SEWANEE: Nation's Episcopal University Follows Fate of National Episcopal Church - Part II
Donors struggle with painful revelations of new multicultural "mission"
By David W. Virtue
This is the second in a three-part investigative series on the University of the South as it loses grace and awkwardly transitions into the 21st Century. Sewanee is the only Episcopal university with a School of Theology.
Exclusive and ongoing VOL research has revealed a number of disturbing trends at Sewanee, all of which should have been easily predicted for any institution tainted by continued contact with the Episcopal Church. Now that the fruit is obvious, the donors who sowed the seeds are reeling at the bitter harvest. Through its relationship with TEC, Sewanee has subverted its original inspired virtue and replaced it with abject immoral vice, all done under the false and misguided assumptions of compassion, tolerance and inclusion.
"Vice is a monster of so frightful mein.
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar, with her face.
We first endure, then pity, then embrace."
---Essay on Man by Alexander Pope.
A tour through Sewanee's website confirms that the national fad and ideology of multiculturalism has replaced authentic Christian mission at this national Episcopal University. The consequences are real and harmful. Through African American Eric Benjamin's Office of Multicultural Affairs, Sewanee's gay students promote themselves on the multicultural website. Benjamin's office also sponsored gay students at Rebel's Rest, as VOL reported in Part I of this investigative series. See http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=11584.
Sewanee's stressing to its students the suspect educational mission of embracing affirmation, compassion, tolerance, inclusion, racial Diversity and multiculturalism has had a measurably harmful effect on all students.
The students who benefit from the unearned privileges of being a member of a multicultural group or activist minority are distracted from higher learning by their professors' and the residential life staffs' stressing social experimentation and cultural overthrow. TEC suffered through these trends with Women's Ordination and Black Power movements, both of which have been followed by disorder.
In a misguided multicultural effort to " create greater access to students from an array of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds", Sewanee dropped its very important and predicative SAT requirement. See http://tinyurl.com/ylzfbs8
The new SAT admissions option as a means of Diversity has the consequence of putting highly motivated and achievement oriented students from private academies next to students who are unprepared for the rigors of intellectual challenges. Inner city minority Posse Foundation scholarship students, who did not put forth the effort necessary to master the SAT, can now easily enroll at Sewanee for free. Instead of leadership workshops, Posse Foundations should have been teaching inner city youth in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore how to better prepare for the SAT. By placing high achievers in class with unprepared students as an experiment on "broadening ethnic backgrounds", a Sewanee education is downgraded and devalued. Parents should demand a refund of a portion of their tuition payment in proportion to the loss of Sewanee's selectivity, prestige, and classical educational mission. Traditional parents should charge Sewanee a Diversity tax for exposing their children to the consequences of Sewanee's new affirmative action admissions standards.
Recently, the trustees approved a plan to raise minority enrolment to 16%. The SAT optional change soon followed. "Major new initiatives will include multicultural recruitment..." the plan stated. It continued with "The University will pursue opportunity hires and other measures likely to increase the representation of African-American and other minority professors on its faculty, since this representation also affects aspirations to attract and retain multicultural students."
Sewanee has already proven that its multicultural lessons include promoting the national gay agenda on the Domain. Sewanee donors were jarred when they realized that special extracurricular programs expose children to Sewanee's national pro gay multiculturalism. Desensitization to immoral vice through constant exposure is a tactic that has worked to break down proper Biblical understanding of human sexuality. Sewanee's multiculturalism is part of this larger cultural attack.
"Programs will be developed to teach first-year and second-year students effective methods of communication and cooperation in multicultural environments. The Posse Foundation partnership will be used to develop multicultural student leaders. Current leadership initiatives with Greek organization leaders, residence life staff, and the student government leaders will evolve to emphasize multicultural understanding."
For more of this shocking report, see http://tinyurl.com/yz5xjsv
The question that must now be asked is: "Will exposure to chancellor Bishop Neil Alexander's national pro homosexual agenda make the wealthy, powerful regents feel more or less generous to Sewanee?"
