Thursday, September 26, 2013

Christian Univ. Boots Professor for Changing Sex

Heather Ann Clements, a 15-year professor (former chair of theology and philosophy) at Azusa Pacific University, has chosen to be a "transgender male," and so she's also chosen to end her career at the California evangelical Christian university which says it seeks “to cultivate a community in which sexuality is embraced as God-given and good and where Biblical standards of sexual behavior are upheld.”

It should be noted that a person's DNA cannot be changed; biologically, there's no such thing as a "sex change."

For background, CLICK HERE to read of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that religious organizations are NOT bound by certain federal employment regulations regarding ministers, and also CLICK HERE to read of similar employment issues at Christian schools.

-- From "Transgender Professor Fights to Keep Job at Christian College" by Willian Avila, KNBC-TV4 (Los Angeles) 9/25/13

When the professor formally asked the private school in Azusa, 26 miles northeast of Los Angeles, to recognize his name [Heath Adam Ackley] and gender change, the university immediately asked him to step down from his position. Ackley's lawyer said he did not violate any school policies.

"He has not broken any university code," attorney Paul Southwick said. "There are no rules that prohibit gender transition. The only code they have is homosexual conduct, but Adam has not conducted in homosexual conduct."

According to Southwick, the professor and university are in confidential negotiations to allow Ackley to stay at least through the remainder of the semester.

"University leadership is engaged in thoughtful conversations with our faculty member in order to honor the contribution and treat all parties with dignity and respect while upholding the values of the university," the university said in a statement to NBC4. "It is an ongoing conversation, and therefore, a confidential matter."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "California theology professor booted from Christian college after coming out as transgender" by Carol Kuruvilla, New York Daily News 9/25/13

Ackley will stay on contract until the end of the academic year, but the university is trying to find a substitute professor to teach his classes in the meantime.

. . . for most of his life, Ackley said that he struggled to reconcile evangelical Christian teachings about gender with the way he felt inside.

He was baptized into Christianity at the age of 18 and then became an ordained minister. He tried to conform to the idea of Christian womanhood as best as he could, but he struggled with the idea of getting married to a man.

But the hormones, therapy and prayer that were aimed at making him feel better just led to “physical, psychological and spiritual deterioration.”

Ackley finally found relief when the American Psychiatric Association crossed “gender identity disorder” off its list of mental illnesses in January. He said his doctors took him off his psychiatric medicine. He finally felt validated.

Ackley is in the process of divorcing his second husband, choosing to let go of his married name “Clements” and return to his maiden name “Ackley.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Theology professor set to leave university over transgender identity" by Annie Z. Yu, The Clause (APU student newspaper) 9/20/13

Ackley said Dr. Mark Stanton, the university provost and a clinical psychologist, has affirmed Ackley‘s transgender identity, so Ackley does not feel any “quibble” about his gender.

Dr. Scott Daniels, dean of the School of Theology and a pastor in a “fairly conservative denomination,” pointed out that the question of transgender people in leadership is “still in conversation” among both independent and APU-connected communities and denominations.

As the administration mulls over appropriate next steps, Daniels said although there have been recent shifts in the psychological community, there are still strong convictions regarding gender identity in the evangelical community and the transgender question is still largely uncharted theological territory.

“I think in the right context Adam could serve as an important voice in helping bring some clarity into that conversation, helping the church have that conversation in ways that are maybe more robust and thoughtful,” he said.

Dr. Kimberly Denu, special adviser to the president and provost, has worked on diversity issues with Ackley and said this is an example of “living and learning together.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Christian University Boots Professor After Announcing ‘Gender Identity Change’ From Female to Male" by Garrett Haley, Christian News Network 9/23/13

For 15 years, Heather Ann Clements—also known as Heather Ann Ackley, who was ordained in the Mennonite Church—has been teaching various topics at the Christian university. Her online profile lists over 20 courses Clements has taught over the years, as well as dozens of publications she has authored.

One of her articles—titled A Constructive Wesleyan Theological Proposal: Redemption and Sanctification of Human Gender—was published in a 2004 edition of The Asbury Theological Journal. In it, Clements argues that sexual confusion, including homosexual orientation, is a phenomenon brought about by humans’ fallen, sinful state.

“Even if a genetic explanation for homosexual preference is accepted, it is understood to be a tragic genetic defect caused by the fall, a pathological distortion of the originally good (and originally heterosexual) order of creation,” she wrote. “Homosexual practices and behavior are explicitly understood as sin. Christian homosexuals must avoid this sinful practice by remaining celibate.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

To read further background on this aspect of the Gay Agenda, click label "TRANSGENDER" below: