Friday, February 9, 2007

Students' Union dispute - Praying for victory over the tyranny of Political Correctness.

I was recently at a church service where a member of the congregation, leading the prayers, asked us to pray for victory in the fight against "the tyranny of political correctness".

As I left, I almost asked the priest for the address of the headquarters of this "tyranny of political correctness" so I could send them a stiff letter. There isn't one, of course. There is a Campaign against Political Correctness, but there isn't a campaign for political correctness.

Is fighting political correctness a bit like fighting a large blanchmange, or, indeed, is the Campaign against Political Correctness a bit like the Flat-earth society - completely futile?

To be fair, the member of the congregation asking us to pray for victory over the TOPC was referring to a legal battle involving the Exeter University Evangelical Christian Union. I find it very difficult to make a judgement on this case. Other Christian union groups, quoted in the Guardian, have excellent relations with their Students' Unions. Many do not have any conditions on students becoming members of their committee. Exeter UECU asks people to sign a statement of faith before becoming a committee member. This begs the question: Would someone who is not a Christian, or indeed, does not have a great deal of empathy with Christianity, want to waste their time in committee meetings of the UECU? They would have to be completely insane if they were, for example, an atheist, to want to do that.

And you have to go through an election, involving the UECU members, to become a committee member. Is an atheist going to win an election where the eletorate are Christian Union members? Hello? Can you imagine the election pitch? "Vote for me - I don't believe in what you believe in."

I also ask, what harm does a bit of questioning do anyway?

I don't judge the merits of the arguments in the Exeter case. I do ask this, though. Has this advice, from an excellent advisor, been taken fully into account?:

Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way.

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