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Gordon College professor sues for retaliation over LGBT comments

Students walk through campus at Gordon College during the spring of 2016. Photo by Mark Spooner, courtesy of Gordon College

BOSTON (RNS) A Gordon College philosophy professor is suing her employer for allegedly breaching her free speech rights and retaliating after she publicly criticized the Christian school for its policy of not hiring sexually active gays and lesbians.

Lauren Barthold’s suit, filed April 28 in Essex Superior Court, claims she lost a leadership role and was denied an opportunity to seek a promotion after she spoke with news media and published a letter to the editor of The Salem News, a local newspaper.

“As a direct result of Professor Barthold having publicly voiced her opposition to the discriminatory practices of Gordon, Gordon retaliated against her,” the suit alleges, “first by threatening to terminate her, and later disciplining her by demoting her from her position as Director of the Gender Studies Minor.”

In her July 2014 letter to the editor, Barthold, who has academic tenure, called Gordon’s hiring policy “discriminatory” and urged sympathizers to help change it by bringing economic pressure to bear on the school. According to the suit, Gordon College President Michael Lindsay and the Board of Trustees confronted her and disciplinary measures followed.

Lauren Barthold, a Gordon College philosophy professor, is suing her employer for allegedly breaching her free speech rights and retaliating after she publicly criticized the Christian school for its policy of not hiring sexually active gays and lesbians. Photo courtesy of Gordon College

Lauren Barthold, a Gordon College philosophy professor, is suing her employer for allegedly breaching her free speech rights and retaliating after she publicly criticized the Christian school for its policy of not hiring sexually active gays and lesbians. Photo courtesy of Gordon College

Gordon College is a non-denominational evangelical liberal arts school located in Wenham, Mass.

Gordon’s long-standing policy became controversial in July 2014 after Lindsay signed on to a national push from religious colleges to seek exemption from a rule governing the hiring practices of federal contractors. The rule requires recipients of federal funds to consider gay and lesbian job applicants without taking sexual behavior into account.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee added an amendment to a military bill that would allow religiously affiliated institutions that contract with the government to fire or refuse to hire people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

A Gordon College statement on the suit says other Gordon employees have critiqued the school’s policy on sexuality without being disciplined, but Barthold harmed the school by going public “at a time when Gordon was under media scrutiny.”

“She identified herself as a Gordon employee and expressed her strong disagreements with the College in a harmful way,” the statement reads. “The faculty member’s statements were found to be detrimental to the College and not appropriate in her role as a faculty member.”

Barthold is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, which claims the case is about academic freedom and employees’ rights to speak up when they witness discrimination, including in religious college settings.

“The faculty remaining at Gordon is terrified because they’ve seen what’s happened to Professor Barthold,” said ACLU of Massachusetts attorney Sarah Wunsch. “It’s very troubling.”

(G. Jeffrey MacDonald is an RNS correspondent based in Boston)

 

About the author

G. Jeffrey MacDonald

G. Jeffrey MacDonald is an award-winning reporter and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

114 Comments

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  • Why is it disgraceful for a citizen to file suit in a court of law? Would you prefer justice without the recourse to a trial?

  • Anti-gays have demonstrated they prefer LGBT Americans have no recourse. The US Supreme Court revoked a Colorado law that wasn’t as far-reaching as NC’s recent anti-gay Hate Bill 2 because these laws said/say that LGBT Americans may not seek recourse from state government for wrongs committed against them.

  • It is Gordon College’s own leadership that has caused their loss of prestige. When an institution of higher learning states publicly they wouldn’t hire the best person for the job but instead have bought into the anti-gay political agenda, they tell Americans that political agenda is more important at Gordon College than learning. Attacking Professor Barthold means Gordon College leadership has further demeaned their own institution.

  • Stunning that Gordon College admits to treating Professor Barthold differently from other critical employees because she cried “The king has no clothes!” while the media was looking.

  • The college’s position is untenable. They had better settle this quickly and make restitution if they want to survive.

  • For being so “uppity” as to disclose to the public blatant discrimination by the school. /sarcasm

  • I have to say that although I agree with her position 100%, her free speech rights have not been violated. She is free to make the comments she made, and her employer, who is not the government, is free to not like it and fire her.

  • As a 1987 graduate of Gordon College, I am proud of my alma mater for not caving into the LGBT agenda. Gordon College believes in the inerrancy of scripture, and scripture clearly teaches that homosexual intercourse is a sin. If she doesn’t agree with the positions of the private evangelical college then she should leave. She has a right to free speech of course, but that does not give her the right to be employed by Gordon.

