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Christian bigots unhappy over bad publicity

Writing for The New American, Dave Bohon seems unhappy about the negative publicity a certain Baptist university has been receiving lately.

A Baptist university in Georgia is receiving abundant media attention for a “Personal Lifestyle Statement“ it recently updated, that requires faculty and staff to adhere to a set of biblical standards that include shunning homosexual behavior. Employees have been told that they must either sign the statement as a pledge, or face termination.

It’s a private school and receives no federal funding, so there’s no legal issue here. If Christians want to say, “We’re bigots and you have to be a bigot to work here,” then they have that right. What Bohon seems to be unhappy about is the fact that so many people seem to see anti-gay discrimination as bad even when Christians do it.

On its “Gay Voices” page, the Huffington Post highlighted “happily out and proud gay” Rome, Georgia, native Jeffery Self, who recalled the joyful days he spent helping out in the theater department of the college around the corner from his boyhood home. While claiming to understand that, because Shorter is a Baptist college, “certain ‘lifestyle choices’ might not be within their ideas and beliefs,” the aptly named Self nonetheless took the liberty of referring to the school’s pledge as “outlandishly backward, despicable, disgusting, and in no way Christ-like….”

Ooo, “the aptly named Self”—bet that one hurt. But what Bohon fails to understand is that there’s no contradiction here. It’s entirely possible that Baptist doctrines might not allow homosexual “lifestyles,” AND that this anti-gay attitude might be outlandishly backward, despicable, and disgusting. Bigotry doesn’t magically become OK just because Christians do it, any more than raping altar boys becomes ok just because the perp is a priest.

The major non-event here is that nobody is trying to tell the university they can’t do this. No one. There’s no lawsuit, no investigation, no plaintiff. People are talking about how bigoted it is to make sexual preference into a contractual obligation, but nobody is suggesting that the school should suffer any greater penalty than the harm they themselves are doing to their own reputation. So naturally, the university is striking the martyr pose and defending their right to make bigoted policies (which no one disputes).

Shorter’s president, Donald Dowless (pictured above), told the Christian Post that the reasoning behind the updated pledge was to clarify the university’s stand as a Christian institution. “As a private institution we have a right, just like organizations have the right, to set expectations of their employees,” he said. “We have a right to hire only Christians.”

And they do, which is why nobody is trying to deny them that right. What people are doing is pointing out that their definition of “only Christians” contains some rather blatant anti-gay bigotry. They fact that they have biblical justification for doing so only goes to show that this bigotry is not a mere personal failing on their part. The people who invented Christianity were also bigots.

On those grounds, I applaud their decision, and I hope they stick to their guns and demonstrate to the world what a backward, disgusting, and despicable religion Christianity really is.

Comments

  1. Brother Yam says

    So naturally, the university is striking the martyr pose and defending their right to make bigoted policies (which no one disputes).

    Shorter’s president, Donald Dowless (pictured above), told the Christian Post that the reasoning behind the updated pledge was to clarify the university’s stand as a Christian institution. “As a private institution we have a right, just like organizations have the right, to set expectations of their employees,” he said. “We have a right to hire only Christians.”

    And they do, which is why nobody is trying to deny them that right.

    That’s the hardest part of martyrdom — getting that last nail in can be a real bugger…

  2. Glodson says

    On those grounds, I applaud their decision, and I hope they stick to their guns and demonstrate to the world what a backward, disgusting, and despicable religion Christianity really is.

    So this is a win-win situation. They either stick to their guns and expose Christianity as a religion that supports bigotry, or they compromise their views and relinquish their bigotry, making it harder for them to justify bigotry on their part with religion.

    I like it. Maybe if enough religious groups get called out on being bigots, we’ll expose them as bigots or force them get ditch their point of view about the evils of homosexuality.

  3. Phillip IV says

    Writing for The New American, Dave Bohon seems unhappy about the negative publicity a certain Baptist university has been receiving lately.

    Understandably unhappy – after all, when your religious convictions are being treated like any other kind of baseless, personal opinion, it kinda destroys the whole point of having a fictional, metaphysical source of authority to begin with.

    This issue is acerbated by the authoritarian mindset of many (or even most) fundamentalist Christians – for them, any form of criticism is an outright attack, simply because their own worldview knows no difference between “you shouldn’t” and “you shouldn’t been allowed to”.

    We’ll be seeing a lot more of the “gay marriage endangers religious liberty” (final) line of defense the next few years – on the one hand, a tacit surrender of the “gays are sinful and perverted” line that no longer sits that well with a growing slice of the populace, and on the other hand an attempt to shore up wavering support for anti-gay activism.
    There is a hard core of anti-gay religious bigots who will fight to the finish, but much of their base of support is a lot softer – they’re vocal in support of anti-gay measures as long as they feel safely in the majority and within the realm of acceptable opinion, but many of them will break away once they feel that their position is growing really unpopular.

  4. says

    Can they really do this? I’ll have to double check this, but in the UK you can’t discriminate employment like this. They’re even stopping churches from discriminating in their employment.

  5. Reginald Selkirk says

    I found the Shorter University “personal lifestyle statement” (Google pulls it out easily; 1 page PDF). Curiously, it does not mention abstaining from shelfish.

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