Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2007 Campus Outrage Awards

Lunacy on college campuses. The number one choice is absolutely ridiculous. You'll have to read it to believe it...

This year’s winners:

1. The College of William & Mary

In October 2006, William & Mary President Gene Nichol secretly ordered a college official to remove a two-foot gold cross from the college’s historic Wren Chapel, where it has been on display since the 1930s. When the episode came to light in the pages of the campus’ independent student newspaper, The Virginia Informer, Nichol was forced to explain his decision. He asserted that “the display of a Christian cross . . . in the heart of our most important building sends an unmistakable message that the Chapel belongs more fully to some of us than to others. That there are, at the College, insiders and outsiders.” Though Nichol told tales of students, alumni, and visitors who had complained to him about being offended by the cross’ presence, he produced only one actual letter of complaint and repeatedly denied Freedom of Information Act requests for correspondence he received about the cross. He also went to great lengths to evade an invitation to debate renowned author Dinesh D’Souza on the issue in an event sponsored by the Informer and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

Nichol’s actions in regard to the cross followed on the heels of his surrender to NCAA officials, who threatened to bar the college’s athletic teams from lucrative NCAA-sponsored bowl games unless William & Mary gave up its traditional Indian-feather logo. Though Nichol wrote in protest of the NCAA’s decision, he refused to fight it in court, as other colleges did. The feathers of the William & Mary Tribe are no more.

On Valentine’s Day 2007, William & Mary hosted a "Sex Workers Art Show,” featuring topless women, former prostitutes, and current strippers. Hundreds of people packed the college's University Center to witness such edifying performances as a stripper with a sex toy in her mouth undress to the strains of the "Ave Maria.” Twelve hundred dollars in student funds were used to subsidize the event, and some 100 students enrolled in Women’s Studies and Performance Art courses were required to attend the performance. When asked about the propriety of the event, Nichol responded: "I don't like this kind of show and I don't like having it here. But it's not the practice and province of universities to censor or cancel performances because they are controversial.” But apparently it is Nichol's job to censor Christian symbols on William & Mary's campus.

In early March, Nichol accepted the recommendation of his hand-selected Religion Committee that the cross be returned to Wren Chapel but placed under glass in “a prominent, readily visible” place in the chapel. The committee also recommended that "the Wren sacristy . . . be available to house sacred objects of any religious tradition.” Though he cannot be pleased about being forced to have this “offensive” object returned to permanent display in the chapel, Nichol must be happy that the committee carefully crafted the new policy in an open-ended manner, so that the Christian identity of Wren Chapel can slowly be eroded if, for example, a president who slavishly follows the credo of political correctness is in charge.

Read the rest at the Acton institute:

(Sorry, I still have no idea how to post links!)

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