  • So its ok for ESPN to fire Curt Schilling for his off-air Facebook comments about transgendered people that supposedly violated ESPN’s values of inclusiveness? But it’s not ok for Gordon College to fire someone for a public rant that violates its values?

  • In David A. Perry’s mind, “public rant” = any statement of disagreement with a university policy.

  • Depending on the by-laws of the college, it is within the rights of a religious college to set specific standards/rules about staff.
    With a religious college, it would not be true to its roots should an atheist be hired. With a religious college, who claims to have the Bible as its ruling guidelines, hiring active homosexual staff

  • The college’s position is very tenable in light of its religious mission. Also, even if they lost in court, it wouldn’t break the bank. Certain Mass. entities ended their contracts with Gordon over the ENDA controversy and the college has survived that apparently.

  • What you fail to comprehend is the educational goal at Gordon College. The goal is to cultivate a Christian worldview in the students, regardless of what academic field they are majoring in. It doesn’t matter if you are a Philosophy professor or a Math professor, part of the teaching curriculum in the classes you teach is to relate your field of study back to the Christian faith and the Christian worldview that Gordon College espouses. If Professor Barthold is at odds with that worldview then she is NOT the best person for the job.

  • I went to a Christian university (granted, a “few” years ago), and faulty and staff were expected to sign a declaration of support of the “Belief Statement.”
    Were I to disagree with that, I can always quit. That is the consequence of my opinions.
    I cannot sign the statement, and then complain about one of the rules AND expect to keep my job.

  • The reason I called it a “rant” (as opposed to her just expressing her viewpoint) is that she went far beyond just arguing that Gordon College should change its policies. She actively called on outside organizations to boycott Gordon College. This could have huge and detrimental effects on Gordon College and its students, such as: 1) Other colleges refusing to play against Gordon in athletic events; 2) Cities and towns not allowing Gordon students to student teach or otherwise volunteer in their schools and in their communities; 3) Vendors who supply needed goods and services to the College, refusing to do business with Gordon. That’s just to name a few! This was a “rant” from an employee that directly affected the employer in Gordon College.

  • If one of the faculty members would advocate for polygamy, what would you expect the board to do? If one of the faculty members would advocate for marrying off 13 year old girls, what wuld you expect the board to do?
    It is a popular bandwagon, the LGBT one. That movement is in the process of taking away the rights of others to disagree with their ways. And when I teach at a religious educational institutions whose religious convictions oppose active expressions of LGBT, I have to be willing to pay the price of my convictions – and that is, in this case, resign.

  • There is nothing un-Christian about LBTG folks or their lives. If you think there is, it’s important for you to look at accurate translations and delve into how they came to be.

    I wonder if Gordon College has policies against adultery, usury, etc? What happens to board members, administrators, faculty and staff if they openly disagree with those? Is 10% of each paycheck withheld and distributed to a charity that is not the college?

    No. They’re just focused on sex. That right-wing focus on sex is really one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen.

  • I said this before, but it obviously bears repeating:

    There is nothing un-Christian about LBTG folks or their lives. If you think there is, it’s important for you to look at accurate translations and delve into how they came to be.

    That right-wing focus on sex is really one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen.

  • Gordon says its a liberal arts college. One of the cornerstones of a liberal arts education is building sharp critical thinking. Apparently Gordon doesn’t want that. Groupthink is required. “We must all think alike and agree on everything.”

    That’s no education.

  • She called on outside entities to inflict serious financial harm on her employer and all she was was disciplined? She should have been fired.

  • Actually, LGBT required group think. You think our way or we will sue you.
    Those who disagree with their lifestyle seem to have lost all rights to disagree.
    Gordon did not tell the professor to “think like us..” But she should have known the consequences of the actions.
    I belong to a religious group, and am one of the leaders. When my beliefs start to differ strongly from the group, I can’t blame the group if their beliefs don’t follow mine! There is a price associated with strongly held beliefs.

  • As long as you don’t pretend the purpose of the institution is education. You want to run the Christian equivalent of an islamicist madrassa, that is your right. Just don’t pretend that the purpose of such places us anything other than indoctrination.

    Such policies simply devalue the worth of the diplomas there.

  • There is no point in calling such places colleges. Education obviously takes a backseat to indoctrination and reinforcement of imposed bigotry.

