Tennessee Politicians Want University Chancellor to Resign Over Inclusive Holiday Party Policy

If a university chancellor stole money from the school, didn’t treat students with response, or covered up some scandal, I wouldn’t be surprised if people demanded a resignation.

University of Tennessee-Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek didn’t do any of those things, but lawmakers in the state are still calling for him to step down. Why? Because the school’s website makes clear that departments having holiday parties should be mindful that not everyone’s a Christian.

Holiday parties and celebrations should celebrate and build upon workplace relationships and team morale with no emphasis on religion or culture. Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise.

That makes sense. Why alienate faculty members and students who aren’t all Christians when the real goal is to celebrate the end of the year and enjoy each other’s company?

State Rep. Andy Holt, however, thinks that policy is enough to call for Cheek to find a new line of work.

Now, we have news that the University is telling students and staff that they should not have Christmas parties because they will offend non-Christians. Unfortunately, Cheek did not put a stop to this. Therefore, I join Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Sen. Mike Bell and Sen. Delores Gresham in calling for the immediate resignation of Chancellor Cheek.

This is the fake “War on Christmas” narrative at work.

Just to summarize how completely ridiculous this is, an elected official is telling a university leader to step down because he approved a policy that says Christianity isn’t the only religion that matters. Mind you, the policy doesn’t say there will be a punishment for saying “Merry Christmas.” It merely suggests people should acknowledge the existence of people who think differently.

“This is ridiculous,” [UT spokeswoman Karen] Simsen said in an email. “We celebrate Christmas on our campus along with many other holidays. The suggestions are just that, suggestions for being inclusive and recognizing that not everyone worships in the same way or celebrates the same holiday.”

The existence of other human beings goes against Holt’s sincerely held beliefs, though, so there. He’s not alone. In addition to the elected officials mentioned above, U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan also blasted the policy, saying that he was “saddened and very disappointed that the school from where I graduated would do this.”

Some of those anti-diversity politicians now want students to take a hit as a result:

… Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, and state Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, both took to Facebook to express their outrage.

Butt said voters should urge lawmakers to cut UT’s diversity funding during the upcoming legislative session, which starts in January. Ramsey pledged to put UT under “increased scrutiny” during the session.

How petty and small-minded do you have to be to go after someone’s job, along with funding for valuable programs at his school, because he didn’t put your fairy tales up on a pedestal?

Cheek has no plans to resign, as well he shouldn’t. He didn’t do anything wrong.

But the whole affair makes you realize how the elected officials who are supposed to be representing all of the people in their community only really give a damn about the ones who share space in their Jesus Bubble.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Justin for the link)

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