Due to an ongoing health crisis in the family, blogging will be 'on and off' as time and circumstances permit for the foreseeable future. I also beg your indulgence if I am slow in responding to emails. New posts will appear below this notice.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Shorter University faces mass resignations over "lifestyle" statement

More than two dozen faculty members have resigned from Shorter University, a Baptist school in Georgia, after it required them to sign a “personal lifestyle statement” that condemns homosexuality, premarital sex and public drinking.

An online campaign called “Save Our Shorter” says that the lifestyle pledge, adopted in the fall of 2011 along with a statement of faith, has led to dozens of resignations. University president Donald Dowless on Friday (May 18) confirmed that 36 faculty have resigned and at least 25 cited disagreement with either the personal lifestyle statement or the faith statement.
Read the rest here.

Behold freedom in action. An employer announces its intention to regulate various aspects of the personal lives of its employees (perfectly legal if of doubtful wisdom), and a majority of the employees tell their now former employer to go pack sand. For the record I would have done the same thing purely on principle. Once you allow your employer into your bedroom or to tell you what you as an adult can or can't consume in a public establishment, on your own time and at your own expense, you pretty much have announced that they own you.

Odd as this may sound I applaud both sides in this matter. I admire the school for taking a stand to uphold its religious tenets and I admire the employees who (like me) found the demands unacceptable. At least for the moment it appears the government is not involved (wonders never cease). No need for the government to be involved at all. The school is within its rights to set any standards it wants for employees and the employees are free to walk if those standards are overly intrusive. If enough employees leave and the school has a hard time replacing them we may see the free market work its magic.

On a side not Jesus would have been sacked by Shorter (or just not hired) given his public drinking and turning water into wine at weddings.  But like I said, it's a private school and in a free country you have a right to be foolish if you wish.

3 comments:

s-p said...

I agree completely. I see the integrity of both sides. Let your "yea" be yea and your "nay" be nay. Say what you mean and live up to your convictions. Yay for both sides.

Anonymous said...

Seem to recall this blog being all up in arms on behalf of Roman Catholic values at Roman Catholic universities. Maybe I was hallucinating.

Samn! said...

So, both my parents are Shorter graduates and my grandmother was a professor there...

One can't really treat an institution like a college as an individual actor in the way a person is, given that it is constituted on the basis of relationships between faculty, administration, students, trustees, and, ominously, the Southern Baptist Convention. The real back-story behind all this is that while many other Baptist colleges like Mercer were able to extricate themselves from the SBC, Shorter lost a court case in 2001 that led to its trustees being picked by the SBC rather than by the college itself. So, as the SBC has become more and more fundamentalist over the past ten years, it's exerted increasing pressure on its colleges to be more fundamentalist. In addition to their statements on sex and drinking, a less-reported element of the current fiasco is that they had started requiring creationism to be taught in Bio classes! Another aspect of this is that, since its only decent program is in music, Shorter has historically been a -very- gay college.....