JIm Spiegel Taylor

Taylor University May Not Have Followed Its Own Process In Dismissal of Professor

By Warren Cole Smith

Taylor University fired a longtime faculty member, Jim Spiegel, for – among other things – not adhering to the school’s “Life Together Covenant,” a statement all faculty members must agree to.

Ironically, Taylor may have violated the terms of that agreement when it fired Spiegel.

The key reason Taylor gave for firing Spiegel was his refusal to remove from YouTube a humorous video titled “Little Hitler.”  The satirical video was, Spiegel said, an artistic effort to highlight the Christian doctrine of original sin.

However, Taylor officials said the school received “a formal harassment complaint” from “another faculty member because of your song.”  

And therein lies the rub.  According to Spiegel and others familiar with Taylor’s “Life Together Covenant,” the first step in resolving such a conflict should be a one-on-one meeting between the person wronged, and the person who allegedly committed the wrong.  By going to the administration first, the anonymous faculty member likely violated the terms of the “Life Together Covenant,” and by accepting that complaint rather than encouraging the faculty member to meet with Spiegel directly, the college also seems to have violated the terms of the Covenant.

Spiegel said, “By honoring that illicit complaint, the administrators themselves failed to comply with their own process.”

The formal letter telling Spiegel his employment was terminated also cited a “contract agreement” dated May 3, 2019.  The termination letter accused him of violating the terms of that agreement.  

However, according to Spiegel, the May 3, 2019, letter no longer defined the terms of his employment.  That letter covered the 2019-2020 academic year.  Spiegel said he had signed a more recent contract that did not include many of the terms in the May 3, 2019, letter.

Spiegel’s firing has re-opened ideological fissures on the campus.   Taylor made national news last year when it invited Vice President Mike Pence, a fellow Indianan, to deliver the school’s commencement address.  Some students and faculty objected to the invitation, and some students walked out of Pence’s address.  Others refused to shake Pence’s hand when they received their diplomas.  The controversy became so heated that the president of the college was forced to resign a month after Pence’s address.

During that controversy, and at other times, Spiegel aligned with – and sometimes led – those who took a more conservative position on sexuality and other matters being debated on campus.  One of Spiegel’s efforts was the creation of a newsletter called The Excaliber.  The newsletter promoted conservative views on human sexuality, abortion, and other issues.  

The newsletter sometimes made him a thorn in the side of the administration, but Spiegel defended the effort.  “We published it in order to express a conservative perspective that we sensed could use more representation on campus and to create substantive conversation in our community about a variety of issues,” he told Religion News Service in an email last year.

Taylor said it does not comment on “personnel matters.”  But Interim President Paige Cunningham, Provost Michael Hammond, Board Chair Chris Goeglein, and Dean Thomas Jones addressed the “process by which this separation occurred.” Their email said the school followed the procedure to restore damaged relationships in its “Life Together Covenant.” That included “engaging faculty leadership, the academic department and the administration.”  The email concluded, “In this case restoration was not possible.”

But Spiegel and his allies say those statements are false.  Ben Wehling was the director of marketing for Taylor University for 11 years, but he left the school in the spring of 2019.  He said, “Provost [Mike] Hammond has engaged in patent hypocrisy.  The ‘Life Together Covenant’ holds process highly, but in this case that process was virtually ignored.”

He added, “Jim was not treated fairly, but Taylor is conflict-averse, so they tend to placate the loudest and most reactionary voices.”

If that’s true, Taylor may have tried to get rid of the wrong guy.  A GoFundMe campaign has already raised thousands of dollars for Spiegel and his family.  A petition drive led by a Taylor faculty member is calling on the administration to reinstate Spiegel to his former position.

As for Spiegel himself:  he says he is willing to take his old job back.  He says that not only is restoration possible, it is something he earnestly desires.  “The damage is not irreversible,” he said.  “I refuse to be bitter about it.  All it would take is an apology.  It could be a marvelous example of Christian reconciliation.”

Editor’s Note: Watch for The Roys Report podcast tomorrow with Dr. Spiegel, entitled: “Fired Taylor Professor Tells His Story.”

warren cole smithWarren Cole Smith is president of MinistryWatch.com, a donor watchdog group. Prior to that, Smith was Vice President-Mission Advancement for the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.  

SHARE THIS:
  •   
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

GET EMAIL UPDATES!

Keep in touch with Julie and get updates in your inbox!

Don’t worry we won’t spam you.

More to explore
discussion

45 thoughts on “Taylor University May Not Have Followed Its Own Process In Dismissal of Professor”

  1. I’m disturbed that a conservative view on the subjects noted is somehow not acceptable or appropriate at Taylor. Of course the disrespect shown to VP Pence is even more disturbing. Perhaps, Taylor (once a bastion of evangelical orthodoxy) has given in to the “progressive” world view that is poisoning so many of our Christian college campuses. I have three grandchildren on Christian campuses, and that is little comfort to me. So, I regularly check with them as to the spiritual temperature on campus, not to mention errant progressive views.

  2. It sounds like the “other faculty member” could have met with Professor Spiegel privately to discuss the matter, yet chose not to. Not sure why.

    But the following caught my attention:

    “Spiegel’s firing has re-opened ideological fissures on the campus. Taylor made national news last year when it invited Vice President Mike Pence, a fellow Indianan, to deliver the school’s commencement address. Some students and faculty objected to the invitation, and some students walked out of Pence’s address. Others refused to shake Pence’s hand when they received their diplomas.”

