Cambridge Under Fire For Hiring American Physics Researcher Who Advocated Monogamy On Blog Three Years Ago

300px-University_of_Cambridge_coat_of_arms_official_version.svgStudents at Cambridge are objecting to the hiring of American Aron Wall, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California-Santa Barbara who studies “quantum gravity and black hole thermodynamics.” It is not Wall’s academic credentials or theories that are controversial. Rather, three years ago, Wall wrote a blog post critical of Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, the decision protecting the right to same-sex marriage.  Wall’s criticism was of non-monogamous relations in the gay and lesbian communities.  One can easily see the objections to such arguments but critics have gone further to object that Wall’s personal views create a hostile or threatening environment.

In his blog, Wall advocated a relationships for gay couples steeped in faith and monogamy:

Like anyone else, what gay people need is to turn to Christ and learn to live in freedom from the harmful fleshly desires which are indeed part of the human condition for everyone.  But if they cannot accept this, it is far better that they should live in a committed exclusive relationship, than that they should live the notoriously promiscuous, reckless, and obscene lifestyle characteristic of the cultural venues of the gay community.  (Note: I do not identify all gay individuals or couples as being members of this “gay community”; those are different things.)

The reference to “promiscuous, reckless and obscene” was isolated by critics and discussed in an article in The Cambridge News as being “homophobic.”

However, Wall’s posting speaks of the tension felt by many people of faith and his hope that his homosexual friends will still embrace monogamous relations founded in the teachings of Christ:

“To be clear, a conservative Christian like myself cannot actually endorse any relationship which is forbidden by God.  But we can hope and pray that Gay Marriage is at least a step towards a more wholesome life for our friends who are gay, as compared to the likely alternatives.  It is a relationship which requires work, sacrifice, and commitment to another person.  Perhaps some diluted reflection of God’s holiness can shine through a little.”

The hiring of a person with such Christian views has been denounced at the university and critics question whether a gay student could feel comfortable being taught by such an individual.  There is a call for assurances of protection or safety around Wall.

There is no consideration of the inverse implications of whether a professor critical of Christian values should also be deemed a threat for students of opposing faiths or values.  Nevertheless some student activists are reportedly calling for assurances that “there are safe spaces for LGBT+ students, and there were plans in place to deal with any discrimination.”

In a statement to Inside Higher Ed, the university did not strongly defend the right of Wall and others to hold and publish such views, but rather noted that all employees are expected to adhere to university policies.

828 thoughts on “Cambridge Under Fire For Hiring American Physics Researcher Who Advocated Monogamy On Blog Three Years Ago”

    1. And yet our founders bought guns for the army.

      But they did not use national defence as a justification to buy textile mills to produce uniforms.

      1. “But they did not use national defence as a justification to buy textile mills to produce uniforms.”

        Now you are becoming silly.

          1. “No more silly than subsidizing the grid”

            That is your opinion. I am not subsidizing the Grid. I am only talking about hardening the grid and haven’t discussed the ways of funding it.

            I think you were being silly by equating the buying of textile mills to hardening the grid.

            1. If you do it though government – that is subsidizing.

              Leave things alone, They will take care of themselves.

              1. “If you do it though government – that is subsidizing.”

                For better or worse most utilities are quasi-governmental. The federal government could subsidize the utilities or simply force them to harden the grid the same way the government makes them do other things.

                You seem to have telescopic vision.

                1. “For better or worse most utilities are quasi-governmental. ”

                  For worse, not better. Utilities in the US were entirely private until FDR. Even through the depression private utilities grew faster and provided service cheaper than public ones.
                  But FDR constantly changed the rules until they had to sell out to the public utilities.

                  This pattern has been repeated many times. Every major bridge in the US was constructed privately through the start of the Brooklynn Bridge. But Tamny Hall wanted it share of the largess and the Brooklyn Bridge finished as a public works project and private infrastructure pretty much ceased to exist afterwards.

                  Through to the 60’s most bussed in the US were private – then governments took them over.

                  Lincoln subsidized many railroads, but the only railroad to survive intact through to today without going bankrupt was the one that refused subsidies.

                  Post Civil War Lysander Spooner a purported libertarian wing nut even weirder than Theroeau formed a company to compete with the US post.
                  He was cheaper, and faster, so Congressed passed a law barring private mail delivery and put him out of business.

                  I can go on and on. Many many functions have been subsumed by govenrment and we take for granted that government delivers them – or they are delivered by pubic utilities – little difference.

                  We are used to this and assume it makes sense, that it would not have happened but for some serious market failure or if it was not the best way to deliver the service.

                  But that is bunk we have centuries of history to demonstrate that very little of what most developed government deliver has ever required government, nor is delivered in some better way by government.

                  We have what we have because government is force, and it is willing to use force to get its way. You can not compete with government and win. If you do government will rewrite the rules until you lose.

                  “The federal government could subsidize the utilities or simply force them to harden the grid the same way the government makes them do other things.”

                  Or it could do nothing and the problem will take care of itself.

                  “You seem to have telescopic vision.”