    What is the value in a diploma from such a place? Proof to a student’s parents that you can waste 4 years in an information and critical thinking free zone?

  • What a load of garbage. The decision to treat other people like human beings is,not a matter of religious or political viewpoints. It’s about basic decency or the lack of it.
    If your strong religious beliefs allegedly compel you to treat others in a malicious fashion, they are worthless. Nobody needs to respect such nonsense. Your beliefs are yours and they are reprehensible. Having them is no guarantee others have to defer to them

  • Treating people humanely is a popular bandwagon. One which many faiths including some Christian sects follow. Yours does not. It’s helpful for the public to know that discrimination and bigotry is rife in institutions calling themselves “Christian” after all not all Christian sects agree on such things. Good to know what kind of people call themselves Christians here.

  • She was a whistle blower who faces retaliation for exposing moral and legal hazards of her employer.

  • Blatant discrimination and promulgating bigotry has various social, legal and financial penalties. Oh well.

  • With all due respect, you are plain wrong. Where I graduated, for example, the first graduates from the new nursing program were the top fifty of the state boards.

    It is when groups like LBGT refuse the rights of others to disagree. Same with pro-abortion. I have to accept their way of thinking, or I am considered in-educated. Uncultured. Narrow minded.
    Why? Is my opinion any less than yours because I look at the world different? Surely not!

  • You’ve done a very nice job of turning that around Rudy. LBTG folks aren’t punishing her. Gordon is enforcing their groupthink.

  • It is respecting of someone’s opinion but disagreeing respectfully where treatment is correct.
    But that does not mean that I have to give up my belief set. Or, that as an organization whose belief statement I have signed should change its rules just for me.
    The professor knew.

  • What moral and legal hazards? Last the Supreme Court said was the religious institutes have the right to make these choices.

  • In addition, it’s so ironic that you say “There is a price associated with strongly held beliefs.” I think all the LBTG folks who have been beaten, murdered, lost jobs, been denied simple human rights, etc., simply for not hiding their basic humanity, are well aware of that. They know in a way a male member of the dominant religion probably never will be, and even more so if you are white. Lucky for you.

  • You really don’t understand religious freedom in this country, do you??

  • No you don’t get it. Your religion has, never been a valid excuse to harm others. Your right to discriminate is up there with the right to commit human sacrifice and honor killing, non-existent.

    You define the very notion of religious freedom to pretend it’s a license, privilege, for Christians like yourself to act badly to others. Well it isn’t. Never was. You dishonor our country with such garbage.

  • No, the university is asking her to abide by the documents she signed, and by the religious doctrines espoused by the school.
    Thirty years ago a former professor took the consequences of his disagreement with the institution where he taught – and resigned rather than forcing the institution into his way of thinking. I respect that.

  • If you can’t understund why discrimination is a moral or legal hazard, there is no point in continuing a conversation. You are obviously using religion as an expression of sociopathy.

  • Malicious is badmouthing and name calling – Westboro baptist style.
    An honest disagreement can go deep and have serious consequences. But both parties can do that respectfully.

  • When the subject is whether to treat people like human beings, there is no room for polite disagreement. Only someone who is malicious or amoral can take such a dispassionate view.

    I don’t respect people who look for ways to deliberately attack others or try to excuse malice. I don’t ever have to. It would be a greater immorality to do so. I not only refuse to disagree with you respectfully, I cannot legitimate reason to do so.

  • Spin, spin, spin. Don’t you get dizzy?
    So Gordon enforces its groupthink with contracts. It’s still groupthink.

  • Do you ever give an awesome example of what causes such major problems. I have not made a single negative reference about your point of view. I have not prescribe any motives to your point of view. And yet I am a social path?

  • You are looking to discuss an issue in the way a sociopath does. Avoid any context and impact and treat doing harm to others as something genteel and polite. FTS.

  • Discrimination is not malicious? Lol. The only people who maintain the fiction of a “well intentioned and moral” act of discrimination are those seeking to perpetrate it. Simply poor excuses seeking social acceptability for the act of deliberate demeaning and attacking of others.

  • If both ESPN and Gordon College have equally legally valid policies saying they can “terminate at will for any reason”, then they both enjoy that legal right.

    But don’t forget the precedent Gordon College set by failing to terminate other employees who had similarly criticized the college. That’s a legal issue.

