Remember back in 2011 when NBC News host Ann Curry confused Wheaton College in Massachusetts with Wheaton College in Illinois? This was particularly embarrassing for Curry because she was delivering the commencement address at one Wheaton College but spoke as if she was at the other Wheaton College.
Well apparently left-wing mainstream media types are not the only ones who get confused about this. Yesterday on his radio show, right-wing activist Charlie Kirk, who prides himself on his knowledge of history, theology, and just about every other topic under the sun, did the same thing. It all started with a riff against the separation of church and state and “woke-ness.”
Kirk begins the show with this line: “Hey everybody, happy Monday. I’m taking your questions…I respond to a woke professor at the once great, now miserable, Wheaton College that has become super woke and totally unrecognizable unfortunately….”
Later in the show he responds to a question from a listener: “Charlie, I see you went viral saying something about the church and state being mixed together. Can you please elaborate on that? Kirk responds: “Yes.”
He then proceeds to argue that the founders did not believe in the separation of church and state because they established a church in Congress, congressional chaplains, and prayer rooms.
The founders’ view of the relationship between church and state is much more complex that Kirk makes it out to be. But that never stopped Kirk from pontificating on the subject for the purpose of advancing his political agenda.
But I digress. This post is not about whether Kirk was right or wrong about the founders’ views on the separation of church and state. If you are interested in that question, I direct you to this book. I heard its pretty good! 🙂
Kirk was upset that people on social media attacked him for his views on the separation of church and state. I’ll let him take it from here:
There was one very smug person–who was a professor from Wheaton College which used to be a really good place and is now a complete woke and unfortunately increasingly Godless institution–by the name of Dr. Miranda Yaver. So she tweeted something at me. She said: “Good thing Charlie is not taking my constitutional law course or else he would fail. So I responded. I e-mailed her and said, “hey, do you want to come on the show and we can talk about this. We won’t debate it. I want to know your thoughts and I’ll tell you mine. Because I know a fair amount of history and you’re an important person–you’re an associate professor of political science and you’re supposed to be super smart. Why don’t we have a conversation about this?'” And then she says smugly and arrogantly: “Hi Charlie, if you enroll at Wheaton College you’re more than welcome to take my constitutional law course. In the meantime, I suggest that you read the First Amendment.” Very smug and arrogant. (Italics are mine).
Professor Miranda Yaver then…put my personal information on Twitter which has resulted in all sorts of fun responses from the Internet. And so let’s build this out. Since professor Miranda Yaver is a coward and not that smart because she’s a professor at Wheaton and teaches your children and doesn’t want to talk about it….
Kirk then goes on with his argument–mostly faulty and mostly repeating stuff David Barton has been saying for years–about the separation of church and state. At one point he somehow connects it all to mask and vaccine mandates.
He then goes after Yaver again:
Dr. Yaver won’t teach her students this–Dr. Yaver from Wheaton College which used to call itself a Christian school. She’s not interested in any of this. No, she would propagandize her students on a secular humanist view that there must be this dividing line between the two. (Italics mine).
Kirk talks more about his views on the founders, adding that he wrote an e-mail to Yaver telling her that “I fear for your students, however I’m not shocked Wheaton is staffed with such prideful fools as yourself. Have a blessed day, I pray you learn something and stay away from young people.” (Italics mine).
Miranda Yaver does indeed teach political science at Wheaton College–the liberal arts college in Norton, Massachusetts. Kirk says Wheaton “used to call itself a Christian school.” But in my brief research, it does not appear that Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts ever identified as a Christian school.
Oh, wait a minute, perhaps Kirk means this Wheaton College, the evangelical school in Wheaton, Illinois that does not employ Miranda Yaver. 😉
The last time I checked, Wheaton was founded as, and continues to be, a very Christian liberal arts college. The fact that Kirk thinks it is “Godless” suggests just how crazy and divisive the Trumpian Christian Right has become.
But is Wheaton woke? I will let theology professor Vincent Bacote answer that question.
By the way, here is Yanzer’s tweet:
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