On Fear and Loathing at Wheaton College: An Alumna’s Perspective

by intersectionalstranger

The following blog post is by Elena Yee, an alumna of Illinois’ Wheaton College. This post was originally published at Elena Yee’s blog, The View From Here:

The other day a friend of mine posted on social media about all that’s happening at Wheaton College in IL. If you haven’t heard by now, it’s about the supposed conflation of Islam and Christianity by a tenured professor seeking solidarity with Muslims. Although I’m disappointed, I’m hardly surprised considering how the institution has gotten into hot water about birth control and having fired a professor who converted to the Catholic faith. Add to it is their football team dressed up in KKK robes for a skit and a LGBT student leader who was attacked with an apple. So, frankly, even as Wheaton College has attempted to address the issues of racism, it is hardly the place for acceptance, understanding or empathy when it comes to diversity of any kind (except to evangelize them into the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ).

On the same posting, I wrote about how I, as an alum of the graduate school, decided over a year ago to remove myself from the college’s mailing list for reasons completely unrelated to the most recent news. Another person, also an alum (I believe), indirectly criticized me (so passive aggressive) about how people like me do things like that (meaning removing myself from the alum mailing list) and that I no longer am implicated (i.e. not involved, responsible).

However, as a Christian (yes, I am deeply devoted to Jesus Christ and his teachings of mercy, love and justice), I am implicated every time I apply for any job because Wheaton College is on my resume. I have lost opportunities because of having attended and worked at Wheaton College as well as worked at another evangelical college. I am implicated because I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, so, no, I don’t believe I’m any less removed from the institution or the issues that arise from intolerance, judgment and even hate.

And, oh, by the way my degree was in in Missions (Intercultural Studies) in preparation to serve in the Muslim world. Everything I learned in my classes AT Wheaton College was more about the and/both and not either/or because those of us working cross-culturally understand implicitly how Jesus and the Apostle Paul crossed cultures and found common ground for all that is good, true and beautiful.