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Special Rights Based on Behavior Trump Enumerated Religious Freedom

640px-A_J_Gordon_Memorial_Chapel,_Gordon_College,_Wenham_MAHow did we get to the point where special rights for a small subset of people based on their sexual behavior occupy a place above the enumerated right to religious freedom?

The world has gone mad. “Fallen man” is too weak a description.

We’ve arrived at that place seemingly overnight. The people trampling on our religious liberty have either forgotten or never learned how precious that liberty is. This grand experiment called America is exceptional for a reason.

For Christ followers, things will get worse before they get better, so Christians need to fight fire with fire. Right now, Gordon College, a Christian school, is facing persecution.

The school bans student and faculty from such sins as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness, profanity, theft, and dishonesty — a reasonable religious policy. D. Michael Lindsay, the school’s president, co-signed a letter in July to President Barack Obama to request a religious exemption from an executive order that bans federal contractors from declining to hire people whose lifestyles are in opposition to their faith.

The fallout? The local school board banned Gordon undergraduates from being hired as student teachers. A Roman Catholic school has refused to compete with Gordon sports teams. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges has threatened Gordon’s accreditation. And the mayor has ended the city’s contracts with Gordon.

This is what Christians are facing. Not Muslims. Not Jews. Christians.

A parent asked the school board to reconsider banning Gordon graduates from teaching. Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, is also behind the school. He informed the mayor that the school board was discriminating against the students based on their religion:

“As noted above, no one has claimed that a Gordon College student teacher has discriminated against a Lynn public school student on the basis of their sexual orientation, or even made a comment about sexual orientation,” he said in his letter.

In other words, Gordon College may well have a legal case against some of the organizations that have banished the college since Mr. Lindsay’s July 1 letter went public.

But that’s not a course of action Gordon plans to pursue, said Gordon spokesman Rick Sweeney.

Let’s pray that Gordon College stands firm for the faith and doesn’t give in to the pressure…even if the school won’t pursue legal action.

Sweeney said they’re “very grateful for the support, and I thought the point he [Kirsanow] made in terms of the rights of students in this situation was very helpful to point out. At the end of the day, we’re still hopeful that the city will consider where there could be a middle ground to allow us to work with them again.”

Photo credit: “A J Gordon Memorial Chapel, Gordon College, Wenham MA” by John PhelanOwn work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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2 comments

  1. I am thrilled to be able to stand with Gordon College.

  2. My son graduated from Gordon College’s Education Department. He has been teaching in Maryland many years. Gordon is well known for the outstanding Education Department. They worked in classrooms in local schools from the time they were freshman. By the time they graduate they have had great experience in the classroom. As my son explains it, “A very basic principle of Christianity is to love and serve others even if you disagree with their beliefs and that is what Gordon student teachers and Gordon graduates do.” There was no incident of discrimination on the part of Gordon students. The discrimination is by closed minded officials. Sadly, the students of Lynn and other local communities are the losers. I am very proud of the work my son does in the public school system and outside. He has started ministries in 2 different churches to provide Free English classes to adults who do not speak English. Classes are open to anyone – no matter what their faith or no faith. He is a great example of a Gordon College graduate.