Evangelical college suspends tenured professor for saying Christians & Muslims “worship the same God,” echoing pope

Posted: December 17, 2015 in Politics, Religion
Tags: , , , ,

An Evangelical Christian college suspended a tenured professor for insisting that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God,” echoing the pope.

Dr. Larycia Alaine Hawkins is an associate professor of political science at Wheaton College, an Evangelical private liberal arts school in Wheaton, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She has taught at the school for seven years.

Last week, in the midst of a wave of anti-Muslim attacks and hate crimes, Hawkins announced that she would publicly wear a hijab, a traditional Islamic headscarf, in solidarity with Muslims during the Christian season of Advent.

Hawkins said she asked the leading Muslim civil rights organization the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) “whether a non-Muslim wearing the hijab was haram (forbidden), patronizing, or otherwise offensive to Muslims,” and noted she “was assured by my friends at CAIR-Chicago that they welcomed the gesture.”

“I don’t love my Muslim neighbor because s/he is American. I love my Muslim neighbor because s/he deserves love by virtue of her/his human dignity,” Hawkins wrote in a Dec. 10 Facebook post explaining her decision.

“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” she added. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

“As I tell my students, theoretical solidarity is not solidarity at all,” Hawkins explained. “Thus, beginning tonight, my solidarity has become embodied solidarity.”

Hawkins’ act of inter-religious solidarity went viral, and was covered in a variety of news outlets.

Her school, on the other hand, was not enthused by Hawkins’ finding common cause with Muslims.

In response to Hawkins’ comments, Wheaten College released a statement Tuesday afternoon notifying the public that it had placed her on administrative leave. The Evangelical school cited “significant questions regarding the theological implications of statements … Hawkins has made about the relationship of Christianity to Islam” in justification of its decision.

Wheaten College could not be reached for further comment Tuesday night.

In 2006, Wheaten attracted controversy for firing Assistant Professor Joshua Hochschild for converting to Catholicism.

More recently, in 2012, the conservative Christian college also filed a lawsuit in opposition to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate, under the Affordable Care Act, that the school must provide access to contraceptives in its health care plan or be subject to fines.

On Dec. 13, Hawkins wrote in another Facebook post that, since she began wearing the hijab to show solidarity with Muslims, she has “received pushback almost exclusively from other Christians.”

“The pushback has primarily centered on the claim that Christians and Muslims worship the same God,” she observed.

Hawkins pointed out that this position has been “held for centuries by countless Christians (church fathers, saints, and regular Christian folk like me),” and linked to an article exploring this question by Protestant theologian Miroslav Volf.

“Those of you who now count me apostate for daring to call fellow humans who happen to be Muslim my brothers and sisters,” Hawkins wrote, “I love you with the power of the love that saved me and keeps me and bids me do justice in my body.”

By Ben Norton

Posted by John the Revelator

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Comments
  1. vonleonhardt2 says:

    That line “We worship the same God” is the Qur’an’s justification for Jihad. Many Christians have been murdered because of that statement, and it’s flipant to disrespect the martyrs who died because they rejected that claim even as they sharpened it at sword point.

    Plain ignorance of the Quran and history.

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    • Is this what you know to be true or are you repeating what everyone is saying. I used to believe this, until I started studying history and reading books on foreign policy. Religion is the problem, Christianity, Islam, Judaism are all Abrahamic religions, and each one claims supremacy.This issue is more nuanced than you may think. It is amazing how people can believe their is only “one” truth…

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      • vonleonhardt2 says:

        I know it to be true. It’s why in the Hadith the phrase “no god but allah” arises near or on most the Jihad passages. The Muslim in fact rely on Christians having “joined companions to allah” and Jews just worshiping him wrong as grounds for the submission tax when others are excerpted. It was also propaganda to convert the people they settled near. In fact their goal is “worship of the one God (it’s the same does this) and acceptance of the prophet M. (Which Jewish and Christian Theism disallow on more grounds than less as to accept M destroys both theism completly on selfsame, etc. levels).

        Also known folks who have seen the beheading thing and we also have the Malaysian style which is the opposite “you can’t use allah”

        But if you want to get brass and tacks Islam is monist, Judaism partially Sumerian and priority pluralist, and Christianity semi-helinized retains the Jewish priority pluralism but refines it. The OT and Quran have base level assumptions that mean both can’t be Abrahamic and I’m guessing the 600a.d. new commer has weaker ground. If only atheist applied the same rigor to their PC as their religious squabbles. It’s amazing how many people can believe they’ve found the truth on their own.

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      • vonleonhardt2 says:

        Not an Atheist. Read the Quran and a few of the others Muslim, bakkari?. Also the Avista (Zorastor), Rig Veda, Tao, some therividia and Mahayana scrips, and lots of Assiriology Akkadian Stuff.

