Ethics Quiz: Harvard And Evangelicals

At Harvard College, the Office of Student Life has placed the student religious group Harvard College Faith and Action on “administrative probation” for a year after the organization pressured a female member of its student leadership to resign in September following her decision to date a woman.

College spokesperson Aaron M. Goldman announced the move to put HCFA in a statement that read,

“After a thorough review and finding that HCFA had conducted itself in a manner grossly inconsistent with the expectations clearly outlined in [the Office of Student Life’s] Student Organization Resource and Policy Guide, OSL has placed HCFA on a one year administrative probation.”

HCFA co-presidents, students Scott Ely and Molly L. Richmond, elaborated:

“Earlier today, we met with an administrator who informed us that the College would place HCFA on probation, citing our relationship with Christian Union as well as our standards for leaders. The decision to suspend HCFA, though, is almost certainly tied to the Sept. 2017 resignation of a female bisexual former assistant Bible course leader. HCFA leadership asked the woman to step down from her position after they learned she was dating another female student—violating guidelines laid out in the Harvard College Student Handbook, which stipulates recognized campus student groups cannot discriminate on the basis of “sexual orientation.”…We reject any notion that we discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in our fellowship. Broadly speaking, the student in this case was removed because of an irreconcilable theological disagreement pertaining to our character standards.”

In other words, the group did not eject the female student because of her sexual orientation, but because the religious group’s principles dictated that same-sex sexual relations were wrong, thus disqualifying her as a leader.  The ejected student herself confirmed to the Harvard Crimson that this was her understanding.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day:

Is Harvard on solid ethical ground suspending the group?

I’m going to keep my powder dry on this one, except to add three possibly relevant pieces of information:

  • Last week, Harvard Christian Faith and Action’s hosted a Christian speaker who described herself as an ex-lesbian, and who advocates that people who feel same-sex attraction avoid acting  act on it out of  their love for God.

The group was suspended five days later.

  •  Harvard, as a private institution, is not strictly bound by the First Amendment,

and…

  • The student handbook referred to as the authority for the group’s suspension includes a section that reads, “Any form of discrimination based on … religion … is contrary to the principles and policies of Harvard University.”

_________________________

Pointer: Harvard Professor Adrian Vermeule via Twitter

Sources: Harvard Crimson, New Boston Post.

29 Comments

Filed under Gender and Sex, Religion and Philosophy, Rights

29 responses to “Ethics Quiz: Harvard And Evangelicals

  1. Is Harvard on solid ethical ground suspending the group?

    No.

    • P.S. I disagree with Harvard suspending the group and I also disagree with the group pressuring a female member of its student leadership to resign in September following her decision to date a woman.

  2. I think they should suspend all students and groups who act against the clear limits of the handbook, promptly and consistently. That means athletes, research stars, and SJWs as well. They are there primarily to get that sheepskin after being bronzed by being exposed and challenged by new views they may have been protected from. Any causes should be back burner, no more important than a parttime job to their life after graduating. Failing to balance any nascient cause with classes is as bad a mark as failing a semester because of twu wuv or to much Halo. “Failure is always an option.” -A Savage.

    • Gamereg

      I agree. If they’re going to stick to the handbook, they better be applying it across the board.

      That being said, I think that handbook passage shouldn’t be applied to student clubs.

  3. In other words, the group did not eject the female student because of her sexual orientation, but because the religious group’s principles dictated that same-sex sexual relations were wrong, thus disqualifying her as a leader.

    This is no different, in principle, from a pro-gay group ejecting a student from a leadership position, not because she was a Westboro Baptist, but because she marched in a Westboro Baptist picket.

  4. Other Bill

    Wait, isn’t the Roman Catholic Church’s position that gays and lesbians are welcome as long as they abstain from homosexual sex since it’s, you know, a mortal sin? Does Harvard have a Newman Center? Shouldn’t they start checking on the beliefs of all religious groups? How is the Muslim Center on homosexuality?

    • The group in question (the one that was banned) is not a Catholic group but an evangelical ‘Gospel’ group of some sort.

      In really strict, traditional Catholicism, everything that is not procreative sex, and all sex for (mere) pleasure, is understood as sinful (fornication).

