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After Controversy, Christian University Changes Gay Policy

posted by editor

A Christian university in Nashville, Tenn., has amended its nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation after a recent controversy involving a lesbian former soccer coach.
“We are a Christian community that is welcoming, loving and inclusive of everyone,” said Belmont University President Bob Fisher in a Wednesday (Jan. 26) statement.
The change comes a month after the university’s soccer coach, Lisa Howe, left her position after revealing that she and her lesbian partner were expecting a child.
In his announcement, Fisher said that sexual orientation was not a consideration in “hiring, promotion, salary or dismissal decisions” during the 11 years he has been president.
Howe hailed the policy change in a statement reported by The Tennessean.
“Significant change does not happen without sacrifice and without some people getting hurt along the way,” she wrote. “However, in my opinion, everyone is a winner today.”
The executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, however, said he was “saddened” by the school’s decision, the Nashville newspaper reported.
“It sounds very much like a compromise of a traditional biblical worldview and the mores of the day,” said the Rev. Randy Davis, whose Southern Baptist state convention severed ties with Belmont in 2007.
– Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service



  • Henrietta22

    Roses to Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

  • Henrietta22

    Roses to Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

  • pagansister

    Hope they can stick by their new policy—it seems that the Southern Baptist state convention sees the decision as poor. Oh well. Reality can sometimes suck.

  • nnmnns

    Good for them!

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    I salute them. This stance, defying religious dogmatism, illustrates a genuine concern for the human consequences of rigid doctrinal policies. I would hope that Belmont and other institutions will defend and explain their position in a positive way — the true spirit of Christianity — and not as a mere acquiescence to changing times.

  • Mordred08

    It’s possible that they realized they can’t “witness” to “sinners” if they keep kicking them out.
    pagansister: “it seems that the Southern Baptist state convention sees the decision as poor. Oh well. Reality can sometimes suck.”
    Indeed it can. Ask the gay community of Tennessee, where same-sex marriages are banned, and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is completely legal.

  • cknuck

    While Christians should be inclusive we cannot be Christians and accept every practice it’s a sad day when Christians cave to pressure from the world to be like the world “in the world but not of the world.”

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    Actually, cknuck, I agree with you that Christians — or for that matter, any people of honest faith — should not cave in and accept everything in the world. Acts of gratuitous cruelty and cynical exploitation may be pervasive in the world, but they should never be acceptable. On the other hand, acts that do not harm other people and in fact widen the scope of the kinds of love people may feel for each other SHOULD be acceptable. An exploitative or abusive heterosexual marriage should not be acceptable; a loving same-sex partnership should. Gender is not the criterion for acceptability… Unless, of course, one ignores the spirit of the law and looks narrowly only at the letter of the law.

  • Rob the Rev

    Well said, Heretic_for_Christ!!

  • Rob the Rev

    Well said, Heretic_for_Christ!

  • Katie Murphy

    I’m really thrilled. As a northerner, I’ve always seen the south (lived there for a year or so in the army long ago btw- as bigoted, and still fighting the civil war, only with gays as the target.
    I would expect that beliefnet is a right wing christian site, but it appears that the great majority of people here support equality for our gay friends and neighbors, and reject the evil and hatred tossed on this minority by those who defame everything Jesus life stood for as a message to all people of the world

  • Katie Murphy

    Glad to see that what I would expect to be a right wing religious site has mostly support for our gay and lesbian friens and neighbors.
    Good for you. You must really be listening to God

  • Grumpy Old Person

    How reveling that the executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention is “saddened” by a decision based on justice, fairness and equal treatment before the law. So much for doing to others what one would have done unto one’s self. (Or doing “to the least of these”.) This guy doesn’t recognize or honor Christian traits.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    Should read: “revealing”.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    That should read, “revealing”.

  • http://osmungifts.com Gail O

    How wonderful. Change of attitude can and does happen and it does happen a little at a time.

  • cknuck397

    H4C quote, “An exploitative or abusive heterosexual marriage should not be acceptable; a loving same-sex partnership should. Gender is not the criterion for acceptability… Unless, of course, one ignores the spirit of the law and looks narrowly only at the letter of the law.”
    Comparing a same sex association with a heterosexual marriage is not uncommon in the attempt to assign value and innocence to homosexuality. As well as the smoke screen of the spirit of the law rhetoric, when in fact following the teachings of Jesus and the bible there is no where that Jesus or the bible lifts homosexuality as appropriate. There are mentions that it is sinful no mention or example of any redeemable values in the practice is mentioned. There is no room for homosexuality to be practiced in the body of Christ nor in His Father’s house.