That's what nervous, big bonus motivated fundraisers at Sewanee are asking. Upon that question hangs the future of this once proud university. With the recent election of Sewanee's new 16th Vice Chancellor, John McCardell, another capital campaign looms on the near horizon. McCardell's success or failure as a Sewanee fundraiser should be a proxy on how the majority of Sewanee's Christian stakeholders judge pro gay Chancellor Alexander. It will indeed be a proxy if donors learn just how epic are the stakes for the Sewanee they knew and loved. They will need to know what questions to ask and demands to make and conditions to set before giving more money, and know what are the hidden messages in Sewanee's public relations and fundraising spin.
Probably no Sewanee blue-blood has the public recognition and extreme visibility as the editor of NEWSWEEK magazine, Jon Meacham. He prominently served alongside pro gay Bishop Alexander on the Search Committee for Sewanee's new Vice Chancellor and President. VOL has previously investigated his close and influential relationship with Sewanee. See http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=9683
Using his New York publishing platform, he has not hesitated to spew hateful and dangerous rhetoric aimed at orthodox Anglicans. Bishop Duncan became the scapegoat and brunt of Meacham's northeastern elitist wrath. Meacham's progressive and socially respectable views are at odds with the ancient truth Duncan espouses, which the church has always upheld and which Meacham now disavows.
Following his remarks, Meacham has become the university's single biggest embarrassment and public liability, causing parents to ask themselves if they want to send their children to an institution where one of its leading graduates and public voices espouses views on marriage that are alien to their own. Sodomites don't produce grandchildren.
Meacham, a communicant of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, challenged his readers to take him on. (VOL was glad to oblige, and continues to be so.) "Religious conservatives will say that the liberal media are once again seeking to impose their values (or their ‘agenda’, a favorite term to describe the views of those who disagree) on a God-fearing nation. Let the letters and emails come. History and demographics are on the side of those who favor inclusion over exclusion."
"Briefly put," wrote Meacham, "the Judeo-Christian religious case for supporting gay marriage begins with the recognition that sexual orientation is not a choice-a matter of behavior-but is as intrinsic to a person's makeup as skin color. The analogy with race is apt, for Christians, in particular, who have long cited scriptural authority to justify and perpetuate slavery with the same certitude that some now use to point to certain passages in the Bible to condemn homosexuality and to deny the sacrament of marriage to homosexuals. This argument from Scripture is difficult to take seriously-though many, many people do-since the passages in question are part and parcel of texts that, with equal ferocity, forbid particular haircuts. The Devil, as Shakespeare once noted, can cite Scripture for his purpose. The texts have been ready sources for those seeking to promote anti-Semitism and limit the human rights of women, among other things, that few people in the first decade of the 21st century would think reasonable."
Meacham is not merely an alumnus of Sewanee Episcopal University. He is also a former Trustee, former Regent, current homeowner at Sewanee, and is a very powerful force at Sewanee and with the global media. He loathes anyone who believes in Biblical morality. He is the poster child of what damage Sewanee does and will keep on doing to Southern youth. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewanee/4253870581/ Parents beware. $160,000 plus a lifetime of spiritual and emotional post traumatic therapy is too expensive a price to pay for a vaunted degree from a formerly respected "Southern Ivy League" college.
The progressive national gay ascendency at Sewanee, which is well underway, will grow ever greater under the revisionist hand of Bishop Alexander. "Undermining" its traditional Christian faith will be part of his task, done in the name of "inclusion," which means including that which nature and God deems vile and unacceptable. It is a work that nationally oriented revisionist Alexander is well prepared for.
Pity the Sewanee regents who will spend six years under this apostasy. If they are Christians, as they are required to be in University ordinances, they will be traumatized through continual spiritual risk. For the alumni regents, they will keep thinking that Sewanee is supposed to be better than this. Holding out hope for revival of a now destroyed ideal will weaken their powers of concentration and resolve. Instead of facing reality squarely, just as they should any approaching enemy, they will confuse grim reality with impossible hope. Their cognitive dissonance will keep them confused, off balance and ineffective at resistance. Alexander will get everything he wants - every policy, every budget, every new preferential hire, every new multicultural fad that overtakes the Episcopal Church.
