Malaka Of The Week: Shorter University

It’s institutional malakatude time again. Until recently, I’d never heard of Shorter University, which is the long and, uh short of it.It’s obviously not the most enlightened school:

Shorter University, a Christian Baptist school in Rome, Ga., is forcing its 200 employees to sign a statement declaring that they reject homosexuality. Anyone who doesn’t sign the pledge risks losing their jobs.

Atlanta’sWSBTV reports that employees who sign the “personal lifestyle pledge” also must reject premarital sex and adultery, and other behavior the school deems to violate the Bible’s teachings. The statement also bans drug use and drinking alcohol in the presence of students, and requires employees to be active in local churches. The lifestyle statement was adopted by the school’s board of trustees last month and presented to employees three days later, on Oct. 24.

All new employees will have to sign the pledge upon being hired, and all current employees will have to sign it in order to renew their contract. The pledge notifies employees that they can be fired for violating the new policy.

An anonymous employee voiced his/her concerns to theGeorgia Voice:

“A question about these things is how they will be enforced. We now will live in fear that someone who doesn’t like us personally or someone who has had a bad day will report that we’ve been drinking or that we are suspected of being gay. What happens then? There is no defined process and even if there were, there is no way to absolutely prove or disprove the accusation.”

Shorter President Don Dowless told WSBTV that the goal wasn’t to offend people, and that lots of Christian schools have similar pledges. “These are biblical positions,” he said.

School officials say that since the school doesn’t receive federal funding, it believes its actions are perfectly legal.

Biblical positions? Missionary I suppose, but never never doggy style.

Not only is this policy indefensible, it’s stupid. Do they really expect the gay hordes to descend on their litle Christian college? Perhaps they think that “those people” will confuse Rome, Georgia with the *real* Rome and will flood them will job applications. Where have you gone Marcello Mastroanni? Yeah, I know, he’s dead but it’s fun name to say…

The whole thing sounds like a recipe for a witch hunt, which is the worst kind of malakatude imaginable.

5 thoughts on “Malaka Of The Week: Shorter University

  1. Jay in Oregon says:

    Aaaah, the “loyalty oath” of 21st-century American politics rears its ugly head again. I wish I knew what the fascination was with loyalty oaths and pledges in the modern neoconservative mindset.
    If I were an evil seekrit Mooslim, homosexual/pedophile (in their minds the two are one and the same) or Bible-burning atheist, One of the first thing I would do to infiltrate the god-fearing folk of Rome, Georgia would be to cross my fingers behind my back and sign the “personal lifestyle pledge”. How better to tempt the fertile young minds of Shorter University’s undergraduate population…

  2. OkieBlue says:

    Also right in there with denouncing someone as a communist only now it’s teh gay.
    Joe McCarthy would be very proud.

  3. MapleStreet says:

    Dumb Question – what about if someone who is of another religion applies for a job?
    Unfortunately, I’ve seen job postings from fundie universities who actually state the applicant should be of their religion (they use better wording, like must support the faith and mission of the _____.)
    Also unfortunately, I’ve seen many a church erupt into a helix of increasing restrictions as the people start competing on who is the holiest (dare I call it a p*ssing match?)

  4. Jay in Oregon says:

    MapleStreet:
    This popped on in my RSS feeds, and I think it kinda feeds into what you’re talking about:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2011/11/04/encountering-the-self-proclaimed-popes-of-evangelicalism/

  5. MapleStreet says:

    Thanks Jay. Right on the point. Oddly, I grew up Baptist which hold, as a core tenet of faith the “Priesthood of the Believer”.
    Also along the line is a friend of mine who when asked if the Pope were infallible, answered that everyone else regards themselves as infallible on religion, so why shouldn’t the Pope also be infallible?

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