High profile Christian colleges like Eastern Mennonite College or Goshen College aren’t unused to being at the center of the nation’s ongoing political discourse. As some of the most fundamentally conservative institutions of higher learning in the country, they naturally become a target for liberals. However, these two colleges’ most recent political statement is more likely to score them points with their usual foes than you’d think.
The two colleges have added “sexual orientation” to their non-discrimination policies, which, according to Christianity Today, puts them at odds with their affiliated denomination.
The Blaze reports:
Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana, and Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, have added “sexual orientation” to their non-discrimination policies, decisions that Christianity Today said puts them in conflict with their affiliated denomination, Mennonite Church USA, as well as most other Christian colleges that have advocated to hire based on traditional parameters.
James Brenneman, president of Goshen College, said that unmarried staff members will still be expected to remain abstinent, despite the language change, and while he knows that the decision will spark controversy, he encouraged respect amid differing views on sexuality.
“We deeply affirm the goodness of marriage, singleness, celibacy, sexual intimacy within marriage, and a life of faithfulness before God for all people,” he said, according to Christianity Today. “We affirm the equal value and worth of each unique member of our community as a beloved child of God, and we seek to be a hospitable community for all—including those who disagree with this decision—as Christ modeled to us.”
Similarly, Eastern Mennonite University said that the school will hire those who embrace its mission, with Kay Brenneman Nussbaum, chair of the school’s board, proclaiming that the decision to embrace non-discrimination is in line with the college’s values.
“Our education is grounded in Mennonite/Anabaptist values, and we believe people in same-sex covenanted relationships are valued members of our learning community with equal rights to standard benefits,” Nussbaum said.
What do you think? Should these colleges buck the beliefs of their entire denomination simply to comply with a passing political fad? Give us your reaction in the comments.