(BARTLESVILLE, Okla.) — Amid protests at universities around the country, Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Everett Piper has some blunt and controversial advice for today’s culture: In short, grow up.
In a blog post titled This Is Not a Daycare. It’s a University published on the Christian liberal arts school’s website, Piper described an incident when a student at the school complained of feeling “victimized” by a university sermon about 1 Corinthians 13, a bible verse that Piper calls “the quintessential love chapter.”
Piper told ABC News that his open letter is directed at culture as a whole and his peers in academia rather than just one student. He feels that kids today are taught to be “self-absorbed and narcissistic” and that they go on the defensive when something makes them uncomfortable or hurts their feelings. The post goes on to say that “Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a ‘safe place,’ but rather, a place to learn.”
Piper has been president of the school since 2002, and said that while he writes weekly blog posts, none have taken off like this one. His sentiments are not new, but they’re going viral at a time when political correctness is a constant topic of discussion, and while colleges are in the midst of a debate about whether marginalizing certain language should instead be protected free speech.
While his remarks are certainly ruffling feathers, Piper stands by his post. “Why this [post] goes viral is beyond me,” he said. “Is it possible that I’m addressing an idea that culture finds disturbing?”
As for the incident in question in the post, sermons are generally intended to foster feelings of guilt, selfishness and discontent — otherwise known as a good conscience, Piper said. But, he added, “If you’re more interested in playing the ‘hater’ card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn,” there are other universities besides his that will provide that opportunity.
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