Washing Feet Endangers Students, School Says
If Jesus washed his disciples’ feet at a Georgia college in 2007, he’d likely be accused of "hazing."
That’s the position a Christian ministry at Savannah State University has found itself in, after it washed the feet of its new members. The campus ministry Commissioned II Love (C2L) was also accused of "harassing" students by sharing their faith.
Washing of feet is a symbolic gesture of servitude in the Christian faith, following the example of Jesus, who washed the disciples’ feet during their last meal before his crucifixion, as recounted in the New Testament gospel of John (13:1-17).
The Christian group says the foot washing ritual "serves as a symbol of purity, a charge to share the gospel, and an act of service to others … [it] is not a condition of gaining membership, status, or acceptance into C2L or holding an office."
The explanation appears in a lawsuit brought by C2L against SSU after the group was suspended for "harassment" and "hazing."
As most committed Christians know, the washing of feet was done by Jesus to his disciples before he was crucified. This was a practical example of leadership by example, as in that time, that activity was done by slaves and servants. The "Master of the house" would never humiliate himself to wash the feet of his guests (even today in the Middle East, notice that hitting with "dirty" shoes is a sign of extreme disrespect).
Yet, Jesus "lowered" Himself to show that no one is above another. In like manner, C2L is trying to show others of this philosophy. Yet it seems that C2L, in following His example, have fallen prey in the latest example of anti-Christian activities on a college campus.
And frankly, a trumped up charge, IMHO. HOW can ANYONE see that the simple act of washing feet is "hazing?" I can see where forcing candidates to drink large quantities of liquids (people have died of both water and alcohol intoxication), requiring risky behavior, or abject humiliation could be construed as hazing, but washing of feet?
And "sharing their faith" is harrassment? What about events where activities like truely harrassing military recruiters and damaging their property, throwing eggs, and outright shouting / taunting are allowed by college administrations (who then sanction that as First Amendment rights or academic freedom of expression)? Yes, a double standard….
According to the complaint before the U.S. district court in the southern district of Georgia, several SSU students organized a petition to have C2L shut down, accusing it of having a "cult-like mentality."
Several students? How many is several? And the qualifications?
Actually, those questions don’t seem to matter much…it seems that if one person complains, no matter the background or the issue, something is lost or shut down. Once again, the tyranny of the minority trumps the majority.
The SSU student handbook defines hazing as follows: "to subject a student to an activity which endangers or is likely to endanger the physical health of a student, regardless of a student’s willingness to participate in such activity."
I ask – how can washing of feet fit the above definition? No, it does not….it is just an excuse.
The handbook also states: "No rights are more highly regarded … than the first amendment guarantees of freedom of speech [and] freedom of expression."
Sure….it sure sounds like it…..and the actions certainly seem to back it up…..sure…..
"Now we are finding that at other schools, they will use almost any reason – or sometimes even no reason at all – to get rid of Christian student groups."