    Wow, the horror of inviting Mike Pence! It’s truly a shock to the conscience! Wasn’t there a Che Guevara wanna-be who could have delivered the commencement address instead?

    This is of course is not surprising, since Leftist SJW’s are everywhere to be found, including at many Christian colleges. These are the people who lecture us endlessly about TOLERANCE & LOVE & DIVERSITY & INCLUSION, yet their infantile sensibilities cannot allow them to even listen to anyone’s views that don’t match their own.

    They are like the 4 year-old in the grocery score who will continue to scream and shout until their mommy lets them get the candy they want. The truth is, these Leftist SJW’s are the most bigoted and intolerant people polluting our college campuses across America.

    I keep hoping that our college presidents and administrators will grow a spine, but I think it’s become the standard these days to give into the demands of the woke student mobs, who continue to make their parents proud.

    1. I believe an important part of the university experience is being exposed to multiple viewpoints and learning how to think and discern for yourself. That being said, I have a problem with university environments that shield other views from being shared (conservative OR liberal), as that is NOT living up to the very purpose of attending university (learning how to critically think, communicate one’s viewpoints with evidence, etc). Likewise, I have a problem with parents who are SO SCARED that their child will be exposed to other views that they either refuse to send them into an environment where they will hear different views, or must “check in on them” to make sure that their child doesn’t end up with a different perspective (because, God forbid, your child learns to discern for themselves). BOTH are contributing to today’s environment. BOTH are contributing to various “bubble environments” in which views are not challenged. BOTH are contributing to a generation of young people who do not know how to maturely, intelligently, and respectfully listen, debate, and discuss views with those who don’t think like them without using sweeping generalizations and condescending phrases like “lefty SJW with infantile sensibilities who are polluting college campuses.”
      I say this as someone who grew up in the Bible Belt south, the child of parents who met and married at a Christian university, and with MANY relatives who are in ministry—yet attended university at an Ivy League. I contribute MUCH of who I am by learning how to navigate an environment in which everything I was raised to believe was challenged – by a roommate who was agnostic, a professor who had us read and write about various passages in the Bible, Q’uran, and Torah as both literature and religious texts, and authors on evolution, the role of religion in the civil rights movement, and environmentalism. My parents didn’t “check on me constantly” or contact the university in horror, but encouraged me to debate, back up my views, and stand up for myself – even with them (we don’t agree on all things). I truly believe it is because of this experience that I have a strong faith, strong sense of myself, and great relationships with those within and across “the aisle”, none of whom I agree with on everything (but – gasp – we are able to talk about it and respect one another anyway). I had to cultivate all of these things for myself, not have it shaped by staying in a bubble.
      What’s happening at Taylor is showing that the fish rots from the head. We cannot expect students to learn how to handle discord, conflict, and differing views in a respectful manner when the very university leaders they trust fail to demonstrate it.
      (BTW, Daniel, I’d be interested in hearing why being a SJW is an insult; I read some interesting books on the role of the church and had compelling conversations on the topic as of late).

      1. M H, I think you already know why I think being a SJW is not flattering. Just look at how they act on our college campuses, and how they are acting in our cities night in and night out. Do you really believe these people want to engage in any real debate? About anything? If you don’t agree with them, they will throw a temper tantrum, they will intimidate people (anywhere), and they will break things. This is what they do. And why do they do it? Because not enough sane people are telling them not to. Where do you think that will lead?

        For the record, I know there are many people who regularly comment on this blog who will defend the SJW’s to their dying breath. That of course is their right. Yet I also suspect that not one of these people would feel the same way if these “peaceful protesters” burned down their house or their business. The truth is, most people supporting the “mostly peaceful protests” are nowhere near in any danger themselves.

        1. I was raised on nonviolent protesting, taught to hold signs outside of abortion clinics and chant slogans.

          And now, blinded by their idolatry of a still-explicitly-unrepentant celebrity because he “owns the libs”, I see this same evangelical community forgetting this. Forgetting its long history of nonviolent protesting, as it joins in the powers-that-be’s attempts to demonize millions of nonviolent protesters … just like “the media” used to portray all of us based on the bad apples who went further by blowing up clinics and shooting doctors. (I’m thinking 1980s.)

          Given the unprecedented number of American citizens, nationwide-scale of the protests, and length of time the protests have been going on since the police murdered Mr. Floyd (and Miss Taylor, et al.), it’s disingenuous of you to paint millions of protesters with the same brush as the very, very much fewer violent opportunists (which include “white power” terrorists arrested by the FBI for infiltrating/subverting the protests to create violent mayhem).

          It’s disingenuous of you to keep putting quotes around the term “nonviolent protesters”, no matter how much you disagree with the Justice and accountability that they (and a consistently poll-tested majority of Americans) seek. However indirectly, you’re slandering millions of your fellow citizens—and I don’t mean the MAGAs who always show up heavily armed and don’t even want to be considered nonviolent (or as cheek-turners, for that matter).

          Consider the sheer numbers. On June 6 alone “half a million people turned out in nearly 550 places across the United States. That was a single day in more than a month of protests that still continue to today.”

          “Four recent polls … suggest that about 15 million to 26 million people in the United States have participated in demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and others in recent weeks.”

          And the reporting I’m quoting is from July 3. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/03/us/george-floyd-protests-crowd-size.html

          “While it’s possible that more people said they protested than actually did, even if only half told the truth, the surveys suggest more than seven million people participated in recent demonstrations.”

