Sunday, March 26, 2006

Outspokenly Pro-Life Christian Conservative Denied Tenure — at Baptist University

Francis Beckwith is such an accomplished professor and author that it seems rude to downsize him to a "pro-life christian conservative" — it's like calling Bob Dylan a "scruffy Sixties protest folkie." But apparently the powers that be at Baylor University see him in terms of his principles and opinions — and they don't want his kind. Rod Dreher reports:

Sources at Baylor tell me that the well-known Evangelical scholar Francis Beckwith was denied tenure today by Baylor University. This is major news. Dr. Beckwith, a distinguished philosopher, has what academic insiders tell me is a stellar publication record. He is nationally renown. He is also -- and I suspect this is what did him in at Baylor -- openly conservative. The fact that a Baptist university cannot bring itself to award tenure to a scholar of Dr. Beckwith's stature is scandalous -- and will cause shock waves beyond Waco. Watch.
One of Beckwith's students, Hunter Baker, writes in Southern Appeal:
By the way, denial was apparently on grounds of collegiality, which if you know Dr. Beckwith is a joke. He’s one of the most winsome and pleasant controversialists you’d ever hope to meet. Members of the political left love to talk about the use of “code words” by closet racists and oppressors. “Collegiality” is the ultimate code word of those with a particular agenda in the academy. It means a colleague is too pro-life, too Christian, too conservative, etc. You wonder why there are so few conservatives in the academy. Here it is. They are systematically weeded out.
Another student, M. Tapie, writes of Beckwith:
He introduced me to the Christian intellectual tradition and taught me that faith is an indispensable guide to inquiry, not an embarrassing crutch.
Please pray for Beckwith and his wife. I don't know him personally, but he is a fellow contributor to Touchstone, for which he wrote an excellent critique of pro-life rhetoric.