Trinity University is a “private, independent” institution of higher learning in San Antonio, Texas. It was started by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church back in 1869, and for a century was identified with Presbyterianism (its campus was moved to the city in 1941 when it “accepted an invitiation [sic] from the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to establish a strong Protestant institution of higher learning in the Alamo city”). Now, however, according to the San Antonio Express-News, Muslim students are asking that the school not remind them of its kafir past:
A group of students at Trinity University is lobbying trustees to drop a reference to “Our Lord” on their diplomas, arguing it does not respect the diversity of religions on campus.
“A diploma is a very personal item, and people want to proudly display it in their offices and homes,” said Sidra Qureshi, president of Trinity Diversity Connection. “By having the phrase ‘In the Year of Our Lord,’ it is directly referencing Jesus Christ, and not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.”
“Diversity Connection.” In an academic setting, “diversity” used to mean, “let’s get lots of people from various backgrounds together in a place where they can share ideas and experiences.” Now it means, “never having to be exposed to any ideas or words you might find disagreeable.”
Qureshi, who is Muslim, has led the charge to tweak the wording, winning support from student government and a campus commencement committee. Trustees are expected to consider the students’ request at a May board meeting.
Other students and President Dennis Ahlburg have defended the wording, arguing that references to the school’s Presbyterian roots are appropriate and unobtrusive.
Apparently President Ahlburg, unlike the student government, is not ashamed of his school’s past. Diversity advocates are appalled at his lack of sensitivity, not to mention honesty:
The debate started last year when Isaac Medina, a Muslim convert from Guadalajara, Mexico, noticed the wording while looking at pre-made diploma frames in the Trinity bookstore. When Medina applied to Trinity, university staff told him it wasn’t a religious institution and that it maintained only a historical bond to the Presbyterian Church.
So the godly reference “came as a big surprise,” said Medina, who graduated in December. “I felt I was a victim of a bait and switch.”
A “bait and switch.” Because Trinity, like hundreds of colleges and universities across the country, continues to use the traditional language of “Year of Our Lord” on its diplomas, Medina feels that the secular environment he thought he was getting into is actually the gaping maw of the Christian evangelistic machine. Or something of that sort.
Medina, a former international student, said he always has felt welcome at Trinity. The chaplain on campus caters to students of all religions, and the university recently dedicated a Muslim prayer space in Parker Chapel.
“I never had the experience that Trinity was a closeted Christian institution,” Medina said.
Yeah, for four years the school makes non-Christians feel all warm and accepted, and then, when it’s too late to do anything about it, springs from the religious closet and forces–forces, I say!–its graduates to proclaim the terrible truth: that they attended a university that used to be connected to Christianity. What an outrage against tolerance and diversity! What a sin against charity! WHAT A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY!!!
They might have noticed that there was something, um, suspicious about the name of the institution. Little do they know that the seal on the left is also going to be on their diplomas.
(Via Layman Online.)