Larycia Hawkins affair ends with a whimper

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Larycia Hawkins speaking in January


Larycia Hawkins speaking in January

Larycia Hawkins speaking in January

Larycia Hawkins speaking in January

Faced with a full-scale revolt by students and faculty, Wheaton College has managed to rid itself of its troublesome tenured African-American woman. Over the weekend, the finest evangelical institution of higher learning in suburban Chicago announced a “confidential agreement” under which it and political science professor Larycia Hawkins would effect “a parting of the ways.”

Hawkins offended the school’s powers and principalities by alleging on her Facebook page that Muslims are people of the book who worship the same God as Christians. Provost Stan Jones responded by suspending her from teaching and issuing a Notice of Termination.

Bless his heart, Provost Jones has now withdrawn the Notice and apologized to the faculty for “lack of wisdom and collegiality” — albeit making sure to say that he acted “within the bounds of Wheaton College employment policies and procedures” and that he stood by his “concerns that Dr. Hawkins’s theological statements raised important questions.”

For their part, President Philip Graham Ryken has expressed his appreciation for Hawkins’ contributions to the college and Hawkins has expressed her appreciation for how the college “exudes” the Christian liberal arts. Far be it from me to criticize her. It’s her life and career, not mine. I just hope her lawyers made Wheaton pay through the nose to make her go away.

I feel badly for the students, though. They won’t be able to take any more courses with Doc Hawk, who by all accounts is a challenging and popular teacher. I also feel badly for the faculty, whose case against the administration’s irregular procedures (outlined here by my colleague and Wheaton alum Tobin Grant) has now been short-circuited.

Yes, President Ryken says he’s asked the Board of Trustees to conduct a thorough review “to improve the way the College addresses faculty personnel issues in the future, especially when these issues relate to our Statement of Faith.” Well, that will be worth waiting for.

In the meantime, chalk one up for the powers and principalities.

  • Glenn Harrell

    Call me hard of seeing, but, I seem to find nothing relating what the Muslim collegiate community is saying about all of this.

    How refreshing and socially uplifting it would be to see a Muslim wearing a cross around his/her neck and walking down academia lane–holding hands with the good Dr. Hawkins, all to prove solidarity and the melding of Muhammad, Confucius, Allah, Jesus, Yahweh, Barney, Big Bird, Sherwin T. Wine, and Moishe Rosen thrown in for good measure. And, why not have everyone wear their rainbow shirts for the full effect.

    You know, to protest the murder, rape, pillage and savagery against Christians as of late. You know, those other principalities and powers at work.

    All but the Jewish and Christian representatives would have notable mention from the White House. And in such case, don’t expect a visit to the local Temple or Worship Center from the President, proving his sincere love-
    No matter what the statistics say.

    The joys of higher learning.

  • Edward Burton

    How sad. Judaism’s Yahweh, Christianity’s God/Gott/Dieu/etc, and Islam’s Allah are indeed ‘genetically’ related in the sense that the religions are outgrowths of each other, reinterpretations of each other, historically visibly so. All three are monotheistic (albeit Christianity’s seeing 3 manifestations of the one –Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and all three developed in the Middle East with newer showing clear influences of the older. It is said there’s more about Jesus in the Koran than in the Christian Bibles, though without the Christian statement of Jesus being the son of God.

  • Scott Shaver

    I don’t know, but looks to me like the only “whimpering” is coming out of those who thought the professor should continue heralded and unchallenged.

  • Paula

    Yes, apparently you are hard of hearing if you can’t think of a single instance when Muslims have identified with, and protested the murder and rape of their Christian neighbors.

    Last month Muslims in Kenya risked their lives, identifying with Christians on a bus — when armed militia attacked.

    Or perhaps you missed the conference in Morocco of representatives of Muslim states, to discuss the protection of religious minorities inside the borders of muslim-majority cultures. .

    You have also, apparently, failed to read the statements from the White House in response to the Paris and San Bernadino attacks.

  • Glenn Harrell

    Point well taken Paula and agreed that their are Muslims who risk their lives living out their version of the Qur’an throughout the world just as there are those who take lives because of their version of the Qur’an.

    What I said, however, was, “Call me hard of seeing, but, I seem to find nothing relating what the Muslim collegiate community is saying about all of this.”

    “All of this” being, their (Muslim collegiate community) version of the Wheaton/Hawkins episode and drama.

    Thanks for your passion and care.

  • Joe

    Do the powers at Wheaton consider themselves Manichaeans? Plainly they believe Islam follows some other unacceptable god.

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