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Christian University Forces Employees to Sign 'Personal Lifestyle Statement' Rejecting Homosexuality

The 200 employees at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia have been asked to sign a statement (read it HERE) rejecting homosexuality, among other things, or be fired, the AJC reports:

DowlessDon Dowless (pictured), president of the Christian university in Rome, said anyone not signing the statement, which also requires staffers to reject premarital sex and adultery, faces termination.

“I think that anybody who adheres to a lifestyle that is outside of what the biblical mandate is and of what the board has passed, including the president, would not be allowed to continue here,” Dowless told Channel 2 Action News.

The Georgia Voice says gay employees are now in fear of "witch hunts":

"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," said the employee, who declined to reveal his name due to the policy.

Those who sign the policy vow: "I have read and agree with the Personal Lifestyle Statement and will adhere to it in its entirety while employed at Shorter University. I understand that failure to adhere to this statement may result in disciplinary action against me, up to and including immediate termination."

Watch a report on the new policy from WSBTV and interview with Dowless, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Frankly I'm not sure what the "controversy" might as well be saying "People turn on stove, touch it, and are shocked to find their fingers get burned."

    A Christian uniiversity is promoting a one-sided interpretation of certain scriptures and practicing selective amnesia in regard to other "morality" passages. This is not news. How about every employee with a conscience, gay or straight, vocally opposing this? I mean COME ON.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again - if you can tell a bunch of gays that you're pro-religion, but you can't tell your fellow religious buds that you're either gay or pro-LGBT Equality, then you need to sit for a while and think about what that means.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 1, 2011 1:19:39 PM

  2. OK, everybody, sing along: "They shall know we are Christians by our hate..."

    Posted by: Craig | Nov 1, 2011 1:21:50 PM

  3. Rome, Georgia is such an armpit. No self-respecting gay would go to college there in the first place.

    The town's defining characteristic is a cemetery on a hill, smack in the middle of town. Full of late-19th Century Confederate graves made to look like fallen Roman ruins. That should tell you all you need to know about Rome, and the pathetic nature of this college.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Nov 1, 2011 1:32:33 PM

  4. This wouldn't bother me so much if they didn't CHERRY PICK homosexuality over DIVORCE! Divorce is "outside of what the biblical mandate is," right? So they don't have anyone who has had a divorce there, and never have, right?

    I say sign the pledge and get a rent-boy to take down Don Dowless who is CLEARLY a closet case. Then see how quick things change. Pathetic.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Nov 1, 2011 1:33:32 PM

  5. I wonder how this will stand up in court. If these rules were not in place for an existing employee can you actually fire them for not signing on?

    Posted by: Nicholas | Nov 1, 2011 1:33:47 PM

  6. will they be performing "virginity checks" before marriage licenses are granted?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 1, 2011 1:40:31 PM

  7. What kind of university has only 200 employees?

    Posted by: sjorgl | Nov 1, 2011 1:41:58 PM

  8. I would certainly hope than any 'religious' university or school is not receiving any Federal funds whatsoever. If so, those funds need to be jerked immediately.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Nov 1, 2011 1:53:29 PM

  9. Rome, Georgia should be interesting when they all pledge to adhere to a lifestyle conforming to the biblical mandate. This is the same bible that says it is ''disgraceful'' for a woman to speak out in church (1 Corinthians 14:34-36) and that if she has any questions, she should wait till she gets home and ask her husband; that the penalty for going to work on Sunday (Exodus 35:1-3) is death. How 'bout the man who rapes a virgin should buy her from her father (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) and marry her. In Luke 16:18 Jesus says, "Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery."

    Posted by: Jeff Kurtti | Nov 1, 2011 2:34:31 PM

  10. i suppose that incest is ok in that regard-consider lot & his daughters.

    Posted by: alguien | Nov 1, 2011 2:44:28 PM

  11. You know what? They are a private employer. If they choose to have that as a policy, so be it.

    Here is where the conflict comes in: do they accept federal dollars for students, operations, or grants? Are they a not-for-profit organization? If yes to any of those questions, THEN there is a problem.

    And I am saying this as an openly gay Christian Pastor.

    Posted by: Dr. Verdon Coleman | Nov 1, 2011 3:02:08 PM

  12. Actually, this is really quite normal practice for many religious organizations that have both churches AND schools. A friend (who is closeted) had to sign a similar employee agreement stating that they have never had homosexual sex and are not sexually attracted to their own sex. I thought it was a rather odd thing but according to them, every employee there had to sign it AND not disclose that they had signed it (which is also written into the agreement).

