Skip to comments.50+ Professors & Staff Resign From Christian University After Refusing to Sign Homosexuality Pledge
Posted on 05/17/2012 12:32:51 PM PDT by QT3.14
Last October, news broke that Shorter University, a Christian college in Rome, Georgia, had decided to ask its employees to sign a controversial pledge that affirms that they are not engaging in homosexuality, among other forbidden activities. Now, after scores of employees refused to sign the document, the college, which is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, has reportedly received a massive number of resignations
(Excerpt) Read more at theblaze.com ...
It’s the Baptist culture in the United States. I spent many years in Europe, and the Baptists there drank like, well, Europeans.
That sentence awakens my inner grammar Nazi. Doesn't anyone proofread any more?
Wasn’t wine served at The Last Supper?
However, I'm not Baptist either.
One back story that is being neglected is that the Southern Baptist Convention recently added alcohol use to their list of things prohibited for clergy, teachers and employees. I suspect most of these people quitting the college like an occasional beer or glass of wine and it is not a mass exodus of people out of the closet. One of the problems with legalism is that it adds to God’s laws in an attempt to make one holy. So if God’s law prohibits drunkeness, then you can go one step further and prohibit all alcohol enjoyment and observing that might make you more “saved.” I have often wondered that if you are good at avoiding man-made “sins” then do people see it as a cover for when they commit actual sins? Such as, I might steal but at least I don’t dance or have long hair or whatever.
This sort of legalism creates unnecessary burdens while it actually makes sin less serious. If sin is just a checklist of things to avoid, rather than a part of our fallen nature, then maybe there is a lot we can do for ourselves without Christ. One could get a false sense of security, waving a very selective list of sins (like sinful sexual practices) plus social taboos about drinking, and thinking, like the rich young ruler, “I am doing pretty good according to my list, so what do I need this Jesus for.” I support the right of a religious institution to insist on its people following the doctrines of the organization and for the people to be good examples and not to engage in open, blatant sin. But mixing actual sins with social customs or taboos is one problem. Reducing the problem of sin to a checklist is an additional problem, as if the point of Christianity is to make one a better practitioner of the Law (with a little help from God, perhaps).
Aside from forbidding an active role in a gay relationship, the lifestyle pledge also bans pre-marital sex, adultery and drug use and abuse. Additionally, employees are asked to be active members of a church and to live their lives as committed, Bible-believing followers of Jesus Christ.
A private employer who might suffer considerable damage from scandals involving these behaviours has the right to have employees who will reflect their standards of behaviour to avoid damage to their reputation.
God has nothing to do with denominations. It’s all about a relationship with HIM not about a ‘religion’. One serves HIM because they want to (their heart), not because of rule #1 or #50.
All I see is they are asked to affirm "I reject as acceptable" [sic] those practices. Rejecting them as unacceptable doesn't mean pledging not to practice.
People just don’t want to pay public welfare benefits for two lunatics sodding off all day.
Muslims would just kill homosexuals.
Taking into consideration broken clocks tell the correct time twice each day, maybe “spread the other cheek” is not a good public policy.
In your unabridged Oxford Dictionaries, the word “faggotry” denotes the bundling of steel to be hammered or rolled together.
Mammalian evolution is entirely heterosexual.
Monogamy is not required for evolution, monogamy is a tenet of religion.
To prohibit polyandry and polygyny is an ecclesiastic rule of law.
To establish an ecclesiastic standard of monogamy for homosexuals is nothing but RELIGIOUS FAGGOTRY.
Democrats live in a fantasy world where fairies wave magic wands over their anus and babies materialize out of thin air.
All men are born of a woman.
If you have to tell grown men that babies will not come out of their rectums, there is no hope for any rational discourse...
OK. Not exactly sure how your comment relates to either the post you were responding to or the thread itself.
God may have nothing to do with denominations, but this thread does.
Yeah - but He comes first in my world and any word about what Jesus couldn't do, when HE has done it all for us, will bring a response.
——That kind of disqualifies all the so-called christians I know.——
But they don’t belong to this particular sect, which seems to prohibit the consumption of alcohol.
