In a recent op-ed at The Washington Times, Oklahoma Wesleyan president Everett Piper is up to his old tricks. Here is a taste:
As a college president, I’d argue there are some things that should be confronted, some that should be confessed and some about which we can have a conversation. As a teacher, it is my goal to produce students who are able to distinguish between these three categories.
Let’s consider the anecdote of abortion as an example. Simply put, why would anyone be open to a “conversation” about murdering young children? Surely, we don’t believe we can “converse” about genocide rather than confront it, do we?
And, if I am wrong, are we ready to have a “conversation” about the relative merits of Pol Pot’s killing fields? How about the pros and cons of Robespierre’s guillotine? Maybe we should start a “conversation” about Mao’s cultural revolution and its 70 million dead?
All moral people draw moral distinctions between behaviors that are worthy of “conversation” and those that are not. There are some things we simply condemn, and rightfully so.
Now, if we can agree that there is definitely a category of immorality (i.e. sin) which should be repudiated rather than debated, then why have we decided that sexual immorality is somehow in a different class, a class that should be measured by “conversation” rather than conviction?
Ours has become a culture of expression and choice. We now believe ourselves to be an amoral people where right and wrong are not determined by consistency and objective resolve, but rather by “fluidity,” “conversation” and subjective social constructs. In other words, when it comes to sex, everything is a moving target.
Here’s the question: If we have decided the self-evident truths that condemn genocide and the killing fields of Pol Pot do not likewise exist in matters of human sexuality, shouldn’t we be asking what’s next?
For example, if there is no moral compass other than “conversation” to give us direction concerning the morality of same-sex intercourse then why not have a “conversation” about consensual pederasty? Why not discuss the merits of adultery? Why not have dialogue about how those who identify as incestuous need “safe spaces” where they can be affirmed, and loved for who they are?
Any rational people understanding the basic principles of cause and effect must at least be willing to ask where this logic will end.
If you’re still not feeling a bit unstable on this slippery slope, I recommend this simple exercise: Go to any article in any magazine or website that argues for “conversations” about sexual morality and simply replace the acronym of the day with another set of letters.
For example, every time you see LGBTQ in an article, simply replace those letters with ISIS. Change nothing else. Do this throughout the entire column in question.
In doing this, something will quickly become quite obvious. Sentences will emerge such as these: “Love is love and ISIS has the right to love who they want to love.” “The ISIS community simply wants to be accepted and affirmed.” “What right does anyone have to refuse to bake a cake for an ISIS wedding?”
Read the rest here. I would hate to be an LGBT student at Oklahoma Wesleyan. Christian colleges are perfectly within their rights (I hope) to affirm traditional views on morality, but there is a difference between affirming such views and treating those who disagree as members of ISIS.
And yes, I do want to have a “conversation” about Pol Pot, Robespierre, and Mao in my classes. I want my students to understand why they did what they did.
And yes, I do want to have a “conversation” about abortion. Even if everyone in the room thinks abortion is a moral problem, there should still be a robust debate about how to curb the practice.
Piper does not seem to grasp the difference between a college and a church. He is afraid of certain questions. Fear should never be the spirit that defines a college or university, even a Christian one.
What does the Wesleyan Church have to say about this?