Letters to the Editor

Jon W. Pauli: Unequal validity

As expected, Duke University’s attempt to honor religious diversity has created a flurry of well-intentioned, but woefully erroneous, claims by readers that have literally pitted Islam against Christianity and vice versa.

Most egregious was the Jan. 25 letter “ Enemy of freedom” in which a former religion professor at Meredith College hid behind his “credentials” to mislead us – and no doubt countless former Meredith students – into believing his warped view of “the essence of Christianity.”

What many other letter-writers have likewise failed to realize is that although most of us can agree that Islam and Christianity share many admirable features, it is impossible for their basic tenets to have equal validity.

For instance, Christ’s claim to be the Son of God is incongruent with Islamic doctrine. They can’t have it both ways: Either Christ is who He claims to be, or He isn’t.

Duke, being a private institution founded on a platform of Christianity, is well within its rights to reverse its original decision. It is misleading to insinuate that freedom of religion, as guaranteed in the Constitution, has therefore been abandoned since Duke is not expressly forbidding the practice of Islam.

Jon W. Pauli