A tenured professor at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, was fired after posting a video of himself singing a song he wrote called “Little Hitler,” the College Post reports. The song’s lyrics included, “There’s a Little Hitler inside of me. There’s a brutal killer within everyone.”
The professor, James Spiegel, wrote in the description of the YouTube video that he wrote the song while hiking in the mountains of Colorado.
“I came across a group of campers where a folk singer was singing song after song which exalted human nature in the most grandiose terms,” he wrote. “I was struck by how the singer and his songs did not recognize that humans have a fundamental moral problem, what theologians call a ‘sin nature.’”
He also explains that he wrote the song in response “as a theological corrective to such unabashed (and dangerous) humanism.”
James posted the video on Aug. 16. Within days, he received an email from Taylor University's provost requesting that he remove the video. Spiegel refused and was fired from the private, evangelical college less than a week later.
Spiegel, who started teaching at the university in 1993, told the College Post he had performed the song in front of faculty members multiple times. Spiegel also said his termination came after another faculty member filed a harassment complaint against him over the YouTube song.
While the university has not made an official statement on the matter, the school reached out to faculty members via email, according to the College Post.
“Just as we as individuals are all called to seek restoration of damaged relationships, the biblical principles embodied in Taylor’s Life Together Covenant compel us to do the same corporately within the University,” the email said. “That process was followed, engaging faculty leadership, the academic department, and the administration seeking to restore what was damaged. In this case restoration was not possible.”
Taylor University did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.