Wheaton College Moves to Terminate Embattled Professor
As expected, the decision has liberals infuriated.
Last month, Wheaton College, an evangelical institution located just outside Chicago, suspended one of its professors, Larycia Hawkins, for a remark on Facebook claiming Christians and Muslims “worship the same God.” In a Dec. 16 statement, the school wrote that Dr. Hawkins’ “views … appear to be in conflict with the College’s Statement of Faith.” Shortly thereafter, on Jan. 5, the administration announced formal proceedings to end her employment with the school. The decision caused predictable backlash. Writing in National Review, David French explains why “The Radical Left Will Never Let Christian Colleges Be Christian”:
Terminating a Christian professor — or any other employee of a Christian institution — for expressing beliefs out of line with the organization’s statement of faith is common and should be uncontroversial. Christian organizations have the same right to define their mission and message as any other expressive organization. Does anyone think it’s unjust that the Sierra Club won’t hire fracking advocates or that LGBT activist organizations aren’t open to Christian conservatives? But this is Christian higher education, and the Left is taking direct aim at Christian academic freedom and institutional liberty. In 2014, it launched an ill-fated attack on Gordon College’s accreditation, and last month the LGBT Left issued a report loudly condemning Christian colleges for having the audacity to exercise their statutory and constitutional right to opt out of Title IX. So it should come as no surprise that the Left is rallying around Professor Hawkins, trying to pressure Wheaton into yielding on its statement of faith. …
So far, the Left has merely used its powers of persuasion to try to move Wheaton from its statement of faith, but Gordon College’s recent ordeal shows that schools that don’t conform to leftist orthodoxy may soon face consequences far worse than a barrage of negative news coverage, and cases like Hawkins’s will be the pretext.