      The ‘Roman Catholic position’ in regard to homosexuality of today has two major poles. The ‘traditional’ one is as you say. You could use as an example a group called ‘Church Militant’ and the position of Michael Voris. He was, according to his own statements, an active homosexual for about 10 years and then, for various reasons, opted to see his choices as abberant. How he worked out his ‘inclinations’ and how he now deals with them is a matter of his faith. Traditional Catholicism seems always to hold to the more standard views about sexuality, oppose gay marriage, abortion, et cetera.

      But to understand a profound and developing schizm in the Church, but also within the hierarchy of the Church, one has to take into conseration the ‘modernists’ so-called. There are definitely homosexual priests who do not hide their homosexuality, and there is definitely in the Church a kind of gay sub-culture. Some of these priests are attempting to normalize homosexuality and still remain reconciled with the Church and its traditions.

      There are theological modernists who do not accept the traditional foundations of Catholic-Christian belief (resurrection, life-after-death, and many many other foundational things) and who are working from within the Church to bring about the doctrinal changes they see as good and needed.

      (I had a strange experience recently when I sought out a priest in Cali, Colombia to talk to about certain Catholic questions. He shocked me by sharing a group of essays he had written on bizarre spiritual and philosophical themes that had nothing at all to do with traditional Catholic belief. It could only be described as New Age. And he described himself not only as modernist but his own ideas as ‘posmodernista’’. He said that he thought such a manoeuvre was the only way for the Church to ‘move forward’. I realized after I talked to this man that he could not really even be considered a ‘Christian’, and how strange it seemed to me that he kept his position, celebrated mass, guided people. All very postmodern!)

      Pope Francis is a modernist radical (seen from the perspective of traditionalists) and every day that goes by he ‘scandalizes’ people with his bizarre statements and strange, clownish actions. Among the traditionalists he provokes paranoid reaction in greater of lesser degrees.

      Evangelicals, I have found, have a quite varied response to the issue of homosexuality. There are, of course, those such as the Westboro types who are locked into a set and harsh position. But there are also far more sophiticated evangelicals who have a really rather complex and nuanced way of speaking about the issue and dealing with it in a Christian sense. For example here:

      It is worthwhile to watch a bit of it as it helps to understand the evolution of the evangelical stance:

      [https://youtu.be/yhcrMyRv3wg]

      • Other Bill

        Francis is a buffoon. The Catholic Church has lost its mind. He’s also a Commie.

        I just cited my understanding of the Church’s stance on homosexuality circa 1980 as a problem for Harvard.

  5. Chris Marschner

    On legal grounds Harvard can do what it wants.
    On ethical grounds it is questionable. On one hand it is irreconcilable to state religious discrimination is a violation and then tell the group how it must practice the tenets of its ideology.

    On the other hand the real question for me is it a Catholic group or a Christian group. Some denominations are not as rigid against same sex relationships. Would the group reject any member of a denomination that permits same sex relationships irrespective of that member’s sexual preference? For the group to be consistent it must reject from leadership any person belonging to a particular Christian denomination that welcomes same sex members to their church.

    If the group is ok with heterosexual persons in leadership positions who belong to churches that treat same sex couples as full members of that church but not with specific members that are not heterosexual then the group is in violation of the religious discrmination prohibitions outlined in Harvards codebook.

    GIven that someone other than Jesus Christ created the ideology then I cannot automatically believe that proscriptions against said choices are in fact Christ’s teachings. Much of those ideas are old testament ones. Christ’s teachings obliterated many of those old testament ideas.

    • Christ did not abolish the Laws of HaShem.

      He is, in fact, the Living Word of HaShem, the only Begotten Son of God.

    • Rich in CT

      GIven that someone other than Jesus Christ created the ideology then I cannot automatically believe that proscriptions against said choices are in fact Christ’s teachings. Much of those ideas are old testament ones. Christ’s teachings obliterated many of those old testament ideas.

      It is a fallacy to make these two unrelated but true statements (that Christ did not address homosexuality, and that Christ negated much of the Old Testament), and imply that the current ideology that homosexuals must abstain is inconsistent with Christ’s teachings. It is also a bit weaselly to say that you cannot “automatically believe” one way or the other, but not examine readily available arguments.

      Stipulated: I am only arguing what Christianity historically teaches, not whether Christianity is correct or should be accommodated by Harvard or society at large; my goal is only to point out inconsistent theology and history. In the broader context here, understanding what Christ taught and teachings are inferred is important to understand the particular motivation for the student group.