As VOL alluded, it remains to be seen how exposure to Alexander's national pro homosexual Episcopal Church agenda will affect regents' generosity toward Sewanee. Sewanee's highly compensated and incentivized fundraisers want to know. The answer to their anxiety is in future regent selection, which is controlled by Alexander.
He controls the process by appointing chairs of all regent and trustee committees, which includes those committees that nominate regents. VOL readers are urged to pay close attention to the regents who are approved by the trustees at the October 2010 meeting. These regents will be from the regent self selected slate and are approved automatically by the trustees. In 2011, the trustees will make their own regents ballot, but Alexander's committee chair will do the bidding and protect the agenda. Alexander can solve his Bible Christian regent problem by preventing undesirables from making it onto 2010 automatic regent list and the 2011 trustee's selected regents ballot, and then repeating the success in 2012-2015. If Alexander can pack his regents board with TEC types who have already "made the journey from homosexual exclusion to inclusion", then regents will not be an obstacle or inconvenience to McCardell's upcoming capital campaign.
In other words, Alexander can neutralize VOL's insistence that future regent gifts should be a proxy on Sewanee's national pro gay agenda. Nonetheless, arrogance and petulance in leaders is not inspirational. If it were, TEC would be growing, not shrinking.
As Alexander's control over Sewanee grows, so will his influence extend far into Sewanee's future, far beyond his term as Chancellor that ends in 2015. He can strongly determine who will be his successor as Chancellor through his control of the chair of the Trustee's Nominations, Elections, and Credentials Committee. Alexander can limit the bishops on the 2015 chancellor's ballot to just two bishops, both of whom will be fully in the TEC national pro gay camp. Both will most likely have permitted and performed same sex blessings in their dioceses by 2015. The bishop elected to succeed Alexander as chancellor in 2015 will serve until 2021. About 2020, this future pro gay bishop will exercise the ultimate Sewanee power by appointing the search committee for Sewanee's 17th Vice Chancellor and McCardell's successor. Through these indirect but perfect means, Alexander's influence on Sewanee's agenda will extend even beyond McCardell.
Donors beware. Endowment money given to McCardell will be enjoyed by his successor whose selection will be heavily influenced by Alexander's national pro gay Episcopal Church legacy at Sewanee. When donors part with their money and entrust it to Sewanee's future, they are funding the future ministries of TEC bishops who will be consecrating gay bishops as shepherds of Christ's flock, ordaining gay priests and lesbian women who choose parish youth ministers, and performing same sex blessings and marriages within the consecrated house of God. Why give money to Sewanee? Cut out the middle man and just send it directly to Gene Robinson's Diocese of New Hampshire right now.
To whatever revisionist cause the Episcopal Church has led, Sewanee has eventually always followed. All that transpires in TEC eventually does so at Sewanee. TEC's fate is Sewanee's fate, but Sewanee trails in the consequences and is very slowly and incrementally embracing the inevitable changes. The slowness is what seduces conservative donors into false hope that Sewanee would never turn out as bad as TEC. VOL's investigations have helped create a general awakening through reporting the truth about Sewanee and TEC, leaving donors jarred by the facts and angry at themselves for not asking the right questions before succumbing to shrewd fundraising appeals. The exodus from TEC hasn't yet been an exodus from Sewanee, but the process has started, at least for attentive and concerned donors. TEC is shrinking, and so it will be with the percentage of Sewanee's alumni who give money, a process that will only accelerate once more of the truth is outed by VOL.
By the end of Alexander's term as Chancellor in 2015, the evidence will be visible to all. John McCardell, Alexander's handpicked new Vice Chancellor, will have been on the job for five years in 2015, or about half way through his V.C. contract. Working under Alexander for five years will either make the new V.C. a battle hardened bureaucratic TEC elite or an insane emasculate.
