A Gay Faculty Member Writes About Working at a Christian College

There have been a number of posts on this site about gay Christians who attend religious schools and have to keep their sexual orientation under wraps.

But we rarely hear from faculty members at those schools who have to keep their homosexuality hidden.

At Inside Higher Ed, an anonymous poster who teaches at a school affiliated with the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) wonders why these institutions are so homophobic — they say they love the sinner and hate the sin, yet coming out is not an option for him:

I have been struck by the fact that while CCCU institutions will not hire faculty in monogamous, same-sex relationships, they do hire divorced faculty without asking the grounds for the divorce. Wheaton College in Illinois is tragically consistent in its foundationalist approach to biblical hermeneutics, allowing faculty to be divorced so long as the divorce is based on biblical grounds. Do you seriously think that the great professor ceases to be a great professor because his/her divorce was based on irreconcilable differences rather than adultery?

One year I received a teaching award. If I were to come out now, would I suddenly cease being a good teacher? Would I no longer be able to ask disciplinary-related questions that spring from my religious faith?

I would like to be able to live my life in the open and, like many of you, share life with a loving partner; however, to borrow a phrase from Melissa Harris-Perry’s book, Sister Citizen, it is “hard to stand up in a crooked room.”

If these schools really had a heart, they would allow faculty members (and students) to be open about their orientation without any negative repercussions coming from the administration. The private schools have every right to espouse bigotry, but the closets they stuff their LGBT students and staffers in go against their own theoretical cultures of love and respect.

By forcing students and staffers to lie about who they are, they’re making them commit an actual “sin” in order to hide a fake one.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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