          If these millions of citizens (by now well over the June 3 estimate) were as dangerous, violent, and criminal as you characterize them, the carnage would be truly unimaginable.

          It would have a daily death toll count that might even rival coronavirus numbers. Consider (again, this reporting is from well over two months ago):

          “Across the United States, there have been more than 4,700 demonstrations, or an average of 140 per day, since the first protests began in Minneapolis on May 26, according to a Times analysis. Turnout has ranged from dozens to tens of thousands in about 2,500 small towns and large cities.”

          So, in fact, yes: nonviolent.

          If there actually were so many “bad hombres”, in so many places, for so long now … it would be explosively obvious on a regular basis and the country would be facing imminent collapse—death toll charts, full-on martial law … and of course constant overwhelming video evidence of protesters violently attacking whoever it is Trump thinks they’re attacking (instead of what we do see: the overwhelming video evidence of continued police brutality against peaceful protestors and journalists, violent attacks on peaceful protesters by Trump idolators, etc.)

          if they were the violent “outsider” protesters you and Trump want people to think they are, where did these 15-26 million “outsiders” come from?

          The truth is more boring. They are our neighbors, our kin, our fellow citizens. They show up with honest, “righteous indignation” … just like I used to do as an abortion-protesting pastor’s kid.

          1. R John, thanks for your perspective. But I disagree with you completely.

            There have been hundreds of millions of dollars of damage done (and property stolen), not to mention many people killed and injured during these so-called protests. It’s been going on and on and on. And there have been dozens of statues and monuments toppled and much public property defaced. When will this end? Until radical groups like BLM and Antifa decide it does? What if they don’t? You see the problem?

            Maybe in the next phase of the progressive revolution, these SJW’s will direct their ire toward our nation’s museums, since, after all, they don’t fairly represent every marginalized people group. Thus, they need to be defaced or pillaged. Why? Because JUSTICE.

            Also, your logic regarding the numbers of peaceful protestors doesn’t add up. For example, if 20 people came to protest at your house or business, yet only 2 of them decided to burn it down, does it really matter that 90 percent of the protestors there were peaceful?

            The problem, in my opinion, is that too many people have decided to justify this anarchy and lawlessness, and it may actually become the new normal. Is this what you want? Is this your version of JUSTICE?

            So you see, you and I will not come to any agreement on this issue, but I do respect your perspective and I do respect your right to express it.

            Lastly, where in the New Testament are Jesus’ followers encouraged to protest the State, let alone pillage cities and deface public property in the cause of justice?

        2. Daniel –
          I am very happy I asked the question, because our definitions of SJW are very different. This has happened to me in several conversations, and the lack of clarity caused a debate when we actually agreed on several points. I believe this is the same case here.

          I am learning that a lot of views on SJWs are shaped by culture and one’s belief in the role of the church. I grew up in an all-black church in the south, where the term “SJW” is a reference to perhaps one of the greatest SJW’s who ever lived: Martin Luther King Jr. In the black community, the church is often at the center of major social justice movements – and it is expected to be there. The church is where black leaders and organizations have met for generations – because that is where larger gatherings of black people COULD meet without causing alarm in the Jim Crow era. I recall being a little girl quietly reading or finishing schoolwork at the back of the fellowship hall while my dad participated in a meeting of the local NAACP chapter. My parents recall similar experiences as children, when my grandparents were part of meetings to plan boycotts or sit-ins. The black church has churned out generations of “SJWs”, as part of our belief that the church is to play an active role in fighting for justice for the marginalized. A “dying” church in the black community often refers to one that has grown silent and is doing nothing to fight for justice.

          For a significant part of my adult life, I have attended predominantly white evangelical churches. The difference in not only views of SJWs, but expectations and beliefs about the proper role of the church have often left me conflicted. It wasn’t until I was at a white church that I learned white evangelicals are NOT supportive of SJWs, and believe in the saving of individual souls as a “means to an end” (if everyone becomes disciples, then naturally, the sin of oppression will be eradicated). A “dying” church in the white evangelical community tends to refer to one that is no longer growing in number.

          I don’t think either is completely right or wrong. I think there is a way to do both – be active in fighting for the marginalized AND save souls. It’s unfortunate it’s turned into a “you have to choose which one you care about” argument.

          Anyway, now that I know what you mean when you say SJW, I would say to you I don’t deem the ones you describe as SJWs. I deem them to be “entitled offspring of helicopter and snowplow parents who raised them to believe that if they aren’t getting their way, it’s because someone is oppressing or robbing them”. (Sorry I don’t have a shorter, catchier name LOL). These parents would tell their child that if they didn’t get into a college or onto a team, “someone stole your spot” and would start lawyering up to “fix it”. They NEVER taught their kids how to handle disappointment, disagreement, or setbacks, and likely never told their child “you didn’t get onto that team or into that school because you just didn’t cut it. Go work harder.” As a result, these kids aren’t fighting for the marginalized. They aren’t fighting for true justice. They are fighting to get their way. That’s not protesting. That’s throwing a tantrum.

          In which case, I agree with a LOT of what you say.

