An underground publication is facing controversy at Taylor University after the once-anonymous handout said the evangelical college was becoming more liberal on some issues.
The publication, Excalibur, released Feb. 21 on the Indiana campus.
Taylor University president Paul Lowell Haines said the anonymous publishers were “sow(ing) discord and distrust, hurting members of our community.” Four members of faculty and staff later admitted to publishing Excalibur.
They included Jim Spiegel, professor of philosophy and religion; Richard Smith, professor of biblical studies; Gary Ross, men’s soccer coach; and Ben Wehling, marketing director.
The four apologized, but said that “the newsletter aimed to fill a growing conservative void,” Spiegel told Christianity Today.
The publishers also said they wanted the newsletter to be anonymous so the focus could be on ideas and issues.
The debut issue said that conservative and orthodox Christian values on campus were being ousted by more politically and theologically liberal views.
Articles criticized “permissive views of human sexuality, hostility toward creationist perspectives, rejection of the rule of law (especially on the immigration issue) and uncritical endorsement of liberal-progressive ideas.”
“It felt very targeted and unprofessional and not representative of the Christian community that we value so much,” Halie Owens, co-president of Taylor’s Black Student Union, said, adding that the handout was taped to the doors of certain students and campus leaders.
The newsletter released the same week as the Black Student Union’s “Woke Week,” which celebrated Black History Month. One of the events during the week included a World Relief speaker who spoke about being in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Spiegel, however, says the publication was not released to coincide with “Woke Week.”
“While we included no racist content in the newsletter, we understand how people may have read into our communication intent that was not there,” Spiegel and the other publishers wrote in an apology letter. “To be perfectly clear: we believe in racial justice! What we oppose is the prevailing leftist conception of social justice, which, in our humble opinion, seems to monopolize racial justice issues.
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Taylor University
Publication date: March 28, 2018