      At a minimum, the bible was not written in a vacuum, but within a living culture. The gospels and epistles were written for specific audiences, to address the particular concerns of those groups, not rotely restate what was already collectively understood. Luke, for instance, was addressed to Theophilos (his most excellency). That Jesus Christ was not recorded as addressing a particular topic just means that the gospel authors did not think it needed to be clarified. There is even a catch all at the end of John stating as much:

      Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

      This is not an esoteric concept. We live in our own collective culture. In constitutional law, for instance, justices routinely review contemporary sources to infer the framer’s intent. When we look at the Second Amendment, it was written at time when a rag-tag group of colonies resisted the greatest empire the world had seen to date. When interpreting “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed“, it very clearly echos the Declaration of Independence:

      That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,…

      The right of the people to resist their government as a last resort cannot reasonably be preserved if weapons are only guaranteed to a “militia” not elsewhere defined in the constitution. The Second Amendment can only be interpreted to mean something else if one ignores the culture and contemporary events that motivated it.

      When we look at theology, we must interpret the topics discussed by Christ and the biblical authors in light of earlier theological works. To infer his teachings regarding homosexuality, we must look at his words regarding similar topics, and their relationship with Old Testaments view of homosexuality. Specifically, if we look at Christ’s teachings regarding sex, marriage, and lust, Christ act actually clamps down, rather than liberates. He abolishes Mosaic Divorce, binding married couples for life “what god has joined let no man put asunder”.

      This must be interpreted within the Jewish culture; if men and woman are now bound for life, but if as stated in the Old Testament “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination;” it stands to reason that if the man laying with a woman portion of the law were tightened by Christ, then the man lying with a man part were not likely loosened.

      However the second part of that line, “they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them….” must be equally reinterpreted in light of Christ’s mercy towards the adulterous, the violator of the vary portion of the law he tightened:

      (Let He Who is without Sin cast the First Stone) Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?” – “No one, Lord,” she answered. – “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Now go and sin no more.”

      The theologically sound conclusion might be that Christ did not approve of homosexual behavior, but demanded that mercy be shown to them.

      Would Christ ask an active bisexual bible study leader to resign? When Peter denied the theological necessity of Christ’s death, Christ told his chief apostle: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Peter ultimately humbled himself to die upside down on a cross, rather than renounce the Christian message.)

      The central message of Christianity is one of sacrifice. Jesus was a life-long celibate bachelor, who lived with his mother for 30 years before becoming a nomadic preacher – preaching a message that got him killed (with ample warning about how his message would be received, given the fate of his cousin John). Jesus would not be asking the the bisexual person to do anything worse than he did, abstain from romantic relationships while teaching religious matters. Jesus would want mercy shown to those weak with sin, but would also expect his followers to show strength and resolve.

      This means Christ would expect those with morally unacceptable urges to resist in order to receive the kingdom; based on his treatment of Peter, he might even expect leaders who are unwilling or unable to step aside, lest they become a stumbling block.

      Again, this is an argument about what Christ taught based on the historical record of Jewish and early Christian teachings recorded the books of the Bible (not an argument about whether his teachings should be followed or accommodated).

      • Rich in CT

        Gah, there should be an end bold () after “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

      • Zanshin

        Great comment Rich

        You wrote,

        Would Christ ask an active bisexual bible study leader to resign? When Peter denied the theological necessity of Christ’s death, Christ told his chief apostle: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

        My understanding of what happened is that Peter was at that moment possessed by Satan and that Jesus excorcised Satan by saying, “Get behind me, Satan! “.

        Peter was and remained the highest disciple (initiate); Jesus did not address Peter but Satan.

      • When we look at the Second Amendment, it was written at time when a rag-tag group of colonies resisted the greatest empire the world had seen to date.

        Though I mostly just lurk these days, I have seen that misconception so much that I want to rebut it here, as this is one of the few places where the search for truth might let it be taken seriously. Feel free to check what follows for yourselves.

        Britain had only just acquired Canada and Bengal, along with hegemony over some (not all) of the rest of India. At that point, all of its gains were yet to be consolidated, and represented drains rather than sources of strength; the same applies to Gibraltar and Minorca too, of which more below. In military, geographical, and economic terms, Britain was weaker than the Chinese, Russian and Ottoman Empires – though all those fell back in one or more of those respects very soon afterwards, when Britain was surging ahead, which may give people the wrong idea from looking anachronistically at what came later. More to the point, Britain was then behind both France and Spain too in most of those respects, and those countries were allied with the revolting colonists.