Alexander wants Sewanee to conform to his plans. Hiring a strong, independent, inspirational, visionary, well liked, and respected moderate as the next Vice Chancellor was an impossibility, Rob Pearigen not withstanding. Alexander is too busy for quibbles and clashes with a V.C. who will have vast powers as are given the office by Sewanee's governing documents. See http://about.sewanee.edu/trustees/documents
Rob Pearigen was the inside man in who had wanted and earned the V.C. position. For some, he represents the Sewanee ideal-alumnus, charming, well spoken, and unlike most of the faculty, he dresses correctly for the Sewanee culture. His prior role as Dean of Students and current job as V.P. of University Relations makes him totally complicit in Sewanee's national radicalization. The question remains about whether or not he will stay at Sewanee now that he's been passed over for top spot in favor of an outsider. He's easy to give money to because of his skills, Sewanee knowledge, and good Southern accent. If he stays at Sewanee, each of his children will enjoy the "Educational Fee Waivers for Dependants" privilege that will save him $160,000 in tuition costs for each child, in today's dollars and without income taxation. He would have to earn before taxes about $220,000 to pay Sewanee's four-year cost per child, and that is prior to the coming Obama tax increases. As Obama raises taxes, the gross value of the Waivers increases as well.
As for the new Vice Chancellor, Alexander followed a key management rule - pick 'em right at the start, and all later problems will be solved before they happen. Sewanee's new V.C. will become indistinguishable from the average, middling TEC managerial dough face.
Take a look at the Diocese of Atlanta to see Sewanee's gaydom future and what the new V.C. will be expected to tolerate and include, if not overtly encourage. Pro gay Alexander did his research on McCardell very well. Middlebury College has an active gay community where gay employees even have their own website, an innovation that Sewanee's gay employees have yet to imitate. Gay Middlebury students can mingle, network, and organize for more recognition through their Middlebury Open Queer Alliance. Middlebury's gay agenda also includes the Middlebury College organization for GLBTQ students and Middlequeery. See http://community.middlebury.edu/~gleam/resources.html
During McCardell's term as president, Middlebury created the Office of Institutional Planning and Diversity, which formally institutionalized Middlebury's gay agenda. Within this Diversity office is GLEAM, Gay and Lesbian Employees at Middlebury. On Gleam’s website, they promote interaction between gay faculty and students.
"Middlebury College aspires to be a model of what a 21st-century liberal arts institution truly should be-a welcoming, learning community. We work to build and maintain a diverse and inclusive community that is committed to broad educational opportunities and to operating within an atmosphere of respect for one another."
Sewanee's Christian Anglicans are beginning to see very clearly why pro gay Alexander and Bible hating Meacham are so excited about McCardell. See http://www.middlebury.edu/campuslife/diversity/
Just as at Sewanee, minorities at Middlebury are encouraged to engage in race feeling. They receive adulation when they do.
"One thing I am: I love women of color. We are so beautiful, and it is time that we recognize that and embrace it." See http://www.middlebury.edu/campuslife/diversity/self_described/ethiopiah/default.htm
Chancellor Alexander's diocese openly promotes the annual Gay Pride Day. This year they invited noted Episcopal lesbian leader the Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton to its Eucharist as the preacher. The national gay agenda promoting Integrity Atlanta sponsored the 20th Annual Gay Pride Eucharist. The Rt. Rev. Keith Whitmore, assistant bishop for the Diocese of Atlanta and Sewanee trustee, presided again at the Eucharist. Bishop Alexander also supports gay pride through diocesan involvement. His newsletter regularly and openly promotes the work of Integrity, the unofficial Episcopal pansexual organization. These can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/yh3rbmn; http://tinyurl.com/yz36327; http://tinyurl.com/yla25u3
These discomfiting facts force Sewanee parents to confront very disturbing questions. If Sewanee's Chancellor actively promotes the national pro gay agenda to his diocesan parishioners, children not excluded, through his diocesan ministry, and if he has now hired a new Vice Chancellor who was surrounded by an institutionalized gay culture, then how much of the national gay agenda will surround and have access to your children during their eight semesters at Sewanee? From the impressionable ages of 18-22, during the time they are having their personal identities formed without your monitoring and corrective influence? Why exactly are you sending your children to Sewanee? To become better people and better Christians? Does the Sewanee national pro gay agenda satisfy those requirements?
