“Have some wine,” the March Hare said in an encouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. “I don’t see any wine,” she remarked. “There isn’t any,” said the March Hare. “Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it,” said Alice angrily. “It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being invited,” said the March Hare.
This is a follow-up to my super-cheerful post on Wednesday, “Tenure: What is it good for? (Absolutely nothing?)” Hear now the tale of Sheri Klouda, a faculty member who was told she wouldn’t be tenured at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary because the good men of SBTS “believe women are biblically forbidden from teaching men.” (Yes–you read that correctly. I know it doesn’t make any sense, but bear with me.) Her contract wasn’t renewed in 2006, so she took them to court. She’s in the news this week because a judge dismissed her lawsuit, claiming that their “religious beliefs” make it all nice’n’legal (on First Amendment grounds, natch.) This ruling doesn’t make any sense at all. Their “religious beliefs” prevent women from teaching men at all, so–why was she hired? Other women remain on the faculty–apparently they have no rights as employees which SBTS is bound to respect. How disturbing that U.S. District Judge John McBryde doesn’t find it troubling that these deeply held “religious beliefs” are checked at the door until they’re needed to block a woman’s promotion. Disturbing, but not surprising–after all, this is characteristic of that crazy, mixed-up, through-the-looking-glass place called Tenureland, where nothing is as it seems!