Christian University Gives Up $3 Million Donation To Save LGBT Student Group
Samford University describes itself as "deeply rooted in its Christian mission."
And yet, despite (or perhaps because of) those deep Christian roots, the Alabama University has moved to reject a sizeable $3 million dollar donation, because acceptance of the money would have required the school to shut down a student LGBT group.
Just earlier this year, students banded together to form Samford Together, a group devoted to providing a safe and positive forum for the discussion of topics relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Although the university's board of trustees hasn't yet formally recognized the group, faculty approved the group in April.
More from The Independent:
Following the faculty's vote, Alabama Baptist Convention - an association of the state's churches - said it was "saddened" that the university had "voted to affirm the recognition of a student group that identifies with values contrary to biblical teachings on sexuality".
"We strongly believe that the Old Testament and New Testament each speak unequivocally against homosexuality. When addressing same-gender sexual relationships, the Bible without exception never affirms such behaviour as an approved lifestyle," said John Thweatt, the convention's president, and Rick Lance, executive director of its board of missions, in a joint statement.
They later warned they would withdraw the $3m funding offered if the board of trustees approved Samford Together.
In response, the university has voluntarily waived the donation, which it had been due to receive on 1 January. The decision to reject the money was approved by the university's executive committee, it said in statement.
Said university president Andrew Westmoreland:
“I believe the action taken by our trustees is something that both parties have been anticipating for some time and will serve the best interests of both Samford and the Alabama Baptist State Convention.
"Our longstanding educational and ministry relationships with Alabama Baptists have always been more significant than money, and these relationships will continue and flourish.”
Dr Westmoreland deemed it important that the university adreesses topics of human sexuality, as well as "other important issues at the intersection of Christian understanding and cultural reality."
Well done, Dr. Westmoreland and Samford University!