Somehow, I missed the story. You see, I drove to Calvin College for President Bush's commencement address on May 21 looking to report a fightnot a physical altercation, mind you, but something more suited to reserved Dutch Reformed intellectuals, like the righteous indignation of a cold stare. All I really got for the trouble was a lousy display of political diversity, academic celebration, and Christian charity.
I heard that Karl Rove had finally been hoodwinked. Author of the great plan to win evangelicals for President Bush, Rove couldn't even tell his Calvin from his Wheaton. Oh, the Calvin profs would teach him. They said so much. Ken Pomykala, chair of Calvin's department of religion, obliged The Washington Post and set the record straight. Calvin has "a much more positive view of the intellect and participation in the broader culture than is characteristic of American evangelicalism," he explained in late April, "much of which is anti-intellectual (e.g. 'creation science') and escapist (e.g. the Left Behind series), not to mention morally barbaric (e.g. opposition to stem-cell research; anti-gay)."
So would he protest Bush? "I plan on reading a book during the President's speechprobably My Pet Goat." Of course. I can only hope Pomykala feels better after brandishing the credentials of his liberal sensibilities for the Post.
He sure wasn't alone, though. David Crump, another religion professor, apparently risked tenure to tell the Detroit Free Press, "The largest part of our concern is the way in which our religious discourse in this country has largely been co-opted by the Religious Right and their wholesale endorsement of this administration." Dale Van Kley, a longtime Calvin history professor who left for ...1