towards enhancing relationships between Christians and Muslims. Whatever their intent in suspending Larycia Hawkins, and whatever extenuating circumstances there may be to justify this action, Wheaton does end up, as Galli has warned, looking like a bully, and not just a bully, but an intolerant bigoted bully.

There is little encouragement so far in Wheaton’s public words or actions for Muslims to take heart and believe that Christians really do want to enter into respectful equal conversation with the people of Islam.

While it is clear Larycia Hawkins cannot be justifiably accused of violating Marc Galli’s “salient value” #2, it is difficult to see how Wheaton has not violated #3.

3. Academic freedom. All truth is God’s truth. Professors at Christian colleges need freedom to explore truth wherever they might find it. This includes the right of professors to explore truth in research or activism. They should especially be protected by their administration from ill-informed intervention by donors and other powerful people outside the institution. Both Christian higher education and its faculties lose when academic freedom is thwarted.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/january-web-only/wheaton-hawkins-let-us-reason-together-please.html?start=1

How have Wheaton’s actions have protected Larycia Hawkins’ “freedom to explore truth”?

Even if her facebook post was ill-advised, which is entirely questionable, it is hard to see how the statement that Christians and Muslims believe in the same God, is such an obvious and heinous violation of correct-thinking Christian doctrine, that it merits firing.

In his third point here, Galli seems to take a subtle stab at Wheaton College pointing to a possible motivation behind their actions against Hawkins. Is it possible that the administration of Wheaton have allowed this entire brouhaha to emerge due to the “ill-informed intervention of donors and other powerful people outside the institution”? Could this really all be about Wheaton needing to protect its donor-base?

Is this debacle merely a reprise of the World Vision fiasco of 2014? https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/world-vision-reversal/

 

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