EDUCATION NOTEBOOK

At Harvard, Christianity Is a 'Skeleton in the Closet’

WALL STREET JOURNAL, Jan. 29—Christopher King and Fentrice Driskell lost their combined bid to be elected to Harvard's Undergraduate Council after a fellow student asked a few others to pray for them by e-mail.

The two students did not solicit the endorsement, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, but when it led someone to suspect a Christian motivation behind their campaign — a campaign calling for “compassion, collaboration, and innovation” — they were narrowly defeated.

When the prayer request got out, posters based on a series of Internet links to a Bible-study group portrayed the King-Driskell ticket as intent on evangelizing Harvard's campus. The Journal report said that King was indeed a Christian but that neither of the candidates had any connection whatever to the Bible group nor any plans to evangelize. Nonetheless, the student paper, the Harvard Crimson, editorialized, “Their promise of ‘values-driven leadership’ is vague and worrisome; though King and Driskell say they want to unify the campus, their ties to religious groups have raised concerns among many students.”

After this “skeleton in his closet” cost him the election King said he struggled “with the fact that in 1999 at Harvard you could be so persecuted for being a Christian.” The Journalreport quoted former Undergraduate Council President Beth Stewart saying, “Certainly, there is a prejudice against Christianity here more than against any other religion.”

At Notre Dame, Students Seek ‘Homosexual Rights’

ASSOCIATED PRESS,Feb. 4— At Notre Dame Feb. 3, 100 students began a hunger strike saying that the university must change its policy about homosexual rights. The protest came in the context of a scheduled meeting of the trustees of Notre Dame that, among other topics, plans to consider a homosexual anti-discrimination policy.

The proposed policy was approved last year by the Senate Faculty and the Academic Council of Notre Dame.

The Associated Press report noted that “Catholic doctrine teaches that homosexuals are to be loved like all God's creatures, but that homosexual sex is a sin.” Dennis Moore, a university spokesman, said, “The difference between sexual orientation and sexual practice sometimes doesn't seem to be recognized,” but that it is an important distinction in Catholic doctrine. Moore also said that, as a practical matter, Notre Dame does not discriminate against homosexuals.

In 1995 Notre Dame banned a student group for homosexuals and lesbians from meeting on campus, according to the AP, but it also made efforts to meet the needs of those same students. The report said Holy Ghost Father Edward Malloy, university president, had previously urged the Academic Council to reject the proposal and “would argue against it again” at the trustees meeting.