Christian Colleges

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September 5, 2019

Pressure on Baylor University to Charter LGBTQ Student Groups

Baylor University faced pushback from students and alumni this past spring after the university declined to recognize the LGBTQ organization Gamma Alpha Upsilon (“GAY” in Greek letters) as an official student group. An April petition, signed by more than 3,200 individuals, urged Baylor to allow LGBTQ student groups to organize officially on campus as “an issue of fundamental fairness and equity.”

Baylor, however, continues to affirm historic Christian teaching and does not allow students to “participate in advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching,” according to the school’s statement on human sexuality.

During the summer, the Baylor University Board of Regents did not take action in response to the petition, as some hoped they would. Yet, in an effort to work toward “creating a supportive, safe environment for LGBTQ students,” the board did invite Janet B. Dean, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Asbury University to present her research during the board’s annual summer retreat. Dean is the co-author of the book Listening to Sexual Minorities: A Study of Faith and Sexual Identity on Christian Colleges Campuses.

“It was a really good time for the board to ask questions of her and what she saw, but then to also have some discussion amongst ourselves about what that meant for Baylor,” said Baylor President Linda Livingston, as reported by The Waco Tribune.

In a defiant response to Baylor’s fidelity to historic Christian teaching, LGBTQ student activists recently sent letters to both the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Big 12 Conference urging them to examine the school’s LGBTQ policies and Title IX compliance.

These LGBTQ student activists must assume that pressure from collegiate athletic associations–and the money associated with national college athletics–will change the university’s convictions.  Little do they know that true Christian conviction is not swayed by such worldly influences.  Baylor is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and maintains that “sexual relations of any kind outside of a marriage between a man and a woman are not in keeping with the teaching of Scripture, as understood by the preponderance of Christian congregations and denominations throughout history…”

Justin Davis, a Baylor alumnus and identifying LGBTQ Christian, wrote an article that’s been circulating social media titled, “Baylor University’s LGBTQ Students Deserve Recognition and Real Support, Not More Hollow Platitudes.”

“In this era, Baylor’s continued refusal to recognize an LGBTQ student group is not only ignorant but also threatens the wellbeing and safety of its students,” Davis wrote.

Davis, who previously worked at the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith program in Washington, D.C., went on to describe the “fear, guilt, shame, and homophobia” that he experienced during his years at Baylor. “My own experience at Baylor, of being isolated and intimidated on campus, and passed off to local ministries practicing conversion therapy had serious long-term impacts on me,” he wrote.

Baylor provides a statement on human sexuality but does not require its students, faculty, or staff to necessarily adhere to the school’s viewpoint. According to the school:

Baylor provides this statement so that those who join our campus community are aware of the University’s values and expectations. We believe that Scripture is the ultimate authority on how to conduct our lives and that it serves as a light to guide our way in a manner that honors God and others.

And:

Baylor respects everyone’s right to express his or her opinion, and the University recognizes that there are members of our community who do not agree with Baylor’s statement on human sexuality. Regardless of one’s viewpoint on this issue, we believe that all people have been created in God’s image and that God loves all people unconditionally. Thus, Baylor supports the dignity and worth of every person and seeks to create a campus climate where each person is treated with love and respect within our caring community, as outlined in our University mission statement.

Baylor also states that LGBTQ-identifying students will not face disciplinary action or lose their financial aid. Nor do the school’s counselors condone or practice conversion or reparative therapy.

You can read more about Baylor’s policies on human sexuality here.


6 Responses to Pressure on Baylor University to Charter LGBTQ Student Groups

  1. David says:

    “These LGBTQ student activists must assume that pressure from collegiate athletic associations–and the money associated with national college athletics–will change the university’s convictions.” Many universities, including Penn State, my alma mater, are essentially held hostage by the football program. Can I take a guess that the football coach is the highest paid person at Baylor?

  2. JR says:

    I didn’t realize that Baylor was so strongly aligned with a conservative Christian worldview.

    I honestly assumed it was a private or private/public university, like Penn State.

    I have no problem with the LGBTQ+ group asking for formal recognition.

    I’m not surprised that Baylor has declined, and don’t honestly think they should be pressured by the NCAA. They aren’t hiding their affiliation with that traditional Christian worldview – anyone choosing to go there should be willing to accept the perspective of the University. They are welcome to try and change it, if they can. I also wouldn’t recommend that my kids attend Baylor, as that’s not my worldview.

  3. Jim says:

    My hope is that Baylor’s administrative governing body and its President will adhere to the biblical mandate for human sexuality as defined in their published documents.

    Alum Justin Davis is parroting the talking points of the homosexual/lesbian community with his talk about students safety and wellbeing be jeopardized. He seasons his rhetoric with the label of conversion therapy. These are the points that are raised by those in the homosexual community who wish for not a respectable tolerance from the majority rather unconditional acceptance of their lifestyle.

    These same tactics are employed in countless conflicts across the country such as the assault on the Chick-fil-A company.

    I urge the leaders at Christian institutions of higher education to remain committed to the biblical call for Christlike living. I encourage biblically minded students and faculty at these fine institutions to make their voices heard on the campus and to refuse giving in to intimidation from those with whom we disagree. Any threats by the NCAA or accrediting agencies should be met with University legal action. We are not dealing with folks who simply want to be recognized. Their goals are far more reaching and if allowed, will be bring an end to Christian institutions of higher education.

  4. Mike says:

    ‘“My own experience at Baylor, of being isolated and intimidated on campus, and passed off to local ministries practicing conversion therapy had serious long-term impacts on me,” he wrote.’ No one made you attend that school. Why didn’t you go somewhere else? What makes people like you insist that everyone cater to your whims and desires, even if it goes against their core beliefs?

    “Their goals are far more reaching and if allowed, will be bring an end to Christian institutions of higher education.” Jim is exactly right. Seemingly, the one force that stands in the way of unanimous consent to the complete perversion of our society by the LGBTQ crowd is Christianity, and it must be conquered, no matter what the cost to morality decency, and America itself.

  5. Paul Zesewitz says:

    How hard is it for LGBTQ students to find a liberal University that doesn’t care about biblical mandates regarding sexual activity and leave Baylor alone? Not hard at all. Two come to mind— Harvard and Yale.

  6. William says:

    Conversion therapy? While they are there at Baylor with the opportunity of prevenient grace reaching out to them and inviting them, they just might consider turning to Jesus for the ultimate conversion of justifying grace so as to live into sanctifying grace anew.

    https://www.gotquestions.org/born-again.html

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