    Personally speaking, I see a moral breach when either an employee (such as Mr. Schilling) or an employer (such as Gordon College) speaks, acts, or advocates against a group of equally rightful, law-abiding American citizens, as if those citizens are subordinate to their peers and deserve to be treated as such. I see hypocrisy, self-exaltation, and gross immorality when that employee or employer does so under the vainly pretentious aegis of self-described “morality”. And I see nothing but perverted, obsessive, narcissistic creepiness when that so-called “morality” is based upon what those equally rightful, law-abiding American citizens do or don’t do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

  • I am not going to get into a discussion with you about your assertion that “There is nothing un-Christian about LGBT folks or their lives.” You have a right to your viewpoint. However, Gordon College has a right to its viewpoint, and it believes in the 2000 year old viewpoint that: 1) Marriage is only between a man and a woman; 2) Sexual intercourse outside of that traditional marriage is a sin. Students and Professors who attend or work at Gordon College have a right to their individual viewpoints, but they don’t have a right to be a student or a professor there. It is a privilege, and when you accept that privilege you agree to abide by Rules for Students or Faculty. You also agree not to damage the College by writing a local newspaper and telling them to boycott your employer if they don’t change their ways. If you really feel strongly about LGBT issues you should probably attend or be a Professor at another college or university. There are plenty of more liberal Christian schools out there that will have no problem with LGBT issues.

    I have a concealed carry permit where I live in North Carolina, which means I can carry my weapon for self-defense in most all places. However, I work for a company that does not allow firearms on their property. Now I wish they would change that rule. I would like the security of knowing I could defend myself on the way from leaving my work building until I get to my car. I can go and talk to the company owners and try to convince them to change the rule That’s fine. But I would be totally out of line were I to write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper asking that my company be boycotted until they let me carry my firearm. Heck – its their business! They have the right to run it the way they want! If it bothered me that much I should quit. What I shouldn’t do is write that letter. I would be deservingly fired!

  • Gordon College most certainly does have a policy against adultery, and I suspect the same thing would happen to a Professor who wrote to the local newspaper and asked for a boycott over Gordon’s adultery policy.

    Actually I seem to remember that another male Philosophy Professor was fired from Gordon for committing adultery against his wife with one of his students. Can’t seem to remember his name though. Happened in the 1990s.

    Oh – wait a minute. Yes – it was Professor Kelly Clark. I took History of Philosophy classes from him. He got ousted, and then I think he went to Calvin College, and now works at Grand Valley State in Michigan.

  • Are you talking about Professor Thomas Howard, who resigned when he converted to the Roman Catholic Church?

  • A monogamous 2 person marriage has a history no longer than polygamy, if not shorter. Duration of a customary behavior is not a measure of its effectiveness. If you will extrapolate that out to other traditions that have ended, you’ll see the error.

    A college or university is not a business. Independent thought, thoughtful disagreement, and critical thinking are the basis of a first class liberal arts education. Not enforced groupthink.

  • No, she was not a whistle blower because the college wasn’t hiding anything. In fact, she herself said that it was the controversy surrounding the president’s actions that somehow “outed” the colleges policies. It’s one thing to publicly disagree with your employer’s policies. But when you call for others to boycott the organization that signs your paycheck, it’s time to look for a new employer.

  • They were pretty straightforward about their discriminatory policies. Now plenty of people outside the school know as well. It is a reprehensible policy.

  • That LGBT does not have the corner on a difficult life. You don’t have to be LBGT or a different color to be discriminated against.

  • No, Gordon is probably enforcing a signed agreement. As a religious institution and as party to a contract they have that right.
    It would be different if neither of those were the case.
    A university refused tenure to a professor and fired him because he did not accept the scientific material as solid when it came to climate change. Not that he denied the possibility, but at time the evidence was not as solid. His case was later proven to be correct.
    He pointed out several clear mistakes.
    Nothing to do with color, gender, sexual orientation.
    I’m a member of Right to Life. Open for everyone who accepts the cause. Unless you change your position…
    We do it in so many situations, but somehow when it comes to sexual orientation it becomes a greater issue.
    Do you know that 150 years ago it was normal for men to marry girls younger than 16? Why is that illegal now? Have not seen any movement arguing for that sexual orientation.
    Pedophiles are marked for the rest of their life, shunned, advertised. Who is standing up for their sexual orientation?
    Same arguments are used: I can’t help the way I am. God made me that way.
    If not, why not?
    Polygamy same way. God made me that way. I can’t help it.
    It is the totally unbalanced reasoning. If LGBT had no “choice, that’s the way I am…” Where does it end?

  • And the current acceptance of LGBT is NOT group think???? I’ll trade you one Gordon for one LGBT!

