WTKR-TV in Hampton Roads, Va. reports that officials at the College of William and Mary have removed a gold cross from a campus chapel in the spirit of diversity and to make the chapel more "welcoming to all."
The gold cross has been on the altar of the Sir Christopher Wren Chapel for more than 60 years.
"The effort here is to make certain that everyone feel it's their space," said William and Mary's vice president of student affairs, Sam Sadler. "Also, we are a public university, committed to serving everyone."
A group of students have started a petition to have to chapel restored at http://www.SavetheWrenCross.org.
Heroes of the Week
Christians and Muslims in the UK have banded together and told officials across the country to please stop taking Christianity out of Christmas because it causes more problems than it solves, reports Christianity Today.
Local officials have been criticized in recent years for moves like calling their Christmas celebrations "Winterval" and avoiding the use of Christian symbols in order to avoid offending Muslims and Hindus.
But officials at the Christian Muslim Forum, which was established by the Archbishop of Canterbury, said such moves played into the hands of extremists who then blame Muslims for undermining Britain's Christian culture. Most of the time, in fact, it's not Muslims or Hindus asking for the changes but bone-headed Christians.
"The desire to secularise religious festivals is in itself offensive to both our communities," said Dr Ataullah Siddiqui, vice chairman of the forum.
Students who attended an off-campus Halloween party dressed as cast members from the television show "Survivor: Cook Islands" caused such an uproar at Whitman College in Spokane, Wash. that the faculty voted to cancel classes for a day so everyone could attend diversity indoctrination sessions, according to the Associated Press.
Students attended the party in blackface to mimic the CBS reality show, in which teams were divided by ethnic origin. The furor arose when pictures of the students showed up on a social networking website.
An agenda for the seminar was said to include sessions on the biology of race, a history of race and civil rights, a curriculum discussion and a film discussion.
An Italian-American activist group has filed a lawsuit against a middle school in suburban Chicago because it has refused to halt the planned production of a play the group feels casts a negative light on people of Italian descent, reports the Suburban Chicago News.
At a press conference, an attorney for the Order of the Sons of Italy in America said it was seeking a restraining order to stop production of "Fuggedaboudit: A Little Mobster Comedy" by students at Rotolo Middle School in Geneva, Ill.
Attorney Joseph Rago said the play is "completely racially and ethnically offensive and inappropriate for middle school children."
The Sons of Italy said they had the support of, among others, the Consul General of Italy and the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Or Else ...
Black students at the Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis have threatened to sue the school unless it devotes more money to black student groups than it does for all other student groups combined and requires sensitivity training for all administrators, according to the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.
Rejecting a pledge from the school to form a black students affairs office, the students marched to demand a new black cultural center, an undergraduate degree in African-American Studies and more black faculty. They also want the school to set aside $78,000 for black student groups — $10,000 more than the IUPUI student government's budget for all campus clubs.
They are upset about what was described as the school's "false sense of commitment to diversity" because it refused to set aside money for a black student group's trip.
For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head on over to Tongue Tied's daily edition.
Beth C. writes:
I was horrified to read that Huckleberry Finn has been removed from the Michigan school's reading list. What's next, burning books?
Huckleberry Finn is an American masterpiece, and to ban the book because of a word used to write it is incredibly ignorant and shallow. Clearly the parent has no comprehension of history or literature or he/she would appreciate the book for what it is: a brilliant commentary on the times in which it was written, and a valuable reflection of the culture in that time period.
That parent is flattering himself/herself to imagine that the language used in that book is a personal slur against him/her. I just hope that people see the light of common sense and put a halt to this madness.
Shane P. in Mansfield, Texas writes:
Are we really to the point in our country where we are going backwards? It took years for intelligent people to get the rest of the nation to understand that Mark Twain was a brilliant author who deserved the respect of our children. To say that Huck Finn should not be in the classroom, again, is definitely a step in the wrong direction.
Twain was simply putting the story in the language of the time period in which it takes place, and in no way was he writing in a racist tone. But I suppose this young girl will never get a chance to discuss or understand the satire with which Twain loved to write, now that her mother is offended. I guess the next step is to sue over the teaching of evolution in your local school district...or maybe we should put a scientist to death for claiming that the earth actually revolves around the sun.
Chuck D. in Virginia writes:
That a council in England — Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire — can declare what words mean is terribly totalitarian and runs counter to my vision of what an "equality" measure is all about. This is especially disgusting when saying "politically correct" is equal to a physical attack.
Equating a spoken word to an act of violence is a great way to make sure that equality does not result. Somebody has got to declare a peaceful revolution against this form of insanity!
John D. in Colorado Springs writes:
Atheists are pushing to remove any mention of God or symbols relating to God, from the public square. How ironic. By definition, an atheist does not believe in God. To be offended by a symbol or reference to God should be no different then referring to the tooth fairy. This points out that they are not a-theist but anti-theist which indicates that they do believe in a God.
John M. writes:
Hope that no one in Buffalo, N.Y., ever sees an NBA Phoenix Suns game at the U.S. Air Arena because we have a guy in a gorilla costume that dunks the ball and does other ball handling tricks during half time. In Phoenix we love the Gorilla. Nobody I know thinks the show is racist.