                  No that would be you. You are unable to see that government does not even make the things it takes credit for actually happen.

                  ALL the improvements in our life take place simply because our standard of living has risen sufficiently that we can afford them and we want them.
                  When that point is reached – no law or regulation is necescary.

                  Time and again – with or without government regulation, when we became prosperous enough to afford a value – we received it.

                  Cleaner Water, cleaner air – we have been improving those for more than 5 centuries.

                  1. Once again you have gone off on a tangent discussing the history of our electrical utilities. The issue was: “The federal government could subsidize the utilities or simply force them to harden the grid the same way the government makes them do other things.” That doesn’t mean I am entirely pleased with the situation. However, we have a system and I prefer using that system instead of abandoning it for revolution.

                    1. Not a tangent you made a false assumption.
                      You also warped the conservative argument that we should not disturb what has worked in the past into, we must accept that failed changes we have made and expand them.

                      It is never tangential to rebut your arguments.
                      You do not get to make an argument and preclude its rebuttal by claiming it is tangent to the issue.

                      That FACT is that what you want is an expansion of existing powers, and that even the existing situation is only the RECENT status quo.

                      WE HAD a system, what we HAVE is the gradual expansion to socialism. We know how that ends.

            2. “I think you were being silly by equating the buying of textile mills to hardening the grid.”

              Not at all.

              1. ““I think you were being silly by equating the buying of textile mills to hardening the grid.”

                Not at all.”

                I think very few intelligent people will even partly buy your story. Your argument too silly to stand behind.

                1. “““I think you were being silly by equating the buying of textile mills to hardening the grid.”

                  Not at all.”

                  I think very few intelligent people will even partly buy your story. Your argument too silly to stand behind.”

                  At the time of the revolution and subsequent uniforms were as critical to the military as electricity is today – if not more so.
                  At that time the textile industry – from the production of cotton in the south to the mills in the north was the engine of the country – far MORE important than “the grid”.

                  We have poor ability to place ourselves in the past and when we do we take too many of our modern values with us.

                  We do not grasp that things we think of as inconsequential today were matters of life and death at other times.

                  Maybe you can read about the importance of textiles in the 19th century. But it is really really hard to understand that in the more than intellectual sense that a 19th century american did.

                  The comparison is re3al and appropriate.
                  That you can not grasp that is you problem
                  If as you say most others don’t – that is not surprising.
                  We have little real sense of the past. Worse what little we have is being destoryed by an education system fixated on rewriting history.

                  1. Dhlii, you become sillier and sillier in your arguments. Hardening the grid, to protect the population and also the military, is quite different than buying textile factories.

                    1. As I have noted repeatedly the importance of textiles in 18th and 18th century america was no different from that of the grid today.

                      There is nothing “silly” in the comparison.

                      The process is called reasoning.

                      Do you agree that the relative importance textiles in one era was very similar to the grid in the current ?
                      Or are you so autistic that such comparisons are beyond you ?

                    2. “ There is nothing “silly” in the comparison. “

                      Who did you NOT vote for? Take note that your rhetoric has done nothing to move the nation in what we both consider a positive direction. I’ll touch on that later along with what sounds to me like empty rhetoric.

                      Dhlii, you are being totally silly. I don’t ask you to agree with my assessment even though IMO interruption of the grid directly affects the military and can cause havoc and demoralization during wartime that your counter argument completely neglects. Instead, you choose rhetoric rather than action that might upset your sensibilities.

                      You are unwilling to compromise even though that was the essential element in the creation of the Constitution. I leave it up to Congress and the President to make the call and the Supreme Court to judge its legality.

                      This unwillingness to compromise is even noticed in your voting pattern. The choice was Hillary who would appoint activist judges or Trump who likely would appoint more conservative judges. Did you vote for Trump whose choices regarding the Constitution most closely agree with yours? No. You would have to compromise your personal vanity and vote for a man who you thought fell below your standards.

                      It turns out that Trump will have drastically altered the direction of the courts and push the interpretation of the Constitution in a much more appropriate direction. You prefer to quote Bastiat (a great man) to dealing with the present and being willing to compromise in order to move the nation in what you consider to be the right direction. Trump has the potential to appoint a total of 3 or more justices that will impact the nation for decades.

                      I find your rhetoric entirely empty when you say what you do while not compromising for the sake of what you preach.

                    3. Your opinion is sufficient to act in your own life.
                      It is NEVER alone sufficient to do more than persuade with respect to others.

                      I do not need to “move the nation” to be right, or to be moral.

                      I can do little more than vote, present the fact, logic, reason, and speak out.
                      On occasion I can choose to resist the improper use of force, but I have neither the time nor resources to do so on any large scale.

                      Regardless, I live my values, and I am comfortable that I act morally in all that I do.

                    4. Dhlii, it is fine for you to live your morals, but the meaningless rhetoric with regard to our discussions is something different. You advocate, whether you realize it or not, against compromise when compromise is the only thing that can be successful without war and subsequent dictatorship that is fleeting.

