Critical value judgements

October 26, 2007

From: The Vice-Chancellor

Dear Doctor Noakes,

You will remember that I wrote to you last year pointing out that you had made a number of remarks in your first-year lectures which suggested that you were not fully adhering to the religious values of this university.

At the time we were prepared to overlook your disparaging references to the Holy Ghost ("about as feasible as the tooth fairy") and the virgin birth ("a gynaecological conjuring trick"). But you were formally reprimanded for suggesting in your lectures that extramarital sexual congress (or in your unfortunate phrase, "putting it around a bit") could "be an enjoyable and life-enhancing activity", and for your recommendation that students might be "better off thinking for themselves rather than listening to a pack of superannuated bishops" when deciding upon the major moral issues of our times.

Your reprimand for these unfortunate incidents was accompanied by a warning as to your future conduct. It would now appear that this warning has not been heeded. According to well-documented reports you recently informed members of your second-year seminar group that the Ten Commandments were "about as much use as a guide to moral behaviour in the real world as The Highway Code ".

As if this were not enough you then proceeded to compound your disregard of university values by declaring in a second-year lecture that the presence of unelected bishops in the House of Lords was "an affront to democracy" and by suggesting that the hostility of certain bishops to the ordination of homosexuals was a "classic case of Freudian reaction- formation".

In the circumstances I now have no alternative but to recommend your dismissal to the University Council.

May God go with you,

The Vice-Chancellor.

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