I learned the other day about something called Godwin’s Law: if an online discussion goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or the Nazis. Without knowing that this rule is a “law,” I’ve consistently tried all my life not to compare anything to Hitler. But I guess that the pull of Godwin’s Law is too strong. Here goes:
Is it just me, or does it seem like the interreligious space has gone nuts recently? The latest piece of craziness comes from Wheaton College in Illinois, perhaps the most prestigious evangelical college in the United States (not to be confused with Wheaton College in Massachusetts, a secular liberal arts institution). A tenured professor at Wheaton, Dr. Larycia Hawkins, donned a hijab during the Christmas Advent season to proclaim her solidarity with her Muslim neighbors. She expressed this solidarity on Facebook, writing in part:
I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.
The response from Wheaton has been swift, if opaque. The school initially placed Dr. Hawkins on paid administrative leave “in order to give more time to explore theological implications of her recent public statements concerning Christianity and Islam.” Wheaton has since issued a Notice of Recommendation to fire Dr. Hawkins, and her case will ultimately be decided by the school’s Board of Trustees.