So here’s a brief report on my brief vacation.

Thanks to those of you who wrote me concerned about my health or sanity or very existence, because I had virtually disappeared.

In response to the many requests to say something about Berry College and Chick-fil-A, I have to respond that the facts on the ground point in the direction of a kind of prudence impossible to spell out on a blog.

Berry IS a kind of a institutionalized culture conflict: A residential campus run and paid for Chick-fil-A is the source of something like 120 of the students in our classes. The “chicken people” have no say at all over curriculum, hiring, and so forth. And Berry has a pretty standard curriculum with hiring practices conforming pretty much to the standards of disciplines. So one campus is evangelical or pretty much Southern Baptist (not all the students there are Baptist but all conform to Christian social discipline) and the other isn’t even remotely Baptist or only vaguely Christian (although most of the students are more than vaguely Christian). This cultural conflict is manageable for the most part unless the whole nation takes an interest in it.

Meanwhile, dialogue proves to be difficult. There’s a lot of “they hate us because we’re gay” vs. “they hate us because we’re Christian” stuff going on when the cultural issues are being discussed on various places on the social media. Too much animosity along these lines, of course, could undermine the relatively and free and open discussion on any and all issues that’s been one distinctive feature of a Berry education.

Articles by Peter Lawler


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