I was recently interviewed by the Stanford Review (a student publication) for an article analyzing the Supreme Court’s decision in CLS vs Martinez as it relates to Stanford (a case I have previously written about).
As is almost always the case with interviews, I said way more than they had space to include in the final article. Since the interview was via email, I have the full text of my remarks available. I should note that Autumn Carter, the interviewer, asked me several questions I declined to answer.
So here’s what I had to say:
SR: What is your opinion towards the Supreme Court’s ruling in general? With regard to Stanford?
Me: The Supreme Court’s logic would not apply at most public universities since the case at UC Hastings is so unique, and it will have no direct impact at all on private universities such as Stanford. And I hasten to point out that the case has been remanded back to a lower court for a closer examination of some factual issues. The Christian Legal Society alleges that UC Hastings enforced its policies unequally and in a discriminatory manner, something which the Supreme Court believes merits further investigation.
But to get bogged down in the legal maneuvering is to miss the essence of the case. For a university to force a Christian ministry to accept leaders who do not share its beliefs is as absurd as China’s plan to choose the next Dalai Lama, and I would suspect such a university of having similar motives: to control and to undermine religious belief which the authorities disapprove of.
Universities must decide what they believe tolerance looks like. Are they willing to become intolerant in the pursuit of tolerance? Are they willing to achieve their goals through coercion rather than reasoned discourse? UC Hastings appears to have decided that it is. It remains to be seen how many universities will embrace their folly.
SR: As you mentioned, Stanford is a private university and is therefore unaffected by the ruling directly. But do you anticipate any moves by Stanford to tighten its own group membership policy either independently or as a result of being lobbied? Or will Stanford likely maintain the looser policy that it currently uses?
Me: Should such lobbying arise I hope that Stanford will prove wiser than the Supreme Court.
In retrospect, I’m surprised the Stanford Review chose the quote they did. Some of my other sentences seem so much more… lively.
The Stanford Daily published an article titled Testimonies On Stanford Faith about people in our ministry (Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship).
The website the article focuses on is testimonies.stanford.edu.
Reading this article was very encouraging to me because I always fear that Chi Alpha will wind up in the Daily because of some boneheaded thing I said in a sermon… this was a much better experience. 😉
Freshmen have arrived on campus this week, and we’ve had a blast meeting them. Our strategy isn’t super-sophisticated – we just set up a table on White Plaza and beckon students over to chat with us. We also give them free stuff (like popcorn and these really cool eco-friendly shopping bags).
The photo on the right is me and a couple of our hardworking students.
But there’s been an unexpectedly cool development. The table next to us has been for the Stanford Educational Studies Program (they’re trying to recruit some freshmen to teach high school students stuff) and is manned by one of our students, Ben. Ben works with really cold stuff – about as close to absolute zero as humanity has been able to get (millikelvins, if you’re curious). So something like liquid nitrogen is like hot chocolate to him – it’s at a mere 320 Fahrenheit below zero. I know 320 below sounds cold, but most of the universe is much, much colder than that – just not the part that we inhabit.
liquid nitrogen out to White Plaza and makes ice cream with them
So Ben brings these containers (called dours) of
in front of people. It’s very eye-catching. Massive amounts of fog are generated. And the resulting ice cream is yummy.
Anyway, the drink for my lunch had gotten warm, so I asked Ben if we could use some liquid nitrogen to cool it off. It worked like a charm. Plus it was fun to do. Extremely fun.
That morning I had already been thinking that I had one of the best jobs in the world. And then I get to play with liquid nitrogen. While doing my job. Campus ministry rocks.
if you’re reading this on Facebook click through to the original to see the pictures
I’ve been meaning to blog this forever, but I kept forgetting. On the first floor of the renovated Old Union is an acrylic sign telling the history of the building.
For the longest time (months) it had a glaring typo (I think it’s been fixed since I took this photo). It really amused me.
If you have a hard time seeing it, look under the word Union or click on the picture to view it with the error highlighted.
A hearty congratulations to the stalwart warriors of the Cardinal football team. Defeating the Trojans on their home turf with some of our key players sidelined is no mean feat.
May this be a token of things to come.
Today’s Stanford Daily was replete with God-talk.
Front page: Scotty McLennan tells profs they need to address religious issues in the classroom.
Page 3: an favorable article on Mosaic’s Extreme Makeover service project.
Page 8: Frosh Tabitha Yim bears witness to Christ in her gymnastics profile.
I present without commentary the 2004 presidential campaign contribution records for the Stanford ZIP codes: 94305 and 94309.