According to the UK's The Daily Telegraph (10 Oct. 17) vice -president of Balliol's Junior Common Room (JCR) baned a stall of students belonging to the Christian Union (CU), on the grounds ath "Historically, Christianity's influence on many marginalized communities has been damaging it its metos of conversion and rules of practice, and it still used in many places as an excuse for homophobia and certain form so fneo-colonialism." (p10)
To access the full article:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/10/10/oxford-college-bans-harm...
Comments and Analysis:
I would like to call into question the validity of the following statement in the above article "Historically, Christianity's influence on many marginalized communities has been damaging in its methods of conversion and rules of practice and is still used in many places as an excuse for homophobia and certain forms of neo-colonialism." I am a fifth generation Christian from the part of India which became Pakistan seventy years ago. My ancestors converted to Christianity from "marginalized communities". I can say with great certainty that historically, Christianity's influence on many marginalized communities has been socially life-changing and educationally and economically uplifting. In the life of millions, throughout the world, Christianity has been able to bring positive changes in one generation which otherwise would have taken many. Its use as "an excuse for homophobia and certain forms of neo-colonialism" is a gross exaggeration, at most it may apply to a few but not "many places" as alleged. And of course, the students who come to study at Oxford know that this great institution of learning is steeped in Christian culture, Christian values and Christian ethos. The presence of Christianity in Oxford is among it's assets and not liabilities. May be, the vice-president of Balliol's Junior common room committee should be more mindful of "potential harm" that his bias and ignorance can cause to the great traditions of one the finest institutions of learning. In matters like these, I wonder, how accommodating will be the centers of higher learning where traditions of other great religions are part of their cultural heritage?
© Akhtar Injeeli 10/10/2017