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Wednesday, March 13 2019

I say this without the intention of being provocative or insulting, but Rider University is a silly place.  If I were a student at Rider, I would be embarrassed.  If I were faculty at Rider, I would ashamed.  If I were an administrator at Rider, I would be tempted to do exactly what their dean over the College of Business recently did.

Rider University, as you may recall, is the New Jersey institution of higher learning that humiliated itself by forbid Chick-fil-A from opening on campus despite its popularity because of the company’s “biblical stance on LGBTQ issues.”  What stance, you ask?

Does Chick-fil-A not serve gay people chicken sandwiches?  No, they serve everyone.

Does Chick-fil-A not allow gay people to work for them?  No, there are certainly gay people employed at their over 2,200 locations.

Now, Chick-fil-A does have a male and female sign on their respective restrooms, but so does McDonalds, so that theory is out.

What this actually refers to is the furor from comments Dan Cathy (COO) made in a 2012 interview that identified him as a Christian who holds to God’s design for human sexuality.  And that’s it.  That’s what prompted Rider’s decision.

If it were possible to die from virtue signaling, there isn’t a member of Rider’s administration or board of trustees that should have survived their effort to show everyone how enlightened and totally hip they are by protecting their student body from the corrupting influence of the original chicken sandwich.   

The best part is that Rider’s statement noted that their decision was based on a core principle of promoting, “inclusion for all people.”  All people except those who like chicken and aren’t into social justice warrioring, that is.  If you’re wondering, no, they don’t see the inconsistency.  No, they don’t see the hypocrisy.  Yes, this is a supposed institution of higher learning.

The whole thing was so ridiculous that it prompted Cynthia Newman, the aforementioned dean of the school’s college of business, to tender her resignation.  She wrote in her announcement:

“I endeavor every day to do exactly what Chick-fil-A puts forward as its overarching corporate value: to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to me and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with me.”

And that’s just it.  From Cathy’s statements in 2012 to the company’s current business practices, it has been consistent: treat people with respect, serve others, love people as Jesus loved them.  And that is what Rider University pompously announced was not consistent with their own “values.” 

Newman will be fine, will land on her feet, will be provided for by the God she loves, and will end up much better off than she was before.  But what an utter embarrassment for the school and everyone who has been and willfully remains associated with it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 09:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email