Christian college fires professor for teaching contrary to free enterprise system

From the Rocky Mountain News

The dispute at the usually tranquil Lakewood campus pits Andrew Paquin, head of a religious charity that aids poor people in Africa, against former U.S. Sen. William Armstrong, R-Colo., president of Colorado Christian and a pillar of the religious right.

Armstrong fired Paquin from a position teaching global studies at the end of the spring semester amid concerns that his lessons were too radical and undermined the school's commitment to the free enterprise system. Paquin assigned works by Jim Wallis, who writes from the Christian left, and Peter Singer, an atheist and animal rights activist.

Armstrong won't discuss Paquin's case specifically, but he says free enterprise is fundamental to the school's philosophy. "I don't think there is another system that is more consistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ," Armstrong said.

That doesn't mean socialists can't be good Christians, and a belief in free enterprise is not linked to salvation, Armstrong added. But free enterprise is the message of Colorado Christian, he said. "What the university stands for, among other things, is free markets."

Paquin, 36, says he supports capitalism, too. The Lafayette-based charity he founded gives "micro-loans" to poor Africans, allowing them to start simple businesses.

Read it here.

Let's put the shoe on the other foot. What if a professor at an Episcopal college or seminary deified the free enterprise system? Would she be fired? Would a economist who believed in markets be hired at some of our colleges in the first place?

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