Monday, January 29, 2007

Ignorant Anti-Christian Bigots

Well, it's happened. Though the Framers must be spinning in their graves, an institution they knew well --- the College of William and Mary --- has removed a cross from the altar of the Wren Chapel.

Why? If you said the "diversity police," or a variation on that theme, you understand.

College President Gene R. Nichol was quoted today at length in a Washington Times front-page, above-the-fold story on the controversy. According to the Times:
"I modified the way in which the cross is displayed in the ancient Wren Chapel seeking to assure that the marvelous Wren -- so central to the life of the college -- be equally open and welcoming to all," Mr. Nichol told roughly 400 students, alumni and faculty packed into the college's Commonwealth Auditorium.
Nichol was also quoted as being concerned about non-Christian visitors to the College:
"I have been saddened to learn of potential students and their families who have been escorted into the chapel on campus tours and chosen to depart immediately thereafter," he said. "And to hear of a Jewish student, required to participate in an honor council program in the chapel during his first week of classes, vowing never to return to the Wren."
Never mind that anyone who has "chosen to depart immediately" after having had their sensibilities offended by the sight of a cross (or any other religious symbol, for that matter) should be immediately disqualified from a publicly-financed education. Junior Joseph Luppino-Esposito has it just about right when he notes "We are going to support someone who is so intolerant that, when they see someone else's religious symbol, they leave?"

But the real issue here may well be how poorly Nichol and others supporting the removal of the cross from the altar may be about the Christian faith.

What do they think the altar symbolizes? Here's a couple of hints: "This is my body, given for thee"; new covenant? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

The simple fact of the matter is that the altar is no less a symbol of the Christian faith than is the cross. Thus, removing the latter while leaving undisturbed the former is not only inconsistent, but is a cheap and meaningless effort to sate the desire of the "diversity police."

Perhaps the joke is on both of them, however. The joke may be on Nichol, for if he actually believes his action to be a meaningful effort to make "the ancient Wren Chapel ... equally open and welcoming to all," then he simply demonstrates his ignorance of the Christian faith, for he has failed miserably in "cleansing" the Chapel of an important Christian symbol. On the other hand, if he is aware of the significance of the altar, then perhaps he is merely goofing on the ignorance of the diversity fascists.

On the other hand, it might have been easier simply to dismiss those who have complained about the cross (removable on request for special events) for the anti-Christian bigots that they are.

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