Wright’s appointment to teaching position sparks giving protest

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The appointment of anti-gay bishop N.T. Wright to a post on a divinity school faculty has drawn ire from alumni, the Scotsman reports.

[Wright’s] appointment to the Fife institution’s School of Divinity has prompted a senior Episcopal clergyman to urge wealthy graduates not to support the university’s fundraising appeals.

The Rt Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow and a St Andrews graduate, has withdrawn financial support over Wright’s “anti-gay views” and is encouraging others to do the same.

“It is hard to think of a more divisive figure to appoint. I don’t think it is to the credit of a modern university to appoint staff with such ghastly anti-gay views.”

In response to future requests for assistance, Holdsworth writes,

“The answer from now on could not be clearer. No extra funding for a university that appoints anti-gay figures to prominent positions. I hope other alumni will keep their hands firmly in their pockets and when the call comes for money, just say no.”

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EH Culver
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EH Culver

Committed liberal though I am, I have learned more than I can remember from committed, conservative professors, who are also honest scholars. They have been honest about their opinions as well, and they have been willing to discuss and debate the issues with their students.

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Tom Sramek, Jr.
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I guess my issue is that there is a certain "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" sense to the withholding of funds, whether from a congregation or from a seminary. While there is a high degree of personal satisfaction and "conscience" to doing so, it ends up doing little to directly affect the situation and more to wound the institution or community from which the funds are being witheld. Seems like there should be a more Christian way than saying, in effect, "If you don't do it my way, I'm taking my marbles and going home." Do we really want to be in a church where the wealthiest people have the most power?

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David Cornell
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David Cornell

"That voting with one's wallet cuts both ways."

Indeed it does, and such a boycott is on its face neither more nor less "laudable" than "those on the other side who withhold funds because the church is embracing GLBT rights." (One may, of course, disagree with the point of view being advanced even while acknowledging the right.)

What progressive has argued that individual donors don't have the right to decide whether to withhold their donations in protest? It's not clear to whom the question is being posed, but the way it is framed implies that progressives don't acknowledge the rights of individual donors.

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Josh Thomas
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It's called conscience, Tom.

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Tom Sramek, Jr.
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Exactly why is this any more laudable than those on the other side who withhold funds because the church is embracing GLBT rights? That voting with one's wallet cuts both ways.

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