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A Pyrrhic victory?

It is sometimes painful being the never-ending voice of doom, but in good conscience I cannot agree with David French's sunny perspective on this story. It's understandable that French would look at matters this way, since evidently he actually gave legal counsel to Gordon College in its accreditation crisis, and from his perspective as Clever Lawyer, they got the outcome they were seeking--namely, the accreditation agency dropped its ominous implication that they would lose their accreditation if they did not endorse homosexual acts.

I reported on the Gordon College situation here and here last year.

As I noted at the time, Gordon College was already disturbingly lax and ambiguous in its response, as a Christian college, to the homosexual agenda, despite the fact that it was holding out on formally endorsing homosexual acts and homosexual "marriage." I noted the following points:

1) Gordon put dissenting faculty on its "working group," formed in response to the accreditation body's bullying. This means that it has hired and kept faculty teaching at a confessional Christian college even though they advocate the morality of homosexual acts.

2) Gordon insisted that it never excluded any student on the basis of "orientation" and included the "T" for "transgender" in the alphabet soup of "orientations" it does not exclude. Does this mean that they would house a biological male in the women's dorms, or vice versa? Does this mean that they would insist that all faculty and students play along with the "self-presentation" of a biological male identifying himself as female, a female presenting herself as male, or a person insisting on being considered "agender"?

3) Gordon used the code phrase "safe campus environment" for "students who identify as LGBTQ" and expressed sadness over their having previously felt "marginalized."

David French, while presenting the outcome as entirely positive, hints by his very description of what happened that it is exactly this sort of groveling to the homosexual/transgender agenda that has obtained a reprieve for Gordon from the furies of tolerance:

Gordon, under intense pressure, refused to compromise its core principles. After almost a full academic year of self-study, including discussion and dialogue with students, faculty, alumni, and members of the community, the college reaffirmed its commitment to Christian orthodoxy and thus to its policy against sex outside (traditional) marriage for students and faculty. At the same time, it found that it could improve its spiritual support to students who identify as LGBTQ. In other words, it held firm on its faith while being open to internal critique on the way in which it put its faith into practice.

Um, what does that mean? Well, based on Gordon's previous statements and on the past history of what is meant by such phrases as "improve spiritual support to students who identify as LGBTQ," we can make a pretty shrewd guess about what that means. We can guess that it means that Gordon does not stand firm on a "core principle" of rejecting the transgender movement and its insane public pretenses. It means that Gordon does not stand firm on a "core principle" of rejecting the notion that temptation to homosexual sin (much less utter gender confusion) is or should be a form of personal, public identity accepted by others. It means that Gordon does not stand on a "core principle" of requiring even faculty, much less students, not to seek actively to undermine Christian sexual morality. It means that Gordon does not stand on a "core principle" of asking students who struggle with sexual perversion to be discreet about these struggles rather than spreading TMI all over the campus about their "identity" as "LGBTQ persons."

If you think I am being uncharitable, these conclusions are supported by the letter, linked from French's article, that the accreditation agency wrote with Gordon, affirming the continuation of Gordon's accreditation. The smugness of the accreditation agency at Gordon's acceptance of the notion of gender identity and its support for much of the homosexual/transgender agenda is palpable. Emphasis added.

The Commission found that the report from the College describes a careful and extensive process of engagement and reflection regarding Gordon's issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. It is clear to the Commission that the College had taken seriously the process of examining their success in supporting LGBTQ students. The report outlines fourteen initiatives the institution plans to take to further enhance its support for LGBTQ students. About half of these initiatives have already been launched, including trainings for residential assistants and student leaders, mandatory training for senior student life staff, student initiated support group, and establishment of a 'Life Together' taskforce. Additional steps to be taken in the coming year include improved protocols for supporting students when they declare as LGBTQ, guidelines for campus programming around sexuality, the addition of a dedicated part-time staff member to support students grappling with their sexuality, stronger anti-bullying policies, and the establishment of a biennial survey on well-being as it relates to sexuality and identity. The Commission commends the College for its extensive process, the continuing focus on its mission, its candor in addressing the issues before it, and for the commitments it is making to improve student care around LGBTQ issues.