          Now, I will say, Jesus DID turn over tables in the temple. He was destructive out of righteous anger.
          And there are parts of this current movement (if that’s what you want to call it) that are rooted in righteous anger. The challenging part, is what will get people to listen? Now hear me out (or rather, keep reading).
          I’m not saying it is right to be burning or looting or doing anything criminal. I WILL say that we live in a world in which people SAY that “it would be better and people would respond if they’d just protest peacefully.” I say NO THEY WOULD NOT. You know why? Because even peaceful protests are met with cries of “Now is not the time!” “Take that elsewhere!” “I don’t want to hear that!” We see this in response to kneeling at sporting events, athletes boycotting games, red carpet attire, awards show speeches, and marches on the highway. ALL are peaceful forms of protest. And are people listening? NO. In a world full of convenience (no thanks to technology), we have forgotten that protests are supposed to disrupt our convenience and make us pay attention. But we cry about disruption and our discomfort without listening to why it’s happening.
          Where I live in Chicago, the DAY AFTER my neighborhood was first hit with protests in June, my neighbors held a homeowners meeting, only to complain about “when will the beach or rooftop open? It’s summer!” I was astonished at how out of touch they were when we literally had cleaning crews outside of our front door. It made me understand how someone can think, “how about I set the beach on fire? When you have no beach to go to, THEN will you sit there and listen?”
          Again, I am NOT saying any sort of criminal activity is ok. I AM saying I get why even MLK said that a riot is the language of the unheard. In the rest of his speech he was not approving of rioting, but he was saying they don’t occur out of thin air, and they will keep happening if folks don’t start listening to the unheard.
          So again, what will get people to listen?

          Thanks for your time.

          1. M H,

            Bless your heart, and thank YOU for your time!

            I appreciated your thoughtful reply. And yes, it appears that we agree on a LOT more than we originally thought. Who knew? LOL

            You are also a very nice person, and I appreciate your perspective (in this comment thread as well as others).

            Peace and blessings to you and your family.

  3. I see huge red flags. This sounds like a warped idea of satire. Pope Paul VI said we should get on the media i.e megaphone each other. McLuhan said this will shatter people. Audio visuals have a very different effect from a written text (I read spirally to take a page in at once and not serially, and start books from the back). We’ll not solve a button pressing problem within the button pressing system (Godel’s law).

    Idealism is an unstable concept (I’m a methodical realist). Edwards, like the diplomat Aquinas, mixed philosophy and religion inseparably. Edwards appealed to his fellows by their own standards. The absolute monolith (nihilist jagganauth) depersonalises, not a good match for typical limited atonement propaganda. Does Jesus think big people who play on the failings of those smaller but better, playing the Hitler card (whom I’ve known), come over as “conservative”? Spiegel looks like a character out of a John Cleese tragedy. Can this guy write lyrics?

    “Just give it a thought: If you knew you’d never get caught, you’d be thieving and raping and murdering, too.” Is this the ueber convoluted American Freudenschade way of shooting everybody in the foot? It doesn’t surprise me institutions in Wheaton were attracted to Spiegel and now they have reaped a whirlwind. The mentally weak college leadership allowed this to regress well beyond any “Life Together Covenant” the last row but three, I would guess, and are now left inarticulate.

    Mid century, desensitised and directionless Christians couldn’t help the environment and charismatic movements well enough. Televangelism and designer outlet mega religion (Scofieldist and Teilhardist) have replaced all personal relating. Churches ceded the “orientation” battle to the obsessives Reich and Kinsey (orientation properly belongs in the habitus). Intense and incomprehensible “body theology” (modified Schelerism) left us high and dry. Sacraments have become sacrilegious. Holy Spirit fuel for fruits gets forgotten.

    Ethics are more logical than some religious people think: hold things and people as ends in themselves, not means only. Does Spiegel think he would like to marshal people with his portmanteau insinuations? Single students are alert, unlike the compacently nuclear. The one thing he must stop doing is trying to “influence” people. Read Jeremiah (my favourite) in chapel. Let us egg our own puddings for ourselves. Critique philosophy philosophically – that never obscures good.

  4. I hope alumni will stop “giving.” This always gets these private schools where it hurts the most. These schools are not in any way, shape or form trying to apply Biblical principles in how to handle conflict or take a stand on Biblical issues in the culture. Taylor has now gone the way of many others – man pleasing and not God pleasing. May the dollars stop coming in.

  5. I would add I think Aquinas good in most ways. About the coffee shop, get one that does coffee, teach people to keep it simple and not package deal.

    My Mum is last known to have seen her brother when she was 16 and he was 12 and my aunt 10. They didn’t tell us they (had) had a brother. Has Spiegel got any life experience? Wouldn’t it have gone down better if he had chosen the name “Stalin”?

    I fully back the views of Rod Dreher which are about something different:

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/defending-little-hitler-jim-spiegel-taylor-university/

    But Spiegel can’t have mercy for those who had a bad upbringing if he can’t have mercy for those who had a good one. I always found aiming to behave badly completely not worth the bother. Why doesn’t he keep his head screwed on on our behalf? This nonsense isn’t in his line of duty. His sneering IS “bringing a burden into Jerusalem on a sacred day” (Jr 17).

    “There’s a little Hitler inside of me, There’s a brutal killer inside everyone, The hatred grows inside us naturally.” This sounds like “re-education”. I agree with the commenters but when doctrine is so far out, it shows in their relations with everybody and not only Spiegel.

    If the Taylor student body is assisting the organised arson gangs then is what they need calling out for. Why send impractical mixed messages? “Oh well you would secretly wish to become an arsonist (I happen to know). So would I but I’m more of a smartarse than you.” He should concentrate on showing himself as teacher of a body of knowledge.

