Seems the Baylor University students who run the Baylor Lariat student newspaper got into some hot water with the Baptist University’s President and administration for publishing an editorial in support of gay marriage even though it was made clear in the editorial that this opinion was representative only of five of the seven students on the editorial board. To say there was an uproar would be to understate things.
“This position held by five students does not reflect the views of the administration, faculty, staff, board of regents or student publications board, which oversees the Lariat,” Sloan said in a statement distributed to media March 1. “Nor do I believe this stance on gay marriage is shared by the vast majority of Baylor’s 14,000 students and 100,000 alumni.”
The editorial touched off a torrent of response, Sloan acknowledged.
“We have already heard from a number of students, alumni and parents who are, as am I, justifiably outraged over this editorial,” he said.
Because God knows we wouldn’t want an editorial to reflect the honest opinions of the editors writing it.
There’s a few quotes spread throughout the article that I thought did a good job of illustrating why it would be a ‘bad thing’ if this country became a Theocracy. For example, BGCT Executive Director Charles Wade said the following about the incident during an address of the BGCT Executive Board:
“We are disappointed that this small group of students chose to editorialize in support of gay marriage,” Wade said, reading from a prepared statement. “We do respect the students’ right to discuss the issue openly and to voice their opinion, but to do so in an official Baylor publication lends more seriousness than their opinions merit.”
In short, we respect that you have a right to hold and speak your opinions, but unless they agree with ours then they’re not worth much and you shouldn’t use your role as the editor of the student newspaper to editorialize your worthless opinions. Then there’s….
“The student publications policy states that ‘since Baylor University was established and is still supported by Texas Baptists to conduct a program of higher education in a Christian context, no editorial stance of student publications should attack the basic tenets of Christian theology or Christian morality,’” the statement continued.
Which wouldn’t be an unreasonable thing to say had the editorial actually attacked these things. Instead, it addressed the topic purely as a legal issue without commenting on whether it was appropriate that Christianity considers homosexuality a sin. Another telling quote was:
“He was contrite. He said he saw this (the editorial’s position) as a legal issue,” said Daniel, dean of Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences. “The publications board took a different view. We didn’t appreciate it.”
Oh, I’m sorry. I thought part of the job of an editor of a newspaper was to editorialize what the editors feel is the proper stance on an issue whether the majority of people agree with it or not. Good thing they snipped this one in the bud! Wouldn’t want these students taking those bad habits with them when they go to work at a real newspaper!
Certainly the University is within its legal rights to suppress this sort of thing within student publications they support, but it does raise the question of if it’s ethically right for them to do so if they are truly trying to educate and train people for jobs outside of the church.