Why belong to a church/college you disagree with?
The University trustees is free to ask for such a statement and commitment from their employees. Personally I would not sign such a statement as a matter of principle. It is hard for me to square such a statement with the greatest of the commandments.
Excellent! I’ll apply! :D
I was never attempting to suggest that any one thing or another was beyond Jesus’ capabilities, if you remember, I just suggested that rule #4’s provision that one would not promote or encourage the use of alcohol would exclude Jesus, based on the miracle at Cana.
My point is not that Jesus is in any way limited, only that the school rules impose certain restrictions, with unintended (I’m sure) consequences.
Weeding out the sex-offenders is a major plus for this gutsy college. Bravo for them.
Good riddance. Can I get a job there?
one would not promote or encourage the use of alcohol
It’s a dumb rule anyway. If you have it in your house, would that be promoting it - or you went into a restaurant that they serve liquor. If someone is going to drink, they don’t need to be encouraged. Sounds like liberals made up that rule - It was someone else fault you drank, Johnnie?
Its a dumb rule anyway.
LOL. Hey, it’s their school and they have whatever rules they want, but please let’s not pretend that it’s Biblical.
that’s all I’ve been saying the whole time.
I don’t think the folks behind the rules are liberals, though. We should also drop the pretense that only liberals make up stupid rules.
I really do not see it as a problem to ask someone who is in a position of leadership to have high moral standards. But it seems that the world sees it as a problem when someone has high standards.
I believe the bible puts it as such:
so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
1Pe 4:3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, [fn]having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and [fn]abominable idolatries.
( So here you see that the pledge is not outside of what a BIBLE College would expect)
1Pe 4:4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you;
(Here you see the expectation by God that the general public will be freaked out and be abusive if you do not go along with their lifestyle)
1Pe 4:5 but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
(And here you see that being freaked out or being abusive towards someone else with higher standards will not work to excuse low morals. All people will still be Judged by a Holy God, the everyone else said it was OK excuse will not wash)
Its all tied to not influencing the students negatively and setting an example for them. I don’t see why that’s such a problem.
Would “Good Riddance” be the appropriate retort?
>> “I think their stance is an admission that they are not perfect.” <<
I think their stance is an admission that they are not suited to the jobs they held. Adios!
I really do not see it as a problem to ask someone who is in a position of leadership to have high moral standards.
Nor do I.
Tell me how having a beer while watching the Orioles play baseball at Camden Yards on a hot summer night has anything to do with “a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and [fn]abominable idolatries”?
And yes, I find the suggestion that drinking a beer in public as demonstrative of someone lacking high moral standards absurd. Sorry.
Its all tied to not influencing the students negatively and setting an example for them. I dont see why thats such a problem.
It is not a problem, and I’ve never suggested otherwise.
I just don’t believe, as some here have suggested, that drinking a beer in public violates any Biblical rules, and it is not demonstrative of someone lacking high moral standards.
I have written on several of my posts on this thread that schools implementing those rules are within their rights to do so. Just don’t pretend that it’s Biblical.
Where did they say it was biblical? Its just the school rules. Its a private school and its their rules. There are thousands of schools that probably encourage getting drunk with students or smoking weed to show how enlightened they are.
God Almighty did not destroy two cities in the old testament for gossip or lying or stealing but for homosexuality. The New Testament has many words damning this particular sin of homosexuality. I think many other Christian schools should come up with an anti-Homosexuality pledge. Don’t use the word “gay” because these folks are anything but “gay”.
Where did they say it was biblical? Its just the school rules. Its a private school and its their rules.
Let’s see. Your post above is #179. My initial post on this thread came in at #50, in response to #21.
That post made the following claim: “They basically asked their staff to adhere to the Bible.”
So, I never said the school said it was Biblical, I was responding to another poster’s claim. In at least 3 posts since, I have stated without equivocation that it is the school’s right to have whatever rules they want.
I understand that in a nearly 200 post thread that you cannot be on top of every sub conversation within that thread, but you are asking me to defend claims I’ve never made.