        Britain had just two advantages over France and Spain: it had a more resilient financial system than France and Spain (though not than Holland, a minor rebel ally), and it had denied France more territory even though it had not yet consolidated that for itself.

        Britain was – at the time – equal in naval power to France, though not yet to France and Spain combined, which it only became after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. That was why Britain lost the.Battle of Chesapeake Bay, which in turn made Yorktown into a Dien Bien Phu rather than at worst a Corunna or a Dunkirk, or at best even a Torres Vedras.

        The kicker is that Britain had a much weaker army than nearly every major European power, comparable to Denmark and Holland’s armies though – apparently – without it being as tied up by land defence needs as those. This was for constitutional and economic reasons that flowed from the history of the previous century and a half. Whatever the causes, Britain found itself weakened further by Holland welching on a treaty by not releasing British units seconded to help Holland (the “Scots Hollanders”). That meant that Britain was without enough discretionary land forces as some its own had been tied up after all (that was why it first went looking for German troops).

        France and Spain had much stronger military forces, and even though they couldn’t use them easily in the North American theatre, except in Florida, they could and did use them to build up an invasion threat against the British Isles (which include Ireland, remember) and to wage heavy war in the Mediterranean theatre, where they inflicted great costs at Gibraltar and captured Minorca from Britain in the last two years of the war, thus forcing Britain to pause operations in the North American theatre after Yorktown (no, Yorktown did not effectively end the war – it was the last two years’ campaigns elsewhere that did that).

        So, no, the revolting colonists never did resist the greatest empire the world had seen to date, they allied with two of the greatest, albeit declining, empires the world had seen to date against one that had yet to surpass those empires and all the others – while the others stood aside. It is U.S.-centrism to talk up Britain and leave out the rebels’ even stronger allies of France and Spain.

        Oh, and not all the colonies revolted, though some from there did. The Maritimes, Canada proper, Florida and the West Indies didn’t revolt.

        • Great post, PM. It will probably take until Sunday, but it’s a Comment of the Day.

          • Thank you. As there is a risk that readers might read too much into what I wrote, reading it as saying that the rebels didn’t really do anything rather than just saying that they didn’t do that particular thing, I’d better fill in the omission and clarify what sort of thing they really did do within the overall joint effort. I’ll hold that off until that repost, but it will be along the lines of Stalin’s reputed remark about what the allies contributed to World War II: Britain paid in time, the U.S.A. paid in treasure, and the U.S.S.R. paid in blood.

      • Rich in CT wrote: At a minimum, the bible was not written in a vacuum, but within a living culture. The gospels and epistles were written for specific audiences, to address the particular concerns of those groups, not rotely restate what was already collectively understood. Luke, for instance, was addressed to Theophilos (his most excellency). That Jesus Christ was not recorded as addressing a particular topic just means that the gospel authors did not think it needed to be clarified. There is even a catch all at the end of John stating as much:

        The more that I look into ‘original sources’, the more strange and intriguing appear the philosophical and religious origins of Christianity. One statement about the 1st century in general was by Houston Chamberlain who described the time as ‘a chaos of peoples’. What he meant (and what he described in various parts of ‘Foundations of the 19th Century’) is that in the first century a wide and disparate set of ideas came into contact with one another, obviously because of cultural intermingling, imperialist conquest, and ideological conflict.

        What precisely happened in occupied Judea prior to and during the time of Jesus is really bizarre and strange history. There are as many different ways to look at the narratives about Jesus as there are people who take up the question. And though there is definitely a sort of ‘seed community’ of those who actually knew the man Jesus, and the earliest liturgy and the essential beliefs were communicated within that group and then into written forms, one cannot stop there and with those sources (ie the Gospels).

