Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mass. Christian College Booted—Opposes Gay Agenda

Gordon College near Salem, Massachusetts publicly stated that President Obama should respect its religious conscience and not force it to hire homosexuals, transgendered persons or anyone who opposes Gordon's deeply held religious beliefs.  As a result, Salem officials have terminated a contract with Gordon for the Old Town Hall, and the New England Association of School and College’s higher education commission is considering revoking its accreditation.
“[The Gordon College position] is a slap in the face of every gay and lesbian person, particularly every gay and lesbian Christian, that says you are somehow less of a human being, you do not belong in the embrace of God’s merciful arms.”
-- Michael Alexander, president of Lasell College in Newton, Mass.
For background, read Gays, Media Attack Nebraska Christian College with Values

Also read about President Obama's pending unilateral action regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and consideration of a religious exemption.

In addition, read Gay Agenda will be Complete when Christians are Muzzled, Say Homosexualists as well as Senator Ted Cruz Says the Gay Agenda Ends Christian Liberty

-- From "Accreditation board to take up Gordon College backlash after president signed controversial letter" by Mary Moore, Reporter- Boston Business Journal 7/11/14

Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay thrust the college into the spotlight a week ago by signing a letter to President Barack Obama requesting that he exclude religious institutions from an executive order barring organizations that take federal money from discrimination in hiring based on sexual orientation.

Now the Christian college on the North Shore faces scrutiny from the body that accredits colleges and universities in New England.

“It has achieved a lot of visibility and the issues are complicated,” said Barbara Brittingham, president of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, referring to Gordon College. “(The commission) will talk about the issues and decide if the issues, that are raised and what is publicly available, is at odds in any way with standards and policies.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Salem ends Gordon College’s use of town hall" by Matt Rocheleau, Boston Globe correspondent 7/10/14

Salem officials declared Wednesday they will end a contract allowing Gordon College to use the city-owned Old Town Hall because of the Christian school’s opposition to expected federal hiring protection for gays and lesbians.

Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, who also cited the college’s longstanding policies prohibiting gay activities among students, said Gordon’s policies violate a city ordinance prohibiting Salem from contracting with entities that discriminate.

But she said it would be “even more troubling” to have the city do business with “an institution that enables, and now advocates for, discrimination against the [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] community.”

City officials said Salem has contracted with Gordon since 2008 to maintain, operate, rent out, and help preserve and improve the Old Town Hall, a two-century-old, two-story building in Derby Square that includes a museum and a large hall space.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Accrediting agency to review Gordon College" by Matt Rocheleau, Boston Globe correspondent 7/11/14

Brittingham declined to predict what the commission members may ultimately decide at their next meeting in September, when they are scheduled to discuss the controversy over Gordon.

Revoking accreditation is a “very drastic” and rare step, Brittingham said. The US Education Department typically pulls federal financial aid funding from schools that lose accreditation.

. . . NEASC’s accreditation standards specify that each “institution adheres to nondiscriminatory policies and practices in recruitment, admissions, employment, evaluation, disciplinary action, and advancement” and that each school “fosters an atmosphere within the institutional community that respects and supports people of diverse characteristics and backgrounds.”

Gordon received its initial accreditation in 1961, according to NEASC’s online records.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Salem mayor, Kim Driscoll, cuts ties with Gordon College over gay rights" by Paul Leighton, Staff Writer, The Salem News 7/10/14

“While I respect your right to embed religious values on a private college campus, religious freedom does not afford you the right to impose those beliefs upon others and cannot be extended into a publicly owned facility or any management contract for a public owned facility, like Old Town Hall,” Driscoll wrote [to Gordon President Michael Lindsay].

“I hope you realize how hurtful and offensive these ‘behavioral standards’ are to members of the greater Salem LGBT community, some of whom are Gordon alumni, staff and/or students,” she wrote.

Gordon College has long had policies prohibiting homosexual conduct, but Driscoll said Lindsay’s decision to sign on to the letter to President Obama “brought the full circumstances” forward regarding the college’s official stance toward sexual orientation and gender identity.

In an interview, Driscoll acknowledged that she was “surprised” by the college’s policy, which says homosexual practice is “expressly forbidden” in Scripture and “will not be tolerated in the lives of Gordon community members, either on or off campus.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gordon College policy on gays sparks accrediting review" by Paul Leighton, Staff Writer, The Salem News 7/12/14

The 27-member [NEASC] accrediting commission that will review Gordon’s policies is chaired by Salem State University President Patricia Meservey. In a message to the Salem State community on Thursday, Meservey said she was “outraged” by the letter that was signed by Lindsay.

“I do not understand how an institution such as Gordon College can have a mission that includes ‘preparing students for a lifetime of growth’ and strives to ‘prepare them for leadership worldwide’ can see the value in shutting out access to their student body to an entire segment of our population,” Meservey wrote.

Gordon, a Christian liberal arts college, has a policy that prohibits “homosexual practice” by students, staff or faculty on or off campus.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gordon College president defends call for religious exemption" by Peter Schworm, Boston Globe Staff 7/8/14

“Signing the letter was in keeping with our decades-old conviction that, as an explicitly Christian institution, Gordon should set the conduct expectations for members of our community,” Lindsay wrote in a statement posted Monday on the Wenham college’s website.

In Monday’s letter, Lindsay said the college typically stays out of politically charged issues, and that he regretted the letter to Obama had “resulted in confusion, hurt feelings and disappointment among the Gordon community, which was not what I intended.”

He said the college’s positions on employment or admissions had not changed.

“We have never barred categories of individuals from our campus and have no intention to do so now,” he wrote. “We have always sought to be a place of grace and truth, and that remains the case.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

And read American Decline: Obama's Gay Agenda vs. Christians as well as America Going to Hell; Christians Lose Convictions