Restoring Christian Representation at Kettering University

Restoring Christian Representation at Kettering University

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Logan Snider started this petition to Kettering University and

This petition discusses two examples in which Christian’s have been dis-respected and mis-represented at Kettering University, as well as suggestions to restore Christian respect on campus.

New standards of incorporating cultural and religious expression have been adopted by institutions across America. Their mission seeks to be more inclusive of different beliefs and backgrounds that make up their current and possible future body. In the process of this mass adoption, problems of equal representation and deformity of those religions and cultures can occur, and usually these mis-representations and inequalities are intentional.

Not only at Kettering, but in the marketplace of institutions around the country, there has been an exponentially growing trend of the mis-representation and dilution of Christianity and its symbols. Institutions are incorrectly recognizing Christianity by applying a pseudo technique of “inclusion by dilution”, rather than applying a rule of “inclusion with distinction”. “Inclusion by dilution” is the practice of incorporating multiple groups, ideas, or beliefs and combing them into one idea or symbol. Although they are claiming to be inclusive, their intentions have the opposite effect, and instead, subtract the identity of each group. These actions create something less meaningful and non-representative because the groups are diluted to a mediocrity that no one wants to celebrate. The following two examples of destroying Christian identity have been identified in the Kettering community:

Ex.1: Inclusion by dilution glistens in Kettering’s Great Hall (GC) at the end of every Fall term. The Christmas tree, or as Kettering says, “The holiday tree”. 

The Christmas tree is a specifically adopted symbol to the Christian religion as a sign of Christ and of life-eternal with God. It is not part of any other religion or culture, so why has Kettering diluted its meaning by labeling it a “holiday tree”, and claiming it to represent all the people? This doesn’t give respect to Christians, nor does it lend recognition or regard for the other cultures and religions that seem to be lumped into the “holiday tree”. Christians, Jews, Hindu’s and other religious and cultural people represented at Kettering should have their symbols respected and distinctly separate from one another.

Ex.2: Unequal representation for Kettering Christians was obvious and intentional in a social media post dated Dec. 25, 2020. The post on Instagram said, “Season’s Greetings” and had no mention of Christmas, while other religions and cultures were specifically celebrated on their respective dates.

In 2019, Kettering’s Instagram platform wished a Happy Diwali, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy Kwanzaa on their appropriate dates. This year in 2020, Kettering’s instagram platform wished a Happy Diwali, Happy Hanukah, and Happy Kwanza on their appropriate dates. There was no Merry Christmas post dedicated to the majority Christian body, instead the phrase “Season’s Greetings” took its place on December 25th, 2020, Christmas Day. This was a clear and intentional act of omitting the vernacular used in the celebration of Christmas. This is a slap in the face to Kettering Christians and their families, many of whom support the university through tuition dollars and by spreading its good reputation to others.

 

This petition calls for Kettering to apply “inclusion with distinction” by requesting the following changes to restore Christian respect and identity on campus:

  1. Restore and refer to the tree in the GC as the “Christmas tree” and not as the “holiday tree”.
  2. Provide separate and distinct symbols for religions and cultures Kettering celebrates, such as and including: Christmas (tree), Diwali (lamps), Hanukah (menorah), Kwanzaa (colors/candles)…etc.
  3. Use Christian vocabulary (Merry Christmas) when supporting and celebrating Christian holidays through Kettering social media and printed materials, instead of terms lacking representation such as “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays”.

This petition isn’t a call to divest from Kettering, nor part of the ridiculous “cancel culture” (assassination culture) movement. It’s simply a call to action to correct and re-establish what is good and what is right for Christian and other religious and cultural representation on campus. All beliefs and cultures should be respected by treating their identities and their symbols separately and distinctly. In turn, this will be treating the students, faculty, staff, and Kettering families with respect.

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