Monday, November 14, 2011

On the fate of historical religious affiliations of universities

In "A Tale of Two Colleges" (November 8, 2011), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler, Jr., comments on contrasting decisions made by two Georgia universities. Shorter University (Rome, GA) adopted a series of statements intended to protect its historic religious commitments, including guidelines governing both faith and morals. Within days of that decision, Mercer University (Macon, GA) announced personnel policies to allow for coverage of domestic homosexual partnerships.

Mohler develops a bit of background of each institution and draws three predictable lessons (here I offer only the headings):
  1. As time goes on, colleges and universities that choose to identify with the ethos and standards of the secular academy will inevitably increase the distance from their founding churches and theological commitments.
  2. Colleges and universities attempting to maintain accountability to churches and Christian denominations will discover that specificity and clarity in terms of worldview commitment and lifestyle expectations is required, and not optional.
  3. The issue of homosexuality now presents an unavoidable test of conviction for Christian institutions of higher learning. The pressure to normalize homosexual relationships and behaviors will be strong, and the cost of resisting this pressure will be steep.
Since the 1980s the last-mentioned issue has developed into the soft, vulnerable underbelly of Evangelical Protestantism . . . as well as (need we even mention it?) mainline Catholic universities. Goodbye, Good Men!

[Hat tip to J.M.]

1 comment:

Robert Allen said...

The homosexualists are winning the public relations battle for sure. I teach Ethics at a local community college and if you profess even obvious things like males and females are anatomically suited for each other or a child needs a mother and a father you are labeled a 'homophobe'. They are also allowed to appeal to nature to justify their lifestyles-'I was made that way'- but if you bring up your natural revulsion to homosexuality- look out: out comes that label again.