Education | Gay Youth | Religion | Tennessee

Rossville Christian Academy: Students To Be Militantly Heterosexual In Thought, Word, And Deed

TennFlagTennessee isn't the best place for gay kids to go to school. You've got kids penalized for trying to start GSAs; you've got kids assaulted for wearing pro-gay tee-shirts; you've got boys suspended for wearing makeup. And now this, a new guideline from a Christian school in Rossville:

Homosexuality is forbidden in scripture (Romans 1:27, Leviticus 18:22).  A staff member or student who promotes, engages in, or identifies himself/herself with such activity through any word or action shall be in violation of this policy.  Should the administration determine a violation of this policy, the person involved will be subject to disciplinary action with the possibility of permanent dismissal.  Any applicant who is not in compliance with this policy will not be admitted."

That is to say, a teen (or tween) supporter of LGBT rights could rightfully be expelled from Rossville Christian Academy.

The Academy serves children in grades K-12. And seeing as most parents of kindergarteners have no way of knowing whether or not their children will grow up to be gay, straight, or what, doesn't it seem like an awfully big risk to send them to school in which, upon arriving at adolescence, they might find themselves suddenly unwelcome? Isn't taking such a risk an example of uninentionally negligent parenting, at least?

In any case, the current crop of parents with children at Rossville Christian had no way of knowing the school would adopt this weird policy, and not all of them are happy it's happened. According to Memphis's Channel 3 News, one parent (who wished to remain anonymous) said:

My initial reaction is that it was specifically aimed at one person, and I felt very sad about that ... If you're going to single out one thing that you say is a sin, then maybe we have to address every single thing.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. This Rossville Academy could almost be like a Taliban Academy. I certainly won't call it Christian - it seems to lack the compassion and love that is the defining characteristic of Christianity.

    I wonder if they adhere to all the notions that are described in the Bible, such as not eating shellfish, and that women must not minister to men, at least I believe the latter to be in there.

    Posted by: jason | Dec 24, 2011 12:59:47 PM

    So what else do we expect from a supposedly "Christian" fundamentalist institution! Seen it all before. Nothing new.

    Posted by: TomR | Dec 24, 2011 1:01:05 PM

  3. Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Dec 24, 2011 1:12:51 PM

  4. Quick! Someone make sure their uniforms are 100% cotton! And they better make sure that they're not serving shellfish in the cafeteria.

    Posted by: Jason | Dec 24, 2011 1:35:02 PM

  5. I especially think they need to expel all sinners who wear clothing with both wool and linen (Deuteronomy 22:11).

    If you want to believe religious fairy-tales, can't you at-least see them as interesting anecdotes intended to be reinterpreted as the world changes?

    My opinion: though intended to help protect (and control) followers (good and bad intentions)...much of what's in the bible was good commonsense when it was written.

    But things change... we no longer need to worry about wearing mixed fibers, dangerous dietary habits, making sure enough babies are born to continue the human race, or homosexuality.

    If the church were writing the Bible today from scratch, they might put more emphasis on gluttony as a sin, and add sedentary lifestyles.

    While the school's policy seems legal, it's misguided, and hopefully there's enough outcry from students to change it.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 24, 2011 1:37:46 PM

  6. Surely there isn't a shortage of private schools in that region. For the $5000 annual tuition, parents should not have any trouble finding another school, one that doesn't engage in such blatant bigotry, even in Tennessee.

    Posted by: RJ | Dec 24, 2011 1:53:35 PM

  7. *sigh*
    yet another self-professed "Christian" group that doesn't understand their own religious texts.

    note to Christians - the minute you bring up Levitical law you are stating that you believe that Christ failed in His sacrifice on the cross. You are stating that He failed, that His mission and message did not work, and that basically He died in vain. That's what a reference to levitical law means. So congrats, fuckers.

    this reminds me of the book ROOTS. You know, when the first thing the white man would do is have the slaves build them a church, so they can continue to pretend that they're Christians. Sometimes i wonder why there are millions of self-Styled Christians running around proving to everyone how little they know about their own supposed "faith"....

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 24, 2011 1:54:13 PM

  8. So CHRIS, you believe Leviticus 18:22 once served a good purpose by killing two men involving sex? Sounds like pure religious BS to me.

    Posted by: nikko | Dec 24, 2011 1:58:14 PM

  9. It's a private school, and at least they're being upfront about their bigotry and ignorance. No one who pays to send their kid to a "Christian academy" has that kid's best interests at heart.

    Actually people who raise their kids in many parts of Tennessee probably don't have their kids' best interests at heart.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 24, 2011 2:18:17 PM

  10. Actually, the bible doesn't really forbid "homosexuality", all it says is we should not lie down with men as with women.It doesn't stricly forbid it nor has it been proved that it was spoken by God. The bulk or all of the bible was written by men, for and by men. A lot of other gospels, the missing gospels were discarded, one of which was the one according to Mary Magdalen. The Vatican has many of them locked away in it's infamous library that it refuses to release to the general public. There are rumors that allowing that would have christianity spinning on its head, catholicism itself.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Dec 24, 2011 2:22:15 PM

  11. Adultery was also condoned in the old testament, yet these right wing religious nutjobs say they believe in the bible but ignore it when it comes to saying same-sex marriage harms hetero marriage.

    It also condones the killing of women for adultery and children for their insolence. Of course, the christo fascists totally ignore this, dismiss it even, but conveniently use Leviticus and Romans to throw at us to advance discrimination and the imposition of their beliefs on the rest of society. It's a form of bullying in my view, terrorism even. If they were true believes, they'd obey Jesus Christ's command to sell all we have and give to the poor. NONE of them do it, they're nothing more than hypocrites and bigots.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Dec 24, 2011 2:27:14 PM

  12. @ NIKKO:
    Times change. Yes, there was probably good reason for Leviticus 18:22 at the time.

