|Dr. Larycia Hawkins/Facebook|
|Franklin Graham before an interview at the Associated Press office on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)|
Graham, who said that he is “deeply concerned” over faculty recommendations that the case against the professor be dropped, also pushed back against Hawkins’ “same God” proclamation in a Facebook post published on Saturday.
“Both my father Billy Graham and my mother attended Wheaton College in Illinois – in fact that’s where they met,” Graham wrote. “I’m surprised and disappointed that the faculty council there is now recommending the college drop their plans to terminate a professor who published that she believed Islam and Christianity worship the same God in December.
The Christian leader, who is the president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, went on to explain exactly why he believes that Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God, calling Hawkins’ comments “no minor issue.”
“Islam denies that God has a Son. They deny that Jesus is God. They do not believe in a Triune God–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” Graham continued. “I can tell you – Islam and Christianity clearly do not worship the same God.”
He continued, “How the faculty council can now support this professor being allowed to teach students is deeply concerning.”
Graham’s comments came after Wheaton College’s Faculty Council, the liaison between the college administration and faculty, voted unanimously to urge leaders to halt any efforts to potentially fire Hawkins.
Wheaton College responded to the Faculty Council’s recommendation by noting that it is within the confines of the faculty handbook, but that the school is following “established protocol” in how it handles Hawkins’ case.
Associate political science professor Larycia Hawkins ignited intense debate last year after she chose to wear a hijab in solidarity with Muslims. She also suggested that Christians and Muslims worship the same God in a Facebook post, which lead to Wheaton College Provost Stanton Jones recommending termination proceedings.
The punishment did not sit well with a number of Wheaton alumni, however, and close to 815 of them signed a letter declaring that they will cease their financial support for the institution unless it reconsiders its stance.
The Washington Post then reported late last week that Wheaton's faculty council unanimously voted to recommend that the college's leadership reverse its decision to have Hawkins fired.
There have also been student protests in support of Hawkins, though others have stood by the college's decision.
On her part, Hawkins has attempted to explain her theological argument by submitting a four-page statement to Jones, where she insisted that she is a deeply committed Christian.
"I understand that Islam (and Judaism) denies the deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit, and leaves no room for the Cross and the Resurrection, but my statement is not a statement on soteriology or trinitarian theology, but one of embodied piety," she wrote in her argument.