University spokesperson denies lecture is anti-Christian
Cal State Fullerton recently changed the title of one of its planned lectures and removed its description after a prominent conservative writer brought attention to and criticized the lecture’s claim that Christianity serves white supremacy.
At the time Rod Dreher published his post titled “Christianity: White Supremacists at Prayer?” on The American Conservative, the lecture’s title was “Religiosity and Critical Whiteness: How Christianity Serves White Supremacy.”
Yet, the next day, the university’s website only listed the lecture, part of a series at CSUF’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, with the title “Religiosity and Critical Whiteness” and no description.
Dreher told The College Fix via email that what he had quoted in his article was the lecture’s original description. He also said that after he published his article, he was told that the university had changed their website.
The original description had offered a clear summary of what is going to be discussed in the lecture:
“Though race, socioeconomic status, education levels, and geographic location are often cited as possible reasons for investing in white surpremacist [sic] philosophies, an often overlooked component of white supremacy culture is how Christianity contributes to these beliefs. A wide range of interdisciplinary research has identified how Christianity buttresses patriarchal power structures and beliefs. We will discuss how Christianity reaffirms white supremacy views; including how a ‘color-blind’ approach maintains the optics of being ‘non-racist,’ while upholding racist systems of power.”
In his article, Dreher attributes the lecture to “anti-Christian bigotry,” stating: “How far do you think a Cal State professor would get giving a lecture on how Judaism fosters social evil, or Islam? You know the answer: because anti-Christian bigotry is a sign of enlightenment among these elites.”
“Nobody at Cal State Fullerton is going to have to answer for this,” he added.
As the university’s website no longer provides a description of the lecture, The College Fix had reached out to CSUF to request more information and ask the university to respond to the criticism.
Cerise Valenzuela Metzger, associate director of news media services at California State University Fullerton, told The College Fix in an email that the “planned lecture is not anti-Christian, nor is the lecturer saying Christianity is synonymous with white supremacy.”
Metzger did not disclose whether there originally had been a description when first asked by The College Fix. When asked a second time, Metzger said that she was “unaware of whether there was ‘originally a description.’”
Instead, Metzger provided The College Fix with a new description of the lecture from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Dean Sheryl Fontaine, which states: “Drawing on various sociological theories, the lecture will explore historical ways in which white supremacy may have been buttressed by various Christian projects.”
Metzger said that a lecturer of sociology had proposed the talk prompted by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ selected theme of “Interdisciplinary Conversations on Anti-Racism.”
The lecture will take place as a virtual event on November 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
“The webinar/Zoom-based event is free, but will likely be open only to the campus community. The primary audience of these lectures is intended to be faculty and students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences,” Metzger said in her email.
Shortly after The College Fix query, the university altered its website once again. This time the registration link for the webinar was removed while general information regarding the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ “Interdisciplinary Conversations on Anti-Blackness” Lecture Series was added to the webpage.
When asked by The College Fix via email about the change, Metzger said that “webinar links for the November and December lectures have are [sic] not yet posted on the site.”
She stated that “[t]he links will be posted prior to each event. I am not aware of the exact date or dates those will post.”
The lecture’s feature speaker will be Justin Huft, a lecturer in sociology at California State University Fullerton. According to his bio, Huft holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, and a master’s degree in sociology, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, is certified in substance abuse disorders, and LGBT-affirmative psychotherapy.
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