"The Commission was duly impressed with the scope of activity undertaken by Gordon's leadership and their campus community," said Barbara Brittingham, Commission President. "It is clear Gordon College has handled this important matter with serious intention and appropriate action."

We are telling ourselves lies if we try to say that all of this is consistent with a continued firm, unequivocal commitment by Gordon to Christian (which is to say normal, decent) norms of sexuality. Relevant side note: I pointed out a couple of years ago that Wheaton College's formation of a "student support group" for its "LGBTQ students" was a capitulation on the homosexual/transgender agenda and that it is telling ourselves lies to pretend otherwise. Recently some people were shocked when Wheaton students held protests over the invitation to Rosaria Butterfield to speak at Wheaton College. I was not surprised. That Gordon is going the same route as Wheaton is fairly clear.

Interestingly, French points out that there are already legal protections in place for the accreditation of religious colleges.

Despite a legal obligation to “respect the stated mission of the institution,” including its “religious mission,” NEASC announced that it had met to consider whether “Gordon College’s traditional inclusion of ‘homosexual practice’ as a forbidden activity” violated NEASC’s standards for accreditation. NEASC gave Gordon one year “to ensure that the College’s policies and procedures are non-discriminatory.”

Raising the accreditation issue, however, took the story national. No longer was this merely the tale of local bullies making petty political statements. Instead, NEASC’s statement signaled potential intent to violate federal law to punish orthodox Christianity.

No doubt French urged Gordon to point out these legal obligations to the NEASC.

But if the "stated religious mission of the institution" must be respected by the accreditation body, why does the institution's religious mission have to stop at a surface-level condemnation of homosexual acts, while welcoming and supporting faculty and students who reject this principle and other biblical principles of sexuality?

If there is, as French is implying, a religious exemption for religious institutions from accreditation agencies' "non-discrimination" requirements regarding homosexuality, then Christian colleges can and should make use of this exemption to refuse entirely to cooperate with the homosexual/transgender agenda. Here is what they should have said:

It is part of the religious mission of our college that we affirm that God created mankind as male and female. We thus utterly reject all ideologies of gender-bending and transgenderism. No student or faculty member is permitted to participate at this college who deliberately and publically identifies as the opposite sex to the known biological sex of his birth. Such a public identification is, on our religious view, a public rejection of the divine plan and a sign of serious mental confusion. We refuse utterly to cooperate with any "agender" self-identification or with any self-identification that differs from the birth sex of the student or employee.

Moreover, our religious commitment to the exclusivity of sexual gender complementarity and sexual purity means that we reject completely the notion that anyone should identify himself with his inclinations to sexual sin. In keeping with this aspect of our mission, we refuse to permit any student club that appears in any way to accept the notion that the identity of persons is bound up with their inclinations to sinful behavior. We will not have any homosexual or lesbian student groups, just as we will not have any heterosexual fornicators' student groups.

We have placed into our student and faculty covenant and into the statement of faith and practice which faculty must sign a clear prohibition on endorsing or encouraging sexual sin. This means that any student or faculty member who endorses homosexual sin or any sexual activity outside of marriage, where marriage of course is understood biblically to be that of one man with one woman, will be subject to dismissal. This is an important outworking of our core principles, our mission, and our responsibility to keep faith with the parents and students who work hard to obtain an authentically Christian education at our college.

We ask that students who are subject to sexual temptations use discretion in their disclosure of these temptations. There is no need for everyone to know of a given student's temptation to homosexual acts, pornography use, or any other perversion or sexual sin. This is yet another reason for not forming a student group. Other students are not to be required to "accept" a student as identified with his sin and sinful inclinations. This is also a reason for our refusing to institute what are usually known as "anti-bullying programs," as such programs routinely require students with homosexual inclinations to be free to eschew discretion in their disclosure of these inclinations and place the entire onus on others to accept them as thus identified with their sin and/or sinful desires. A clear atmosphere of what is called in jargon "heteronormativity" is our intention for our campus, in keeping with the "heteronormativity" of God's vision for mankind.

