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Biola does the right thing

Kudos to Biola. (For background on this post, see here and here.) The President of the university has apologized to Diana Jimenez for "missteps" in the university's responses to Diana and for "actions on our part that were perceived to be heavy-handed and retaliatory."

Kudos also to Scott Klusendorf and others who have been working to resolve this situation for the last several weeks.

Life Training Institute reports that Diana's letters of recommendation were released several weeks ago. At that time, as I noted in the comments here, a rather odd and ambiguous announcement was made by Biola. That announcement could have been taken to mean that for all we could tell Diana's letters had never been held up in the first place and that she had made up or misrepresented the letters incident. (That was why I did not report that announcement as a resolution of the incident at the time but merely commented on it in the comments section of another post.)

This most recent apology does not leave that unfortunate impression, though it does not mention the letters explicitly. So this apology is a much better resolution.

Biola is also apparently reconsidering its previous rather hard-line position concerning the use of graphic pictures of abortion on campus.

I think it's rather sad in a way that the President had to be the one personally apologizing when he may have had little to do with the original actions, but that's what it means to be the President of a university. That's the nature of organizations. One person who definitely should be apologizing is Susan Elliott, the head of the nursing school, who was the perpetrator of one of those "actions perceived to be retaliatory"--namely, trying to block Diana from getting letters of recommendation.

Jill Stanek reports (hopefully accurately) that Elliott has retired. It's not the same as an apology, but it is rather satisfactory, somehow. I have no doubt that thereby hangs a tale, but it is a tale that we in the general public will probably never know.

Comments (14)

This is wonderful news! Biola President Barry Corey has done the right thing by standing up for life. He was put in a tough position but this apology reflects very well on him; he has shown grace, humility, and strong leadership here.

Well, if that report is accurately, it's a resounding victory at Biola. Excellent.

I'm heartened by this. But it is something only a leader could do. Because the most vocal on the issue are the self-righteous typified by the nursing director who are so offended that their pro-life credentials were challenged that they simply don't hear rational arguments once they feel their stained honor is impugned. You can almost hear them saying "Don't they know who we are! Don't they know?" This poisonous environment has been brewing for years. Even without the nursing director's actions, it was a poisonous environment that festered for years with leaders avoiding taking a stand.

I've explained to people over and over that the anti-abortion groups such as Jimenez was allied with probably see Christian colleges as the places that train pastors, that lead our churches, that many Christians consider the moral soul of the nation. In fact I think that is how those colleges see themselves, and most Christians too. And if the future leaders are learning that showing the reality of abortion isn't acceptable public discourse, then they see those colleges have become part of the problem. Seems like pretty decent logic to me. So I'm heartened that a serious answer was given, and it seems to me a reasonable course of action at this point. It has been a huge debate in the Evangelical community for some time now. Mass abortion has thrived on secrecy, special medical exemptions, and government subsidy for decades.

I wonder what are the stances of other Christians colleges on this. In any case, I think this is a pretty big deal.

I've explained to people over and over that the anti-abortion groups such as Jimenez was allied with probably see Christian colleges as the places that train pastors, that lead our churches, that many Christians consider the moral soul of the nation.

Mark, I am puzzled by why you would refer to this by the characterization "anti-abortion", which is the term that the opponents of these groups has been using for 3 decades (at least) precisely in order to cast them in a negative light? Most groups that go around opposing abortion call themselves "pro-life". Even aside from the politicization of the terms, it is usually just plain good manners to call a group what they call themselves unless and until you show that what they call themselves is inaccurate. Which Lydia has done numerous times with the pro-death people: she shows that they ARE NOT in favor of choice when choice means letting people choose life when they themselves wouldn't.

Speaking for myself, I don't mind being called anti-abortion. :-) I am in fact anti-abortion. Now, if someone said "anti-choice," then I'd be tempted to sarcasm. As in, "Yeah, I'm anti-choice about murdering your child, if you want to call it that." But I take "anti-abortion" as something of a badge of honor.

Tony, I'm all for plain language and speech whenever possible. I know that the group who backed Jimenez was the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) and I know they feel strongly that "pro-abort" is a more accurate term than the euphemism "pro-choice". Likewise, I assumed that "anti-abortion" continued the plainspoken directness of the former. We see the same thing in "anti-war" and "pro-war" in a given context. Though either side could object that the term is tendentious if applied generally, I think most have not objected if understood to apply only within the context of a given war. In other words, it is "pro-X-war" or "anti-Y-war" that is being referred to unless stated or known otherwise.