  • I did not say that discrimination is not malicious. I said that a disagreement on issues should never be malicious – like referring to someone who disagrees with your point of view as being a sociopath.

  • It sounds more like Gordon wants their students to hate. It’s sad you’d characterize homophobia as a “Christian worldview,” especially as those sects of Christianity that cling to homophobia are a minority.

  • The majority of Americans support equal rights for LBTG. They came to that understanding without coercion. They didn’t sign any documents as a requirement for coming to that position. Nor were they threatened with any legal repercussions for disagreeing.

    That’s the difference between decisions freely arrived at and the groupthink enforced at Gordon.

  • Therein lies your problem. You can support malicious behavior and call it a minor disagreement, while I find it a moral hazard. So its telling me that you may not take the issue seriously. But I would venture to guess people actually affected by such things would definitely do so. That level of indifference is sociopathic. It doesn’t affect you, therefore it isn’t a real issue.

  • Been there. Done that. It IS unacceptable behavior from a biblical point of view. As is adultery, fornication etc.
    you don’t have to accept that – but is your freedom to disagree. Allow me the same freedom, please.
    As a religious educational institution I have a right to follow my beliefs. And that means that I cannot go against the tenets of my faith.
    The military will cashier a chaplain for doing that, btw. He is bound by the faith he is ordained to support. The moment he does something that conflicts, out.
    Is that discrimination?? Not at all.
    It’s the consequence of my action.

  • I did not call it a minor disagreement either. You must be a product of the school district where I work. They have reading issues, too!
    Discrimination is a problem – but remember that, again, this is not something reserved for the LBGT community.
    It affects me deeply, as mentioned before. I have a lesbian sister. Who is officially married in my native country – where, btw, same sex marriage has been legal for a much longer time than in the US.
    Growing up, my parents opened our house to all sorts of people who needed a place to stay. One of them was homosexual.
    So to say that it does not affect me is as much baloney as saying that I’m a sociopath for wanting to discuss this in a non-confrontational way.
    Heated arguments lead to mistakes. The whole Ferguson affair should never have happened! But people let their emotions speak before the facts were known. And after all the damage done to businesses that had nothing to do with the actual event? The officer’s behavior was cleared all the way up the ladder, including DOJ and FBI. But nobody heard that because of all the verbal noise.
    Rodney King? What did Korean businesses have to do with what happened? And yet, their businesses were robbed and looted and destroyed! No one wants to find out FACTS. Truth is too often the first victim.

  • In Spuddie’s mind, refusing to pay someone to be your spokesperson because you don’t feel they represent you, is tantamount to honor killing and human sacrifice. This is typical academic entitlement leftspeak.

  • As a side note — Commenters following LGBT news may want to read the Reuters article entitled “Alabama’s top judge [Roy Moore] faces ethics charges over gay-marriage order”, which begins with the following statement:

    “Alabama’s Supreme Court Chief Justice was suspended on Friday as he faces possible removal from the bench for ordering state probate judges not to grant marriage licenses to gay couples, despite contrary rulings by a federal court and the U.S. Supreme Court.”

  • And, as opposed to same sex marriage as I am, I agree with the action. If the judge disagrees with the law, he should have stepped down voluntarily.
    On the other hand, I’m surprised the ACLU is not defending the judge’s right to HIS opinions!

  • In your mind treating people like garbage = “not being a spokesperson”. Let’s clear the air here of useless euphemisms. You are looking for a right/privilege to demean and attack people based on your personal prejudices.

    Your unwillingness to address that directly makes your point dishonest drivel. Yes your form of discrimination is analogous to human sacrifice. You are using religion to excuse deliberate harm to others. You fling around insulting ad hominem like “academic leftspeak” because it’s far easier than trying to justify a repugnant position such as yours.

  • And here comes the “I have a…” nonsense to pretend your position is somehow more reasonable than reality suggests. You claim you have a right as free exercise use of religion to treat people like your alleged sister, badly in this country.

    I find such a position not only politically wrong, but morally, and it insults the very nature of the notion of religious freedom.

    The whole “___ thinks everyone who disagrees with them is immoral” cliche is overused and half baked. Very typical of people who are arguing for some kind of undue privilege. Unless you can show the issue is of only minor importance to all involved, which this is not, then you are just blowing hot air.

  • Discrimination is not just a political issue it is a moral one. Your desire to justify it speaks badly of your moral character. Your desire to minimize it as mere disagreement is nonsense, dishonest and speaks badly of you.