    Imagine working at any other kind of job on the planet and having to sign such a thing.

    Posted by: johnny | Nov 1, 2011 3:02:39 PM

  13. So what next??
    All homosexuals must wear the sign of the unclean (pink triangle anyone?) Christians must not shop in stores owned by or run by homosexuals. Books with references to or written by homosexuals must be burned in the churchyard.

    etc etc etc ad infinitum

    Sieg Heileluja

    Posted by: Philippe Landman | Nov 1, 2011 3:42:31 PM

  14. I understand that it is a wide world out there and that people make a lot of choices that are not always the best for their self interest, or the greater part of society. BUT, why would any person that accepts themselves as a Gay person; work in such a repressive, draconian environment? Religious tyranny remains a inherent evil that is the challenge of our time, and can only be faced head on, and by removing the permissive attitudes toward it that have allowed it to fester into a insanity that in it's fundamental mode will destroy our rights, government and society. In a nutshell...don't work there, or give it your support, and it might just go away.

    Posted by: booka | Nov 1, 2011 3:59:48 PM

  15. Employees are supposed to swear to not follow "a lifestyle outside of what the Biblical mandate is...". This is SO typical of right-wing Christians. They profess to follow the Bible AND Christ. When you tell them that the Bible is ridiculous in part, because it considers eating shrimp or wearing clothes made of two fibers to be an ABOMINATION. Christians parry that by saying that the NEW TESTAMENT is what Christians believe in. But when it comes to condemning homosexuals they happily quote passages from the Old Testament. Anyway, Jesus never said anything about gay people. Ever. Positive or negative. But that's not what they want to take away from the NT.

    Posted by: dancobbb | Nov 1, 2011 4:30:27 PM

  16. "The inquisition, what a show, the inquisition, here we go, we know you're wishin' that we'd go awaaaaayyyyyy... but the inquisition's here and it's here to staaaay!"

    Posted by: SCollingsworth | Nov 1, 2011 4:40:49 PM

  17. Gay men and lesbian women working at a Christian college strikes me as akin to vegetarians working at a slaughterhouse.

    Posted by: Bill_HB | Nov 1, 2011 4:46:33 PM

  18. And the funny part is, you know there's probably a busy scene in the college library bathroom, if you get my drift....

    Posted by: Gregoire | Nov 1, 2011 5:25:27 PM

  19. Immediate termination? Not exactly a grace-filled HR policy.

    Posted by: Schlattastic | Nov 1, 2011 5:28:16 PM

  20. So if alcohol is not to be used in a public place, then is my church no longer suppose to use wine as the symbol of Christ's blood in mass, and if they do can I get fired? And if I attend morning mass and receive the "body & blood" of Christ then I can't go to work for 6 hours. Or do I get fired for my traditional religious beliefs? Who decides?

    Posted by: Nigel | Nov 1, 2011 5:39:55 PM

  21. They take federal aid, and I do not think this policy will stand up in state or federal court due to right to privacy laws.

    Posted by: Sean | Nov 1, 2011 6:19:09 PM

  22. They should also have to sign a letter disavowing Judaism and other religions, be consistent in your narrow views!!

    Posted by: ty | Nov 1, 2011 6:22:19 PM

  23. Just like Bristol Palin, all of their unmarried faculty members are born-again virgins.

    Posted by: Ninong | Nov 1, 2011 7:17:11 PM

  24. Well, that’s why anti discrimination laws exist on the countries where they are implemented. Being a private institution is NOT an excuse. You can not –for instance- say: “you know what, here be believe in slavery like in the bible, so you black guy, while working here, will do as a slave”. Or “we don’t believe on freedom of religion, so or you convert or you quit”. Being whatever religious or ideological institution shouldn’t give you the right to pick out people you don’t like based on whatever whim you happen to have. Those kinds of contracts, even if they are willingly signed, are considered invalid when they contradict individual rights in other countries.
    In the U.S.A. many people have the strange idea that freedom means to do your bid as long as you do it with your money, and that’s not always the case.

    Posted by: Lexxvs | Nov 1, 2011 7:23:50 PM

  25. so what if they don't receive federal funds? does not receiving federal funds automatically exempt an organization from compliance with workplace discrimination laws?

    Posted by: JED | Nov 1, 2011 7:39:18 PM

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