Finally, we hold it to be entirely our decision on a case-by-case basis to discern whether any particular student who has same-sex attractions is able to be accommodated within our campus environment. For reasons of modesty and purity (central to our Christian mission and our core principles), housing such students, even if they recognize their inclinations as unnatural, creates special challenges. We are committed to serving our students' modesty. This means not requiring them to have their sexual privacy violated by sharing dorm rooms, showers, and similar situations with those who might have sexual inclinations towards them. We therefore do not commit unilaterally "not to discriminate" even on the basis of "sexual orientation," but will have to discern which students with abnormal inclinations can be accommodated at Gordon and how they might be so accommodated.

We call upon the NEASC to respect these policy decisions as flowing from our religious mission as a school.

Would they have gotten off as easily had they issued such a rip-roaring statement? Of course not. But if French is right about the legal situation, the accreditation agency has no business whatsoever trying to micromanage a Christian college's precise handling of the issues of homosexuality and transgenderism, much less forcing a Christian college to bring its approach as close as possible to the policies and positions of the secular world.

What I have stated above would have been considered to go without saying at a Christian college just a short while ago. The idea that a Christian college must welcome male-female transgenders, for example, and accept their public self-identification, would have been laughable. The idea that a Christian college must employ faculty who advocate homosexual acts would have been considered completely absurd. And so forth.

The problems here are several-fold: First, Gordon had obviously already compromised in its approach long before the accreditation agency started making trouble. Second, the accreditation agency is emboldened by the present political climate to press for more. And third, evangelicals are too afraid of looking "mean to gays" to issue the type of statement I have just suggested.

Hence, Gordon's commitment to biblical sexuality, like Wheaton's, is to be rendered a dead letter, hollowed out from within.

The NEASC presumably saw that this was the most that it could get at this time without a costly legal battle, and it considered it enough. Sadly, the NEASC was right, and the smug smile shining through Commission President Barbara Brittingham's statement tells us everything we need to know.

Can we regard this as a victory for the rights of Christian colleges at all? Even from the narrowly legal perspective, not really. This is not a court precedent, after all, so even the principle that the accreditation agencies must respect the religious mission of colleges has not been reaffirmed at any level that counts. Moreover, if we are to think about precedents, within the NEASC's own purview, the very dangerous precedent has been set that the NEASC has the right to micromanage a college's handling of homosexual and transgender issues and has a right to demand that Christian colleges prove that they are "non-discriminatory" in this area. Other Christian colleges that want to take a clearer, tougher line while maintaining their NEASC accreditation will now find that much harder to do. And finally, Gordon College has confirmed its own trajectory toward greater "support" and acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism.

I regard this as, at best, a Pyrrhic victory for the good, the true, and the beautiful.

Comments (15)

What bothers me about stories like this is that self-proclaimed conservative politicians are utterly useless on most social issues aside from nominal stances on homosexuality and abortion. For example, why has no conservative politician taken proactive steps to pass state or federal legislation mandating that accreditation cannot ever hinge upon anything other than the rigor of the academic material? Sure, someone could come screaming about how a liberal arts program didn't have enough grievances studies nonsense, but then in court the college could demonstrate that their program is both broad and deep in coverage of enough subjects that it must be legally considered rigorous. (For STEM degrees, this fight would be like watching a seal clubbing with the SJWs playing the role of seals)

From my perspective, conservatives are always complaining, but never doing anything. I remember the implementation of zero tolerance for fighting and the response was grumbling and shrugs. Even to this day, no conservative attorney general will file civil or criminal charges against public school officials that implement such illegal policies. How many conservative families won't home school or private school even while complaining that public schools are indoctrination centers?

What strikes me, Mike, is that according to what French is saying conservatives (or somebody) apparently _did_ do something. It was put into law that the accreditation agency must respect the religious mission of religious schools that it accredits. I grant you that more could be said or done to restrict accreditation agencies to studying academic rigor. But that was obviously a very important move in the right direction, and French says it's already there in the law! I can't claim to have looked it up, but I'll take his word for it.

