A SONG intended to counter ‘dangerous humanism’ that fails to acknowledge innate human ‘sinfulness’ has resulted in the sacking of the singer, Jim Spiegel, above, from his post as a professor at Indiana’s Taylor University.
The sacking, according to Campus Reform, came after Spiegel refused to remove his “Little Hitler” song from YouTube. It contains a message about the Christian doctrine of the “depravity of man” which is connected to the better known doctrine of Original Sin that teaches that human beings are born imperfect and sinful.
Words in the song include:
There’s a little Hitler inside of you, there’s a little Hitler inside of me … there’s a brutal killer inside of everyone, the hatred grows naturally.
Spiegel, who last year helped circulated a petition to keep a Starbucks from opening on the liberal Christian arts institution’s campus because of its support for women’s right to choose and same-sex marriage, explained beneath his video – viewed more than 24,000 times since it was posted in mid-August – that:
Many years ago, while hiking in Colorado Springs, I came across a group of campers where a folk singer was singing song after song which exalted human nature in the most grandiose terms. I was struck by how the singer and his songs did not recognize that humans have a fundamental moral problem, what theologians call a ‘sin nature.’
It was in response to this that I wrote ‘Little Hitler’ – as a theological corrective to such unabashed (and dangerous) humanism. In this video I perform the song with the same corny exuberance that that folk singer displayed.
Spiegel, a professor of philosophy and religion at the university, told Campus Reform that early on August 24 he had a meeting with Taylor Provost Mike Hammond and Dean of the School of Arts, Biblical Studies, and Humanities Tom Jones, as well as a few assistants.
They allegedly then read aloud the letter announcing his dismissal. Spiegel said he refused to take the video down because:
Compliance to the demand to remove the video would also dangerously encourage TU administrators to censor other TU faculty’s creative works in similarly arbitrary and inappropriate ways.
According to Taylor University’s student newspaper, The Echo, an email sent to faculty members accused Spiegel of violating the university’s biblical values. The email said that the administration worked toward reconciliation, but claimed that “in this case restoration was not possible.”
In 2010, Spiegel said that he performed the song for an audience of more than 1,000 during a chapel service, and that he performed it on another occasion at a retreat where the full faculty of the University was present. On neither occasion were complaints made about the song nor was there confusion over its message.
Spiegel insists that:
The video itself is theologically orthodox and in no way supportive of violence or anti-Semitism.
While some people might find the video offensive, this is also true of much Christian art and is even true of Scripture itself.
Spiegel, who worked at the the university for 27 years, pointed out that at Taylor, and other Christian school:
There are naturally biblical-moral parameters within which faculty and all other community members are expected to operate.
He believes that he hasn’t violated those parameter, and also claimed that:
The University’s lack of censorship of faculty and staff in other cases that are morally objectionable demonstrates an arbitrariness which further undermines its authority in this case.
He cited the university’s light treatment of professors who advocate BLM and gay-affirming theology, which contain elements contradicting the university’s Christian mission.
In 2019 he also voiced support for Taylor University inviting US Vice President Mike Pence to speak at its graduation ceremony.
Pence’s presence did not go down well with dozens of graduates and faculty who walked out of the the Kesler Student Activities Center minutes before the introduction of Pence.