Lariat Letters: Rope failed in attempting parody of religion prof

Excerpts from The Rope’s article: “Reggie Williams gets picked up by Baylor”

In an obvious effort to diversify the Religion department, Baylor University has drafted Reggie Williams to fill a void and lecture on the topics related to Christian ethics (naturally).

“He will be a valuable asset on the faculty football team,” says coach Art Briles. “He will be what Lache Seastrunk is expected to be for the student team, and probably about as articulate.”

Attempts to contact Williams in his office and classroom have been unsuccessful. There was always some other tall black guy covering for him who denied he had any knowledge of “Ole Regg Dawg.”

At its October meeting, the faculty of the Baylor religion department unanimously approved the following statement:

The faculty of the Baylor Religion Department supports the University’s response to the recent article in The Rope (Fall 2011) about our colleague Dr. Reggie Williams, including the statement from the President’s Diversity Council. The Religion faculty publicly denounces The Rope article; it descended far below the threshold of literary parody and in a very troubling way rested on racist assumptions. We are fortunate and delighted to have Dr. Williams as a colleague, and we know he will contribute immensely to life at Baylor during his career. Dr. Williams is an emerging Bonhoeffer scholar who has written the first full-length treatment of Bonhoeffer’s time of study in the United States.

We call upon all of us in the Baylor community to engage in dialogue and personal and communal relationships that work toward overcoming acts and attitudes of racial prejudice and discrimination so that we might all work toward fulfilling the University’s mission. As a department, we commit ourselves to explore new avenues to help the Baylor community deal with racism, sexism, and classism issues and to grow into a community that recognizes that we are all created in the image of God.

—W. H. Bellinger Jr.
Chair, Department of Religion