        It is when the Gospels and the early Christian communities filtered out of Judea and into the Pagan world, encountering pagan ideas, pagan mythology, pagan philosophical method and also pagan religious practices and ideas, that Greco-Christian forms took shape. For example there is a very interesting book by a biblical scholar named CH Dodd who wrote “The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel” and he traces the influence of Hermetic philosophy in the formation of many of the ideas therein. But especially because of the idea of ‘signs’. Certainly in Greek mystical culture the notion of Hermes as the ‘bringer of omens’ was woven into the Fourth Gospel. And certainly the idea of a Holy Spirit which is sent out of the mystical logos to instruct and guide the faithful devotee … (He also traces the influence of Philo of Alexandria, Rabbinic Judaism teachings, Gnosticism and Mandaism.

        He catalogues each of these ‘seed ideas’ according to rather laden chapter headings:

        Symbolism
        Eternal life
        Knowledge of God
        Truth
        Faith
        Union with God
        Light-Glory-Judgment
        Spirit
        Messiah
        Son of Man
        Logos

        These are, of course, the major Christian themes, but behind each of them stands many different strains of idea, from very different and divergent cultures, which represents a synthesis of Pagan thought. The mids that encountered Jewish Christianity could only receive it into and within the structure of their own ideational patterns. Thus, ‘Christianity’ is a refracted light, as it were, And, as Chamberlain wisely noted, these ideas come from out of a ‘chaos of peoples’.

        The sexual issues and problems that early Christianity struggled, and the people who struggled with the issues and problems, are in no sense and as we tend to see today ‘bigoted’ or ‘prejudiced’. To understand ‘sexual purity’ one could well turn, rather strictly, just to Jewish cultural understanding. To understand what ‘fornication’ meant for Jews is not hard. To understand how the early Pagan-Christian mind came to understand fornication and sexual pleasre can also, quite easily, be understood for it was in no sense irrational. In fact it is quite simple: the upper dimensions of the soul are attainable through a rejection of the desires and appetites of the ‘lower nature’. Therefor, when the early Pagan-Christian mind began to systematize an ethic and a philosophy in regard to sexual practice, logically it could only be seen and understood within the category of male-femal union in the family and for procreative purposes. The surrounding cultures, as everyone knows, were ‘perverse’ in sexual senses: prostitution, sexual slavery, but also the admixture of strange sexual practices into the religious practices. Early Christianty took a definite stand against all of this and forbade it. It is as simple as that.

        The reason that all of you (excuse the general reference as if I were studing you like a social scientist!), have such struggles with how to deal with the homosexualization of your mind, your feelings and your ‘cultural space’, have essentially to do with all the same questions — the ‘ancient questions’ as it were — but there is another, and a strange, new factor: political and social factions within the culture that desire to throw off all restraints and, concurrently, undermine the ‘metaphysical understanding’ that very definitely informed early Greco-Christianity. The basic idea functions in diverting consciousness and conscious attention away from ‘God’ (which most have no clear idea how even to define!) or the ‘upper dimensions of man’s consciousness’ back down into genital focus. The forces that are working in this direction are shadowy and hard to catalogue yet they exist and, with some effort, they can be located and named.

        Therefor, when one is forced to contront, ethically shall we say, a specific issue that touches on a Christian rejection of the homosexual option, one has the choice to adjudicate it according to ‘superficial’ and ‘topical’ concerns of the day (ideas and attitudes common in the present), or from a more removed and a more profound perspective. Therefor, the entire idea of homoseuality and homosexual sexual doings in the context of what I have termed ‘the homosexualization of the culture’ (and the world) through specific intentionality (which can be analyzed and spoken about) is really part of a larger question that hinges on specific metaphysical issues but also axiological problems.

        In my opinion, when *people* lose the understanding of the full dimension of the questions and problems, which are spiritual at their core, they become ‘bereft’ of an understanding of how to locate themselves within the material manifestion, in their own body, in relation to embodied existence. Again, if the only dimension you can conceive of is the material-biological, then sexual exchange and that level of pleasure is one of the high-points of living. You would not have, then, any other ‘pleasure’ to compare it to, and certainly not ‘spiritual pleasure’ or the pleasure that is only known through contact with ‘higher diemnsions’ and higer levels of Being. The terms themselves become meaningless! In order to understand the ‘upper dimension’ and the level of being that *lives* there, one has to have felt it and understood it *meaning*. But, for those souls captured by and driven by the mechanisms of lust and all the sexual deviancy that is possible and which, always, tends to overpower people and drag them down, it is as if an invisible door closes. They sink down into materialism and possessive material pleasures.

