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March 30, 2004

150 Protest Baylor Policies in Waco

By Byron LaMasters

It'll take awhile for Baylor to come around. After all, only in 1996 was the ban on dancing on campus lifted. Still, it's good to see progress:

Some of Baylor University's own called for their school to change its ways Saturday, challenging the Baptist campus to end what they say is discrimination against homosexuals.

About 150 protesters comprised of current and former Baylor students held signs, waved rainbow flags and sported school colors at Heritage Square in downtown Waco, not far from the 14,000-student campus.

"Welcome to the 21st century, Baylor," said Tim Salladay, a Dallas businessman and 1978 Baylor graduate. "The time has come."

Attendees were galvanized by the story of Matt Bass, a Baylor seminary student whose scholarship was revoked last year after he revealed to friends he is a homosexual. The issue also arose last month when the administration condemned an editorial in the student newspaper that supported gay marriage.

During the rally, many poked fun at Baylor for being reluctant to change old habits. More than one compared the issue to civil rights and interracial marriage. Salladay cited Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr.'s lifting of a ban on campus dancing in 1996.

Dancing was once considered an anathema to conservative Baptists.

"We say to Dr. Sloan, no more dancing around the issue of equality," Salladay said.

[...]

For their part, Baylor's administrators didn't comment on the rally, releasing only a statement from the school's university student policies and procedures.

"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," according to the statement. "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."

During Saturday's rally, Bass, 25, rejected the notion that Christians are all of one mind on the issue. He accused Baylor of becoming a religiously dogmatic university that rejects academic freedom and discourse. Instead, the school scares students into submission, he said.

"You equip us with the tools to think for ourselves responsibly, then you punish us for using those tools," he said.

"I only hope you'll change your ways before you kill both the university and the university student," Bass added.


Good job. It can't be easy to speak out at a place like Baylor, but the folks who do have a lot of courage. It doesn't take much courage to be openly gay, or speak at a Pride Rally, or organize a Marriage Equality Rally, or wear an HRC sticker at an event, or write that you're gay on your blog when you live here in Austin (or even back in Dallas for that matter). Sure, there are people that will have a problem with it, but I never worried about getting kicked out of school or being a victim of violence because of it. For these activists at Baylor, however, that's not the case. I have a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for their efforts, and if there is anything that I can do to help them, I'd be delighted to do so.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at March 30, 2004 02:57 PM | TrackBack


Comments

"...purity in singleness and fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman as the biblical norm...It is thus expected that Baylor students will not participate in advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching."

Really? Hrm. So am I to believe that heterosexual students who choose to have pre/extra-marital sex can expect to have their funding cut or to suffer other punishments meted out to homosexuals?

Posted by: seth at March 30, 2004 03:06 PM

Seth, I'm sure they would just ask them if they 'repent of their sins', and sweep it under the rug...

