Friday, April 17, 2009

University chaplains - toss 'em!

[Image from here.]

PZ Myers at Pharyngula tells the tale about the Harvard University Islamic chaplain, who, in a recent e-mail sent to a student, said that there was "great wisdom (hikma) associated with the established and preserved position (capital punishment [for apostates] and so, even it if makes some uncomfortable in the face of the hegemonic modern human rights discourse, one should not dismiss it out of hand."

Okay. A chaplain at one of our most prestigious universities endorses murdering those who do not follow Islam. Okay, he didn't say it in those words, but what other possible interpretation can be derived? It's an "established and preserved position," says the chaplain!

And if should make some people "uncomfortable," that does mean it isn't a good idea.

The Islamic chaplain's name is Taha Abdul-Basser.

Of course he should be fired. He should be shunned in the academic community.

Better yet, follow Myers' suggestion: "dismiss Abdul-Basser out of hand. To be fair, fire every single one of the university chaplains, and send them packing. Universities should not be in the business of pandering to student superstitions; it's not as if there is a dearth of churches and chapels and religious organizations already surrounding and intruding upon the campus - remove the official endorsement of the administration and banish them all from the secular business of running a university."

And all (or a growing number) of the people said, Amen!

Read Myers' article here.

More here.


Grandpa Eddie said...

If they are a chaplain, of a pastor, or whatever, they have no business having anything to do with a secular university. Let them go to a religious university. If they want to teach their beliefs, let them do it there.

Bob Poris said...

You have a good point. University’s foster exploration and do teach about religions. The students are free to learn, explore etc. That would include going to local churches, etc. where their spiritual needs could be addressed. Why does a university need a chaplain as long as many are available off campus? I think that assumes the university is endorsing those on its staff. What about those religions not represented? Does that mean they are not recognized, endorsed, accepted, etc? The students have free choice off campus, without any endorsements. I never thought of it before. Thanks for raising the subject.

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