That is clearly shown to all but the most stubborn critics in the freedom to drink in private. It is also substantiated by the requirement to not appear in class within six hours of drinking.
In all provisions of this pledge, it is CLEAR that it is about Teacher / Student interactions with alcohol.
To continue to argue as you are doing also clearly shows that you are straining at a gnat to swallow a camel, Ie. ignoring the obvious to find fault.
Christianity does not forbid alcohol usage, in fact it promotes the usage of wine for health purposes. It does in fact prohibit drunkenness. Now how many undergrads drink wine for health or taste vs drunkenness?
The bible says not to let your freedoms become a stumbling block for someone else. It does not use alcohol as the example, it uses the eating of meat sacrificed to idols. This is a hard thing for the American man on the street to understand, but I will try to put it into terms that a secular man in modern society can relate to. We do not like our baseball hero's to be drug users. While the individual ball player has the right to imbibe in this culture in drugs despite being illegal, he does NOT have to right to do so and influence all the children and young adults that look up to him as a role model. It's not about him, its about them. This pledge simply asks the teachers in this christian university to pledge to the same standards that we would expect from professional ball players.
That is the closest I can get to a secular parallel. It is a parallel, but I also lean on the understanding that there is none so blind as those who refuse to see. If you cannot stomach the moral convictions of this University, you too are free to walk away feeling that somehow you are more moral for choosing freedom over integrity.
The biblical conclusion of eating meat from idols says Better that I never eat meat again than my freedom cause another to stumble.
The pledge is actually well thought out on a Biblical basis, I commend them. The shocking part is the incredible level of corruption that was in place that something as simple as this minor biblicaly based statement could flush them out in droves. Just imagine, you send your kids to a Bible college hoping that the teachers would teach a biblical foundation, and the teachers cannot even curtail their public drinking and sodomy? They were quite free to sign the pledge and still do these things, but they were so used to the "freedom" to openly live this extra-biblical lifestyle that they were actually offended at having to give lip service to the very foundation of the Universtiy that they are supposed to be teaching in!
Woe to those who worship their freedom more than their responsibility to a God that is both Holy and a Judge. That is not freedom, it is rebellion and the gates of Hell were built to contain them and the angels that lead them astray.
Apology certainly not necessary.
Threads such as this often take on a life of their own.
So, sometimes I get so wrapped up in the intracises of philosophy that I answer a simple question with a booklet. Sorry bout that...
The answer is simple, for you to drink a beer watching the game is not a problem at all. For you to do in public with your students while they throw a kegger for the game IS a problem, you condone their behavior for they see the issue as simply drinking, and miss the point entirely about "...sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties... Which is perhaps a rather precise description of undergrad parties don't you think?
Don't know if you have been there, but college students don't come together to "have a beer" and watch the game, the game is the last thing on their minds after the first couple of beers.
To continue to argue as you are doing also clearly shows that you are straining at a gnat to swallow a camel, Ie. ignoring the obvious to find fault.
I’d be interested in hearing what you think my point is. Mainly because I don’t think you have yet unearthed it. It’s a big thread, lots of posts, hard to keep things in context.
I’ve consistently stated that it is within the school’s rights to have whatever rules in place they want. If the school wishes to disallow their staff to drink beer in public, hey, if you can live with that rule ... go for it.
But folks like you, who confound drinking a beer in public with a lack of high moral standards (how else should I read your statement: “I really do not see it as a problem to ask someone who is in a position of leadership to have high moral standards”?), yes, with that I take issue.
You may want to examine your gnat and camel in the context of your own statements.
The answer is simple, for you to drink a beer watching the game is not a problem at all. For you to do in public with your students while they throw a kegger for the game IS a problem,
Agreed, but the school rules prohibit not just the 2nd scenario, but also the first. You do recognize that, right?
There’s a difference between a tax, and an income tax. But you are correct about the fish (assuming that that’s the occasion you referred to). I have no issue with fee based taxes based on a good or service performed (ie. toll road, or postage, court filing fees, etc.). I do, however, have a huge problem with an income tax, which is satanic in its very nature. Socialism is evil (the one and ONLY reason for an income tax, to punish/discourage producers and multiply moochers), and flies in the face of the “law of the harvest”: You reap what you sow.