        The ethical issue of whether a University is justified when it becomes an activist for the further ‘homosexualization of culture’ is almost an irrelevancy at this point. The real issue is that *you* have no way to resist the fire of destruction as it rages, week by week, decade by decade, generation to generation, and destroys in mere minutes what has taken centuries to build. This happens within, and also without.

      • Rich in CT wrote: The central message of Christianity is one of sacrifice. Jesus was a life-long celibate bachelor, who lived with his mother for 30 years before becoming a nomadic preacher – preaching a message that got him killed (with ample warning about how his message would be received, given the fate of his cousin John). Jesus would not be asking the the bisexual person to do anything worse than he did, abstain from romantic relationships while teaching religious matters. Jesus would want mercy shown to those weak with sin, but would also expect his followers to show strength and resolve.

        This means Christ would expect those with morally unacceptable urges to resist in order to receive the kingdom; based on his treatment of Peter, he might even expect leaders who are unwilling or unable to step aside, lest they become a stumbling block.

        Again, this is an argument about what Christ taught based on the historical record of Jewish and early Christian teachings recorded the books of the Bible (not an argument about whether his teachings should be followed or accommodated).
        ____________________________

        It is interesting, and also strange, to notice on one hand a tendency to see Jesus as a person who would have an opinion on specific questions (of the day or of any day and time), and to contrast that view with another ‘operative view’ of Jesus as ‘incarnation of the Logos’.

        In ‘The Johannine Epistles’ by CH Dodd, he writes:

        “Background to the Setting of the First Epistle

        “At the beginning of the Christian era there was a movement or tendency within paganism towards a purer, more reasonable and more inward piety. Its representatives often patronized traditional cults, particularly those known as ‘mysteries’, and they invented or developed others; but its underlying assumption was that all religion come to much the same thing, if they are rationally understood. Its exponents offered ways of rationalizing most of the current rituals and myths. The movement covered a wide range. Near the bottom of the scale it was little more than a way of making superstition respectable for the minor intelligentsia. Near the top, it took form in a high religion of mystical communiion with the Divine. Certain general assumptions can be recognized:

        “The material world is evil. The rational part of man is a prisoner in it, and an exile from the world of light; in fact, in some way a separated part of the supernal world, an effluence, or radiation, of that eternal Light which is Reason, or pure Being, or God. By knowledge of the world of light, communicated in esoteric revelations or initiations of one kind or another, the rational spirit of man can liberate itself from the prison of matter and rise to the supernal world. It is then united or identified with, or absorbed in, the Divine.”

        […]

        “When Christianity appeared in the Graeco-Roman world, it early came into contact with this higher paganism; naturally enough, for it too was a missionary faith aiming at the conversion and salvation of mankind through the revelation of God and communion with Him. On the one side, believers in a generalized religion, expressing itself in various mythologies and cults, readily welcomes one more cult, one more mythology, which could be added to the ingredients of the theosophical hotch-potch. They prepared to adopt Christianity as they had already tried to adopt Judaism. On the other side, enthusiastic but ill-informed converts to Christianity were eager to reinterpret the faith ‘in terms of modern thought’, as we say.”

        He goes on to say that

        “At the end of the apostolic age, church history, it has been said, entered a tunnel. When it emerges in the middle of the second century, we discover a central body which is the Catholic Church, surrounded by a medly of sects claiming in some sense the Christian name, and varying from recognizable though somewhat eccentric presentations of the Gospel, through various half-Christian or near-Christian systems of belief, to downright caricatures …”

        • It is rather maddening to get a grip on what Christianity really is. After all some part of it is, as Dodd describes above, a very demanding and difficult relationship to ‘the world’ that sees it as dangerous, troublesome, and also as essentially ‘evil’. That was more the gnostic view of course, yet the idea really persists whenever a Christian speaks about ‘the world’ and ‘worldliness’ and ‘the Devils Kingdom’ and such. The pagan idea about the evil world is Manichean, and the ‘absolutely good god’ that opposes it is, in some sense, still the Christian’s notion of God.

          So, what is the purpose of Christianity? And what purpose to be a Christian?

