Erroll Treslan began by quoting me:
“Over the past year I’ve been under attack by a handful of Calvinists who have attempted (among other things) to ensure that I lose my job”.
Erroll then offered the following response:
“I’m trying to decide what causes me greater concern: the fact that a handful would attempt to disrupt your employment or the fact that your employment could be imperilled by your theological bent. After reflection, it’s the latter.
“Let’s suppose you have (or will) deny the inerrancy of the Bible. Would that imperil your employment? How about denying the concept of substitutionary atonement? Would that imperil your employment? Is there security of tenure for a professor of theology? What would happen if you were to embrace the Christ-myth theory?
“These are not idle questions. I frequent this blog because I value your reasoning ability. If you are constrained from freely expressing your views, you should admit that to your audience.”
I offer Erroll the following reply:
Let’s say that Smith is a paid employee of American Atheists and Smith also blogs. Do you think that Smith would lose his job if he became a theist?
So are you going to question the integrity of Smith’s blog because he is employed by an organization that would take punitive measures if he became convinced of the existence of God?
Jones is an assistant professor of biology at Stanford and Jones blogs. If Jones suddenly becomes a supporter of intelligent design do you think Jones will get tenure next year when he applies for it?
So are you going to question Jones’ integrity because he is employed by an institution that would take punitive measures against him if he adopted views other than the ones he currently holds?
See Erroll, you have an indefensible double standard. Every professional organization, every institution, demands something by way of belief and practice from its employees, so why single out Christian organizations for special censure?
The point to keep in mind is that I applied to work at a progressive evangelical organization precisely because I’m a progressive evangelical. Same goes for Smith and Jones in their respective spheres. And in each case if one of us adopted views that were fundamentally incompatible with the identify of our institution, one hopes we’d have the good sense to recognize the fact and move on.