At Sewanee recently, Sherri Glaser and The Rev. Vernon Gotcher of the rump Diocese of Ft. Worth, Texas, were among those seated by the Trustees to serve on the Board replacing Bishop Iker's Trustees. The Rt. Rev. Henry Parsley, the gay friendly Bishop of Alabama and the then Chair of the Trustees, sought the move following the Diocese of Ft. Worth's resolution to leave TEC and to realign with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
The ultra-liberal, sour, and perpetually frowning Bishop of Kentucky, The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick, Jr., temporarily led the rump breakaway Ft. Worth TEC diocese and is also a Trustee of the University.
Recently Gotcher was the guest speaker at the Integrity Fort Worth General Convention 2009 where amendments were passed allowing gay and lesbian priests in relationships to be considered as bishops as well as blessing of same-gender couples. Gotcher is the rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (Faith Community) in Hurst as well as a psychologist. He and his wife, Deanna, are strong advocates of the LGBT community. He attended seminary at Sewanee: The School of Theology, of course.
Alexander was behind the machinations that seated pro gay Gotcher. (Gotcher as a future regent?) Not only did Alexander get himself acclaimed as Chancellor without opposition at the same meeting, he was the only bishop on the Nominations, Elections, and Credential Committee. Through this committee, Alexander advised Parsley to seat Gulick's trustees and to dump Bishop Jack Iker's.
Parsley has admitted that the advice to seat Gulick's trustees came from this committee. See http://news.sewanee.edu/news/2009/10/13/trustees-welcome-new-members.396
Liberal Bishop Parsley recently embarrassed the Diocese of Alabama and conservative Episcopalians in Birmingham, as well as conservative Sewanee stakeholders, with his spin of General Convention 2009: "Alabama bishop defends Episcopal Church statement in support of ordaining homosexuals," ran one blog headline. "We passed a large and subtle resolution, wanting to value the ministries of gays and lesbians," Parsley said in an interview. See http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/24565/
And on Founders' Day in Sewanee, Parsley continued pushing the church's revisionist agenda in All Saints' Chapel by bestowing an honorary degree upon Bonnie Anderson, national pro gay President of the House of Deputies and Executive Council member. See http://tinyurl.com/y8doy8f
Even though her new degree insults All Saints' Chapel and the Christian students at the University of the South, her books make her very acceptable to the profitable racial grievance industry and unjust minority empowerment agenda on the Mountain: "White Racism: Look Me in the Eye." If she had taken ill before the ceremony, TEC-loved Peggy McIntosh would have been a good stand in to accept Bonnie's award. See http://tinyurl.com/3ctkon
With Bishop Alexander's heavy handed enforcement of social justice and anti racism in his diocese, suspicions arise that he must have used his powerful position as Sewanee regent to push Anderson' nomination and approval for the honorary degree. http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_105339_ENG_HTM.htm
VOL has been told that many suspect Anderson's award was Alexander's symbolic gesture to Sewanee's conservative owning bishops that Sewanee is firmly under the "control and government" of national pro gay TEC. Suspicions arose that he knew the conservative bishop on Sewanee's board of trustees would be offended, which was probably the point of honoring Anderson, but he also knew they would keep quiet about the pain. In TEC and at Sewanee, complaining about progressive changes only marks one as outdated and obstructionist, which has consequences. For TEC bishops, especially the conservatives who aspire to national leadership positions, it is more important for them to keep the benefits of House of Bishops collegiality than it is to help save Sewanee from continued spiritual and moral degradation.
VOL invites readers to investigate conservative bishops who allow Sewanee fundraisers into their dioceses without first issuing pastoral warnings to their flocks that money sent to Sewanee cannot be prevented from aiding and abetting Sewanee's gay agenda budget. Ask your bishop what he is doing to protect his diocesan students at Sewanee from the gay agenda and practices. If he is offended at the question or answers in Episcobabble, then you will have entered into your season of transformational personal wisdom. Will you stay in communion with him?
One should give Alexander credit for his skill in manipulating the Sewanee councils: Iker's trustees are gone, thanks to himself, and now that he's Chancellor, he won't have them pestering him with inconvenient or embarrassing Bible questions during trustees meetings.
