President Bush is, not surprisingly, speaking at the commencement of a Christian college in a few days. But what warms my heart, is this, as reported here:
[Calvin College is] a liberal arts school that defines its mission as “developing the Christian mind,” and requires what its spokesman, Phil de Haan, calls “an allegiance of faith” from its faculty, and theology studies from its students.
But 100 members of the faculty and another 40 staff and former faculty members have signed an open letter of rebuke to the president that’s scheduled to appear as a half-page ad in the Grand Rapids Press on the day of the president’s speech.
While welcoming the president, the letter delivers a carefully worded critique of administration policies from a Christian viewpoint. It calls the Iraq war “unjust and unjustified,” expresses dismay at policies that “favor the wealthy … and burden the poor,” challenges policies of intolerance toward dissent, and environmental policies that are at odds with being “caretakers of God’s good creation."
The letter signers view the occasion of the president’s speech as a teachable moment.
David Crump, a Calvin professor of religion who helped draft the letter . . . says that news of the open letter has gotten response from around the country. It’s tapped into what he sees as "a silent majority in the Christian evangelical community that resents the Christian vocabulary being hijacked by the religious right."
How very MLK of them.