So why didn't Gordon take full advantage of that? I would hope that a school like Thomas Aquinas or Cedarville (the latter especially now, post conservative shake-up) or many other Christian schools that serve a highly conservative constituency, would have made _much_ more effective use of that religious exemption. They should have completely refused to establish an LGBTQ club and all that nonsense, completely refused to put in mandatory sensitivity training, completely refused to swear a blue streak to accommodate transgenders, and all the rest of this disgusting capitulation. They had a legal tool available, apparently a pretty powerful one. They used it only in the weakest way while capitulating as far as possible without actually endorsing homosexuality officially. Appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, it wasn't really the NEASC that blinked. It wasn't the NEASC that lost its bluff. It was Gordon. And I think it was Gordon because Gordon was already compromised on these issues before the NEASC even showed up.

As you probably know, Robert Gagnon, on Facebook, was far less sanguine than French.

I did not know. Now I have to see if I can find that.

Ah, yes, I see it.


Well. It's even worse than I thought (if possible). Gagnon points out that the Gordon website now explicitly says that they are actively trying to "decrease the stigma on the Gordon campus associated with being LGBTQ." Here is the exact quote, which I just cut and pasted, in context:


Perhaps the greatest accomplishment over the last nine months has been the decreased stigma on the Gordon campus associated with being LGBTQ, as expressed by several of our students who identify as gay. We are also committed to determining how to maintain this decreased stigma during future periods when this particular issue is not in the public forefront for the institution.

That's extremely clear, is it not? The greatest accomplishment? Brrrr.

Gagnon seems to be under the impression that this was all done in _response_ to the NEASC. However, as I pointed out, some of it was already in place. This makes me reluctant about Gagnon's idea of signing an "I support Gordon" page to try to encourage the president and administrators to have more spine. But would it have that effect? If Gordon was already compromising, and given the degree of their present capitulation, I can't really say that I _do_ support Gordon.

"Despite a legal obligation to “respect the stated mission of the institution,” including its “religious mission,”

I wonder if they did seriously consider bringing this up, that not endorsing homosexual acts is part of their religious mission, but came to the conclusion that doing so would have been a losing strategy. It is after all, perhaps all too likely that if this went to court that a judge would simply declare such a mission to be one of bigotry and not based on sincere religious conviction. If so, that at least makes Gordon Colleges route more understandable even if it does not make it any better. I would rather see an school like Gordon go down fighting, so to speak, and not budge in the slightest. Maybe that would finally wake people up that this is serious business.

Of course, this all may be a moot point for Gordon if the solicitor general is right that schools that do not endorse homosexual behavior tax exempt status will be in serious question after same sex "marriage" is made a "constitutional right". Their accreditation or lack thereof may not be even an issue at that point.


"Michael Lindsay, the president of Gordon College, spoke this morning to the Q Ideas conference here in Boston. He, and the college he leads, are under severe attack for holding to orthodox Christian teaching on LGBT. Gordon is Evangelical, but very far from a fundamentalist stronghold. Yet they are seen by many people — many powerful people — as a bastion of bigotry.

Lindsay told the audience about a phone conversation he had with his Congressman when Gordon first got into the news. He said that his Congressman told him straight up that he hated Gordon’s stance, and that he was going to do everything he could to force the college to change it — meaning that he was going to bring the force of federal law, inasmuch as he could, to compel the college to violate its corporate conscience.

This left Lindsay staggered. “There are very few playbooks to tell you what to do when your Congressman shouts at you,” he said.

Lindsay, who is a very soft-spoken man, conceded that Gordon has fallen short of its ideals over the years, “but we are not a place of hate or discrimination.”"

It is not even just the NEASC, even members of Congress have Gordon (and no doubt like minded institutions) in their gun sights, planning to do everything they can to either eliminate them entirely or make them change. People in the know are also predicting other accrediting agencies will soon question whether they continue to accredit Christian schools or not. It still seems to me the upcoming supreme court decision on marriage is the linchpin. If as expected they declare ss"m" a "constitutional right" and in addition have some language in the opinion that basically says anyone who disagrees is a bigot, that will probably seal the fate of these schools. If their (likely) loss of tax exempt status does not destroy them, the accrediting bodies will. After that decision there will be no question whether or not it can be part of a schools religious mission to not endorse homosexual acts because the highest level will have declared lack of endorsement to be bigotry.