    All issues around blacks (which Mrs Harris isn’t) are the direct fruit of the Falwell cartel’s Manifest Destiny enforcement, and the Falwell cartel don’t do any prayer. Then two disorganised parties, a disorganised electoral college, a disorganised primary system and a weak cabinet aren’t either assisting or replacing a loudly wavering President who doesn’t enhance Pence.

    If you want to say “I’m against organised arson gangs” or “I’m against schoolchildren being taught to rape” does that or does that not say something clearer than “I’m against liberalism”? If you claim to be a capitalist enforcer what does that tell us about your attitude to hypermutant capitalism (to which ever bigger government has been outsourced)?

    1. CJ, I’m trying to follow, especially the last half of your post. Mrs Harris – who is that, Kamala? What does she (or her judgment of if she’s black) have to do with this?
      I think I understand your point about being clearer – being “anti liberal” is very broad, as is being “anti conservative” (I find when I ask questions, most people are a mix). But the rest…not fully sure of your point.

  6. For commenters here: Taylor University requires all faculty and staff to sign not only its Life Together Covenant but also statements affirming monogamous, heterosexual marriage as God’s design for marriage as well as affirming pro-life stances. Spiegel’s complaints that Taylor has somehow strayed from these views is completely false.
    You can view these public statements on Taylor’s website: https://www.taylor.edu/about/index.shtml

    However, Taylor University does not believe in censorship of open discourse, unlike, say, Cedarville University whose censorship policy has widely been criticized here and elsewhere already.

    What this article does not say and absolutely should say if the reporting had been thorough and truthful is that Spiegel’s newsletter Excalibur targeted people of color on campus in racist and deeply hurtful ways. It also targeted Christian feminists who’ve long had a presence on campus–and Spiegel used to be one of them, in fact! But he’s changed and he paints himself as the victim. He likes to pretend he has been ostracized and oppressed for his now-conservative, political views, but it’s not the truth. It’s the WAY he speaks and behaves that is the root of why he’s gotten in so much trouble over the last few years.

    And that’s the real point here: Spiegel and Taylor don’t disagree on biblical orthodoxy at all. The trustees and administration, for the most part, agree with Spiegel on his politics, too, thus the reason they invited Pence to commencement in 2019. (But Taylor allowed dissent about that because again, they allow open discourse.) The problem is Spiegel’s behavior, not his views. Spiegel has been reprimanded previously for other behavior. He wasn’t fired for this video alone; he was fired because the video was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Enough was enough.

    1. Upland Voice,

      You said: “Taylor University does not believe in censorship of open discourse.”

      Yet the blog article said: “Some students and faculty objected to the invitation, and some students walked out of Pence’s address. Others refused to shake Pence’s hand when they received their diplomas.”

      Whether you call that censorship or not, the faculty and students who exhibit such behavior are simply intolerant, and they are not able to act like adults.

      This is because our culture has taught them to act this way — and even to celebrate it. And this is why the SJW’s on our college campuses (and elsewhere) will continue to throw infantile temper tantrums whenever they don’t get their way or whenever they feel “triggered”.

      God forbid they have to listen to or contemplate thoughts or opinions that don’t match their own. The horror of it all.

    2. This is a highly uncharitable reading of the intent and content of Ex Caliber. The intent was to counter the growing chorus of left-leaning voices on campus. It’s good for students and faculty alike to wrestle with a broad range of views. The authors believed their political stances were increasingly under-represented, which simply is not good for a liberal arts community. The content (and I’ve read the original issue) expresses common conservative-libertarian beliefs on various political matters. And, yes, contributors have critiqued a variety of feminism that they believe to be unbiblical. That is hardly the same thing as attacking feminism per se. The distinction between, say, second and third wave feminism is not merely academic. It has real world import. Upland Voice is either unaware of these distinctions or else willfully chooses to ignore them. Ex Caliber was also panned because it was written anonymously. Clearly, Upland Voice does not object on this count. However, since his or her post badly maligns Jim’s character, I challenge Upland Voice to come forward with his or her name. You shouldn’t be living in the shadows when you say these kinds of things person-to-person.

      Furthermore, multiple faculty and students have come to Spiegel’s defense. This is because Jim is not only an outstanding professor, he also conducts himself with integrity. He disagrees with respect and open-mindedness. He is the kind of professor Taylor needs, especially at a time like this.

    3. You write as though Spiegel is a student. He is a tenured professor. Tenure means he is protected from censorship both in and out of the classroom. By his behavior you imply that it is his opposition to stands administrators or others take that he has disagreed with: welcome to the University.

      Taylor, speaking as an alum, is not the church. It is a collegiate business with Christian sensibilities and heritage, but, it will never be a church and it and all other Christian colleges that are interdenominational can make no such historic claims once they left their denominations and no longer hire administrators and professors who claim that denomination and doctrine. So, the historic base of representing the church is baseless. This is just one of the reasons many of these institutions will not last in this Century: They tied their wagon to a fluid evangelical movement and not a church.

  7. Just a quibble here; the word for a resident of Indiana is not “Indianan.” It is “Hoosier”.

    Agreed that in this case, any reconciliation/reproof should have followed the instructions of Matthew 18, no matter what the Taylor policy says (and to its credit, it follows Matthew 18 for the most part). The exception I’d make is if the accused had been accused of something horrendous and personal like sexual assault, but…my goodness, this is a satirical video!