Other voluntary members of the Nominations, Elections, and Credentials Committee were Pete Stringer, perpetual Chair (Diocese of Tennessee), Pamela Anderson (Diocese of Florida), Kent Henning of Gulick's "continuing" TEC Ft. Worth Diocese, Blucher Lines (Florida), the Rev. Paul Martin (Diocese of Western Louisiana), Alex Moseley (Diocese Central Gulf Coast), Leslie Newman (Kentucky), Scott Remington (Diocese of Central Gulf Coast), and The Rev Robert Van Doren (West Tennessee).
Even while serving on the ballot committee, Moseley was placed on the regents ballot and his subsequent election as regent deserves close scrutiny. He is within the ever present de facto overall "Sewanee Ruling Committee" of Blucher Lines, Pete Stringer, and Dick Lodge. This group was initiated into Sewanee governance leadership by former Vice Chancellor Sam Williamson, who quietly remains active in governance matters through his very close relationships with Chancellor Alexander, Jon Meacham, and current minority race regent James Hefner. He also has Moseley on the regents. Williamson retired in 2000, and stayed in Sewanee. He authored the University of Georgia's Diversity Initiative with James Hefner.
During Williamson's reign as V.C., the Southern state flags hanging in All Saints' Chapel were removed for cleaning and were never returned to their rightful place in the Chapel. Several years later, Burwell Gardens was destroyed and a majestic stand of Sewanee's most magnificent and ancient trees were cut down to make way for a highly controversial and unpopular new cafeteria. Sewanee's new tradition was institutionalized: What is beautiful disappears, and what is ugly becomes permanent.
Notably absent from the elections committee during a time of extreme consequence for Sewanee were self-declared Biblically orthodox bishops John W. Howe, Mark Lawrence, Charles Jenkins, D. Bruce MacPherson, Gary Lilibridge, James Stanton, and Jack Iker. Common Cause Partners, Windsor Bishops, Forward in Faithers, Anaheim Signators, and Anglican Covenantors were all visibly absent from the nomination process when they were most needed. They have each ceded the Sewanee department of their putative Christian ministries to national gay inclusive TEC through neglect, or worse. Remnant Christians on the Mountain are feeling overwhelmed, dismayed, and abandoned. Christ's Church was intended to be better than this, and Christ will account.
Instead of Sewanee getting the leadership of its best, it got the worst available. "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing," Edmund Burke taught us. Why did faithful Anglican bishops not do anything to obstruct evil at Sewanee? How do they each reconcile their diocesan image as orthodox or traditional with their abandonment of Sewanee in its time of need? If they can encounter Sewanee and not become angry and motivated, then VOL asks what is wrong with them and their ministries?
Do these orthodox bishops also welcome or allow Sewanee's fundraisers into their diocesan borders so that their parish flocks can send money to Sewanee and let Alexander spend it on his pro gay programs, victim industry, and social justice projects on the Mountain?
Responding to the election of Alexander, Sewanee's beleaguered Christian Anglican community has been carefully examining the situation and discussing the likely future consequences. The following list is offered by VOL for study and comment. VOL will monitor these events during Alexander's reign as Sewanee's Chancellor.
1. The Anglican Communion Council's bishops will become increasingly relevant in the South and nation. As their legitimately Christian province is recognized as a place of spiritual refuge for endangered Episcopalians, Alexander will have the University Purpose statement changed. The phrase "and enlightened by Christian faith in the Anglican tradition" will be removed.
2. Bishop Desmond Tutu, moral endorser of homosexuality in TEC, will return to Sewanee to preach again in All Saints' Chapel and receive a large and generous financial honoraria, which he requires for speaking engagements. In Anglican circles it is well known that he's gotten rich from American and European white guilt over racial separation in South Africa. Whites who want to prove they are anti racists can pay Tutu to come and speak at their church or school, publish his photo in their magazine, and look very atoned for past racial sins, all while never personally going to South Africa and exposing themselves to the increasing violence and rates of disease. See http://tinyurl.com/yjr5keg
"The prominent South African says homophobia is a 'crime against humanity' and 'every bit unjust' as apartheid." See http://www.afrol.com/articles/13584
3. Proud, national homosexual Sewanee alumnus Bishop V. Gene Robinson will be given his honorary degree by Chancellor Bishop Alexander in All Saints' Chapel, completing its desecration. Gay marriage in All Saints' will soon follow. No one will notice or complain.
