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Christian Fellowship Policy Appropriate

Letter to the Editors

To the editors:

The Crimson staff editorial from April 15, “A Discriminatory Clause,” was fraught with illogical reasoning which cannot go unanswered.

The staff wrote that it is “absurd” to imagine that a group would restrict its leadership to members of a certain race or gender, as the Harvard Radcliffe Christian Fellowship restricts its leadership to members of a certain religion. 

But suppose there exists a club with the purpose of fostering community among students of a particular race or gender, or with the purpose of promoting the issues of that community of students. It seems perfectly logical to allow that group to limit its leadership to members who can best fulfill those purposes. And it also seems logical that in order to fulfill the purpose of community, one must be a member of that community  in other words, belong to that race or gender.  

As neither a black student nor a woman, I would not feel even remotely discriminated against if groups such as the Black Students Association, the Radcliffe Union of Students, or similar organizations instituted such a policy.

Furthermore, the staff wrote that a student “who does not believe in the resurrection could make a great leader [of HRCF],” as long as he or she were interested in “prayer, socializing, and community service.” But these are not the only activities that HRCF undertakes, and they are far from the most important. In fact, one of the first purposes outlined in the HRCF Constitution is to sponsor events that “witness to the Lord Jesus Christ as God Incarnate.”  This is a fundamental aspect of any Christian organization, and obviously a student who does not believe in Jesus as “Lord”, “Christ,” or “God Incarnate” could not fulfill this purpose.

The reasons for allowing HRCF to remain a recognized organization are a matter of common sense, and I am glad that some members of the editorial board understand this.

Mark T. Silvestri ’05

April 15, 2003