Camilla Turner

Getting it right: Britain's Telegraph nails problem with crack down on evangelical group at Oxford

Getting it right: Britain's Telegraph nails problem with crack down on evangelical group at Oxford

There's a little context needed here before I can dive into some interesting British news, and how well that news was reported by The Telegraph -- where (trigger warning) a journalist dared to talk to experts on both sides of a crucial debate.

But we need to start with a few Oxford facts. Specifically, it helps to know there are 38 "colleges" that comprise the famous University of Oxford. Someone isn't technically a student at Oxford as much as they are enrolled in one of these colleges, as Wikipedia explains.

Among Oxford's colleges is Balliol College, which numbers three former British prime ministers, five Nobel laureates and one monarch (Harald V of Norway) among its alumni. The school is more than 850 years old.

Also unique, it seems, is the attitude of Balliol's present leaders towards evangelical Christian students, or at least their student organization. The Telegraph picks up the tale:

An Oxford College has banned the Christian Union from its freshers’ fair on the grounds that it would be “alienating” for students of other religions, and constitute a “micro-aggression”.
The organiser of Balliol’s fair argued Christianity’s historic use as “an excuse for homophobia and certain forms of neo-colonialism” meant that students might feel “unwelcome” in their new college if the Christian Union had a stall.
Freddy Potts, vice-president of Balliol’s Junior Common Room (JCR) committee, said that if a representative from the Christian Union (CU) attended the fair, it could cause "potential harm" to freshers.

Apparently, even the rigors of gaining a place at one of the world's top schools -- established centuries before Harvard or Yale -- leave entering students ("freshers" in British parlance) unprepared for the horrors of seeing evidence of the current existence of Christian faith.

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