Letters to the Editor (Feb. 2)

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February 1, 2007

10:09 PM

**Don’t give in to political correctness**
**To the Editor:**

p. I came across an article (www.FederalistPatriot.com — 12/8/06 Digest edition) that mentioned how President Nichol has decided to remove the historic Wren Chapel cross. Nichol decided to do this “in order to make it less of a faith-specific space, and to make it more welcoming to students, faculty, staff, and visitors of all faiths.” I think this is the wrong decision.

p. The Wren Chapel was built in 1732 as “a faith-specific space” and, as such, it makes sense that it would have a cross. This cross has become part of the Wren Chapel and its history, and after all these years, why is it time to remove it? Does Nichol think the cross is so offensive that it no longer makes sense to display it?

p. Well, I think this is the latest attempt by secular America to remove any reference of God from public places. I am sick and tired of people bowing down to these groups and giving up without a fight. America was founded under Judeo-Christian values, and to capitulate so easily causes me great concern. I want to know who was offended at the site of this cross and why. It is a cross in a chapel, it does not force anyone to do anything! In fact, most people probably pay little, if any, attention to it when visiting the Wren Chapel. To those who are offended by it, I say “Grow Up!” What is next, removing the word “Chapel” as some people are offended by that? We could simply call it “Wren, The Politically Correct, Secular Den.”

p. The decision to remove the cross comes shortly after Nichol decided to live with the NCAA’s decision that the two feathers on our logo is potentially “hostile and abusive.” In this case, Nichol also decided to give in. It seems like another example of the College being pushed around and not sticking up for itself and for what is right.

p. My four years at the College were some of the best of my life. I have fond memories of my friends, professors, and various experiences while there. However, I am concerned about the current state of the College. I ask President Nichol to reconsider his recent decision to remove the cross from Wren Chapel in order to show real leadership in defending the tradition of the Wren Chapel and of the College.

p. **__— Lucas Shuler, BBA ’01__**

p. **The purpose of the Chapel**
**To the Editor:**

p. During the course of a year, the Wren Chapel is opened for three types of activities: specific activities dedicated to Christian worship, specific activities other than Christian worship and tours.

p. The purpose of these activities dictate the setup and appearance of the chapel. During Christian worship the cross would logically be displayed. During specific activities when Christian worship is not the intended purpose, the cross would logically not be displayed.

p. However, tours are different. Tours are about telling a story. They tell the story of our history, particularly the role the chapel played in our history. This history would be incomplete without the role of the Church of England in the formation of the College. To remove the cross from the chapel during these times removes the cross from discussion of our history. It removes all that it represents: the bishops and priests who worked so hard to build, rebuild, and sustain this venerable college over the centuries. It removes an opportunity to discuss the historical purpose of the college as outlined in the Charter, among these to prepare young men for priesthood in the Church of England.

p. The Anglican Church sacrificed so much to create this school. Without these sacrifices, there would be no College. It’s inaccurate and disrespectful to surreptitiously remove this part of our rich history.

p. I call on President Nichol to recognize the purpose of tours­—to tell the history of the College: all of our history, not just the part that is convenient or easy.

p. **__— Todd Skiles, ’92__**

p. **Preserving ethics is important**
**To the Editor:**

p. Thank you to Ethan Forrest and Joanna Greer for both a fitting tribute to Mr. Tiefel’s teaching legacy and for calling attention to the College’s loss of a religious ethics position. As a former student of Mr. Tiefel now embarking on a career in religious ethics, I am grateful for his lasting legacy in my personal and academic life.

p. Just as fields such as medicine, business and journalism are deeply enriched by courses in ethics, so too is the study of religion. But religion is perhaps an even more potent social force in our world. Whether religious or not, we all come from somewhere; our moral and ethical choices depend on who and what we want to be. Religious ethics strives to understand the worldviews of others, and looks for ways to reconcile what are often conflicting visions of reality. This is an incredibly important task in an increasingly violent world.

p. Religious ethics incorporates many domains of academic inquiry at the College from philosophy to medicine and sociology to ecology. A position in religious ethics stays true to the College’s goal of offering a well-rounded liberal arts education.

p. I am confident that all who teach and work within the Department of Religious Studies recognize the need for a track in religious ethics. Unfortunately, it is not up to the Department alone to decide. I echo Ethan and Joanna’s hope that the administration will reinstitute a religious ethics position. Losing it for good would be a serious loss for scholarship at the College.

p. **__— Patrick Comstock, ’07__**

p. **Editorial needs more reliable facts**
**To the Editor:**

p. I was singularly disappointed to read The Flat Hat’s staff editorial, “Nichol botched handling of the cross” just before winter break. I was embarrassed that the staff published an opinion lacking the level of integrity deserving of the newspaper’s standing.

p. The article is poorly informed and poorly reasoned. Any opinion piece, especially one which makes severe accusations, should establish certain facts. The editorial assumed that the President’s decision and intent were for the policy reversal to be private (as in secretive). There was no description about how and why the decision became highly-visible. There also were no facts framing its purpose or targets — there were only assumptions because the writers did not know, and more importantly, did not inquire about facts.

p. A failure to solicit (and therefore, establish) facts is a cardinal sin in journalism. Even opinion articles are based on “certifiable truths.” As a result, a noble attempt to contribute to the debate was reduced into a string of sloppy admonishments. Bold stands require bold reliability. I will advise The Flat Hat to be more careful so that we can trust its opinion writing as much as its news reporting in the future.

p. **__— Richael Faithful, ’07__**

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