Phi Beta Cons

Cross Removal at William and Mary, Soviet-Style

The following is an email from writer Jack Kemp in response to my posting on campus president Nichol’s autocratic (and, as John notes, costly) decision to strip the cross from Wren Chapel:


I wonder if the president would advocate removing the star and crescent from any Muslim Center or on-campus mosque in America because the symbol would be “contrary to the best values of the college?” Do these best values include respect for other people’s right to worship and to have free assembly with like-minded people? I would assume William and Mary accepts federal funding, so aren’t they obligated to not discriminate against a religion’s right to congregate on campus?


This incident reminds one of what happened in the old Soviet Union where the Commissars – who “knew” what was best – turned churches and synagogues into sites for general purpose use, typically a museum, against the will of the community. What Nichol has done could be arguably prosecuted as a hate crime against Christians. Is the building a state or national historic site? It’s illegal to modify those, as well.

Candace de Russy — Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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