Wheaton has a good academic reputation, but man, it’s the little things that make it frightening. I would not want to live in the theocratic world it represents. Hank Fox has a couple of stories about Wheaton.
The first is the blog of a recent graduate of Wheaton who determined halfway through his undergraduate education that he was an atheist. It sounds like it was rough. He’s ended the blog, though, with a statement that “…now that I’m slightly closer to the real world, I just don’t think it’s that important whether you’re an atheist or a Christian” — which is true. The differences are accentuated when you’re wrapped up in a culture that makes religious belief central to everything; when Christians back off and don’t make their ridiculous superstitions a prerequisite to participation in politics and everyday life, they are entirely tolerable. I think the anonymous student is a little bit optimistic in his confidence that religion won’t intrude on him as much in wider American culture, but perhaps compared to Wheaton, that’s also true.
The second is more disturbing. A professor of English at Wheaton got a divorce from his wife — which the university considers grounds for firing him. The college actually has staff people who assess faculty divorces to determine whether they meet “Biblical standards,” and if they don’t, pffft, you’re gone. This isn’t a guy who was doing substandard work, nor, as his comments reveal, did he abandon Christianity. Other faculty have lost their job for converting to Catholicism. This is just plain freaky: “Wheaton requires faculty and staff to sign a faith statement and adhere to standards of conduct in areas including marriage.”
Has anyone noticed that our evil secular universities do not monitor the personal beliefs of their faculty, and do not consider going to the church of your choice grounds for dismissal? We even let our students believe whatever they want!