I wholeheartedly agree with Nathan Elkins’ August 28 letter titled “Good Riddance.” Dr. Elkins is a former Baylor professor who was commenting on the possible change of affiliation between Baylor University and the Texas Baptist General Convention. The reality is that this affiliation is already quite weak. The BGCT is only recognizing this reality and putting the two institutions out of their misery. If this were to happen, the consequences would extend far beyond the LGBTQ issues that precipitate this severing of ties.
Without affiliation with a religious governing body such as the BGCT, Baylor could no longer claim a religious exemption. These religious exemptions are conditional on affiliation with an external religious governing body. For example, the University of Notre Dame is governed by the Catholic Church. Brigham Young University is governed by the Church of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Like it or not, without BGCT affiliation, Baylor would become non-sectarian. It could no longer claim to be a Baptist university, much less the largest Baptist university in the world. In order to receive government assistance, he would have to adhere to all government regulations with no exceptions or religious exemptions. This would depend primarily on Baylor’s participation in various federal student loan programs and receipt of federal research grants.
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Baylor could no longer use religion as a factor in admitting students, hiring faculty, or participating in student activities and organizations. It is doubtful that Baylor can continue to identify as a Christian university or have a Christian program. It would become like Duke or Vanderbilt or Emory or Southern Methodist. These are fine academic universities with highly regarded seminaries, iconic houses of worship, and a strong religious presence on campus. But they are non-sectarian in the sense that they do not favor one religion over another despite their sectarian backgrounds.
This could lead to many positive benefits for Baylor. Without the conservative Baptist millstone hanging around its neck, Baylor would be free to seek associations and collaborations that had previously been difficult due to Baylor’s Baptist identity. In time, this could even lead to a merger between Baylor University and Baylor College of Medicine. This could be a very positive development for both institutions.
No body cameras
I had no idea our sheriff’s deputies weren’t, again, wearing body cameras. This should concern every citizen for many reasons. We should also ask our sheriff and commissioners why they don’t. I never dreamed that was the case, so I did some research. We’re the only ones, and there are grants to get them, so it costs taxpayers nothing.
Now, why would a riding allow its MPs to not wear body cameras? Since we’ve had three deaths in four months, the lack of body cameras may well be a liability for our county’s frequent lawsuits, at best.