    Remember, until recently, early mortality was a big problem. Vast portions of the population were killed by war, famine, plague, etc...and religious and other groups had justifiable fears their populations would prove too-small to sustain the group.

    What has changed in the past 100 years to allow radical social change (sexual freedoms, rights for women and blacks and now gays, increasing divorce rates)?

    The answer is rapid technological and economic advancements which mean we have the time and resources to do things other than simply ensure the survival of our clans.

    Thus...religious dogma which served well to ensure the survival of our clans is no longer relevant.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 24, 2011 2:34:24 PM

  13. Who would want to go to a school that didn't have gays? Sounds like a very boring place.

    Posted by: Max | Dec 24, 2011 2:37:01 PM

  14. Lived in Memphis 25 years. This reflects the thinking of the majority of the people in this region. As for going to another school, this attitude is prevalent in virtually all but a very small handful. Remember this is a hotbed of evangelicals. One of my cousins teaches at Rossville and is in total agreement. It is a sad place to be for the LGBT community.

    Posted by: John | Dec 24, 2011 2:46:42 PM

  15. I suspect they've cut all those passages about David and Jonathan from their Bibles.

    Hot Stuff!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 24, 2011 2:54:01 PM

  16. Child abuse protected by religion.

    And I LOVE DEARCOMRADE's comment: "Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings."

    Posted by: David R. | Dec 24, 2011 2:54:48 PM

  17. @RJ: Agreed. As long as this school doesn't receive any public funding, they can be a discriminatory as they please. I don't particularly like it myself and it sucks for the kids that go there, but this is basic First Amendment stuff here.

    @Robert in NYC: What "missing gospels" are you referring to? The various Gnostic texts, including the so-called Gospel of Mary Magdalene? One doesn't have to be an orthodox Christian or subscribe to the infallibility of the NT to note the stark differences and late date of these "gospels". See Bart Ehrman's work for example. If the Vatican is supposedly hiding other gospels it's doing a poor job of it since all known works that have survived have been in circulation for decades.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Dec 24, 2011 3:00:11 PM

  18. Someone please tell me these asshats aren't tax exempt.

    Posted by: DSig80 | Dec 24, 2011 3:17:11 PM

  19. What the F? The Muslims are setting gay men on fire and burning them alive and beheading them and now this? Effing unbelievable. What next? Are the Christians going to be flying jumbo jets into skyscrapers in New York and mass-murdering thousands? Holy f**king Christ.

    Posted by: Alan | Dec 24, 2011 3:29:40 PM

  20. I'd feel so sorry for any gay kids who would have to put up with this pathetic excuse for a school.

    Posted by: Peter | Dec 24, 2011 3:36:30 PM

  21. @Alan, American Christians dont' need to fly planes into buildings.

    American Christians are doing a wonderful job of systematically ensuring that 1 in 4 LGBT youth attempt suicide.

    For real. It's a more subversive form of murder, of course. So rest your wee head, you don't need to worry about Big Bad Islam - America is continuing to allow Christianity to not only kill off a large number of the LGBT community with hatred, violence and fear, but it's also succeeding in making grown-ass men into complete and utter cowards who are unable to live Open, Honest and Authentic lives as Out gay men, who are so scared of what Christians Will Think that they don't do a damn thing to speak out against anti-gay prejudice in America.

    Christians have been mass-murdering for ages, you just don't see it.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 24, 2011 3:43:03 PM

  22. it's time for the courts to step in. Brown v. Board of Education part 2.

    Posted by: Jed | Dec 24, 2011 3:46:12 PM

  23. @ JED:
    As repulsive as I find Roseville Christian's policy, it would be WORSE if courts stepped in.

    Though law varies from place-to-place in the appropriately restricts how a privately-owned business that's open to the public may discriminate (businesses open to the public must be open to everyone and make reasonable accommodations for everyone).

    But a business that's not open to the public (a club, a private school) generally has more latitude to pick-and-choose to whom they allow access. Most Boy Scout troops don't allow open homosexuals. Some private schools are boys-only or girls-only. Some private clubs are men-only or women-only.

    We need to:
    1. protect our rights to associate with those we choose... while

    2. working to reduce the pool of people who would want to be a member of any anti-gay organization.

    So...I support Roseville's right to enact the policy...but I hope they lose a sufficient number of students as a result that they decide to reverse the policy.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 24, 2011 4:06:23 PM

  24. David ernhistein....I totally agree, not only David and Jonathan but also Naomi and Ruth. David and Jonathan's love is described as passeth the love of women.

    Posted by: jackfkntwist | Dec 24, 2011 4:06:26 PM

  25. @ LITTLE KIWI:
    Though I mostly agree with what you've said about Roseville...

    I've got to step in about bullying. When we play the victim (Christians are murdering gay youth) we give Christians WAY too much power.

    Instead of (or in addition to) trying in vain to stop the Christians (and Muslims and others)...we should reach out to LGBT youth with hope, opportunity, and protection from physical harm - tell LGBT youth to "consider the source" and ignore the ignorant bullies.

    "It Gets Better" is a big step in that direction, and I may just do one of those videos in 2012.

    As my financial situation improves, I hope to do LGBT youth mentoring, and possibly adopt a kid.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 24, 2011 4:18:23 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «We're the Chelsea Boys on Christmas Eve: VIDEO« «