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EDITORIAL: Inclusivity means everyone

Belmont Vision Multimedia/Gracie Anderson
Belmont Vision Multimedia/Gracie Anderson

Belmont is becoming more inclusive, and that’s a great thing.

But inclusivity, it seems, has conditions.

You can teach here if you’re Christian, you can teach here if you’re Jewish.

Any other religion? Apply somewhere else.

On Wednesday, university provost David Gregory announced Belmont would begin hiring Jewish faculty in the colleges of law, medicine and pharmacy, effective immediately. Until now, professors had to be Christian, regardless of the discipline they teach.

This change is necessary and long overdue.

But where do Belmont’s God-sized dreams of inclusivity start, and where do they end?

There are plans to extend the policy campus-wide, but no plans to extend it to other religions.

Jewish professors? Yes. Islam? No. Hindu? Nope. Buddhist? No sir. And atheists aren’t in the conversation, either.

There is no doubt this university cares about its students and wants to bring the best professors to the boulevard.

But “best” has a giant, blinking, neon asterisk next to it.

Say there’s a filmmaker who, after their 20-year career in Hollywood working with the biggest names, wants to teach here. They’ve won an Academy Award and they’re well-versed in the newest tech in the industry.

They love Belmont and they believe in what this school is doing. But, gasp, they’re agnostic.

What happens?

Are we going to say no to hiring the best people for the job, all because they don’t believe what we do?

Even if they believe in Belmont?

Universities are supposed to be a place of diverse thought and wide-ranging opinions.

Belmont’s intentions are good, but there’s more they have to do.

President Greg Jones has a valiant goal: make Belmont the leading Christ-centered university in the world by 2030.

So, with that in mind, how can this university be committed to inclusion, and committed to providing students with the best possible education, but cherry-pick the religions they hire from?

This editorial was written by Sarah Maninger.

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