  • Heretic_for_Christ

    cknuck,
    But you ARE looking only at the letter of the law — and doing so inconsistently. If the issue is “Did Jesus ever specifically say that homosexuality is okay?” The answer is No. Of course, the answer is also No if the question is whether Jesus ever specifically condemned it. On the other hand, the Bible does specifically condone slavery. Does that make it all right today? No? Then maybe, just maybe, one MUST look at the spirit of the law and not just the letter.

  • Your Name

    ck can’t even type the word marriage when it comes to smae-gender relationships. Instead, in his “mind” we ony have “associations”. Yet more Biblical selectivity, for likewise there is no where that Jesus says homosexuality (as WE are discussing it in the 21st century) as INappropriate.
    Jesus’s sole messages were 1. Love God. And 2. Love one another. This Christian University gets it. Too bad ck doesn’t.

  • pagansister

    Love is supposed to be the basic thing the NT teaches—-thus same gender love is as appropriate as heterosexual love—Love is love, and most humans need that in order to live. Love comes (or should) from many sources—hopefully starting with parents, and graduating to siblings, other family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles etc). Parents now come in 2 gender combinations and same gender combinations, and sometimes a single parent. Those that believe it is some kind of “sin” don’t have to participate in those “sinful” things, but they have no right to condemn it because it is against THEIR belief system. Their religion doesn’t set the rules for everyone to live by—-Thank God! Yes, cknuck, I know—all our founding fathers (mothers) were “Christian”. (no) Those that were had the good sense to not make our government dictate the country’s religions. They were smart .

  • cknuck

    H4C respectfully thank you for making my point with misinformation, the bible does not condone slavery as a matter of fact Paul covers the position very well. But as for homosexuality there is no positive statement in the bible and the bible is clear on relationships as Jesus quoted the position from the original law. Laws are not a bad thing so when one tries to blur the lines with rhetoric like the spirit of the law to validate something that has no validity it is simply a trick and should be seen for what it is, there is no spirit in the law or in the bible that supports homosexuality.

  • cknuck

    YN Jesus did preach love but that is in no way His sole message; read more and stop spreading misinformation.

  • cknuck

    pagan you are making some big leaps with the bible and love, although you have no investment in the bible or Christianity outside of your homosexual agenda.
    If like you say the government does not dictate religion then what are you talking about when it comes to Christians and our beliefs concerning homosexuality?

  • pagansister

    cknuck, as a really devout Christian you would be very happy to have this country state that marriage is between one man and one woman, right? IOW stick an amendment to the US Constitution making it a law. You’d be jumping up and down in religious joy if that happened. You’d like the government to dictate who someone can marry. You have made it very clear many times that this country was started by Christian’s. Probably took a leap there—from the love taught by your favorite guy and the government. And as to my knowledge of the NT and it’s contents? As I understand from my reading of the NT and from what I was taught, LOVE is the major thing stressed. JC and love don’t go together IYO? I’m sure there are things you can put together saying it is a bad thing to love a person of the same gender as a man loves a woman, but so what? That was 2000 plus years ago—and the homosexuals then were probably stoned to death. Now besides sometimes being abused/killed they are denied the right to marry (not a “civil union”) in many states still. Just wrong. Golly, I must be pushing my “homosexual agenda”. :o)

  • cknuck

    yes you are pagan thanks for admitting it. repentance is important in the N.T. as well as living in a godly design which by the way homosexuality does not make the cut.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    Sorry ck, but I have to question your reading comprehension skills. You say, “the bible [sic]does not condone slavery as a matter of fact Paul covers the position very well.”
    But Paul’s words on the topic were: “Slaves, obey your masters.” Sure doesn’t sound like a condemnation of slavery to me.
    And also, after all these many years of being constantly reminded, you still do not honour the Book you purport to by capitalizing the Bible when you type it.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    “Jesus did preach love but that is in no way His sole message”
    He left us with only two commandments – love God with all your heart, soul and might and Love one another.
    He said that doing unto others as we would have done unto ourselves is “the SUM of the laws and the prophets”.
    I don’t need more than the sum of al lthe laws and the prohets. He was quite clear on this.