                      Thus Trump, whose Supreme Court picks push the nation in the direction you prefer, was not good enough. A vote of that nature wasn’t snow pure enough for you. Keep your snow and watch it melt.

                    5. “We are engaged in blog commenting EVERYTHING is rhetoric.”

                      But, Dhlii, while what we say is rhetoric our actions are real and represent how we really feel about the rhetoric we talk about. You have adequately demonstrated that compromise isn’t in your dictionary. Trump isn’t Snow White. You want your rhetoric to be pure and to match your actions. The only way for you to accomplish that is to do nothing and that is exactly what you did, NOTHING.

                    6. You keep returning to a poor argument regarding compromise.

                      Compromise is a tool not a value.

                      If you are willing to compromise a principle – it is a value not a principle.

                      I am fully prepared to compromise on many things.
                      Blog comments are rarely the place for compromise.

                      We compromise in actions – not generally in debate.

                      As an example, I have made it clear I think your idea of having government subsidize hardening the grid is a poor one.

                      Further I think that the overall politics of the moment are sufficiently against subsidies of all kinds that I see no reason to compromise.

                      But in a difference situation, I might well agree to subsidize the grid is return for other changes I think are even more important.
                      And I might support my representatives in doing so.

                      An area where compromise is self evidently viable and I actively argue for that is immigration.

                      In a perfect world I am for nearly open borders – but that is not happening, and it comes with other consequences – It is not possible coincident with the social safety net.

                      I am not especially in favor of Trump’s wall – it is too unamerican to me. But I can agree to fund it and most of the rest of what Trump wants regarding immigration.
                      At the same time most of us want to see something done about “the dreamers” – there is not actually some fundimental principle there. The “dreamers” are properly no more entitled to be here than any randomly selected haitian, the fact they were brought here without a choice and know no other place than here does not create rights.
                      Of course I really have no more actual right to be here – just the accident of my place of birth. Regardless, I am prepared to be kind to dreamers.
                      I am also bothered by “family separation” though I think that is pretty trivial to solve – if you are caught crossing the border, you get a hearing in a very short period of time and when as is near certain you lose – you are deported – family and all. If you choose to appeal – fine, we will give you a very short visa to return for an appeal hearing, you will be met at the border and taken to the hearing, we can repeat this through every level of appeals you are entitled to.
                      I can go on, issue after issue regarding immigration.
                      But each issue is a value not a principle – it can be compromised.
                      Presuming the obstanance of the left collapses something will happen – it will not be exactly what I want, but it will near certain be an improvement.

                      There is a place and time for compromise – it is rare that debate or blog comments are either the place or th time.

                    7. “You keep returning to a poor argument regarding compromise.
                      Compromise is a tool not a value.”

                      Compromise in a sense is both, though more as an effectuator. Without compromise one’s values frequently cannot be realized. You refused to vote for Trump because he compromised your snow white values. If you were the deciding factor your lack of action would have cost you the tool to move the nation in the direction you talk about so much.

                    8. With respect to Trump and the courts.

                      Trump has overall proven pretty good at keeping campaign promises.
                      I suspected that was likely – most people do not grasp that you do not succeed in business without keeping ACTUAL promises.

                      I am ecstatic over Gorsuch – note he is not perfect, but far closer than I would expect from either party.
                      I am very happy at the dominance the federalist society has over the judicial selection process – their choices are not perfect, but far better than we have any right to expect from either party. Every single nominee I am aware of falls short of my expectations. But nearly all of them are beyond belief improvements over what was likely otherwise.

                      I have not personally formed an oppinion on Kavanaugh yet. When I hear more I will. I may yet oppose him. I expect to find him disappointing compared to Gorsuch.
                      At the same time, you can not really tell until they have been on the court a while. I had high expectations of Souter and Breyer and they were disappointments.
                      OConner proved better After leaving the court.

                    9. “I am ecstatic over Gorsuch – note he is not perfect”

                      Take note how you are ecstatic over Gorsuch but your sensitivities couldn’t leave it at that. You had to add” he is not perfect”.

                      Take note that you didn’t vote for Trump (a sensitivity problem) so you might have been just as satisfied with a Hillary nomination of Sotomayor’s twin though she wouldn’t be perfect either.

                      Perfection is the enemy of good.

                      “. I had high expectations of Souter and Breyer and they were disappointments.”

                      I think 25% of SC justices move from the right to the left and none move in the opposite direction. Perhaps the Supreme Court should be moved to Lebanon, Kansas.

                    10. We are posting blog comments – quoting people like Bastiat – BTW I do not think I have quoted him – you have. I have refered you to him.
                      Regardless, making arguments – including refering to others who have made those arguments well is what one does when commenting.

                      Regardless, you have this bizzare concept that people do things in blog comment sections beside comment.

                      I DO things in the largest part of my life which is not here.

                    11. “We are posting blog comments – quoting people like Bastiat – BTW I do not think I have quoted him – you have. I have refered you to him.”

                      Bastiat was familiar to me long before I started blogging on any list. The mere mention of his name to anyone who has read Bastiat is almost the equivalent of posting his quotes. Whether you did or not is unimportant.

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