Wheaton College suspends tenured, Christian professor over hijab

Wheaton College, the same school that canceled its student health insurance plans rather than let the government arrange for their students to have health insurance plans that cover birth control, has suspended a tenured member of its faculty following her decision to wear a hijab in solidarity with Muslims facing heightened bigotry in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Wheaton College, via Stevan Sheets / Flickr

Wheaton College, via Stevan Sheets / Flickr

Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at the private evangelical Christian college in Chicago’s west suburbs, announced last week that she would wear the veil to show support for Muslims who have been under greater scrutiny since mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.

“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” she posted on Facebook.

But it was that explanation of her gesture that concerned some evangelical Christians, who read her statement as a conflation of Christian and Muslim theology.

“While Islam and Christianity are both monotheistic, we believe there are fundamental differences between the two faiths, including what they teach about God’s revelation to humanity, the nature of God, the path to salvation and the life of prayer,” Wheaton College said in a statement.

Well, yeah. There are fundamental differences between the faiths. That’s why they have different books, traditions, rituals and (spoiler alert) names. That doesn’t mean Christians can’t show compassion for those who aren’t on their team, does it? I thought that was the whole point.

And while Wheaton isn’t affiliated with the Catholic Church, so this may carry slightly less weight, didn’t the Vatican just recently announce that Jews, despite not believing in Jesus, can go to Heaven? Because of, among other things, their monotheistic roots?

Oh, right. The Vatican didn’t invite Muslims to that party, either.

Once again, Wheaton College’s administrators are being jerks for the sake of being jerks. And once again, some of Christianity’s practitioners have a better handle on the concept of compassion than the bureaucracies that act in its name.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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11 Responses to “Wheaton College suspends tenured, Christian professor over hijab”

  1. Moderator3 says:

    You are arguing your point as well. Your argument would have been more forceful if you had left out the name calling and profanity.

  2. Kyke Hunter says:

    Which fairytale is better? The Buybull, the Koran, the Torah/Talmud? Adults arguing over bullshit is pathetic. There is no GUY in the sky, Grow up you fucking MORONS. The Supreme Law of Cause and Effect is the TRUE LAW.

  3. SupremeLove says:

    What were those Bible verses again??

    l o l
    i f u
    e c
    s i

    f
    e
    r

  4. emjayay says:

    I’m not sure that adopting a symbol of patriarchy and the subservience of your own sex is the best way to express solidarity with anyone.

  5. Houndentenor says:

    Wheat college is ground central for the neocons. Back in the late 70s that’s where the merger of Randian economics and fundamentalist Christianity happened. It should come as no surprise to her or anyone else that she was fired for this. Professors applying have to submit a “statement of faith” along with their CV and other information to apply.

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  7. Baal says:

    Why does Wheaton College hate Christianity and the Apostle Paul? For surely, in 1 Cor. 1:4-6 we read, “Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.”

    I blame Obama.

  8. Demosthenes says:

    Wheaton College is to education what the Phillies are to baseball.

  9. BeccaM says:

    Want to be intolerant bigots, Wheaton College, fine — I hope you do the right thing and return every penny of federal and state funding you have been receiving.

  10. Max_1 says:

    “Whatsoever you do unto the least of your brethren, do too you have done unto me.”
    ~ Jesus Christ

    So, Wheaton College tossed Christ out…

  11. The_Fixer says:

    “But it was that explanation of her gesture that concerned some evangelical Christians, who read her statement as a conflation of Christian and Muslim theology.“

    Thier theology may be different, but really, they’re not all that different – monotheistic, rely on centuries-old books for their belief system, and find the same, cruel punishments to be perfectly acceptable.

    I doubt that any one of their “faithful” or students would have any problem making a distinction between the two religions. I’s the non-believers who can hardly tell the difference between the two.

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