Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

"God and Man at Yale"

No, not the book, but rather a comment here on this NYT story about Yale’s decision to sever its ties with an historic congregation on its campus in order "to strengthen the growing expressions of religious and spiritual life" at Yale.

In a nutshell, a small, liberal congregation is being displaced from Battell Chapel so that the chaplain’s office can find more ways of actually serving the religious needs of students. The "Get Religion" post notes that few Yalies, except those paid to sing in the choir, actually attend the services, which seem mostly to be populated, not even by New Haven townies, but rather by middle-aged residents of other Connecticut towns.

Here’s a telling complaint: "’I am very upset that the university, in its arrogance, seeks to dissolve this affiliation, when it was the church that founded this university,’ said Dr. Michael Connair, a resident of Hamden, Conn."

Yes, Yale was founded by Congregationalists, the precursors of the United Church of Christ, but I find it ironic that members of a denomination that long ago abandoned (or "evolved away from") its own roots are complaining about the severing of "historic ties." (Here, for what it’s worth, is the official UCC response to Yale, which echoes and amplifies the complaint reported in the NYT.) That Yale doesn’t feel well-served by a denomination that embraces a certain sort of diversity leads me to wonder what will come in its place. Will Battell Chapel, for example, be as welcoming of theologically conservative Christian groups as it has been of "the Buddhists who now meditate" there? Or will we just see different, more youth-oriented versions of the "open and affirming" faith represented by the soon-to-be-displaced Church of Christ in Yale (down, by the way, to 40 worshippers the Sunday the NYT reporter visited)?

Discussions - 1 Comment


Exactly. The UCC is reaping what it has sown over the years. Ironic indeed that they would complain.

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