4. Biblically orthodox professors, seminarians and alumni at the Sewanee: School of National Episcopal Church Theology will become increasingly alienated and excluded from leadership opportunities. They will continue to be solicited for financial donations.
5. Bishop Alexander, alumnus Jon Meacham, and African American Professor Huston Roberson ("Obviously in this conception of 'Southern' culture, African Americans are absent as an animating force... In 2007, race is still a problem in the U.S. and in Sewanee") were on the search committee for the next Vice Chancellor. Their V.C. pick fits into the new Sewanee pattern of Episcopal Church agenda politics and all the wreckage that comes with it. More on McCardell in Part III of this VOL investigative series.
6. On the issue of fraternities and sororities institutionally empowered African American students, mostly the minority Posse gang, will collude in determining which white fraternities and sororities they will help shut down. Unoccupied fraternity and sorority houses will become available for the African American Dean of Community Life to allocate to newly privileged tenants, done in the name of restorative social justice. The Posse gang will increasingly and disproportionately benefit in the Sewanee racial spoils system, bringing a jarring "vitality" to systemic and disparate impact.
7. An openly LGBT, or an African American on the Posse Foundation full ride $43,923 minority scholarship, will be soon be ushered into the role of president (historic first) of the Student Assembly, president (historic first) Order of Gownsmen, or as editor (historic first) of the Sewanee Purple with much acclaim from Episcopal Life, From the Mountain, Sewanee Magazine, and Sewanee Mountain Messenger. Praise will flow for the "historic change that moves us forward toward a better and more hopeful, tolerant, and democratic society for all." Meacham's NEWSWEEK will declare that Sewanee is moving toward redemption, but will apologize that the needed change took too long. The apology will cost him nothing. NEWSWEEK will never proclaim Sewanee fully redeemed, because Sewanee will always "need to do more." Meacham will continue to ignore the jarring, perpetual, and intractable crisis of urban crime in his hometown of Chattanooga.
8. More and more donors will join the growing class of former donors who are learning how to boycott Sewanee's fundraising appeals through Bible study and daily spiritual practices guided by the one and true Book of Common Prayer, 1928.
9. Remaining loyal donors will continue not asking questions and will keep giving more and more. All annual fund and capital campaign fundraising financial goals will be met, but Sewanee will fall short of alumni participation goals. All bonuses will be paid to fundraising staff, but just not as quickly as desired. Fundraising will take more time than it once did, requiring more work and explanation, i.e. spin. Larger portions of Sewanee's $300,000,000 endowment will be accessed to pay for more fundraisers. McCardell's genuine likability will ease matters somewhat, but his task of earning conservative donor's trust will be more arduous and expensive than Sewanee now realizes. (See the upcoming Part III of this series.)
10. Affluent elderly women who should cancel their final bequests to Sewanee in their Last Wills and Testaments won't do the right thing because nobody will tell them the truth about how their money will be used in the Sewanee budget to support the national pro gay agenda. "Elder abuse" takes on a new meaning through the spiritual disease in TEC and at its national Sewanee Episcopal University. Deprived heirs will continue being deprived of necessary knowledge.
11. Sewanee will continue getting away with publishing required anti discrimination language ("The University of the South does not discriminate in employment, the admission of students, or in the administration of any of its educational policies, programs, or activities on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation...") while at the same time discouraging accomplished white males from applying for jobs. The jarring phrase "women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply" added to employment announcements is gender and race selective and offensively exclusive. Heterosexual white males who are discriminated against through subtle discouragement will continue to not file complaints with the EEOC nor sue Sewanee Episcopal University for gender and racial discrimination. Keeping respectably quiet, they will never find each other and won't exercise their right to file a class action lawsuit. Their reduced opportunities and lower pay grades will accurately reflect their willing concessions to the systemic and institutionalized race and gender discrimination directed against them.
