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March 04, 2004

Baylor "Outraged" over Gay Marriage Editorial

By Byron LaMasters

This is funny:

Baylor University's president says he is "justifiably outraged" over a student newspaper editorial defending gay marriage.

Robert B. Sloan Jr.'s strongly worded statement ran today in the Baylor Lariat, the newspaper of the world's largest Baptist university.

"We have already heard from a number of students, alumni and parents who are, as am I, justifiably outraged over this editorial," Sloan wrote.

"Espousing in a Baylor publication a view that is so out of touch with traditional Christian teachings is not only unwelcome, it comes dangerously close to violating university policy, as published in the student handbook, prohibiting the advocacy of any understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching," Sloan wrote.

The paper also published a statement today from the student publications board, a group of faculty and administrators overseeing the newspaper, calling the Friday editorial a violation of student publications policy, said board member Larry Brumley.

The policy states that no editorial stance of student publications should "attack the basic tenets of Christian theology or of Christian morality."

So basically, Baylor is telling it's students not to think. Lovely. The Daily Texan was understandably outraged:

Sloan's statement reeks of hypocrisy when he writes:

"... while we [Baylor] respect the right of students to hold and express divergent viewpoints, we do not support the use of publications such as the Lariat, which is published by the University, to advocate positions that undermine foundational Christian principles upon which this institution was founded and currently operates."

Basically, Sloan supports students expressing their views so long as those views are not in the student newspaper. Sloan can't have it both ways. If Baylor truly supports student expression, they would not state what viewpoints are not allowed in the Lariat.

Baylor's religious identity plays a large role in its classrooms on its campus. But the role of religion should not supersede (or interfere with) the process of critical thinking, especially at an institution of higher learning.

The Baylor editorial board made a decision after reviewing the facts and taking all sides of the debate into account. Their opinion speaks for themselves, not the University.

Sloan, Baylor alumni and current students can disagree with the editorial board's stance.

But they should not seek to end the discussion.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at March 4, 2004 02:25 PM | TrackBack


Of course they are "outraged".

Gay marriage might lead to dancing!!!

Posted by: Matthew Saroff at March 4, 2004 03:06 PM

You know why Baptists prohibit sex while standing up? Someone may see them and think they are dancing.

Posted by: WhoMe? at March 4, 2004 05:00 PM

The Texan is being pollyanna-ish here: "But the role of religion should not supersede (or interfere with) the process of critical thinking, especially at an institution of higher learning."

At an explicitly religious institution? I'd be surprised if they allowed religion to take a back-seat to reason.

Posted by: Adam Rice at March 4, 2004 06:02 PM

"Thou shall not thinkith, especially at a university of higher learning" Sloan 0:00

Posted by: Tek_XX at March 4, 2004 08:56 PM

You know, Jesus said that only a fool would care what anyone at Baylor says or does anyways. He does too say that, right next to where he says Gay sex is bad.

Posted by: r. Houston Bridges at March 4, 2004 10:17 PM

I don't get the Texan's response on this.

Do rational people think that Sloan's position is odious? Well, sure. But rational people don't choose to enroll at ham-fisted religious schools where all sorts of legal adult activity are routinely banned. Baylor is a private school, and they get far freer rein to dictate news content than other schools. I'm sure the student that penned the op-ed was aware of the paper's policies.

So, the Baylor powers-that-be are fundamental Christian dogmatists. In other breaking news, the earth's surface is 2/3 water.

Posted by: PG at March 9, 2004 12:17 PM
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