http://www.baylor.edu/lariat/news.php?action=story&story=54323

Using the backdrop of the passage of California’s proposition 8, which essentially stops the recognition of same-sex marriages, an editorial writer at Baylor took the opportunity to criticize the university administration and many members of its student body for their failure to get in step with what other universities are doing in regard to their policy on sexual misconduct, as well as some of the university’s past actions related to individuals on this same issue.

Calling Proposition 8 a “temporary setback” in an inevitable move toward “inclusiveness,” editorial writer Jade Ortego then took the university community to task for its attitude.

“Always instep with the Christian right, Baylor remains embarrassingly behind in its perception of gay rights. Baylor’s sexual misconduct policy calls human sexuality a “gift from the creator God” to be enjoyed through “heterosexual relationships within marriage.” Misuses of this gift include “sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, incest, adultery, fornication and homosexual acts.”

Though done in a backhanded way, Ortego could not have paid Baylor a better compliment.  Though it might surprise some people, apparently Baylor’s policy is in step with the school’s mission and purpose as a Christian university with a long Baptist tradition.  Baylor is in step with the Christian right because its administration, faculty and a significant number of its students come from a constituency that is largely centered in the Christian right.  Ortego seems to think the school needs to move in a different direction.  I would disagree with that.

Ortego says, “How can Baylor expect to compete in a new century with regressive ideas of segregation based on identity? It can’t, and unless some things change, it will become increasingly more embarrassing to identify oneself as an alumnus. I don’t want to be thought of as a close-minded bigot. ”

First of all, Baylor’s status as a Christian university with a Baptist tradition and heritage is what makes it somewhat unique among educational institutions.  It is that status and heritage that is largely responsible for attracting most of the students which make up the university community.  Take that away, and you have a Baylor University that not only loses its unique character, but would also lose much of what makes it competetive in attracting students.  The vast majority of the students, professors and staff are part of the Baylor community because the school operates under Christian principles, with at least half of the students attracted by its traditional Baptist heritage.  Ortego is right in declaring that Baylor is not like other universities.  And the fact is, it doesn’t need to be, and I hope it doesn’t desire to be. 

As Christians, our relationships with individuals who do not share the convictions we hold because of our faith in Christ and our belief in the Bible as the written Word of God, including homosexuals, should always be redemptive rather than judgemental, reflecting the fact that we are sinners who required the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to change our lives, and we live the life we do not because we did so much to change it, but because we benefitted from the grace of God through Jesus.  We should always avoid kneejerk reactions to the moral choices others make, while at the same time we should never affirm a lifestyle, behavior, or moral values that are not consistent with our faith in Christ.  There is always the danger that in living lives transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, critics will call us bigots or narrow minded.  But there is also at least an equal chance that if our behavior is redemptive and not judgemental, gracious yet not affirming sin, the hope of Christ that lives within us will be seen, and we will have an opportunity to help someone find salvation and be free from the slavery of their sin. 

Ortego needs to be open minded enough to be fair in investigating the Biblical values on which the university’s policy, and many of its student’s moral values rest.  Far from labelling one as a bigot, there are many things that a degree from Baylor say about its recipient, with regard to moral values and spirituality, at least, I hope that it still the case.

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About LS

I'm 56, happily married for 25 years, B.A., M.A., career educator with experience in education as a teacher and administrator, native Arizonan living in Pennsylvania, working on a PhD and a big fan of the Arizona Wildcats, mainly in football and basketball.

3 responses

  1. Steven says:

    Gays are actually speeding up the return of Jesus to earth as Judge! In Luke 17 Jesus discussed two practices occurring in a big way in Genesis: the “days of Noah” (physical violence) and the “days of Lot” (violence against God’s law – known today as sexual perversion). And He predicted that just before His return, there will be a mysterious worldwide resurgence of both vices on an unparalleled scale which will actually be the behind-the-scenes work of unseen powers who will brainwash many persons. So while gays are playing their predicted role (which is often combined with violence), they are unwittingly hurrying up the return of Jesus as their Judge! To see how Gaydom’s ultimate goal is being realized, Google “Zombietime” and click on “Up Your Alley Fair.” After recovering, Yahoo “God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up” and “Dangerous Radicals of the Religious Right.” See all of this before the “God” named in all 50 state constitutions responds with quakes, violent storms, and other bad news. Incredibly, the unnatural acts which forced God to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (resulting in the Dead Sea Green Party’s sudden change of plans!) and which were capital crimes in early America, are now insanely viewed as “natural” and even “desirable” for little kids to know about! Steven

  2. Chuck says:

    Good to hear Baylor being compared to the Religious Right, but I hope Baylor will address its conflicted Biology Dept. statement on evolution and realize that a Christian university shouldn’t teach, as truth, theories (of evolution) which deny or contradict Truth (God as creator)–to the point even of denying that there is any intelligent cause.

  3. Wendy Pitcher says:

    I am happy to hear that Baylor is not compromising the Christian principles upon which it was established. Being to the right is not a bad thing and I’m always surprised by folks who think it is.

    I have two extremely liberal sisters who always try to fight with me about politics. I get accused of thinking and saying things I do not think or say. It gets pretty ugly. I refuse to fight with them and use scripture (which they don’t know because they are unsaved) and show them that standing for Biblical principles is not bad, nor is it strictly republican or democrat, although it typically is republican.

    I fail to understand how people can support a candidate who voted for partial birth abortion (killing a viable infant) and who stated that if one of his girls were to become pregnant, he would not want her “punished” with a child. Excuse me, when did a child become a punishment? I consider my children a blessing. They did not always come in my timing, but they did in God’s and who am I to second guess the big guy?

    This candidate claims to support the family in America, but that family could mean anything. He supports same-sex marriages and the recognition of couples living together without the blessing of matrimony. He believes they should have equal rights with those who are heterosexual married couples. The degradation of the family in America continues its decline.

    Personally, I plan to make sure that all of my legislators know my name and how I want them to vote. They won’t know if I don’t tell them. I subscribe to Christian watchdog groups who monitor significant legislation coming up for vote. By watching and monitoring the political horizon, we can make sure that our voice is heard and that those who can effect a change know how their constituents feel. So many people do not know the names of their legislators. Shame! We should know their names and realize that they work for us, not the other way around.

    I pray for all of my leaders as told to us by the apostle Paul. I love them with God’s love because I couldn’t do it on my own. But, I also lovingly let them know when I disagree with them and why. I may not change their mind, but what if I were the one letter needed to reach a number where he or she would have to change their vote? We must be heard!

    Grace and peace,
    Wendy Pitcher