Harvard to Endow a Gay Studies Position

040709_Features_SM_045.JPGFrom the New York Times:

Harvard University will endow a visiting professorship in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies, a position that, it believes, will be the first endowed, named chair in the subject at an American college.

The visiting professorship was made possible by a gift of $1.5 million from the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus, which will formally announce it at a dinner on Thursday, after Harvard’s commencement exercises. With the gift, Harvard said it would regularly invite “eminent scholars studying issues related to sexuality or sexual minorities” to teach on campus for one semester, according to a draft of a university press release.”

Other universities have taken steps to embrace homosexuality on an institutional level.  My alma mater, Bowdoin College, has a gay and lesbian studies department, for example.  Yet we should recognize this action by the world’s leading university as one of great significance.

This is a further sign that the spirit of the elite academy is slanted in one direction, a direction hostile to biblical Christianity.  Tolerance in the true sense of the word has little place in schools like Harvard.  As surely as the founders of Harvard followed a creed, the leaders of the school operate by a defined worldview, one that manifests hostility not simply to Christianity but to free inquiry and the search for truth.  One wonders how the school would receive a proposal by Christian alumnae of Harvard to fund a professorship in evangelical studies.

Do not misunderstand.  This one action has not altogether changed the American academy.  Christians can and should still seek to attend and engage places like Harvard.  In fact, one could even say that decisions like the one covered above suggest to us that Christian witness is more needed than ever in Cambridge and its sister cities and towns.

At the same time, though, this is a historic decision, one driven by a very specific ideology, one openly hostile to evangelical Christianity.  This is a sad day for Harvard, a school founded to promote the spread of the gospel of grace and to exalt the Lordship of Jesus Christ.


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