A recent mass email sent out by the chaplain of Hillsdale College caused a stir this week. The email, sent by Peter Beckwith, warned, “ugly things are happening in the Supreme Court.” He also stated, “I do not even think we can imagine the effects this could have on our nation, the church, and families.”
Ironic words coming from the college where the former president, George Roche III, had an affair with his own daughter-in-law for 20 years. Lissa Roche shot herself on campus after she found out he was getting back together with his second wife. He divorced his first wife because she had liver cancer. An excellent example of a Christian family that knows the real meaning of marriage.
Another icon of virtue at Hillsdale College is the larger than life statue of the late conservative Prime Minister of England, Margaret Thatcher. Before she was known as the ‘Iron Lady,’ she had another nickname – ‘Maggie Thatcher Milk Snatcher’ – for cutting a program to provide milk to elementary-age children at school. While she privatized public services and considered using the military to stop miners’ strikes, she also used her office to halt a police investigation of an English diplomat suspected of molesting children.
From 1974 until 1984, the activist group known as the Paedophile Information Exchange, or PIE, was a network of high-profile people in British government and business who shared child pornography between members. They published a newsletter of book and movie reviews, articles, and photographs of clothed children. The members of PIE wrote about their fantasies of having sex with children and shared them with each other. In 1978, police investigations into PIE led to members being charged with sex offenses, except for one. He was known by PIE members as “Mr. Henderson,” but eventually his real name was revealed – Sir Peter Hayman.
Hayman, a former MI6 employee, was High Commissioner to Canada when police began investigating his activities in PIE. In 1981, the investigation suddenly stopped and Hayman was never charged with any sex crime. He died in 1992. Only a couple of months ago, it was finally revealed why the police investigation suddenly stopped: Margaret Thatcher used her office to stop the investigation. Thatcher was well aware that members of her government were also members of PIE, as a 37-page file of documents on that very subject were unsealed and made public this past winter in London.
There are two statues of Margaret Thatcher on this earth. One is in Parliament House in London, and the other sits on the campus of Hillsdale College. A college now actively involved with promoting for-profit charter schools across the United States. The irony of the chaplain of Hillsdale College urging prayer to stop the US Supreme Court from ruling that consenting adults who happen to be the same gender must be stopped from getting married because it’s immoral – well, only the kind of people who support Hillsdale College would fail to see the irony.
At Hillsdale College, married people having sex with members of their own family, and grown adults sexually molesting children are acceptable within their conservative Christian narrative. Same sex marriage? That’s immoral, and must never be allowed. When it comes to “ugly things”, Hillsdale College needs to collectively look in the mirror to see the ugliest thing of all.