  8. Sad that this author calls Spiegel’s video “humorous satire”.
    Tell that to the millions of Jews and their families. Hitler is not humorous. To treat him as flippant or a joke is downright cruel and in total violation of the command to love our neighbor. It is completely tons def to the trauma he inflicted on an entire groups of people. That trauma is a clear trigger for all oppressed and marginalized people who already feel vulnerable.
    This article defends a man who this is just another in the long line of situations where he has been outright hurtful to students and staff of color on campus. Let’s talk about that for a minute.

    1. Kevin, you lost me at “That trauma is a clear trigger for all oppressed and marginalized people who already feel vulnerable.”

      Where did you learn to talk that way? Did your parents or grandparents teach you that? I doubt it.

      There are millions of oppressed people in the world, and most of them live in third world countries or in Communist countries like North Korea and China. Or they live in autocratic Islamic states like Iraq and Syria.

      No country is perfect, and America certainly isn’t. But it’s still the most free country on earth, and it offers the most opportunity. Which is why so many people want to come to America every year (both legally and illegally).

      When we constantly categorize people as perpetual victims, how does that help them? Also, we’re talking about a small private college in the Midwest in the United States of America for Pete’s sake. There are NO “oppressed victims” there. I’m sorry to have to break this news to everyone.

      1. Daniel –

        You normally debate with a very respectful tone; not sure where the sweeping generalizations and condescension is coming from.

        I can’t speak for Kevin. But I can speak on how inviting Hitler into a conversation – especially in a humorous manner – can downplay the atrocities he ignited and make those who were (or would be) the targets of those atrocities uncomfortable. As a black woman, I still remember the discomfort in my stomach when my high school history teacher was telling my all-white class that the Confederacy wasn’t really pro-slavery (even though its Constitution says otherwise) and led the class in some sort of “Hurrah for the Confederacy” cheer. I just didn’t feel safe, especially knowing this was coming out of the mouth of a teacher, a trusted voice of authority. I felt a spidey-sense discomfort that is tough to explain. Perhaps you would feel something similar if you were the target, and others – including those in authority – were normalizing or downplaying beliefs (past or present) that would marginalize, discriminate, enslave, or murder those like you. (Not saying you would, but perhaps try to empathize, or sympathize).

        You don’t get to tell others how to feel. Yes, you can mock it or belittle it, as you seem to be doing (which I find to be beneath you, as you are usually quite respectful), but you don’t get to dictate it. Ironically, doing the “what about people in North Korea” turns everything into some sort of “who was treated worse” Olympics, which I don’t think you’re going for. Hurt is hurt. We can all point to someone who has it worse, but that doesn’t take the hurt away.

        There’s nothing wrong with being a victim, as long as you don’t take on the mindset of victimhood. The way to keep people from taking on the mindset of victimhood is NOT to have them deny being a victim in the first place. (I have been a victim of domestic violence – that’s a FACT I will not deny). It is not about downplaying, mocking, or belittling what they went through either. (Yes, a woman in North Korea likely has it worse than me, but that does NOT make what happened to me any less valid). Some things need to be addressed and faced head on. The way to prevent the mindset of victimhood is by making sure victims feel valued, heard, and empowered to make good choices.

        1. M H,

          Thanks for your response. You said, “I can’t speak for Kevin. But I can speak on how inviting Hitler into a conversation – especially in a humorous manner…”

          I haven’t even addressed the video about Hitler — not at all. I have only addressed the mindset of faculty members and students who can’t tolerate or even listen to anyone’s opinion that they don’t share (such as walking out on Mike Pence).

          This is actually the hallmark of the Leftists SJW’s. They are anti-free speech (except for themselves), they are anti-first amendment (except for themselves), and they are the most intolerant toward others who disagree with them. This has been TAUGHT to them.

          Moreover, they have been TAUGHT to view themselves as perpetual victims. Yet many of these college student SJW’s are middle and upper-middle class white kids who see it as their mission to protest against “oppression”. They have no idea how foolish they are being. They were born in America and now they have the luxury to attend a private university. Therefore, they are not the least bit “oppressed”. If they think they are, they are in fact spoiled and snotty kids who simply need to grow up. Is that respectful enough for you?

          My wife and I raised three kids, and not one of them protested at their college, let alone walk out during a commencement address. If they would (at any time) have protested at their college, we would have pulled them out immediately and told them to grow up before going back.

          Lastly, for the record, I think anyone who brings up Hitler to make their point (humorous or not) is usually unhelpful, and can be hurtful (as you pointed out). So I’m not a fan of Spiegel’s video by any means. Nonetheless, that other faculty member could have approached Spiegel privately about it.

          1. “This is actually the hallmark of the Leftists SJW’s. They are anti-free speech (except for themselves), they are anti-first amendment (except for themselves), and they are the most intolerant toward others who disagree with them. This has been TAUGHT to them. Moreover, they have been TAUGHT to view themselves as perpetual victims.”

            Wow, TIL that Trump is a Leftist SJW, since his tweets are all of the above.
            I’m sure it was TAUGHT to him by his mentor, homosexual mob lawyer Roy Cohn.

            Thanks for clearing that up, Daniel! Super helpful, lol.

        2. M H,

          Regarding you being a victim of domestic violence, first, let me say that I’m sorry you had to endure that. Indeed, you were certainly a victim in that sense, which no one can deny.

          But I’m not talking about being a victim of another individual’s actions, such as what you experienced. I’m talking about the mindset of perpetual victimhood and of constant “societal oppression,” which is the hallmark of the Left and the SJW’s who are seeking to create a socialist utopia which doesn’t exist (except in their own imaginations).

