The prevailing mantra in higher education is being sensitive to other cultures and religions. Schools fall over themselves trying to prove that they are inclusive to a diverse background. Instead of “Merry Christmas” it is “Happy Holidays” so as not to leave out those who celebrate other holidays such as Hanukkah.

The battle of the Wren Cross at William and Mary is just another episode in the diversity wars. In the name of welcoming a diverse student body, President Nicol of William and Mary decided the Wren Cross must go from a Christian chapel overtly labeled as such.

The irony is that by promoting inclusion in this way, they are insisting on exclusion of Christianity from a Christian chapel. It’s quite paradoxical that in the name of “diversity” and “tolerance” certain ideas and populations are being run out of the public square. In fact, it is usually the same ideas and people that are excluded in the name of promoting diversity.

It is hard to view such behavior as anything other than revisiting the same slights on the group usually thought to have historically carried them out. In response to centuries of alleged Christian persecution, the modern response is to return the favor. The only thing a “tolerant” and “diverse” society cannot tolerate is mainstream Christian belief and practice.

From President Nicol’s State of the College address, he states, “The College of William & Mary strives to be a place where people of all backgrounds feel at home, where diversity is actively embraced, and where each individual takes responsibility for upholding the dignity of all members of the community.”

Diversity is the inclusion of all persons, not the exclusion of some disfavored group. How the cause of diversity is furthered by institutional censorship is beyond rational cohesion. In no small part it has resulted in much of the racial tension that exists on many campuses today. Instead of bringing people together as a unified community, it artificially creates camps of competing interests at war to protect their own. Far from promoting inclusion, it solidifies segregationist attitudes.

The removal of the Wren Cross sent a clear message to those who take Christianity serious… “You are not welcome at William and Mary. Your heritage is unimportant.” Rewriting the history of an institution to whitewash it in the name of inclusion is not diversity, its deception.

The days of censorship in the name of diversity need to come to a close. No real community can be accomplished when members are singled out and told to keep their ideas, beliefs, and heritage to themselves. Either support real tolerance or be honest about what the real goal is. Academic honesty still matters, doesn’t it?

John Bambenek is the Assistant Politics Editor for BC Magazine and is an academic professional for the University of Illinois. He is a syndicated columnist who blogs at Part-Time Pundit and the executive director of The Tumaini Foundation which helps AIDS orphans and other children in Tanzania to get an education. He is the current owner of BlogSoldiers, a blog-only traffic exchange.

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