With Love to Our Critics
Well, it’s a been an eventful week or so since the publication of the first issue of Excalibur. Responses have run the gamut from enthusiastically positive to very negative, though the criticisms have mostly had to do with matters external to the newsletter itself—specifically, the anonymity of authorship and a debacle regarding distribution. To our supporters we say thank you. To those we have offended we trust you will read the following with charity.
Regarding the distribution controversy, it has been alleged that some minority students were targeted by one of our deliverers. We are deeply grieved by the fact that some minority students have felt afraid or unsafe as a result of the distribution pattern that occurred on one floor of Sammy Morris Hall. We have no idea how this happened, but rest assured that the Excalibur team deeply regrets that this occurred. And we wholeheartedly apologize for not doing more to ensure that something like this would not happen (e.g., by ensuring that our delivery personnel did not distribute copies on residence hall floors).
While we included no racist content in the newsletter, we understand how people may have read into our communication intent that was not there. Please know we are as committed to racial justice as anyone on this campus. We simply believe the conservative principles we defend are the most just way forward for race relations in this country, as we believe they respect the dignity and autonomy of African-Americans and other minorities far more so than the leftist concept of social justice.
To be perfectly clear: we believe in racial justice! What we oppose is the prevailing leftist conception of social justice which, in our humble opinion, seems to monopolize racial justice issues. This perspective claims the solution lies in government action and endorses wealth redistribution, even to the point of socialism, and sometimes challenges current social structures to the point of advocating violent revolution. We believe it to be reasonable to challenge such things and welcome discussion on this.
So, we strongly affirm the goal of racial justice (fairness and equal liberty for ethnic minorities) but we reject the leftist agenda for achieving this goal. As to the question of anonymity, we did not anticipate this would bother so many people. There is no way to know whether our choosing to identify ourselves would have resulted in a different response in our community. Of course, it is possible that we did make a mistake in this regard. If you believe we were unwise in this choice we trust you will find it in your heart to forgive us.
In any case, we have now revealed our identities (see the Excalibur team roster listed on this page). As a result, we hope to commence a more redemptive and rigorous phase of dialogue on campus, as well as alleviate any fear, suspicion or pain that anyone might still feel as a result of events surrounding the distribution of Excalibur. Please know that it was always our intention to host public discussion of the issues.
To a lesser extent, some have criticized the sword imagery in the Excalibur masthead. Given that sword imagery is used in many places in Scripture (e.g., Eph. 6:17 and Mt. 10:34) and in our TU crest, we simply don’t see how this is problematic.
Finally, we want the TU administrators to know that we deeply regret the stress they have had to endure since the publication of the first issue of Excalibur. This was not our intention. And we look forward to availing ourselves to them for redemptive conversations with those within and outside of the TU community with whom relationships have been strained. We also want to gladly affirm that Taylor University remains theologically orthodox on the most crucial issues, specifically the divinity of Christ and his bodily resurrection and imminent return, a high view of Scripture, and an evangelistic zeal to impact the world for Christ. We are happy to report that none of these things have diminished in our community, as far as we can see.
As fathers of children who are approaching college age, we can confidently declare that Taylor will be an ideal place for them to get their college education. And we invite any TU parents or prospective parents to contact us if they are entertaining doubts about this because of our initiative to go “underground.” And we want to emphasize that we were not told to say this, nor was this even suggested by any TU administrators. We say this as long-time TU employees who know this community well and wish the best for it.
Our motivation all along has been the edification of the TU community, especially our students, however ill-conceived some might think our endeavors to be. And we will always unapologetically stand by our conservative commitments (especially the imago Dei, the sanctity of human life, the sanctity of marriage, the rule of law, and the special divine creation of human beings.) We look forward to engaging you with defenses of these truths and their social implications. But through it all, whether you agree, disagree or suspend belief regarding these convictions, you can rest assured that we love you, that we want you to grow and flourish in Christ, that we desire the intellectual and spiritual growth of everyone in the TU community, and that in all things we seek the glory and honor of God.