Recently, Baylor University put out a statement to its students. It reads as follows:
“Baylor University welcomes all students into a safe and supportive environment in which to discuss and learn about a variety of issues, including those of human sexuality.
The University affirms the biblical understanding of sexuality as a gift from God. Christian churches across the ages and around the world have affirmed purity in singleness and fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman as the biblical norm. Temptations to deviate from this norm include both heterosexual sex outside of marriage and homosexual behavior. It is thus expected that Baylor students will not participate in advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching.”
I am an ardent defender of First Amendment rights and respect Baylor’s right to free speech; however, I also enjoy exercising my own right to free speech when I see something as violating and dangerous as the above statement.
Whether or not you agree with “homosexual behavior,” please indulge me and keep reading. This isn’t a question of bleeding-heart liberals or infringing upon Baylor’s freedoms of religion or speech, it’s a question of the health, sanity and safety of its students. It also calls into question the credibility of the university and where exactly its priorities lie.
Does everyone remember Elizabeth Doe v. Baylor University, the lawsuit that alleged 52 sexual assaults by more than 30 Baylor football players? Or how staff members from the head football coach up to the president’s office were guilty of keeping accusations quiet and lost their jobs as a result? We haven’t forgotten about the sheer volume of scandal that was covered up by the highest levels of the university, right? Is this Baylor’s idea of “biblical norms?”
I hope you’ll understand why Baylor University acting as the morality police doesn’t sit well with me.
Let’s look at this for what it is: Baylor has moved to prevent LGBT people to express themselves in healthy ways. Participating in a college club with like-minded individuals can be the difference between an enriching college experience and a isolating one.
If the administration at Baylor University is incapable or unwilling to accommodate LGBT students, it sends a loud and clear message that perhaps their tuition money would be better spent elsewhere. Further, given that tuition at Baylor sits at around $45,000, the odds are very good that you can find a more tolerant school for less money.