12. The traditional Sewanee alumni in crime ridden Birmingham will continue not demanding that African American Rev. Walter Brownridge, All Saints' Staffer and Dean of "Community" Life, be sent to Birmingham on fundraising missions. Unfortunately, Birmingham alumni will continue denying him his deserved opportunity to lecture prospective white donors on Sewanee's "cultural baggage," on Sewanee's "ethical issues raised by slavery," on Sewanee's "Social Justice and Mission Project," on Sewanee's partnering with the Gamaliel Foundation ("a Chicago based organization that counts among its alumni President Barack Obama, who worked as a community organizer in the Gamaliel-affiliated Developing Communities Project in Chicago"), and on why "there's nothing wrong with rabble-rousing when social justice requires it."
Donors who encounter Sewanee's encouragement of Brownridge's jarring and blatant minority race bashing will feel themselves ashamed of even noticing such disparities. Out of their fear of being called racists, they will send money to Sewanee so they can help atone for the past. Others, however, will courageously seize the moment and contemplate the deeper meanings of an unjust privilege. They will revisit their previous learned social assumptions. Unlearning pernicious habits of thinking and ideology, they will make necessary attitudinal adjustments to better fit the crises and true dilemmas our common era.
13. The next African American appointed to the board of regents for a six year term will not carry the same jarring embarrassment for Sewanee as has Sam Williamson's friend James Hefner, who had earlier been forced into retirement from Tennessee State University after a money scandal. The "renowned" expert in minority economics publically admitted misusing his position of authority for the benefit of him and his family, to the tune of $10,000. Following the scandal and his early retirement announcement in 2004, he was immediately given an honorary degree by Sewanee: School of Episcopal Church Theology.
It has yet to be determined if the award was based on "minority promise," such as was Obama's Nobel Peace Prize, or upon Sewanee's Theology faculty making their anti racism and social justice vows. His wife will not be a regent, because she has already had her six years during a previous administration, serving during the time of the Hefner family's receiving undocumented and unreported financial favors from a TSU contracted vendor. In keeping with the Edwina Hefner tradition, the next African American regent will not be an alumnae or alumnus of the college or seminary, will have no natural connection to Sewanee, and maybe will have only visited Sewanee once, if that. He or she will be a friend of Bishop Alexander's through the Episcopal Church's social justice ministries and will be placed on the regents for a specific reason and task- holding Sewanee accountable to the ethical issues raised by its racist historical past, and all that, as usual.
"James Hefner chose to announce his retirement from Tennessee State University at this year's commencement. He told the crowd that he will step down next May, after what will be his 14th year in office. Observers note that Hefner may be leaving before being forced out by critics. In April, the TSUT Foundation auditors reported that Hefner handed out $2.6 million in student scholarships over the years, even though such gifts created deficits. In a separate investigation, a different team of auditors said Hefner lied about accepting tickets to the Super Bowl from a food service vendor that has a contract with Tennessee State." See http://tinyurl.com/ycuq38m
14. TEC's national Union of Black Episcopalians will continue denying to white faculty membership at Sewanee School of Theology because of their race, thereby perpetuating shameful racial exclusion and irrational divisions within the body of Christ. The national UBE will not demonstrate a passionate commitment to diversity by including those members of Sewanee's Theology faculty who most crave inclusion by the African American community by begging tolerance and forgiveness of their accidental whiteness.
The national UBE's failure to embrace and welcome all people smacks of reverse Jim Crowism, outdated privileges of race feeling, and racial bloc voting habits. Instead of breaking down racial barriers, reaching across the racial divide and embracing those who do not look and talk like themselves, the national UBE demonstrates a shocking insensitivity and lack of cultural competence. TEC should demand changes at the UBE that force them to build bridges to a better future for all. The national Union of Black Episcopalians disgraces the courage of the Rev. John Morris and the Freedom Riders, and the sacrifices of Rev. Jonathan Daniels and the Episcopal Society for Racial and Cultural Unity. National UBE's exclusionary membership rules dishonor the dreams of Rev. Michael King, Jr. (sometimes called Martin Luther King, Jr.) by their refusal to stand hand in hand with their white, red, yellow, and brown sisters and brothers in Christ, thereby exacerbating a delicate situation.
END OF PART II
Upcoming Part III-New Vice Chancellor McCardell: A genuine era of good feelings, or just improved public relations tactics? VOL continues investigating the secrets behind the story.
To view Part I go here:
On the Mainline
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