Monday, February 27, 2006

Back to work (inclusively)

Just back from holiday - a week just up the road in the Lake District. A friend has a wonderful place called Salamat in the village of Threlkeld near Keswick. No computer, dodgy mobile signal, open fires, fantastic views. Brilliant! Technology can become very stressful, and it's so liberating to be out of it all for a bit.

I've come back to an interesting question. Our College has a Christian foundation, and it also has a commitment to equality and diversity. Are these contradictory? If the Christian tradition isn't in some way preferenced in the way the College works, the Christian foundation is meaningless; if it is, then we could be accused of contravening E & D policy.

I suppose that ties in with my misgivings about the fashion to celebrate diversity - even in explicitly Christian circles. How diverse? Obviously some views and ideologies are excluded, but why and on what grounds? We instinctively know why we don't celebrate Nazism, but should we celebrate other ideologies and on what grounds are lines drawn?
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St said...

Perhaps having a Christian foundation means giving those who do not share your views as much freedom as you believe God gives you.

So celebrate your unique foundation in a uniquely Christian way but don't make everyone join in.

If others want to celebrate their personal foundations (within the law) let 'em. Changing foundations is very difficult if you want to leave the building in place.

Jonathan Potts said...

For my part, I don't think encouraging equality and diversity is inconsistant with being Christian. But perhaps it means having the Christian foundations in the background rather than the foreground - I don't know what the practicalities of this might be.

On a slightly related subject, I recently was chatting to two of my students about being at a Catholic schoool. Apparently they "were forced" to go to Church on Sundays - together with their parents. Which is Christianity placed very much in the foreground - but I don't think the attitude of the school helped grow their faith; moreover I think it put them off. Maybe Christianity is better advertised when it's slightly in the background. Of course, I don't know the details of your case so this may be all irrelevant...