I believe that the groups like GAP use the term "anti-abortion" and "pro-life" pretty much interchangeably. To say one should "call a group what they call themselves" implies that there is an official governing body of such groups, but there isn't. Who speaks for the movement? That's the whole point of this Biola dust-up. Does Biola speak for the movement? No, they don't, and they are learning this hard truth now. I've used the terms used by the groups of the movement for which I have the most respect use themselves, which I thought they held because of accuracy. So as interesting as a trip through memory lane about the history of the movement and the terms used over time might be, and the degree to which the terms they've used are or were more or less accurate, or Lydia's more general terms might be (with which I've never quibbled), since I've justified my use in your own terms I don't see the point. Unless you can tell me who has appointed themselves head of the movement, I'll just consider the terms of at least some in the field I know that are performing actions, right or wrong, as perfectly serviceable. BTW, the url of GAP is http://AbortionNo.org

Jill Stanek reports (hopefully accurately) that Elliott has retired. It's not the same as an apology, but it is rather satisfactory, somehow. I have no doubt that thereby hangs a tale, but it is a tale that we in the general public will probably never know.

We can still surmise that it means sufficient pressure was brought to bear on her that she had to leave. How and why that came down we may never know, but it has all of the appearance of her being told she can leave on her own with some benefits and pride left while she finds a new job or she can stay and fight and get fired.

Er, yes, that was what I thought too, Mike T., but I thought I'd avoid saying so in so many words. Another possibility is that she was ticked off at having her authority as a tin-pot dictator with delusions of godhood challenged and hence chose to retire in a huff.

I have no idea if it is even true she has retired, but if so I'd favor the possibility offered by Lydia. I think it all comes down to whether she was willing to be part of the apology the administration had decided on. If not, there isn't much else she could do but bail. If she was regretful of her actions I suppose she would want to be, and if not, not. It would be a pretty cold heart that would abandon an employee for a rash action that they regretted. I find it hard to believe that would have happened in this case. Her silence speaks volumes.

On my comments about the self-righteousness that sometimes we see in Christians leaders on this issue, though those folks are the most annoying and vocal, not everyone is like this. In my opinion, the majority of Christians probably aren't like this. No doubt many more simply are of the view "Hey, we're on your side and pro-life, why are you demonstrating here?" And I think the answer is that given the three-step logic given above, the opposing views are only on the same side in the sense that it can be seen in terms of a cosmic referendum in the sky where there is a yes/no lever to pull.

But it doesn't and there isn't, and so facile attempts to declare the continual dustups over photos all unnecessary is a lesson in reality denial. Either folks like Jimenez are tolerated and respected wherever their differences with the others in the movement, or they're disloyal and destructive. I think it is hard to have it both ways, and I think those who oppose her (and those in the pro-life movement who use photos) and try to deny this is a sensitive issue simply fail the smell test. It is a sensitive issue because it involves important moral questions. It would be reasonable, I suppose, to hold that she's misguided and doing more harm than good while acting on her conscience, but then at least it would be necessary to say what damage she's doing. I think attempts to show damage done by photos tend to be rather weak when presented.

One of the main things I hear Christians who disapprove of photos bring up is that children might see these gruesome pictures. Well if children weren't shielded from butchering the animals they're eating by chicken McNuggets and such, which is not an accident, they might be even more shocked to find out that children were slaughtered just like beasts are. As it is, blood is blood and violence is violence and its all unfit for kids. And since the adults and offended and the children must be shielded, there isn't any segregated environment to show them in.

Scott Klusenforf is a vicious homophobic bigot . How can anyone accord him "kudos" ?
He is a horrible man who spews mindless hatred of homosexuals constantly and spreads nothing but appalling disinformation about them .
People like this are NOT Christians , merely bigoted monsters masquerading as Christians .

Well, Robert Berger, since you're commenting on a site run by people whom you would doubtless also call "vicious homophobic bigots," you'll get little sympathy for your contentless rant. If you repeat it, it will be deleted. I gave kudos to Scott Klusendorf because he worked hard in this situation to help to resolve it in a just and constructive manner which showed Biola's respect for the sanctity of human life and for doing right by the student. I *almost certainly* also share the very opinions of his regarding homosexuality about which you are foaming at the mouth, but that is also completely off-topic. So bag it.

Don't feed the trolls Lydia.

No, I don't consider the people on this website to be vicious homophobic bigots, but you do have very unhealthy negative attitudes towrd homosexuality, something which has existed
from the very beginning of mankind and always will, and which has been observed in hundreds of animal species .
But Klusendorf is as bigoted against homosexuls as the KKK toward blacks and the Nazis toward Jews .
Being "opposed" to homosexulity is as irrational as being opposed to left-handedness .
I am not a homosexual, but I am a southpaw. Homosexuals do not "choose" to be gay anymore than left-handed people choose to be southpaws .
Accordng to homophobic people - "All men are created equal - except for homosexuals ".
This is the height of hypocrisy .

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