  6. Aleksei

    I’d say Harvard is not on solid ethical ground. This organization can say the leader was deposed, because she lost the trust of her organization’s members and became inconsistent with their group values. No one is entitled to a leadership position, especially if you lose the full faith and credit of your organization. I wonder if Harvard would also ban the Muslim Students Alliance (I bet they have one) if their leader converts to Judaism, Christianity, or worse becomes an atheist, or even comes out as homosexual. I think they would certainly have grounds for deposing their leadership under such a circumstance. I think you can come up with a lot of examples similar to this.

    What if the leader of the Future Female lawyer club says they are now a man. Grounds for dismissal.

    The leader of the German Speakers Club forsakes German and starts to have meetings speaking French. Grounds for dismissal.

    The leader of the Feminist Club comes out as pro-life. Grounds for dismissal.

    Legally, Harvard can probably do whatever they want. But it’s a bad precedent for educating our future thought leaders and political leaders. It goes against the spirit of freedom of speech, association and religion. If we all disregard these freedoms, then we are a stone’s throw away from scrapping them from our laws as well.

    • Other Bill

      Great comment, Aleksei. It’s thought police on patrol acting as judge and jury. Not to mention serious lefty virtue signalling. I’m sure Harvard purports to be non-sectarian, but it’s probably more accurately described as a Unitarian school. Or maybe some liberal Reform Jewish institution. But of course, liberalism has itself morphed into a religion.

      • Aleksei

        Thanks OB!
        I think one of the problems is that this behavior leads to is discretionary rule. Even though there is a set of rules, we will twist the rules any which way we deem it necessary, so that “House always wins”. Kind of like, the Soviets had a constitution that guaranteed freedom of speech in article 125, which was trumped by Article 58 of the penal code.

    • So, I can’t be a member of AFS, and German, and French clubs? Really? I don’t think language clubs are mutually exclusive like religions.

      • Aleksei

        Sure you can, you can even be in a leadership position, as long as you further the interests of your organization, promote their values, etc. There maybe some conflict of interest between Ger and French club dual leadership, competing for members, etc, though. Some clubs might be mutually exclusive. Like if you’re both in the Atheist and Christian clubs. Perhaps you want to hear different sides, but you leadership candidacy would probably be questioned.

      • Inquiring Mind

        That comment lays down the essential end state of the LGBT agenda:
        The death of religious freedom, and the government promoting discrimination against those religions who do not fall in line with the government’s position on LGBT issues.

        Anyone with any leaning towards the religious right on cultural or social issues who reads this story, has grounds to be frightened. These days, mere membership in such a club will probably close off professional and social opportunities. These are the baby steps towards a new Jim Crow.

        The stakes involving NIFLA v. Becerra and Masterpiece Cakeshop are literally whether the government can force a disliked group to express viewpoints they disagree with. It won’t just be confined to LGBT issues and abortion. Support the Second Amendment? You’re a domestic terrorist. Question the “science” of “climate change?” You get a RICO suit at best, or criminal charges if some environmentalists get their way. The list goes on.

        It isn’t stopping there. Various gatekeepers into professional careers like medicine are now instituting discrimination. The Weekly Standard reported that the new version of the Medical College Admissions Test is now including questions that seem designed to weed out anyone to the right of Hillary Clinton politically, with the person in charge of the American Association of Medical Colleges saying, “The goal is to improve the medical admissions process to find the people who you and I would want as our doctors.”

        This cannot end well. This will likely end in a civil war.

        • Chris

          The stakes involving NIFLA v. Becerra and Masterpiece Cakeshop are literally whether the government can force a disliked group to express viewpoints they disagree with.

          You have been corrected on this point too many times to repeat it again. Again, a cakeshop is not “expressing a viewpoint” by baking the same type of cake for a gay wedding as they do for a straight wedding.

          The rest of your comment is just your typical paranoia and resentment.

  7. TheShadow

    A little late, but this is a case of actions vs. identity, which is often ignored today. They didn’t discriminate based on who she was (identity) but on what she did (actions). The question becomes when do the two overlap? Can someone have asexual attractions to the same sex and not follow through on those attractions? I would claim so, just as Christians say that people can have sexual attractions to the opposite sex, but shouldn’t be having sex outside of marriage. So to Harvard, would kicking someone out of leadership for pre-marital sex would be discriminatory against a heterosexual?

    • Chris

      Who said anything about sex? The club removed her not for having sex with a girl she was dating, but for dating a girl, period. Unless the club forbids its members from dating members of the opposite sex, there’s no way to pretend they are treating their straight and gay members equally.

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