  • Interesting. I use my own name. I have not attacked your character at any time.
    You, on the other hand, have repeatedly attached my character, have attributed incorrect statements to me and hide behind a screen name.
    So speak to me again of moral character!
    I have in no way desired nor justified discrimination.
    I contually try to keep the CONVERSATION civilized. Not discrimination, but the CONVERSATION.
    Your lack of willingness to do so speaks more of you than me.

  • Interesting how you are trying to stray off topic.

    Frankly I used to use my own name online until I got doxxed in the middle of a discussion. So take your “I post using my real name” more of a sign of your unfamiliarity with the medium than a sign of personal character

    You want a civilized discussion about why you feel the need to treat people like crap. Good luck with that. Your tone trolling has become tiresome.

    But I guess that is far better than the honest admission that you want to use religion to justify personal prejudice.

  • Interesting how you are trying to stray off topic.

    Frankly I used to use my own name online until I got doxxed in the middle of a discussion. So take your “I post using my real name” more of a sign of your unfamiliarity with the medium than a sign of personal character

    You want a civilized discussion about why you feel the need to treat people like garbage. Good luck with that. Your tone trolling has become tiresome.

    But I guess that is far better than the honest admission that you want to use religion to justify personal prejudice.

  • I’m very much familiar with this medium. For me it is a warning to myself: don’t say anything you would be ashamed or SHOULD be ashamed of. And obviously, you feel hiding gives you the freedom to denigrate people and use it make false statements about positions taken.
    I consider that cowardliness.

    And again, you make a personal accusation. I do not and never have treated people like garbage. I’m against any kind of discrimination.
    But that does not mean I have to agree with everything.
    Using religion to justify personal prejudice? Really?
    So far you have not answered any of my questions – many of which are logical consequences of your position.

    So how about it?

  • So you are doubling down on potentially self-harmful online behavior online and claiming its a virtue. OK. whatever.

    “So far you have not answered any of my questions – many of which are logical consequences of your position.”

    Which were again? When one gets mired in tone trolling nonsense its easy to lose track of a conversation. 🙂

  • Obviously you are not interested in any kind of serious conversation. So, grow up and when you are ready to act like an adult.

  • Go eff yourself tone troll. I gave you a chance to get back on track and re-ask whatever questions you thought were relevant to the discussion. You balked. whatever.

  • if one doesn’t like Gordon’s policies there are 1000,s of other schools. This isn’t about discrimination at all it’s about a tiny minority pissed off because all won’t bow to their demands. Little boys and girls and surgically altered somethings need to grow up now.

  • anti-gay political agenda?! drink some more koolaid, it’s the alphabet mafia that is on the offense and truly they have finally gone to far.

  • Please learn to accept the defeat of the distasteful, immoral and disloyal anti-gay political agenda. No one is fooled by the churches that violate IRS regulations to promote that shameful political agenda.

    “Americans are angry about society’s mistreatment of LGBT people, and not about same-sex marriage, according to a widely publicized new poll from Esquire Magazine and NBC News that attempts to gauge anger in the US.

    According to the survey, titled “American Rage,” only 22 percent of respondents said they’d be very angry or somewhat angry about a hypothetical headline reading, “More Than 100,000 Couples Have Wed Since Supreme Court Ruling.”

    Meanwhile, 41 percent said they believe LGBT people have a right to be angry about how they’re treated, 45 percent said they’re angry themselves about how LGBT people are treated, and only 24 percent said they supported Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    Those results led The Washington Post to call LGBT equality “the social-justice issue that garnered the most agreement” in the wide-ranging survey, beating out African-American, immigrants’ and women’s rights.”

  • Yes, its about discrimination of a political minority. “Their demands” are to be treated like human beings. Something you and others are far too malicious in nature to do. It’s telling that you have to couch the situation in euphemism to remove the discussion from its most basic facts. It’s far easier to say “I will not bow to their demands” than to say, “I want to treat them badly without facing recourse or criticism”.

    Yes there are other schools to go to. But it’s helpful to the public to know which ones would be willing to act in such a manner.

  • Freedom of expression is one if the foundations of this country. You deny those who disagree with you that freedom. By your negative reactions, name calling, Ad hominem statements.
    I adopted this country as my own – but people like you make me wonder about that decision from time to time.

    You have the right to your opinion and thoughts. You have the right to express that in any way you want as do I. It’s that I choose to do so courteously and with respect.
    You, on the other hand, make a mockery of that hard fought freedom.

