Stanford

The newly appointed dean for religious life at Stanford University has some advice for churches.

They should stop doing all those conversions and shouldn’t even “do religion” all the time, contends Rev. Jane Shaw, who plans to teach “empathy” in her religion classes.

The school explained her duties are to provide “spiritual, religious and ethical leadership to the university community, serve as minister of Memorial Church and also teach undergraduates and graduate students as a professor.”

Provost John Etchemendy praised her as “both a charismatic leader and an accomplished academic.”

“Dean Shaw is equally committed to the educational mission of the university and the ecumenical mission of Memorial Church,” he said.

It was in a taped interview when she complained that churches should be more into art, global warming and the like.

They should be less “churchy,” she said.

“I think people are always slightly surprised that I’m not very churchy as a person,” Shaw said in the interview with Palo Alto Online. “I don’t think church is to be more churchy. I think church is about, anyone should be welcome. I’m really interested in how you welcome many different kind of constituencies, certainly not convert them, not even necessarily to do religion all the time.”

See the interview:

Her comments drew the attention of talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh.

“She ‘advocated that the church welcome people more, without converting them,’ and the way to do that is just drop all this religion all the time. It’s not necessary to do religion all the time in the church. The church can do art. The church can do global warming. The church can alert people to climate change. The church can do a lot of public good if it would just drop all the religion,” Limbaugh said.

“What does it even mean, ‘not necessary to do religion’? What do you mean, do religion? What does that even man? Stop praying? Stop singing? Stop doing sermons? Stop reading the Bible? What does it mean? Oh, by the way, she happens to be an LGBT activist and a lesbian. And she’s the dean of religious life.”

He said stories like this indicate “we are so screwed that there’s no coming back.”

The whole point, Limbaugh said, is to make worshiping earth a religion.

“If you gain control of people and you convince them that religion, the religion of God needs to take a backseat because churches are too religious and start getting into art. What does that mean? Well, global warming and climate change. You then convert these people to believing in the earth and the environment as a religion. And then it becomes inarguable. Once you invest your faith outside the religion of God, make it the religion of climate change, global warming and the earth, well, then you can’t be converted. It’s your religion. It’s offensive for anybody to even try. It’s your religion. It’s your faith. Nobody can argue with your faith.”

Under the headline “Genuine Mental Derangement on the Left,” he warned that when the first few such people moved into academia, people laughed.

Now, he said, they taken over the university.

“They’ve taken over academies. They’re in the media.”

At Campus Reform, Kaitlyn Schallhorn wrote that Shaw, 51, arrived from Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

In the Palo Alto Online interview, Schalhorn noted, Shaw said she believed “the great crisis of our day is climate change and the environment.”

“So I rather hope that more people would take that seriously and begin to think and reflect on what they are doing with their own lives and how they can bring some pressure to bear to change things,” she said.

Shaw was ordained in the Church of England and earned degrees from Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley.

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