Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cedarville's Only Female Religion Prof Resigns

As the new administration of the Reverend Dr. Thomas White flexes its muscles at Cedarville University, the school's only female religion professor is the latest casualty of the Ohio college's fundamentalist takeover.

News of the separation appeared in the November 21 edition of the Cedars newspaper:
Bible professor Joy Fagan is resigning from Cedarville after two decades of service to the university. Her last day is Dec. 20. 
“The why is tricky,” she said. “Every administration has the right to take the university in a particular direction, and every faculty and staff member has the responsibility to determine if they are a good fit for that direction.” 
Fagan said she believes she is no longer a good fit for the university, particularly because of her role as a woman teaching in the Bible department 
“I also believe that when God closes doors, he opens doors,” she said.
Evidently, Prof. Fagan graciously resigned rather than forcing the godly administrators to get their hands dirty and actually go through the lengthy formal, contractual, and/or legal procedures involved in firing a tenured professor.

Two observations:

First, Fagan is not a theologian or a Bible scholar.  Her expertise is in the area of Christian education, which I have noticed is one way fundamentalist Bible academies sometimes justify the presence of a female teacher to people who complain that a college classroom is no place for a woman.  Not that it would be okay, but it might be easier to understand why the White administration would want to get rid of a woman who was teaching theology or biblical studies.  But apparently even a woman teaching Christian is unacceptably liberal and unbiblical at today's Cedarville.

Second, I am continually impressed by the Cedarville college newspaper's reporting.  The OBU student newspaper has almost completely ignored the controversial actions of the David Whitlock administration at OBU.  The Bison never spilled one drop of ink about the forced dismissals of religion faculty in 2010 and 2011.  By contrast, the Cedars newspaper has done a much better job covering the controversy at Cedarville.  I have long suspected that The Bison is censored.  And I'm certain that President White and his deputies at Cedarville will silence, or at least cripple, the Cedars very soon.

OBU administrators wisely and strategically did their firings in the late summer, when people were least likely to be paying attention.  But can you imagine what a difference it may have made if the student newspaper had done actual reporting and editorializing about the firings once school resumed in August or September?  Student awareness of the controversial takeover OBU's new administrators plotted was kept at a minimum because of The Bison's almost complete silence.  That is a fact we all have to live with.  I think the administration silenced the paper.  The White Administration will silence Cedarville's paper.  It's what these people do.

Very soon, the only woman left on the Cedarville Biblical and Theological Studies web page will the the secretary.  Which, they believe, is how it should be.  Maybe one day soon they'll fire the secretary so she can spend more time cooking, cleaning, ironing her husband's shirts, and running the carpool -- as God clearly intends.

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