The chaplain of Hillsdale College, a nonprofit liberal arts school in Hillsdale, Michigan, sent a bizarre email to the school community this week asking for their prayers against marriage equality.
Chaplain Peter Beckwith (below) cited the marriage equality cases before the Supreme Court, which many believe will end up legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, to describe how “evil” was afoot and Hillsdale students, alumni, and staff should pray against it.
Just to give you a heads up, ugly things are happening in the Supreme Court right now. Justice Anthony Kennedy is seen as the “swing vote” and, if that is the case, he will have the power to legalize same-sex marriage NATIONWIDE! Yeah… I do not even think we can imagine the effects this could have on our nation, the church, and families.
So we are praying for God to give the Justices and the courts wisdom, courage, and discernment, for evil to be revealed and destroyed, and for a heart of love and sound mind.
Actually, I bet a lot of us can imagine the “effects this could have on our nation, the church, and families.” They’re all positive, healthy, and affirming for all families — including Christian ones!
Derek Schell, an openly gay basketball player and Hillsdale alum, received the email and posted a thoughtful response on Facebook (not publicly available):
I’ve never been one to shut my ear to an opposing argument or point of view. However, this is a step too far. I have tried to describe my college environment and experience to some friends and family and this is a good example. Imagine being a closeted, scared, struggling student and receiving this CAMPUS WIDE email (that sends to alums as well). I met good, kind people in my time in that little town in Michigan, but today I am ashamed, disgusted and angry. This is violence, hatred, and ignorance personified. My heart is heavy for my Hillsdale family today. When I put a ring on my husbands finger, I’ll be sure your invitation is lost in the mail. Instead, I’ll say a prayer that you discover some love, and stop hiding behind the fear of something that doesn’t affect you at all.
Though officially independent, Hillsdale College was founded by Freewill Baptists and has a reputation as an extremely conservative school. Cyd Zeigler at the LGBT publication OutSports, which wrote about Schell’s important coming-out moment a few years back, added:
It is a sad state of affairs when a school that is obviously intent on marginalizing LGBT students and fighting against equality would be allowed to stay in the NCAA. It continues to be a pox on the entire association that schools with policies and practices like Hillsdale College would be allowed to remain.
There’s no excuse for making such an egregious, demeaning, and frankly hurtful statement to a vast school community. Especially coming from a school that’s “officially nondenominational since its inception,” this kind of news is a slap in the face to every LGBT student, or child of LGBT parents, who wants nothing more than a well-rounded education and the opportunity to develop their own values and experiences. In order for “evil to be revealed and destroyed,” we have to abolish policies that allow education professionals to behave like this.
(Image via Anglican Church)