2020_010_A
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Breaking: Dartmouth won’t “move forward” with appointment of Bishop Tengatenga

Breaking: Dartmouth won’t “move forward” with appointment of Bishop Tengatenga

Dartmouth College has decided “not to move forward” with the appointment of Bishop James Tengatenga of Malawi, chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, as dean of its William Jewett Tucker Foundation following a controversy regarding his views on homosexuality.

Here is an excerpt from the statement from the college’s president Phillip J. Hanlon:

Dartmouth’s support of gay rights and members of the LGBTQ community is complete and unwavering, as is our commitment to a campus that is diverse, welcoming, and inclusive. In light of concerns—specifically surrounding gay rights—expressed by members of our community about the appointment of Malawi Bishop Dr. James Tengatenga as the dean of the Tucker Foundation, I felt it was important for me to meet with him personally.

It was in this context that I sat down recently with Dr. Tengatenga and asked tough questions about his earlier statements on homosexuality. We also discussed his leadership within an Anglican Church in Africa that has often been hostile regarding gay rights.

Dr. Tengatenga spoke to me about his inspiring life of service to some of the world’s most vulnerable people, especially victims of HIV-AIDS. In passionate terms, he described his commitment to gay rights and how he has worked to support the LGBTQ community in Malawi in the ways that are most effective, given the country’s cultural context.

However, following much reflection and consultation with senior leaders at Dartmouth, it has become clear to me that Dr. Tengatenga’s past comments about homosexuality and the uncertainty and controversy they created have compromised his ability to serve effectively as dean of Tucker.

The foundation and Dartmouth’s commitment to inclusion are too important to be mired in discord over this appointment. Consequently, we have decided not to move forward with the appointment of Dr. Tengatenga as dean of the Tucker Foundation.

Tengatenga had attempted to allay concerns about this views last month, with a statement in which he said:

I support marriage equality and equal rights for everyone, and I look forward to working with everyone at Dartmouth—everyone. I believe that discrimination of any kind is sinful. When I say that I am committed to the human rights of all, I mean all.

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Jim Liberatore

James and I have been friends for over 30 years. There is not a more pastoral, intelligent and thoughtful person around. Real higher learning can handle dialog across many viewpoints. May the Dartmouth community be ashamed. Knee-jerk liberalism is just as ugly as knee-jerk conservatism.

Fr. Tom Wallace

Seems Dartmouth is committed to inclusiveness except where Bp. Tengatenga is concerned. I’ve never quite figured out how you become inclusive by being exclusive.

Fr. Tom Wallace

tgflux

I disagree that this was “knee-jerk liberalism”. I agree that Dartmouth (Powers That Be) is acting like knee-jerks. [Where was the Dartmouth Episcopal community in this? Weren’t they able to provide some CONTEXT here?]

God isn’t finished w/ ANY of us yet.

JC Fisher

tgflux

I disagree that this was “knee-jerk liberalism”. I agree that Dartmouth (Powers That Be) is acting like knee-jerks. [Where was the Dartmouth Episcopal community in this? Weren’t they able to provide some CONTEXT here?]

God isn’t finished w/ ANY of us yet.

JC Fisher

John B. Chilton

Where’s the “like” button for Lauren’s comment?

I can only add, speaking for myself, that it’s part of higher ed dynamics. Good people can be hounded out. We have to trace this back to a vocal minority of students who don’t get that their opposition is doing a good job of demonstrating their ignorance and is harming the values they espouse.

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