"l of this is true, and then some. I teach at one of the most highly ranked Christian law schools, and the less I acknowledge that the law school is in fact Christian, the better off I am in the legal academy. When asked about the religious affiliation of the school, I downplay it as much as possible, lest I be drawn into a hostile and judgmental discussion about gay rights (a topic that never comes up in my daily life, except for when I’m dealing with non-Christians who want to know just how much of a bigot I must be b/c I go to church or am willing to teach at a Christian university). It’s not that christian perspectives on thought are not welcome in the academy — as that presumes my thoughts would get out of my mouth before I was judged, rather Christians are not welcome in the legal academy, and there’s no turning this ship around. The next shoe to drop will be ABA accreditation. Going forward I think we will increasingly become an insular institution, serving only those who already know they want to be among us. "


It seems like Gordon missed an opportunity to put up a real fight while they still could, while the law protecting their right to run their school according to their religious mission instead of according to the state's mission may have even held up.

Back in the old, old days, like 40 years ago, no Christian college needed a GLBQ policy. If they ran into a gay student, they probably just dealt with the student on an ad hoc basis: either the student was causing problems, and got kicked out, or was not causing problems (not noticed because keeping his head down) and didn't. Back then nobody even knew the QBTL alphabet soup to begin with.

I am wondering what would happen if a school tries to do the same thing now. They already have their standard "we are Bible-believing Christians" policy positions, and they already have procedures that say "if you won't act like a Christian, we won't keep you here" kind of stuff. So, what happens if they simply insist on maintaining, on a completely ad hoc basis, the enforcement of those policies? They don't sit down and hash out any formal "statements" or anything on BLTZ issues. They don't issue directives requiring X or forbidding Y. When they get a student asking for a "LTQG Student Union" they simply decline to provide one. If the student presses, they undertake "counseling" (read: sensitivity training to the Gospel's principles) to the student, at which point the student either shuts up or leaves. And so on. (Sure, the student can complain to someone or other. But since it is ALWAYS an administration's privilege for how to put into effect the organization's goals and principles, they can ALWAYS just say "we are dealing with the diverse needs of our community in the most prudent, cost effective way we see at this time" and not claim any overriding PB&J THEORY to which can be attached the name "bigotry".)

First, can they "get away with that" legally? Well, at least so far nobody is saying Gordon was (previously) doing something illegal by NOT having a pandora's box of TQBGL groups, so I have to assume (for the moment) that it is legal.

Can they "get away with that" for accreditation purposes? Well, each accreditation entity is different, but while the entities like to see "policy statements" on everything under the sun, they cannot normally mandate them just because they want them. That's my understanding, anyway. Sure, they probably can mandate an explicit anti-plagiarizing policy, but that's an academic point. The accreditation boards can press for conforming statements, but until the college has public complaints about a matter, they haven't much leg to stand on as to the "lack of a policy is creating a problem" argument.

Will it shelter them from public claims of bigotry? Of course not. But that's small potatoes compared to being able to stay open as a vitally Christian college.

I wonder if they did seriously consider bringing this up, that not endorsing homosexual acts is part of their religious mission, but came to the conclusion that doing so would have been a losing strategy.

No, no, French makes it clear that they _did_ bring it up, and that this is how it came about that they were not actually forced to change their formal stance. At least, that is how I read him. My question then is, if they were going to use this to their advantage, why did they not make better and fuller use of it? My strong suspicion is that a big part of the answer to that is that, as the "soft-spoken" president tells us, "Gordon has fallen short of its ideals over the years, “but we are not a place of hate or discrimination.”" And, as the article you cited emphasizes, Gordon is "very far from a fundamentalist stronghold." Gotta make that clear.

See the stance? The most important thing to prove that "we are not a place of hatred or discrimination" and that is one of their "ideals." Not so much holding fast the faithful word or being not conformed to this world or all that h8ter stuff.

