College implies he fired drama professor because he’s queer — OnStage Blog
While it’s not surprising that a private Christian university in the south would do such a thing, it surprised me that the university basically confirmed that this was the reason they didn’t renew the contract of Barnett.
In a statement from a university spokesperson, they defended the decision based on their policy.
Anderson University is a private Christian university that upholds the traditional South Carolina Baptist view of sexuality and marriage as set forth in scripture. As a condition of employment, and as stated in our employee handbook, “employees must be actively mindful and respectful of their faith-based relationship and how their behavior may impact that relationship. In doing so, faculty members must uphold and not undermine the University’s Statement of Faith.
In response to Barnett’s firing, students and alumni staged a protest which was held in late June.
“The drama department has been specifically built on the backs of LGBTQ+ students for years now, and firing a professor for being gay is a slap in the face for all gay students and alumni,” said Savvy Thompson, acting graduate of 2020. “These students deserve to have safe spaces where members of their community are not actively oppressed.”
At the time of this story’s publication, Anderson University has not reversed its decision and it does not appear that Barnett would gladly return if they did.
“Anderson University students deserve better,” Barnett said. “There are a lot of gay students on this campus, and a lot of them have no choice but to be here. At a minimum, they should feel safe. But, on a Christian campus, they should feel safe. to feel loved. And a lot of them right now, they feel betrayed and hurt and scared. And that has to change.
While I understand that Anderson University is within its rights as a private Christian school to create policies that directly contradict the Bible and its teachings, I can absolutely criticize them and their practices. I could go on and on about how Anderson University seems to choose which scriptures it wants to apply on its campus. Just because you have the right to discriminate against others, does that mean you have to?
So unless you are a hateful bigot, I would avoid applying to Anderson University.