Stupid Liberal Quote of the Day- August 18th, 2013 Edition
The Bishop, Dartmouth, and Gays
Dartmouth is an Ivy League college in New Hampshire, among one of the earliest established colleges in the country. As part of their continuing efforts to educate our best and brightest, they have a foundation called the William Jewett Tucker Foundation with a stated mission of educating Dartmouth students for “lives of purpose and ethical leadership, rooted in service, spirituality and social justice.” Surprisingly, that is not the stupid liberal quote of the day.
Instead, the “controversy” begins when the college announced the appointment of Dr. James Tengatenga, the Anglican Bishop of Southern Malawi (find that on a map), to head the Foundation. He then resigned his position in his native Malawi to accept this appointment, much to the dissatisfaction of the people of Malawi. Almost immediately from the time of his announced appointment by Phil Hanlon, Dartmouth’s new president, there was a faculty outcry against Tengatenga. The reason? In 2003, he opposed the election of Dr. Gene Robinson, the Anglican Church’s first openly gay bishop. In 2011, he apparently added insult to injury when he stated that Malawi’s Anglican provinces remained opposed to homosexuality. In short, Tengatenga, as an acting and, by all accounts, popular and effective bishop in Malawi, was expressing and supporting the stated views and policies of his church. It was not only faculty that questioned this move, but also student organizations. Andrew Longhi, a Dartmouth junior and student leader wrote: “The issue is that he has championed the church’s official position against homosexuality. The tendency to discriminate against people is so diametrically opposed to how I understand faith and religion that selecting a ‘social conservative’ to this post baffles me.” Surprisingly, even this is not the Stupid Liberal Quote of the Day. A moronic statement by some moronic “student leader” at Dartmouth is hardly worthy of that honor although the assumption that a “social conservative” is somehow incapable of advancing the stated goals of this Foundation equally baffles me. Yet another shining example of higher education. And to think that people pay $45,000 a year to produce the likes of Andrew Longhi.
But alas the forces of liberal brainwashing and indoctrination at the hands of higher education got the better of Dartmouth’s president, Phil Hanlon and he rescinded the appointment of Dr. Tengatenga. Which brings me to the stupid liberal quote of the day which is so rife with hypocrisy and political correctness that it is the epitome of the words “stupid” and “liberal,” which are too often one and the same:
It was in this context that I sat down recently with Dr. Tengatenga and asked tough questions about his earlier statements on homosexuality…Dr. Tengatenga spoke to me about his inspiring life of service to some of the world’s most vulnerable people, especially victims of HIV-AIDS. In passionate terms, he described his commitment to gay rights and how he has worked to support the LGBTQ community in Malawi in the ways that are most effective, given the country’s cultural context.
Now here it comes:
However, following much reflection and consultation with senior leaders at Dartmouth, it has become clear to me that Dr. Tengatenga’s past comments about homosexuality and the uncertainty and controversy they created have compromised his ability to serve effectively as dean of Tucker.
In other words, no job. Ironically, at the beginning of this long-winded, bloated statement, Hanlon notes the college’s dedication to support of gay rights and the gay community on campus because it creates a “diverse” student body, something every college strives for. Not only does this qualify as the Stupid Liberal Quote of the Day, but it may equally qualify Hanlon as the Biggest College Administrator Dope of the Year. Admitting that Dr. Tengatenga is committed to gay rights and has probably done more on a practical level within the gay community in his native Malawi, he is nevertheless discarded because he voiced support for his Church’s official views on a certain topic.
I then researched Dr. Tengatenga by accessing newspapers not here in the United States, but from Malawi and surrounding African nations. Absent these past statements on homosexuality, one would think that he would be a poster boy for human rights causes in Africa. In fact, he has been at the forefront of national policy dialogue in Malawi having spoken out against political oppression at the hands of the Democratic Progressive Party and the usurpation of political power by opposing a third term for Bakili Maluzi. Admittedly, like most Americans, I profess some ignorance of Malawi politics, but from everything I have read, Tengatenga may be eligible for future Anglican sainthood if they had saints.
Simply put, unlike people such as Phil Hanlon or Andrew Longhi at Dartmouth and even the NAACP in New Hampshire which opposed Tengatenga’s appointment at the Tucker Foundation, this bishop in the Anglican Church has walked the walked while dopes in New Hampshire simply talk the talk. Hanlon’s official statement is so rife with hypocrisy that one wants to puke. On the one hand noting the college’s dedication to diversity, he then silences diversity despite reassurances from the target of his statement. To a liberal in academia, “diversity” is conformity to their view of diversity. It is akin to a passage from George Orwell’s 1984 where the hero, Winston, is interrogated as the person holds up five fingers and the inquisitor insists he is holding up four to the point where Winston says that “five is four.” In short, government brainwashing and mind control, all in the name of “diversity” and being politically correct.
However, in this case, it is neither. It is Hanlon failing to have a set of balls and standing up to faculty and students and organizations who know only what they know in their insulated, close-minded little worlds. Is this the purpose of higher education, especially at an Ivy League school like Dartmouth? Sadly, it is as evidenced by the all-too-many examples in recent years of campuses clamping down on free speech, alternative viewpoints, and faculty and students who happen to waver from the political cause du jour- as understood and articulated by the college. Ironically, many of these same administrators were leaders, followers, or adherents of the free speech movements on college campuses in the past.
Most likely, Dr. Tengatenga will land on his feet with his head held high and do more practical good for the LGBTQ (when the hell did the “Q” appear?) in Africa and elsewhere than Hanlon, the New Hampshire NAACP, or any student leader at Dartmouth or elsewhere can only dream of doing. Apparently, the views of an American president regarding gay rights can “evolve,” but those of an Anglican bishop from Malawi cannot because, after all, to the liberal he is a man of “faith.” The American president’s views evolves based on political expediency and internal polling while those of the Anglican bishop evolve because of daily interaction with the gay community and helping to eradicate HIV/AIDS in Malawi and Botswana. It is a sad commentary on Dartmouth in particular and liberals in general, but not that surprising.