Tony, I strongly endorse an ad hoc approach. In fact, that was what I was recommending in one of the paragraphs of my suggested statement. The school should _not_ make a blanket claim that they don't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. For one thing, they shouldn't because there is the very real problem of housing a same-sex attracted student with *any roommate whatsoever* on a residential campus. And "transgenders," which refers to someone _behaving_ in a certain way and demanding that others play along, should _always_ be rejected out of hand as students or faculty.

The only reason I suggested a statement was in response to the bullying by the NEASC. My suggestion there is more or less, if and only if you are bullied, write up something that says, "We are _not_ going to have a policy about how we help, support, and welcome these students, because that's not how we roll, and we're pretty sure compromise on our principles would be baked into any such policy."

The only other thing I would say is this: In order to be able to discriminate against faculty who are kicking up trouble and teaching students the homosexual agenda, you probably _have_ to put something about not engaging in or advocating such behavior into your faculty and staff covenant and statement of faith. That protects your employment options. I would say ditto for students, because you really don't want your Christian college class President to be the leader of the local town Rainbow Club or something.

you probably _have_ to put something about not engaging in or advocating such behavior into your faculty and staff covenant and statement of faith.

Maybe you do, but I am not quite sure why. Leaving aside (just for the moment) the issue of tenure, I would think that for the purposes of employment law, firing someone who is acting in a way that publicly promotes anti-Christian GQTBL agendas can be made out to be a "for cause" dismissal. Especially in a teaching institution, where you can always point to the teaching effect of actions because "actions speak louder than words". (Maybe not so much in other entities like a hospital, but hospitals don't have to answer to NEASC.)

Now, as to tenure, I have never been a tenured professor, and never looked into what it entails specifically, but I imagine it varies from college to college. And if so, it should be possible for a Christian college to explicitly constrain the tenure granted so as to leave it room to get rid of a professor who is publicly advocating sin, or publicly living in sin. Would that have to be through the mechanism of an explicit BTQZX statement? Would it not be sufficient to simply say that behavior at odds with the Gospel will warrant administrative action (i.e. penal action) proportionate to the gravity of the matter, up to and including dismissal? Is there some special reason why "tenure" ought to get a professor out of having his behavior tested against the Gospel for purposes of remaining at a Christian college?

One of the things that a good administration must take note of is the difference between a freshman 18-year old wet-behind-the-ears newbie and a full fledged adult with the training and savvy and intellectual muscle to "deal" with false teaching. It is all very nice-sounding to declare that part of the point of a university is to "expose the student to adverse forms of thought", both for the sake of "diversity" and for mental toughening. But having the "Vagina Monologues" on campus, available to all comers, is a decidedly imprudent way to go about it. You just DON'T have to go out of your way to create "difficulties" to good Christian formation in the young students, (fallen) nature and the devil do that enough without our helping. And since even the "advanced" discussions a professor might have with seniors (or graduate students) will get around to the younger, more unformed students, it is hardly acceptable to keep on staff a professor who insists on teaching what is (to be charitable) only squared with the Gospel with difficulty, _even_if_ he has the "prudence" to keep the discussion of such matters to the advanced students. Besides his explicit arguments and theories getting around, the sheer fact of his remaining on the faculty can be a grave scandal to younger souls.

I would think that any good administration should feel that it is not only free to dismiss professors who seem to be "at odds" with the truth of the Gospel (as the institution understands that), but they have a positive duty to be cautious about it and to generally err on the side of safety and surety. There will always be gray areas. But that (should) just mean that there will be areas where the administration CAN, legally and morally, dismiss someone, even if they are not morally bound and required to do so - where they are free to act in either direction at their best judgment. A system that is structured so as to make it illegal to fire someone unless it is WELL PAST the point of any gray area is, by definition, a defective system.

Tony, "moral turpitude" or some such phrasing is always a cause for dismissal, tenure or not, even in secular colleges and universities. (Of course, in secular universities today, there may be no behavior left that qualifies.) In the Christian college where I teach, we've seen tenured professors fired for cause in regard to their crossing lines with opposite-sex students, and certainly acting as a homosexual or promoting homosexuality would be cause for dismissal because of our statement of faith and code of conduct which explicitly require us to agree to the Scripture's teachings and adhere to the Scripture's standards for all behavior. We desire to meet all students who sin with redemptive love, but will dismiss any who reject the opportunities for repentance this affords them. I can't even imagine our ever allowing a "club" for a group with disordered desires -- and I do think it's a hill we'd be willing to die on. I certainly hope so.