  • pagansister

    Am not sure that I ever denied my being in favor of equal rights for homosexuals, cknuck. If that is an “agenda” in your eyes, so be it. I just call it equal rights for all, no matter what their skin color, religious leanings,or sexuality.

  • cknuck

    grump read more Paul said there was no slave also, slave obey your masters is very healthy advice for that time don’t be a ninny. Jesus’ message of repenting is as every bit important as the love message and the love God message does include obeying God which includes God’s design. Yes it does sum up but not the way you sum it up, the whole love one another had nothing to do with homosexuality. look it up!

  • cknuck

    pagan you’ve got it right up until you try to include sexuality, God’s design for sexuality does not match up with governments acceptance of homosexuality. One simply cannot serve the two masters.

  • pagansister

    As far as I’m concerned cknuck I have it right, including sexuality. I don’t happen to serve any master. I’m a free woman. You have chosen to serve a master,(which is an interesting way to put it), and as I said—I’m a free person/woman.

  • cknuck

    pagan everyone serves a master, you’ve probably several.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    I’m not the One that ‘summed it up’, ck, Jesus did. Deal with it.
    “God’s design for sexuality” is NOT singular and is not the same for every person. (Nor should you presume to ‘know’ God’s plan – for OTHER people.) That’s why we are called to a personal relationship with Christ. Kindly butt out of mine.
    Thanx in advance.

  • pagansister

    “pagansister,everyone serves a master” cknuck Really? That’s an interesting statement.
    “you’ve probably several.” cknuck That would be—-No.
    I really think I would know if I “served” masters or mistresses for that matter. But since you have informed me on another post that you don’t believe me, I’m sure you don’t believe the above statement either. Nooooo problem. :o)

  • cknuck

    grump you just made that up entirely

  • cknuck

    grump you just made that up, there is no basis or documentation to support you assertion and attempt to bless homosexuality. God’s design is singular and specific.

  • cknuck

    grump you just made that up, there is no basis or documentation to support you assertion and attempt to bless homosexuality. God’s design is singular and specific.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    Sorry, ck, but I made up nothing. Those were Jesus’s words, not mine. It figures that you wouldn’t know that.
    If “God’s design is singular”, you worship a pretty small god.
    Like I said, I was raised to have a personal relationship with God and Christ. My relationship will not look like yours, nor should it. Nor should it be any concern of yours. Look after the logs in your own eye before you try to remove my speck.

  • Forgiven by Jesus

    @ Grump,
    One thing you need to think about, JEsus and God are one and the same, Right? See John 1 :1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    2The same was in the beginning with God.
    3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    Then Jesus would have the same characteristics as God right?
    If you look back at the old Testament you can get a picture of God’s views of Homosexuality . In Genesis 19 the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is told. The Lord told Abram that He was going to destroy these cities for their wickedness, Abram bargained with God to save the cities if their was ten righteousness people there. Lot, Abram’s Nephew was there. But God did not find ten righteous people there. Do you know what the wickedness in those cities were? it was Homosexuality, here is the beginning of the chapter,
    1And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
    2And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
    3And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
    4But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
    5And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
    Notice vs 5, these people wanted to know the men sexual, that what they were implying. When you further read the story, God does destroys these two cities.
    On the other note, when Jesus tells us to love his neighbor, we should love the person, but not the sin that the person is committing. You can see this in Jesus’s time, Now where did he applaud or promoted a sin someone was in. For example, look at the John 8, where the Pharisees brings a woman caught in adultery. Jesus told her at the end of the to go and sin no more. He showed her love, but did not say what she was doing, (committing adultery) was right.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    FBJ,
    I don’t see consenting adult human relatinoships as “sin” in the first place.
    Read Ezekiel for the actual “sin of Sodom”.
    What did Jesus say to the man with whom this woman was “caught in adultery”???
    What you wrote is not ANY “thing [I] need to think about” since I don’t live my life according to selected ‘rules’ from a book written by Bronze Age goatherds.
    This nation is NOT a theocracy, despite your best wishes. What your holy book sez is irrelevant to how citizens live their lives.
    Go lecture (preach at) someone who cares. I’m not a member of your ‘congregation’.

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