Essay / Culture “Here is the story on Harvard President Larry Summers’ assertion that innate differences between the sexes could help explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers. Bottom line: It isn’t playing well with the feminist left, and probably won’t play well with every parent in America who had hoped that their daughter would have every opportunity that their son did.In the era of instant commentary via the blogs, you can’t make such statements and then go to ground as Summers has. Too bad he doesn’t have a blog, as I recommended in my book. He’d have the ability to ‘revise and extend his remarks’ before the MSM gets them into circulation tomorrow.If the president of a Christian university made the statement that Summers made, or a Bush Cabinet secretary, how long would they last in their job? How long will Summers last?”Hugh has asked a good question. I think that the president of a Christian university might survive such a statement, if he or she had firm control of the board, but only barely. However, I cannot imagine one saying it. Why? There is a double standard for traditional Christians. Traditional Christians who favor a male priesthood on sacramental grounds like the Romans or traditional family structures like the Southern Baptists have been given an extra burden by the mainstream media on issues of gender. Because the MSM does not understand religion, the only reason they can imagine for a male priesthood is bigotry. As a result, a Christian college president has had to carefully determine what he or she believes about these issues. In that sense, the double standard has done some good. Therefore, it does not seem possible, that one would say what Summers did. We are light years ahead of practical, compassionate application of the best of tradition with the best of equality. Conservative Christian leaders are very clear when they speak about gender. They have to be. Most important, Christian colleges are people centered, not giant multi-billion dollar businesses. Most Christian college presidents know from personal experience the damage that such statements can do to actual students. Why? They have practical experience dealing with them. It is demanded by their faith commitment to mentoring and personal training. My own University President, Clyde Cook, is a model of this sort of properly compassionate conservative leadership. He defends the traditional faith and over his long tenure has kept Biola University true to her mission. However, as a man with a great interest and professional expertise in inter-cultural studies, he has a real passion for diversity and for being sensitive to the issues of less fortunate groups in the nation. I have heard him become passionate about these things away from the lights or a public pulpit. As part of his traditional faith, and without becoming politically correct (another kind of stereotyping), he expresses deep concern about the lack of opportunity in our culture for some groups. He is always, publicly and privately, on the side of the less fortunate or groups that might have been victims of historic and present discrimination. He has a heart for getting women and minority persons into positions of leadership. There is no way, out of his sheer compassion, that he would say anything that might keep women from any field. What good would that do? Even if what Summers said were true (and I have seen no evidence for it), it would be misunderstood by undergraduates and applied in crude ways to individuals. Christian college presidents like Dr. Cook are required by the nature of their jobs and by their own faith to think first of people. I know it sounds ideal, but it is true. Of course no leader is perfect, and one never agrees with everything an administration does, but I have never known my own president to act in this manner.If he did, Biola would hold him accountable. Morality matters, and charity towards all, at Biola University. Let’s see if Harvard University cares about her students as much.

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