Posted by: Jason Young at March 30, 2004 07:29 PM

If Habakkuk were alive today I'm sure he would quote not only from the 101 Psalm but repeat his question to God, "Why do You make me look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds."
In 2000 George W. Bush promised to crack down on coal driven power plants out put of pollutants like mercury,(70 power companies at that time were under indictment by the justice department and they contributed 48 million dollars for George's election campaign) 60 days after illegally obtaining his presidency George ordered the justice department not to prosecute them...so far they've contributed 58 million to this campaign, George also repealed regulations on these polluters( these polluters would lose 1% of their profits if they refitted smoke stacks with proper filters to lower the pollution out put.) Three years into his presidency the mercury in fish is so great in 19 states of the United States fish are not safe for consumption, one out of every four children in America are now asthmatic. This alone should anger the American public Democrat, Independent, Republican or whatever this should upset you enough to fire him.
In 2001 George proved that American's are retarded Osama Bin Laden does the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and George utilizes what psychologist call transference...switching the blame from Bin Laden to Iraqi Saddam Hussein. Sure he went into Afghanistan but did he get Osama no...that would interrupt his ability to pay kickbacks to Halliburton by awarding contracts on his war in Iraq which was American foreign policy controlled by a Saudi Arabian prince asking when George was going to go after Saddam...thats right American foreign policy controlled by oil concerns not American.
George Bush while running in 2000 said two things that stick in my mind, one that his favorite philosopher was Christ Jesus the Lord. The other statement was he wasn't going to get American's involved in nation building. This reminds me of James chapter 2 verses 14 through 19:" ...In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead...verse 17" George's actions should make you lose faith in him because his actions have been to undermine the middle class and protect criminals that believe they have no responsibility to the Earth or any living creature on it and that profit margins are the god that they and George worship corporations convicted of of felonies are his contributors yet half of the American's are in denial. Perhaps this nation is getting what it deserves they don't call its so called leaders in for accountability and get rid of them (I would suggest by hanging) and they prefer their environment toxic. As far as flip flopping George is liken to Jekyll and Hyde if you compare his 2000 campaign promises to his illegally gained presidency, this alone should make you want him indicted for treason...because it is treason to utilize the presidency against the fundimental principles of a Democratic Republic. Lets not leave out Dick Cheney who bankrolled the Taliban, yes Halliburton up until 2000 paid the Taliban protection money to install a Caspian sea pipeline...though they knew the type of people they were dealing with. So let us not be under any illusions George W. Bush has failed to keep campaign promises. His leave no child behind like all the slogan lip service he has provided us with is as much an oxymoron as Compassionate Conservatism...Christ told the rich man to sell all he owned and to give it to the poor... George has twisted it to...Steal from the American upper middle and lower financial classes and give to the Criminally Corporate Wealthy...leave no child behind but lead them to war. This is a state of Oppressive Liberal Conservatism, meaning liberal enough to oppress you with their conservatism, arrogant enough to blindly lead our nation to war so that a barrel of oil will hit $55.00 and the price of gas will never again go below $1.75 to insure The United States of Halliburton profits...what incredible greed what a gullible country...it had a good run but Harry S. Truman began the destruction the republic 02-27-1947 George is bringing it to its end. Deep in the Heart of Texas you of all people know what four more years of Georgie will do to this country as a veteran and a republican I urge you to send this Balak a message fire Georgie, especially you Texas republicans or America will be in Iraq for more then the ten years that it will take to fix what is broken. Regain your pride and change the direction this country has gone to. As a theologian I can only state the obvious God's relationship is an individual and unique relationship to each of us, God is not only love but logic and God knows twisting arms to achieve conversion is no conversion we all come to God eventually, but through our own lifes experience not by being forced by someone else...Georgie and his cronies believe bullying and do not rule inclusively but exclusively is this truly how you want the world to preceive America? Robert Dialing of Houston whom is nolonger among us...(A gifted guitarist well known in the Texas music seen of the 1970's through the 1980's) used to say to me. "No matter how you try to spin it the truth is determined by your actions not your mouth." I'm sure he and Lincoln are spinning in the graves.

Posted by: R.L. Zadworny at September 30, 2004 02:44 PM

For a theologian the best description of what has occurred with this seated administration can be found in the second chapter of Ecclesiastes and the Forty Nineth Psalm. In the book of Mark chapter eight verse thirty five states, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me and the gospel will save it."...George W. Bush should have used this as a guide in his first term, because then he'd insured a second term. He should of given up his old life to serve his country and what is best for the country as a whole. But George's unctuous nature directed his actions and his governing became for a select few and corporate criminals. To some degree one must agree with Alan Keyes...September 11th, 2004 was not only a warning, but a test from God, which has sadly been a failure. One can only imagine George W. never read his father George H.W.'s book on the first Iraq War...had Georgie done so his tactics of engagement and plans to win the peace would have been inclusive with enough ground troops. Instead of disbandment of an Iraqi army he could of utilized, contracting Iraqi civilians instead of Halliburton (which would of cost 10,000 time less) for reconstruction and closed and controlled the borders he allow this insurgency which the United States and its allies now face. However Georgie put his pride (vanity) over the duty and service. If you keep in contact with Americans living abroad like I have they will tell you through general consensus Georgie has made living abroad difficult. But then "we the people" did not elect George unelected judges did...a slap in the face of the principles of a republic democracy... making fertile the seeds of fascism with his "Patriot Act" which if you read it reads like the 1933 "Enabler Act" of Nazi Germany. The war on terrorism distracted by psychological transference of blame to make Georgie appear presidential instead of the now dry 'Otis of Mayberry'. In good conscience can anyone who voted him in be proud of him? His record speaks volumes of ineptness and arrogance. I don't agree with John Kerry on alot of issues however I agree on none of Georgie's or Dick's. I urge my fellow Republicans to vote for the good of the whole country and that is not to reinstate this fool George Walker Bush.

From the escritoire of R.L. Zadworny
P.S. Not only is God love but also logic.

Posted by: R.L. Zadworny at October 8, 2004 01:10 PM
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