“Sorry, Wrong School”

Politics and faith are colliding with the election less than two weeks away, and it’s happening on the campus of my alma mater, Bethel University. Yesterday while on campus I noticed a giant G.O.P. rig in front of Heritage Hall (a dorm I called home my junior year), which apparently has caused quite a controversy.

Yesterday Sojourners posted an opinion piece from a current senior at Bethel describing the politically explosive campus:

“The College Republicans (CRs) had set up a table where students could register to vote in the upcoming election. … As a student walked by the table she was approached by one of the CRs. He enthusiastically asked her if she would like to show her support for the president by registering to vote. As she continued walking she politely turned to him and said, “Sorry, wrong party.” He immediately retorted, “Sorry, wrong school.” The implication was clear. You go to a Christian school. Whatever your faith inclinations are telling you are wrong. Christians vote Republican. Democrats have no place here.”

The article goes on to mention some efforts to create open political dialogue and a more accepting attitude on campus.

Brings back memories of the stir caused by my editorial during the 2000 election, “God is Not a Republican.” I didn’t have the tact or the political wisdom to appropriately address the issues, but now it seems they’re causing a bigger stir and much more is being done.

5 thoughts on ““Sorry, Wrong School””

  1. Hey, Sojourners stole your “God Is Not a Republican” thing, man! You should sue the pants of those liberals! ;-)

    Kidding, of course.

  2. I was going to say that this is a subject that Brian McLaren is saying more about and then I found your interview. Brian’s comments may crack the dam of a host of evangelicals who have never expressed their conflicts over the political choices (no real choice) they have.

    We need to bring back some of the prophets from our last generation like Wiliam Stringfellow – “Strangers and Aliens in a Strange Land” and Jacques Ellul’s “Propaganda” and “Political Illusion.”

    Kevin – I’ve spent the last hour and a half going through your site – church marketing sucks and several of the others you provide links too. All quality. I even downloaded U2’s Vertigo. Boston is up 4 to 2 at the moment so all and all it is a good night in DC.

    I’d like you to take a look at my site and new book when you have a chance. Brian McLaren blurbed it and several blogs are starting to pick it up. It’s right up your alley dealing with shifting culture and the emerging, converging church. http://www.millenniummatrix.com/articles.asp.

    Rex

  3. Interesting, I could have much the same conversation in reverse at UMD with the booths we have, or most of my fellow faculty. A conservative thinker? In a university? *gasp*

  4. Hey Kevin, reminds me of a couple things that happened at Northwestern College back in 1996.

    First, the student politics club came out with a voter’s guide. They only endorsed republicans, so I didn’t understand why they bothered. There was a Christian running for a local office and they wouldn’t endorse him because he was a democrat. A few students quit the club in protest.

    Second, for a class project some students set up a “Vote for Clinton” table near the cafeteria to see how they would be treated by the student body. Of course the answer to that was “poorly.” They were yelled at, threatened, and told they didn’t belong at the college – all in the spirit of Christian love, of course.

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