Maybe you do, but I am not quite sure why. Leaving aside (just for the moment) the issue of tenure, I would think that for the purposes of employment law, firing someone who is acting in a way that publicly promotes anti-Christian GQTBL agendas can be made out to be a "for cause" dismissal. Especially in a teaching institution, where you can always point to the teaching effect of actions because "actions speak louder than words".

It's not a question of defending the fact that actions speak louder than words or all of those general principles. It's a question of making it clear for reasons of contract as to *what* your school considers to be part of Christian teaching, sin, etc. Christian colleges have always operated on statements of faith and covenants to ward off lawsuits, because every denomination and school defines different things as "important enough" to warrant dismissal. For example, a "progressive" school that identifies itself as "Christian" would mean something radically different from an evangelical school. In fact, it might be exactly reversed in some perverse case--a "progressive" school might fire you for _not_ endorsing homosexual "marriage" because that would be "uncharitable" and "not what Jesus would do" on their view. Or to go in the other direction, some schools require you to sign a statement affirming biblical inerrancy, while others don't. Some schools are Baptist and require you to sign a statement that is deliberately incompatible with Catholicism (e.g., that the Bible has only 66 books or that only people of the age of reason can be baptized), because they don't think Catholics are Christians.

These considerations explain why any Christian school that takes its Christianity seriously has tried to write clear (and sometimes growing) statements of faith and behavioral covenants. Otherwise it's "make it up as you go along" and neither parents, faculty, administration, nor lawyers or judges in employment suits have any clear idea of what the school requires and stands on.

Moody Bible Institute just last year took _off_ its behavioral covenant the requirement that faculty not drink alcoholic beverages, though they are still forbidden to do so on campus.

The thing is, though, Beth, someone might argue that "moral turpitude" was understood to cover a faculty member's engaging in homosexual acts but not one's "diversity" of opinion _about_ homosexual acts.

Interestingly, some years ago on this blog I pointed out that a senior student at a Christian college was writing a sex column that included cheerily advising students to engage in sexual acts in public places and other unmentionable things. I looked into that school's covenant and found that they _did_ have a section explicitly requiring that students and faculty not _advocate_ sexual immorality. Homosexuality was included, but it was only one part of the list of types of sexual immorality, and in fact she was writing heterosexual trash.

So what I'm suggesting about banning advocacy is apparently already done at some schools. Then it's a matter of enforcing it, of course...

The Overton Window is shifting left, as it has done since the Enlightenment. Christians are now entering the hard persecution phase where jobs start being lost, institutions are shut down, and eventually there are prison sentences for expressing a Biblical worldview. The Christian has a commitment to God and his ancestral line, to join the resistance against Modernity. Not to participate in democracy, but seek its overthrow and the establishment of a Christian Reactionary state.

"Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."

Psalm 2

Another point to consider about revising statements of faith and morals: It often happens (far too often) that a Christian school will have an established faculty member who "evolves" or turns out to be unsound on these issues with time. Even if he doesn't have tenure, even if your Christian school doesn't grant tenure, he may have been around for years. He may have been hired when this wasn't even an issue. Then, to people's surprise, he turns out to be "progressive" on this and starts joining the handful of activist alumni who have "come out" and outsiders/carpetbaggers who start trying to come in and give the school a hard time. He can always say, "I always thought that homosexual acts were sometimes permissible, and you never fired me before. How can you suddenly fire me now?" That's where it can be helpful to say, okay, I guess we have to write this into our statement (the faculty usually have to sign the statement yearly) to clarify this matter, because it is an issue that is just being pushed now, and we don't want to leave in place "sleeper" faculty who are suddenly going to turn out to be unsound and then claim that it's arbitrary to fire them because it hasn't been expressly prohibited.

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