They are creating jobs!
Gay librarian rejects Shorter University’s Baptist ‘lifestyle statement,’ awaits response.
Shorter University tenured librarian Michael Wilson planned to work at the school’s Rome, Ga., campus until retirement. Instead, he is preparing to hand in his resignation.
According to Inside Higher Ed, this year Shorter issued amended contracts to university employees requiring that they reject practices it deemed inconsistent with Christian values. Wilson, who is openly gay, signed the contract but crossed out the contract’s “lifestyle statement” that read: “I reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality.”
What brought about the new contracts? Six years ago, Shorter lost a court battle against its affiliate, the Georgia Baptist Convention, over who would control the school’s direction. The amended contracts were issued as an attempt by the Georgia Baptist Convention to ensure the school’s Christian identity and assert more control over the Shorter campus. The contract also restricted drug use and drinking in public. - http://blog.syracuse.com/haveyouheard/print.html?entry=/2012/05/gay_librarian_michael_wilson_r.html
In the 1950s, the college became co-educational and the addition of male students created a need for a new male-only residence hall. The university also began intercollegiate athletics program in the NAIA and initiated new clubs organizations and fraternities. Randall Minor became the college’s 14th president in 1958. Under Minor, control of the selection process for trustees was given to the Georgia Baptist Convention. The college constructed a new administration building, student center, library, fine arts center and hired additional faculty for the expanding school. The late 1950s also saw the first African-American student graduate. 
The political and social climate of the 1960s had a great effect on the college throughout the decade. During the era the student government’s power increased and new organizations were created on campus. A number of special events were held on campus, including memorial services for both the John F. Kennedy assassination and Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Earth Day was observed for the first time. In 1973 Shorter College celebrated its 100th anniversary through special activities and traditions.
International programs began in the 1990s and the university expanded MBA programs and adult education programs with the establishment of the School of Professional Programs in the Atlanta area. The university dedicated the Winthrop-King Centre and created the Fitton Student Union when it converted the old gym into the facility. Shorter College constructed the Bass Apartments, the J. Robert Eubanks Welcome Center and the Robert H. Ledbetter baseball field.
In 2005, the college attempted to break away from the Georgia Baptist Convention, citing among other complaints fear of losing accreditation after the convention assigned two trustees without the approval of the college and current trustees. The Georgia Supreme Court, however, ruled that Shorter’s board didn’t have the authority to sever ties with the convention. The Georgia Baptist Convention continues to pick trustees for the college. On June 1, 2010, Shorter College changed its name to Shorter University to reflect the institutions growth and expansion.
In October 2011, the university’s policy against homosexuality attracted attention in newspapers around the world when the university introduced a requirement that its employees must sign a “Personal Lifestyle Statement” in which they agree to adhere to the following principles as a condition of their employment:
They will be loyal to the mission of Shorter University as a Christ-centered institution affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention.
They will not engage in the use, sale, possession, or production of illegal drugs.
They will reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality.
They will not use alcoholic beverages in the presence of students, and will abstain from serving, from using, and from advocating the use of alcoholic beverages in public (e.g. in locations that are open to use by the general public, including as some examples restaurants, concert venues, stadiums, and sports facilities) and in settings in which students are present or are likely to be present. Neither would they promote or encourage the use of alcohol.
Employees who fail to adhere to the requirements face potential disciplinary action including immediate termination. All new and existing employees are required to sign. Shorter University President Don Dowless explained that those who do not will likely be fired, stating “I think that anybody who adheres to a lifestyle that is outside of what the biblical mandate is and of what the board has passed, including the president, would not be allowed to continue here.” He further stated “Anything outside that is not biblical, we do not accept” and “We have a right to hire only Christians.”
On November 10, 2011, the university was partially evacuated when a bomb threat was received during a student protest on campus regarding the personal lifestyle statement and perceptions that the new policy was anti-gay..
as My Mother used to say...”Dont Let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.”....
