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Christian College Alum: Fear Motivated Suspension Of My Former Wheaton Professor

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Private, conservative Christian evangelical Wheaton College this week suspended a tenured professor, a Christian, for wearing a hijab in solidarity with Muslims for the attacks they’ve been facing. Larycia Hawkins says Christians and Muslims “worship the same God,” but her employer disagreed. 

In this op-ed, Justin Massey, one of Professor Hawkins’ former students, calls out the school, charging them with putting fear first.

“You have become a rallying cry for justice in a world that continually disenfranchises and neglects the most vulnerable.” 

I privately messaged these words to Dr. Larycia Hawkins, my mentor and former professor at the well-known Evangelical Wheaton College, upon hearing that my alma mater decided to put her on administrative leave. 

https://www.facebook.com/larycia/posts/10153326773658481?pnref=story

Her story has gained traction in the mainstream media recently after she posted a photo of herself (above) wearing a Muslim hijab on Facebook along with a message of solidarity to those of the Islamic faith. In particular, she came under fire by some alumni and the Wheaton College administration for the following statement: “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

Wheaton College and many who criticize Dr. Hawkins have stated their concern is not with the solidarity she is showing, but rather with her “same God” comment which they consider to be contradictory to the college’s Statement of Faith, even though it is a rather non-controversial belief held by many respected Christian theologians, including Pope Francis, as Dr. Hawkins mentioned.

I, and many students and alumni with me, believe the college’s decision to suspend Dr. Hawkins is about much more than simply their “theological convictions.” Rather, it has everything to do with the fear mongering and tendency to act in a harsh, knee jerk manner that is far too common in conservative circles.

I say this out of more than just speculation. I say this out of experience. I graduated just six short months ago from Wheaton College with an incredible education and great friendships, but also with the lingering pain of the many times I experienced the college’s fear first-hand. As one of the most vocal gay students on campus, my very presence was a source of conflict for the administration who knew my presence and that of my peers meant the reality of angry alumni and a conservative sphere of media were just waiting for them to misstep. I had my integrity, faith and dedication to the community questioned more times than I can count, simply because of the palpable fear-mongering that exist on issues of “political controversy.”

I discuss my personal experience with the conservative culture of fear present within the Wheaton College community to demonstrate that the incident at hand does not exist in isolation. Such fear-based reactions are a trend that are evident both at this individual institution and in broader conservative society, and it’s a tendency that hurts us all.

Dr. Hawkins’ role on campus is far bigger than teaching courses in political science. She has consistently demonstrated herself to be one of the most radically supportive and loving members of the Wheaton community, breathing life and strength into disenfranchised students of all types. For many of us connected to Wheaton College, the administration’s decision to suspend Dr. Hawkins is not just an attack on one member of our community, but rather an attack on all of us who have felt marginalized for intentionally or unintentionally having stepped into a topic or identity deemed “controversial.”

I truly believe the idea I shared with Dr. Larycia Hawkins this morning, that she will quickly become a rallying cry against the culture of fear that stifles the justice we desperately need to see in this country. Wheaton College must act quickly to right this wrong and start to reject the fear that I’ve seen be so destructive to the lives of so many. I am taking a firm stand for justice along with many current students and alumni.

Join us in calling on Wheaton College to apologize and reinstate Dr. Hawkins.

Follow #ReinstateDocHawk on social media, including Twitter and Facebook, and sign the petition.

 

Justin Massey recently graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Political Science. He is a community activist and voice for justice based out of Orange County, California. You can find him on Twitter: @JustinSMassey

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FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

Justice Clarence Thomas Believes Media Criticism of Decisions ‘Jeopardizes Any Faith’ in the Supreme Court

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Justice Clarence Thomas complained about the harsh criticism the Supreme Court has received since allowing a controversial anti-abortion law to go into effect in Texas.

Thomas delivered the 2021 Tocqueville Lecture at the University of Notre Dame on Thursday, where he complained about media criticism, The Washington Post reported.

“I think the media makes it sound as though you are just always going right to your personal preference. So if they think you are anti-abortion or something personally, they think that’s the way you always will come out. They think you’re for this or for that. They think you become like a politician,” Thomas said.

“That’s a problem. You’re going to jeopardize any faith in the legal institutions,” he said.

A second Post report on the speech noted Thomas’ remarks on the ongoing mistrust of the court.

“The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous,” Thomas said. “And I think that’s problematic.”

The newspaper noted the lecture was interrupted by protesters who yelled, “I still believe Anita Hill.”

 

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AMERICAN IDIOT

‘Genius’ Madison Cawthorn Mocked for Claiming the Constitution Prohibits Airlines From Requiring Vaccinations

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn is once again being mocked, this time for yet again not understanding the very basics of American democracy.

On Thursday the Republican from North Carolina claimed it is “illegal” and unconstitutional for airlines to require passengers to be vaccinated, because “you actually have a constitutionally protected right to free, unrestricted travel within the United States.”

That last part has a tiny shred of truth to it. Just not in the way Congressman Cawthorn thinks.

(Those inteested in the legal mechanics should examine this and this.)

Anyone could take a minute to come up with arguments why his claim is false, including that anyone driving a car is required to have a driver’s license and insurance, and wear a seat belt.

The freshman Congressman was quickly mocked:

 

 

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29 Months Later Bill Barr’s Super Secret Russia Special Counsel Files His Second Indictment – for Alleged Lying

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In April of 2019 then-Attorney General Bill Barr ordered the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut to open and lead an investigation into Russia – not into how Russia has been attacking the United States via cyber warfare, undermining Americans’ trust in American institutions, and using social media to do it, but into whether or not the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been warranted in opening an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, including its investigation of Donald Trump.

On Thursday, 29 months after Barr first appointed John Durham (photo, right) to lead that super-secret investigation, 11 months after Barr secretly turned Durham into a special counsel to ensure the investigation would continue past his and Trump’s tenure, and after spending untold millions of taxpayer dollars, the Dept. of Justice has announced Durham has obtained a second indictment.

“A prominent cybersecurity lawyer was indicted on a charge of lying to the F.B.I. five years ago during a meeting about Donald J. Trump and Russia, the Justice Department announced on Thursday,” The New York Times reports.

The lawyer, Michael Sussmann, “of the law firm Perkins Coie, which has deep ties to the Democratic Party — is accused of making a false statement about his client at the meeting.”

Mr. Sussmann’s defense lawyers have denied the accusation, saying that he did not make a false statement, that the evidence he did is weak and that who he was representing was not a material fact in any case. They have vowed to fight any charge in court.

At issue is who was Sussman working for when he “relayed concerns by cybersecurity researchers who believed that unusual internet data might be evidence of a covert communications channel between computer servers associated with the Trump Organization and with Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution.”

Apparently not at issue is if the Trump Organization or campaign had a secret communications channel to a Kremlin-linked organization.

Frequent viewers of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow are likely familiar with her reporting on Alfa Bank, including this segment from October 2018:

Durham has not obtained any indictment against anyone in Russia, any Russian operatives, any Trump Organization or campaign official, or anyone who may have been involved in Russia’s attack on the United States.

The only other indictment Durham has obtained from his two-plus year investigation? The Times in 2019 reported on a “low-level” FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, who “altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap,” on Carter Page, a Trump campaign advisor.

One expert calls the indictment “weak.”

 

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