        I don’t hold Muslims as bloodthirsty killers; they aren’t hippy-esq either and I would slide them to over 50% agressive to their outgroup.

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      • What are you, I’m not understanding your point of view

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      • vonleonhardt2 says:

        I’m a something, yet I’m not sure it’s matterial. I’m a religious achademic too.

        What I’m saying in the first post is Judaism comes from an Akkadian background with certain cultural forms that boil down to a philosophy of priorty pluralism (change is constant). Abraham’s inovation with monotheism was the “one that contains all” giving a causality chain to Sumerian thought.

        Islam is priority monism (cause and effect). So they think more like a Persian than a Babylonian.

        But as in the second:
        JudeoChristian theism gets its shape from certain text, and Cultural Forms like the temple and communion that shape it’s cultic understandings (Trinity is actually a term about worship experience not systematic dogmatics antiNicea).

        Muhammad impeachs the Jewish and Christian scriptures, and in turn provides a Quran and new Cultic practices that in turn define their view of God.

        Now, to say they all have the same God, is to say that their culture doesn’t inform their understandings, that specifically the JudeoChristian view of God is so lose that calling the bible wrong doesn’t mean that view is changed, among other things.
        Now, the only group with religious motivation to make the claim is Islam, as Christians and Jews can’t say their God just said everything else they ever were told was a lie. It also only gives legitimacy to Islam which the other two flatly deny has any. Islam is very self concious of this, and thus its mission: worship of one God (so IT claims the others have the same God, when less PC era jews and Christians would say that islam is led by a more dark vader like spirit), and that Muhammad is that God’s prophet (which kills the other two religions).

        And it’s propigandic, not every Islamic convert was or is at sword point. And Islam converts Jews and Christians, while exterpating hindus, Zorastrians, etc. because it’s home region made demands on it for it to succeed.

        And on the last, it’s a medieval culture that doesn’t have a secular or nation building impulse that finds itself among unfavourable economic, cultural, and circumstances. Ancient cultures don’t take secular ideals as something given. It’s also a relgion that specifically rejects miracles as “wasted” and gives it’s prophet a sword instead.

        If anything, it’s like Rome or Persia. They fight war much more brutally than Europeans that wear pretty colors, shake hands, line up, and shot each other.

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      • Gotcha, reason why I did away with all religions…happier than I’ve ever been

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      • vonleonhardt2 says:

        Interesting, reason I doubled down on mine.

        Interesting on how the subject big data sets and education can lead to different ends; I find most go your way so I’m an outliar I’ll confess… And so many because of that prefer ignorance, which I can assume we both dispise when it’s willful!

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      • either the red pill or blue pill

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      • vonleonhardt2 says:

        Lol! I don’t remember which one is the remeber pill, but that one!

        My problem is the only religious impulse I have is that God wants me to comb through all the trash and facts and I can’t stop myself. I hate that it’s exspensive to get PhDs, otherwise I’d have 5!

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      • Never stop learning, I’ve focused on textual criticism

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      • vonleonhardt2 says:

        I actually had the same 2nd year Greek professor as Ehrman in my manuscripts course.

        Textual criticism is fun, but really annoying when someone tries to fake it. I know it’s dated, but Von Rads Genesis is just plain pretty. Some of the newer stuff though is just trash.

        I like philosophy and systematics more though (mostly German my second Lang), and I love rhetoric and comparative religion.

        Yet still, why the name for an Atheist?

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      • Erhman is great, receives a lot of hate mail. Overall he’s solid, had a chance to hear him speak, awaiting the new book by him. Black history, has been a subject I’ve really enjoyed lately. The bible is mess, if god wanted this to be his truth he could have done a better job…to many bones to spit out

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      • vonleonhardt2 says:

        Lol. I think maybe his teacher was overcompensating, but I found when i was done that he was not careful enough for my standards. I think he doesn’t allow for enough “prototyping” in ideas, and uses later conclusions in making his manuscript calls. Like I worked on Mark 1, the “son of God” is questionable there, he was saying it was all cristological; the term has an OT use as well he never touched.

        I enjoy african history, but dislike all American history.

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      • enjoyed the convo, signing off. By chance do you have a sight

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      • vonleonhardt2 says:

        Me too. Brotherpo.wordpress.com “The Reformed Monk”

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      • vonleonhardt2 says:

        But then why the screen name?

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      • vonleonhardt2 says:

        Put it this way, to say all the prophets are wrong, the NT is wrong… but all the conclusions about God from them are the same as the Qur’an’s is more bigoted and discounting to the traditions than uplifting to them.

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      • Have you read the Qur’an in its entirety? It teaches to love and respect everyone from a different book.

        Like

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