It's a private college, so where's the problem? What you're saying is that you think many FReepers would sign it and lie. But refusing to work there and rejecting the pledge is neither a problem, nor a moral failing. It's a number of personal choices that many people - including FReepers - believe are completely private, AND which they have NO problem as dismissing as inapplicable or inappropriate for them or others.
Now, what part of the Bible says you should implicate others through innuendo? Or only live in a country that limits people to those pledge statements?
Jesus turned water into wine. You think he then threw it out?
Believe it or not, there are extremely moral Christians who actually, incredibly, impossibly... disagree with you.
I am a clean, sober, christian man. I would quit before signing such a pledge. They have no business sticking their nose into my business outside of the workplace, so long as it is legal.
Asking for such a pledge from professors just indicates someone running that school is stupid.
Every contract I’ve ever worked under had a morals clause. They did not need me crossing my heart and hoping to die.
Go read the pledge.
It is about more than gay sex.
It sets expectations that are simply not reasonable in terms of personal behavior that does not impact the job performance.
The losers here are the administration, who clearly did not run this by their legal counsel.
Your right, now that the imposers have been driven out they can legititly claim to be a christian university
It is a sin to be critical? Being critical is a bad as fagottry? Ok.
Now let's look at number 4. As a ...gasp ....non-Baptist ...I would have absolutely no problem adhering to the other re-affirmations 100%.
In fact, I have no problem with most of number 4! However, it seems a bit harsh to me that I would have to take an oath not to take alcohol in a restaurant. Furthermore, if I had begun my career at Shorter before this Statement were required, it might seem unfair to me now to have to forswear drinking wine or beer in a restaurant. There are quite enough rules regulating this practice now. Furthermore, I can find nowhere in the Bible that forbids the judicious use of alcoholic beverages. Seems nutty to combine the occasional beer in a restaurant with the rejection of the sexually forbidden, in particular the homosexual lifestyle.
To be scrupulously fair to Shorter University, I would have absolutely no problem with this Affirmation if #4 were made a condition of employment before the fact. But IMHO,Never a good idea to tempt someone into becoming a liar to keep his job ...after the fact.
Interesting Experiment: Take out, or slightly modify, number 4 and see how many of the 50+ stick.
I’m with you. This pledge business is often insulting straight away, and a shell game at worst, in this era of bait and switch. Thank you, Lt, I will read the rest.
Very simply, there are lists of scripture where people do stuff that is worthy of death. Romans 1, 1 Cor.6, 1 Tim.1, Gal. 5:16ff. Please read these chapters very slowly.
The sin of homosexuality is included in those lists. But so is idolatry, rebellion against parents, drunkenness, thievery, and so forth.
Homosexuality is AMONG many sins that cause a person to be excluded from the kingdom of God. We err when we make it worse than other sins. It is a way for us to feel better than them, and that is hypocrisy.
The intended context of my statement is a religious college, hence the note to the moral standards. That is what sets a religious college apart from the pack, the promise or at least hope of a moral structure to be included in the curriculum. If I had kids in that college, I would have paid the extra fees for inclusion in that ‘place of higher learning’ so that they could be instructed not only in knowledge but also wisdom. Morality is wisdom, not mere knowledge.
This is a great discussion as it allows the shining of light on the weakness of freedom over the strength of faith. Freedom does not require much self sacrifice for the sake of others, but Faith does. Interesting eh? That is what I meant by the gnat and camel comment, that to cling to selfish freedom, in the face of the moral standards to be demonstrated as an elder is to ignore others freedom for your own. In this case, I can have a beer when I want, in their case, I use my freedom for a beer, yet cause them to stumble in far more than just beer.
For we all know, kids need little excuse to justify excess, yet a whole lot of teaching to stay away from it.
I do drink beer now and then in public, but I am not a teacher of youth or an elder in any church. It is not the lack of beer that is a high moral standard, its more like a high moral standard can cause a lack of beer. Some times, in the context of the place I am at, I skip the beer for something less liked.
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