          The fact is, people who currently live in America have been utterly spoiled with their comforts, their toys, their freedoms, and their modern conveniences. In the scope of human history (even of Americans just 100 years ago), most people could not have imagined the degree of comfort, security, and conveniences that modern Americans enjoy.

          Yet instead of being thankful and praising God for that, they choose instead to constantly feel oppressed. Would they rather have lived during the first century under the Roman Empire that Jesus and His disciples lived? By the way, how much “protesting” of the State did Jesus’ followers engage in during the first century? Hmm.

          Therefore, it is not only right, but necessary, to point out how millions of people around the globe would die for the freedoms and opportunities that Americans take for granted. So, yes, we need to point out (often) what the alternative is like in so many other countries that are ruled by autocrats, Communists, and Islamists.

          Yet, we live in an age where middle and upper-middle class kids with every privilege, convenience, and opportunity available to them, instead seek to protest “oppression” everywhere they go, all the while lecturing the rest of us about tolerance, diversity, love, blah, blah, blah.

          It is no accident that it is these same people, having a perpetually oppressed, victimhood mindset, who are continuing to destroy our cities (one after another) and who are continuing to promote cancel culture and language conformity and all the other nonsense being foisted on the American public.

          Hopefully there are enough responsible, sane parents out there who are teaching their kids not to act like entitled, spoiled brats before sending them off to college.

        3. M H, regarding you being a victim of domestic violence, first, let me say that I’m sorry you had to endure that. Indeed, you were certainly a victim in that sense, which no one can deny.

          But I’m not talking about being a victim of another individual’s actions, such as what you experienced. I’m talking about the mindset of perpetual victimhood and of constant “societal oppression,” which is the hallmark of the Left and the SJW’s who are seeking to completely transform our society.

          The fact is, people who currently live in America have been utterly spoiled with their comforts, their toys, their freedoms, and their modern conveniences. In the scope of human history (even of Americans just 100 years ago), most people could not have imagined the degree of comfort, security, and conveniences that modern Americans enjoy.

          Yet instead of being thankful and praising God for that, they choose instead to constantly feel oppressed. Would they rather have lived during the first century under the Roman Empire that Jesus and His disciples lived? By the way, how much “protesting” of the State did Jesus’ followers engage in during the first century? Hmm.

          Therefore, it is not only right, but necessary, to point out how millions of people around the globe would die for the freedoms and opportunities that Americans take for granted. So, yes, we need to point out (often) what the alternative is like in so many other countries that are ruled by autocrats or Communist governments.

          Yet, we live in an age where middle and upper-middle class kids with every privilege, convenience, and opportunity available to them, instead seek to protest “oppression” everywhere they go, all the while lecturing the rest of us about tolerance, diversity, love, etc.

          It is no accident that it is these same people, having a perpetually oppressed, victimhood mindset, who are continuing to pillage our cities (one after another) and who are continuing to promote cancel culture and language conformity and all the other nonsense being foisted on the American public.

          Hopefully there are enough responsible, sane parents out there who are teaching their kids not to act like entitled, spoiled children before sending them off to college.

  9. I agree with Professor Spiegel’s position on human depravity, and his firing was unjust if the Hitler song was the sole reason for it. But I would caution fellow believers about carelessly expressed rhetoric concerning our sin nature. Spiegel sings, “If you knew you’d never get caught you’d be thieving and raping and murdering too.” Is that true? We all sin, sin terribly, and want to sin some more – but we are tempted in very different ways. Not all of us would torture toddlers even if our depravity were given full vent. We would do other bad things instead. The assumption that we would be rapist/murderers if we could just get away with it plays into the hands of some atheist adversaries who like to depict Christians as a bunch of sickos. For further thoughts on this issue (if you care to pursue them) see
    http://paullundquist.blogspot.com/2020/02/for-penn-jillette-who-rapes-and-kills.html

    1. I would point out that “Excalibur” and “The Res Publica” were not the same.

      Excalibur was an *anonymous* “underground” paper posted in the dead of night on doors and spread on dining hall tables. In the one edition ever printed, the adult, professor authors adopted pseudonyms of famous swords for themselves (e.g., leg-biter, Excalibur).

      The Res Publica came out after the four responsible for Excalibur and the damage it caused through its anonymity, etc. admitted their work, unapologetically, and were forced to cease and desist in the original format.

      Many had no problem with the latter, even if they disagreed with it.

      For context, see

      1) open letter from alumni

      https://docs.google.com/document/d/113qiLKRNv7R-dMWCLLGjjm24H1C7z9ElGNhRZsHI9Kg/edit

      2) CT article on topic:

      https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/march/excalibur-conservative-underground-taylor-university.html

  10. This article contributes to the false narrative that Jim Spiegel is a victim of an oppressive institution. That is not so.

    TU admin have held their tongue without publicly detailing all of the reasons for why Spiegel was terminated. That is a wise decision both legally and in a humane sense.

    The way Spiegel has seized the narrative and cast himself as the heroic victim is completely in sync with his time while employed. It is not surprising, but it is far from the truth.

    1. Eric, This is a very strong reply to a well-researched piece by Julie Roys. She’s clearly done her homework on the matter. Can you tell us why you are so sure that administration has reasons for its decision beyond what has already been stated? This is a serious matter that demands evidenced-based commentary. Anything less is slander. Please consider this in the way you speak about someone whose life has just been turned upside-down. Again, can you please share your evidence for such strong claims?

