Some times when things are really bad all you can do is laugh. During the Louisiana College turmoil last year there was also a lot of humor. The same thing happened tonight. I saw some hilarious things coming through Twitter so I decided I would make a blog post about LC humor. I will start off with a few of the funny things I saw tonight. I was the original source of none of this but these things did make me laugh. I encourage people to send me more. I will contiue adding to this post as long as people send me funny things about LC. Lets laugh to keep from crying.
On Twitter there was a kim jung joe #FirstAmmendment joke that was killing me. Here are some of my favorites:
Most people know Dinesh D’Souza as a conservative author. But, to be frank I don’t read many of the type of books he writes. I know him as the former president of the evangelical The King’s College in New York City. For those of you who do not know, D’Souza resigned from his position at The King’s College in October 2012 after World Magazine reported that he checked into a hotel at a conference with a woman who was introduced as his fiancée despite the fact that he was still married, though estranged. He has followed that up now by being indicted for campaign fraud. More details are available here, but basically he gave too much money to a campaign but gave it under different names so it wouldn’t get caught and knowingly caused others to lie.
Hankins told a Board member that Aguillard would “remain President unless he was found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl.”
There are few characters in Louisiana Baptist life that are as controversial as Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard. For some, he is the near messianic figure that led the redemption of Louisiana College from liberal heresy to conservative orthodoxy. That narrative began to fall into question, beginning in 2011 and gaining steam until 2013, when theological conservatives began to question Aguillard’s leadership. I was the first of the “New LC” crowd to do so in 2011 with my Open Letter to Louisiana Baptists. But in late 2012, a board member called for Aguillard’s resignation and two Vice Presidents filed whistle-blower complaints against Aguillard on ethical grounds. The Board then hired a law firm to investigate the allegations. The firm found that Aguillard had behaved unethically and that there was ample ground to fire him.
There is no freedom of speech here. I didn’t make that up. That’s the law. When a student says, “I have freedom of speech…” We have three attorneys who will laugh them into the ground because there is no such thing here.
Despite all this, the Board, unofficially led by Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Director David Hankins, chose to close ranks behind Aguillard publicly proclaiming that Aguillard was a good and Godly leader. Though privately, Hankins told a Board member that Aguillard would “remain President unless he was found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl.” To invoke the words of corrupt former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, who had only recently been released from prison and was still on probation, was not a ringing endorsement of Aguillard’s ethics. Further, it illustrated that for Hankins small issues like dishonesty and misappropriating college funds were not a major concern. Indeed, even the fact that Aguillard’s behavior had cost the college their largest donor in history was not enough to make Hankins withdraw his support for Aguillard.
Why is Hankins so supportive of the embattled President? To be honest, I can’t figure it out. This is a President that is so manipulative and controlling that when he became President he asked the IT Department about being able to listen in on employee phone conversations, which they refused to facilitate without a warrant. The one thing that is clear is that Hankins has chosen to support Aguillard at almost all costs.
My last semester was really crazy. I spent three days a week taking courses at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley which is 45 minutes west of where we live and two days a week teaching at William Jessup University, which is just more than an hour east of where we live. On top of that, of course, there was prep time for teaching; reading, writing, and researching for my classes; family time; and a limited amount of art time. In short, I was happy for the semester to end.
The issue of the relationship, or lack thereof, between homosexuality and the church, especially the evangelical church, is a hot topic these days. In some ways, I am a really bad blogger. I tend to either not write about a hot topic (notice the lack of a Duck Dynasty post) or I tend to post on the subject late (my Treyvon Martin post was intentionally a week or two after it was ‘cool’ to post on the verdict). I do this, in part, because I live in my own head too much and, in part, because I don’t want to be chasing the trendy subject. But sometimes, the trendy topics are also really important topics.
If you work in Christian Higher Education you are going to butt up against this issue. If you are involved in the arts you are likely to have friends who are gay. If you attend an ecumenical theological union for your PhD you are also going to have friends who are gay. All this makes the tension between faith and sexuality a live issue. It is not a distant issue like it once was for me. When I have lunch with my friend who is the Managing Director for the Center for LesbianandGay Studies in Religion and Ministry he is not some abstract political or religious argument, he is my kind, gentle, loving friend who is sitting across the table from me engaging in good conversation.
A saying I have grown fond of is, “We hate the sins we don’t commit.” There are certain sins that the evangelical community has really latched onto as unacceptable. Right now those are homosexuality and abortion.
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