  • Your freedom to swing your fist ends at the nose of the next person. You do not have freedom to deliberately harm others with impunity. You are not talking about freedom of expression you are talking about license to attack others without recourse or criticism.

    Wherever you learned Civics, get your money back. You know nothing of what it means to live in a sane democratic society. You have a right to your opinion and thoughts but you do not have an absolute right to do anything to anyone. Whatever you think you learned about freedom of speech and freedom of religion while in this country, you got it very very wrong.

  • Once again, you seem to make things up as you go. Quote me, please! Feel free to go back to all my responses, and quote me where I have done “deliberately harm others with impunity…” Where I have taken “license to attack others without recourse…”
    I live in the US. I thought this was a “sane democratic society…” Until Donald Trump, of course.
    Show me where I have taken an “…absolute right to do anything to anyone…”
    Quote me, please.

  • At this point I can’t even pretend to care you had a point to make. I have zero desire to go back and see what nonsense you were spouting before. By all means continue trolling. Whatever

  • Honestly? You had no desire to engage ANYONE who disagrees with you in an open and respectful conversation. Needless to say, this reply does not surprise me in the least.

  • The action does not involve religion. religion is no excuse for violation of civil rights. Whether they cave or not, it is in their interest to do so. Such actions result in survival until they don’t.

  • The problem lies in two sets of rights. As a religious institution, the school would have he right to refuse certain things which go against their core beliefs. The school pays a price for that, with possible loss of federal funding.
    Students also could lose federal loans.
    It is never an easy decision for a school related to certain religious beliefs. The cost is enormous, both in monies and stature in the eyes of parts of the public.
    Religious groups have rights, too.
    As a church, for example, you have the right to refuse hiring someone who does not support the religious tenets of that church. Same for schools associated with religious groups.
    Sometimes, these rights clash. And then the question arises: Who gets right-of-way?

  • A church has rights to exercise its religion; for example the Catholic Church has a legitimate right to require its priests to be male. However, when they venture into other areas, they are leaving the exercise of religion and entering a different enterprise. Education is another enterprise. In operating such a business, they therefore possess no religious right to disobey civil rights laws, nor should they.

  • Of course it involves religion; whether that is a violation of the professor’s civil rights is a different question. It’s true, they may wish to settle with her anyway. It seems that’s what Wheaton College did with Prof. Hawkins.

  • Christians are not forcing LGBT people to participate in things they don’t want to. The alphabet mafia is. Most in this country believe the pretty picture that is painted by the media and the lies of the “activists”. I have seen the degradation and destruction that is behind it. Most gay folk simply want to live their lives, which they are free to do. But the perpetually nasty want to force “education” on kids as young as preschool. Brainwashing. I’ve no doubt it will work, but you’ll never make what is truly an unhealthy way of life into something good.

  • Wait till President Clinton appoints three more Justices in quick succession and that mistake will be corrected.

  • “Most in this country believe the pretty picture that is painted by the media and the lies of the “activists”

    TRANSLATION: “Waah, waah, no one believes our anti-gay lies any more, even the media just laughs at our anti-gay bosses’ shrieking press releases!”

    Please learn to accept the defeat of the anti-gay agenda.

  • And that is making a travesty of the Constitution. It is not a matter of what is POPULAR with the population or politicians.
    But until that time, the law still stands.

  • Have you checked?
    “Gordon College is one of the nation’s premier Christian colleges and located just north of Boston. We offer students extraordinary access to leading-edge opportunities for intellectual, professional, and leadership development to address the increasingly complex challenges of a global society. Gordon stands apart from other outstanding institutions in New England by combining an exceptional education with an informed Christian faith.”
    And this would be a good read, too…

    http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/07/evangelical-colleges-struggle-gay-marriage-ruling/398306/

  • Even the EEOC admits in its fact sheet that institutions whose purpose and character are primarily religious. This is based on Title VII and has nothing to do with the First Amendment question of whether a corporation has free exercise rights.

  • Which leaves out colleges, the EEOC’s fact sheet or my description of exempt institutions?

  • Gordon’s biggest problem is in claiming to be evangelical while hiring sodomites and accepting them as students. I notice that they like to claim to have an evangelical mission, but never seem to mention the Bible and their allegiance to it–probably because they know they are disobeying it. Sodomy is an obomination to God and no unrepentant sodomite will ever see Heaven (I Cor. 6:9). This passage equates sodomy with stealing, fornication, idolatry, adultery, swindling, etc. So if Prof. Barthold were publicly condemning Gordon for discriminating against thieves, swindlers, etc., would you defend her? I suppose you would, since defending sodomy reveals your rejection of God and His Word.