      1. Yes, I am glad to offer evidence. One recent previous issue at which Spiegel was the center was the Excalibur controversy, which Warren Smith refers to in his own report (above, note: Smith is the author here, not Roy). For information about the Excalibur controversy, please see the following CT article.

        My point is simply that the “Little Hitler” video and the refusal to remove the said video after receiving a harassment complaint was not the first time Spiegel has been at odds with the administration and members of the TU community lately. This is a fact, not an opinion. Again, please see CT article for an example. You may also be interested in the Echo (TU’s student newspaper) and it’s takes. Also below.

        https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/march/excalibur-conservative-underground-taylor-university.html

        https://www.theechonews.com/article/2018/03/excalibur-dialogue-continues

        https://www.theechonews.com/article/2019/10/q4auxqqmdamo1ni

        https://www.theechonews.com/article/2018/03/opinion-apology-feels-shallow

        https://www.theechonews.com/article/2018/03/view-editorial-board-weighs-regarding-excalibur

        1. Eric,

          From the CT article, the below excerpt which was from Halie Owens’ letter in the Echo school newspaper, caught my attention:

          “Despite the many offenses around the distribution and publication of Excalibur, the thing that most troubled me was the apparent failure of the writers to admit their culpability. In their apology letter, they neither took credit for the pain and suffering they caused nor owned the discord they have sown.”

          While I agree it wasn’t the best idea for the professors to post their anonymous paper the way they did, I find it quite nauseating to read that Haile Owens attributed this publication as causing “pain and suffering.” Good grief. This is the problem with the SJW mindset. Someone else’s views aren’t merely disagreeable (or even annoying), they cause “pain and suffering.”

          By the way, who is causing discord here? When someone attends a private Christian college and then wants to sponsor a “Woke Week,” aren’t they inviting discord too? I agree they have the right to do it, but don’t tell me that this isn’t provocative also.

          1. Was “Woke Week” provocative? Yes. Are we arguing against open dialogue now? That’s not what I feel anyone is saying.

            The difference is that every single person who helped organize “Woke Week” was known. It was all out in the open and – importantly – was student led.

            The pain and suffering was not about the words on the page, it was also the context in which the document was distributed, targeting students of color, etc. You can read about it in the Echo links, above.

            It was also problematic because of the anonymous nature of the provocateurs, because they turned out to be faculty, because their “apology” was “I’m sorry you felt that way,” etc.

          2. Fewer Acolytes Needed

            It appears you all don’t know that Taylor sits 20 miles from the NorthernHQ of the KKK and the site of a very prominent public lynching. Things don’t happen in a vacuum.

        2. In your original post you claim that (a) Spiegel has selfishly co-opted the narrative and (b) he has done so to satisfy a need to play the part of hero. Those are very strong claims that slander Spiegel. In your second post (in reply to my query), you temper your language and offer evidence for (c), that Spiegel and administration have been at odds for some time. I take issue with slanderous (and baseless) claims (a) and (b), not (c).

          Yes, sorry, I thought we were on the Podcast page, which is by Roys. Smith is the author of the article, as you say.

          1. Fewer Acolytes Needed

            He literally constructs arguments for a living. You honestly don’t think he might put one together that is impossible to lose? That’s not slander, it’s common sense (and matches with the facts if you know them…which apparently you do not).

      2. Fewer Acolytes Needed

        Care to provide evidence of what makes this piece “well-researched”? It doesn’t seem that way from what I know firsthand of the matter.

        1. I was referring to the podcast interview Roys conducted with Spiegel. I thought we were on that page. Feel free to check out that interview. I believe Roys did her homework well. What is your firsthand report of the matter? If you have insider knowledge that contradicts Jim’s account (again, see the podcast), please let us know. I am happy to incorporate new evidence into my views. But, I also grow weary of these anonymous insinuations about Jim. It’s wrong. This is a serious matter, folks. Let’s deal with it in the light of day.

        2. “He literally constructs arguments for a living. You honestly don’t think he might put one together that is impossible to lose?”

          That’s speculation. Again, we are dealing with a man’s life and reputation here. Please, proceed with due caution. You would deserve the same, my friend.

  11. Fewer Acolytes Needed

    I would never conduct myself the way he has throughout this and several other circumstances. If you had a bit more perspective, perhaps things would be more clear to you. It is not my place to provide the private information I know. It exists and you can obscure if you like. It’s easy to win an argument when only one side can talk freely without the fear of being corrected. I suppose you might as well enjoy it. Maybe someday you will be on the other side of things.

    1. It’s neither good nor fair to slander a person, especially under the cover of ‘fewer acolytes needed.’ If you have something substantive to say, it would be helpful if you would share it. If not, it’s probably best to leave this situation alone. I have no desire to compound the anxiety of the moment, however. So, I will leave it at that. If you’d like to have the last word, please feel free to respond. I will consider whatever you have to say, and abstain from further defense.

  12. Love Silent Acolytes

    Yes I will agree with you on this. You have nothing whatsoever of substance to add other than circular (fittingly) spin, and I am not free to speak openly, so we can both end it there! Yay!

Leave a Reply

Donate

Hi. We see this is the third article this month you’ve found worth reading. Great! Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation to help our journalists continue to report the truth and restore the church?

This month if you give over $25/mo you will receive the eBook edition of God, Greed, and the Prosperity Gospel by Costi W. Hinn.