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News – Bible college in gay row

October 2009

Bible college in gay row

 

A boardroom memo issued to the faculty of Calvin College in Michigan has stated that it is ‘unacceptable’ for academics to advocate homosexual practice or civil partnerships.

     For a college formed on the basis of Reformation theology in the 1870s, this should have been met with faculty approval. Not so. Reports reveal that nearly 130 of the 300-strong teaching staff then met to discuss their concerns about the memo.

     Their ‘beef’ is with academic freedom and a feeling that the college board should not be dictating whether staff advocate gay rights or not.

     According to one member of the faculty senate, there is a ‘range of opinion’ on the subject across the campus and few teaching staff appreciate being told what to teach, rather than first being consulted on their views.

     The memo said that, while there are cases where academic integrity will ‘require acquainting students with alternate views, the position of the church and the college should be clearly and sympathetically presented, and advocacy of homosexual practice and same-sex marriage is not permitted’.

     The liberal arts Christian college has as its motto: ‘My heart I offer to you, Lord, promptly and sincerely’.

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