Monday, September 29

Liberal campus sighting.

Shocking, i know, but there is has been another case of inappropraite political endorsements at a college campus. A Umass, chaplain has been promising students college credits if they would campaign for Obama in New Hampshire. There are 2 disturbing things about this. Obviously, the first is that it is completely inappropriate to even suggest. I'm not sure if the school has the authority to ban a particular clergyman from their campus, but if they do, clearly they should. But possibly even worse than the polical statement, is the fact that there were no credits available. He claimed that an unnamed history prof. would grant the credits, but no prof has claimed responsibility, and the university claims that there was never any such prof, or possibility. I don't put it out of the realm of possibility that a prof backed the plan at one time, and since chickened out, in fact that sounds very much like what a prof might do. But if we are to believe the history department, then this chaplain was promising credits he could not deliver. He was lying to students to trick them into working for a campaign. What if some students had taken up his offer, and been counting on the credits only to learn later that they couldn't get them. That seems particularly cruel, and unreligious to me.

As a brief side note, it's not entirely clear to me what the rules are regarding religions and politcal statements. As part of their tax exempt status, churches are not allowed to undertake certain political stands or statements. I think for example a priest is not allowed to endorse a candidate during a sermon, but i'm sure he is allowed to during the day. If for example this chaplain used a mailing list from church services to contact these students, i don't know what the legality of that would be. I believe i also read that many priests are planning on intentionally violating that rule this year, to try to bring a case to the supreme court declaring the rule unconstitutional.


Blogger Aras said...

"then this chaplain was promising credits he could not deliver."

well wouldn't that be the ultimate justice? after all, that's exactly the kind of thing obama's promising every day.

2:38 AM  
Blogger Trashcan said...


1:21 AM  

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