  • Not accepting BS euphemisms for discrimination and prejudice doesn’t make me mean or hater at all. Just honest.

    Notice how this is different from the complaints of “playing the hater card”. I am not complaining you are calling me a hater. I am telling you such labels are incorrect for me here. Contrast that with thin skinned bigots who complain about the label but don’t refute why it was appropriate.

    I appreciate the criticism, but politely wish to say you are mistaken.Have a great weekend. Bless your heart.

  • David, what you are arguing is that a “christian worldview” necessarily excludes participation by or respect afforded to LGBT people. But this does not follow. There are many Christians, myself included, who support the full participation of LGBT people in the life of the church. Gordon College is only attempting to promote its particular view of what is Christian. But you can’t say it is the only Christian worldview.

  • The problem is obvious: What exactly can be considered a “Christian” world view? When White Supremacists call their view a “Christian” world view, are they right?
    ANY view which is different than what can be found in the Christian text of the Bible is In-Christian, no matter what the view contains.
    So when the LBGT community insists that practicing a behavior which the Bible is clearly against, they are no different than the adulterer, the thief, the murderer, the disobedient to parents: It is unacceptable behavior for Christians.
    As a believer in Christianity, I can try to bend the Bible into my acceptable belief system. The problem? It is no longer a Christian belief system.
    As a Christian who believes in the Biblical denouncement of behavior as listed above, I have the right to defend those beliefs. That does not mean that I am devaluing people, that I judge people, that I discriminate people. If you (generic) want to be an adulterer etc., go for it. But do not try to force your freedom to behave as you choose into a Christian world view!
    As I expect an adulterer, a thief, a murderer, someone disobedient to parents to change their behavior, I expect someone to stop living as a practicing homosexual etc. IF AND WHEN THEY want to be considered Christian. All of us have behavior that does not fit the Biblical description of a Christian. And those who are Christians who behave in a way opposed to that, are called to change, rather than force acceptance!
    As long as a member of the LBGTQ communion wants to live in their chosen lifestyle, I have no issues with that what so ever. I have family members who made those choices. I love them, will sacrifice ANYTHING for them that is mine to sacrifice. However, I did not set the pattern for Christian living, so I do not have the right to sacrifice that.

  • Certainly you are entitled to your inclusive Christian worldview. But Gordon College is entitled to theirs. They take the inerrancy of scripture seriously, and I think it’s rather hard to rectify the Bible’s clear denunciation of homosexuality with a viewpoint that finds that conduct just fine. I think the Church should be open to all people, wherever they are and whatever they have done in the past. We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. But such an acceptance and love for people is quite different that condoning their future conduct. Perhaps you aren’t into the inerrancy of scripture. Perhaps you think the Bible is a good story that just has some moral teaching we should follow. I won’t say you aren’t a Christian. That’s between you and God, and afterall Jesus said “believe in me and you will be saved.” Nothing in there about believing this that or the other dogma. But your worldview is different from traditional Christianity and perhaps you should setup your own Christian College that espouses and promotes that worldview, rather than trying to change the worldview of Gordon College.

  • How is the “alphabet mafia” (clever name!) “forcing” christian to participate in things they don’t believe in? Can you list examples?

    In your churches, you don’t have to hire gay people, or hire black people. Federal laws requiring equal employment opportunity don’t apply.

    In your churches, you don’t have let women preach. You don’t have to ordain women into any ministerial role if you don’t believe in it. Federal equality laws don’t apply.

    In your churches, you don’t have to perform marriages to non-members, even if they are permitted to marry under the law.

    In your churches, you don’t have to perform marriages of people who have been divorced.

    In your churches, you don’t have to perform same-sex marriages, even though they are now recognized nationwide.

    So can you tell me how the “alphabet mafia” is “forcing” you to do something you wouldn’t otherwise do?

    Oh…. you mean baking a cake for a same sex wedding that you don’t approve of? I get it. You want the freedom to withhold your creative services. Actually I agree with you. If you don’t want to bake a cake for my step-daughter and her wife, no problem. We’ll find a good baker who doesn’t mind. It’s just a cake after all.

    But you should be quite clear that your choice of religion, of religious practices, or religious recognition has never been taken from you. And you should not be lying about it, by claiming to be victims.

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