Censorship | College

Christian College Confiscates School Newspaper with Gay Student's Article: 'Why I Must Live in Fear'

Ventriloquist

Cedarville University in Ohio has undergone substantial administrative changes within the past year, including a new President for Student Life and Christian Ministries as well as no longer allowing male students to be taught Bible classes by female professors.

Cedarville UniversityThe newest development is the abolishment of the latest edition of the student newspaper The Ventriloquist after it ran some pro-LGBT articles, one from a student writing about being dismissed from a variety of student leadership positions and another from an anonymous student asking why he must live in fear at the school.

The newspapers were confiscated before they could be passed out, and the university’s Executive Director of Public Relations, Mark Weinstein offered up the excuse, "Our school has policies for soliciting and [students] need permission to distribute. It was checked and [The Ventriloquist] did not have permission.” The Ventriloquist has been distributed since 2010 without any problems and no changes regarding student publications have been made to the student handbook since that time.

You can read a digital copy of The Ventriloquist with the LGBT articles below

 

UPDATE: Cedarville University's LGBT Alliance Cedarville OUT released a statement condemning the crackdown:

CEDARVILLE, OH, April 29, 2014 – The new administration at Cedarville University, a Baptist-affiliated school in southwestern Ohio, has placed new restrictions on free speech activities on campus by forcibly confiscating copies of the independently-produced student paper, The Ventriloquist. Much of the crackdown by university administrators revolves around the paper’s discussions of LGBT issues and the reality of LGBT students’ lives on Cedarville’s campus. The acts of aggression continue to mount, leaving many students fearing for their safety.

Over the past year, several students have felt forced into leaving Cedarville because of their sexual orientation. Others have felt silenced as the university censures those who offer even a modicum of support to LGBT students. Most recently, copies of The Ventriloquist were torn from the hands of students attempting to distribute it around campus by none other than the University President.

Avery Redic told his powerful story of his time at Cedarville in an issue of The Ventriloquist before he felt forced to transfer. Another anonymous student wrote, in reference to Redic: “I’m in danger. When the university administration chooses to strip a gay student of all his leadership and ministry positions (and he ends up at Wright State) because he’s not sure what he believes on the issue, that’s a problem. It means that for the rest of my time at Cedarville, my status is on the line. I have to live in fear of my own ‘Christian’ community and what they might do to me.”

“The reality of LGBT students at Cedarville cannot be ignored,” says Grant Miller, Cedarville OUT member and former student body president. “It is a travesty that staff at Cedarville are allowing these unchecked aggressions to take place, creating a climate of fear.”

If, as Mark D. Weinstein, Cedarville’s Executive Director of Public Relations, asserts, Cedarville University, “supports free thinking and discussions on topics," Cedarville OUT demands that the papers be returned and that LGBT students be offered a safe space to talk about their lives. Cedarville OUT maintains a presence online where current students, alumni and supporters can read stories and share experiences as LGBT individuals and allies authentically living life against the backdrop of religious confusion, misunderstanding, and aggression—but also with the hope and the exhilarating freedom that comes with authenticity.

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Comments

  1. Can you say "American Taliban"?

    Posted by: Rad | Apr 29, 2014 11:42:10 AM


  2. and last weekend Cedarville also fired without citing a reason the adjunct professor who dared to run in the primary against John Boehner.

    Posted by: Dan Mc. | Apr 29, 2014 11:45:36 AM


  3. Christianity, like all religions, is fascistic and evil. Let's stop pretending otherwise.

    Posted by: DANSWON | Apr 29, 2014 11:59:06 AM


  4. i feel very sorry for gay people who still believe christianity is true. the cognitive dissonance of trying to reconcile those two things is enough to drive someone crazy. gay people exist, and they know they're good and natural and born this way, and the church is wrong about us, and by extension wrong about almost everything. end of story. consider ourselves lucky to have all the proof we need inside of ourselves to see through the mumbo jumbo. it's great to not be one of the deluded.

    Posted by: Mark | Apr 29, 2014 12:09:14 PM


  5. MARK - well said. "We know we're good and natural and born this way, and the church is wrong..." that's it. What's more, the larger value of being gay is that it invites you to squint your eyes way down at all the rest of the given truths imposed and presumed by any culture or world view. Including those of other gay people as well. No one thoroughly knows anyone. To live is to discover yourself in every turn of the course and ricochet trajectory.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 29, 2014 12:28:09 PM


  6. Christian and university don't belong together. It is an oxymoron.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 29, 2014 12:34:28 PM


  7. Sounds like an all around great place for gay students. I'm scared for them too ! http://www.cedarville.edu/Offices/Counseling-Services/Resources/Same-Sex-Attraction.aspx

    Posted by: Zeppo | Apr 29, 2014 12:37:41 PM


  8. Oh, come on, Mark. You've got a whole chapter in the New Testament written in your honor.

    Religion has been used to commit great EVIL, and it has been used to survive great EVIL.

    Without religious faith Africans would have never survived slavery, Jews (and Catholics/Gypsies/Gays) would have never survived the Holocaust, Armenians would have never survived the genocide perpetrated on them by the Turks, etc, etc, etc...

    And guess what--there are Christians who love Jesus but DO NOT love the Bible nor organized churches. Figure that one out.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 29, 2014 12:41:56 PM


  9. " no longer allowing male students to be taught Bible classes by female professors." Now that is a new one. What could possibly be the basis for that? Oh wait - they are nutcases.

    Posted by: Joel | Apr 29, 2014 12:48:31 PM


  10. Have no fear, they don't like you.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 29, 2014 12:48:52 PM


  11. Derrick; nothing in the bible has any relevance to me or my life whatsoever.

    and in each of the examples you state, religion played a part in either the initiation of the violence against innocents or in its justification by the perpetrators of the violence.

    i suspect the world would have been a much more peaceful place if humans had never created religion. perhaps someday we will grow out of it... that's my hope anyway.

    Posted by: Mark | Apr 29, 2014 12:55:49 PM


  12. What would motivate someone who's LGBT to enroll at this college in the first place? There are other christian colleges that are less repressive. I don't get any organized religion in the first place, but I realize others have faith and like to belong to a group. It seems that if someone's a member of the LGBT community, and christian, and wants to attend a christian college, he or she should really take a look at the policies of the institution prior to enrollment.

    Posted by: throwslikeagirl | Apr 29, 2014 1:00:31 PM


  13. While as a private college, it presumably has a legal right to control what gets passed out on its property, that does not give it the right to take someone else's property by confiscating the newspapers, as opposed to merely requesting that they not be distributed on campus.

    While there may be a legal question of who owns the paper copies, if those legally belong to the students, confiscating the papers is theft and should be reported to the police: the real police, not the campus police (who are basically security guards). Maybe a complaint filed with the local DA would be in order too.

    Just because it is a "christian college" does not put it above the law.


    Posted by: Bill | Apr 29, 2014 1:24:00 PM


  14. @ Danswon - you wrote that Christianity was "evil". How do you define "evil"? And WHO gets to define what "evil" is? Do you? A majority vote? Evil is actually a religious term, and in Western culture specifically it's a Christian-term. I don't think you even realize that the language you are using to describe matters of right and wrong are Christian words and terms. You are indebted to a Christian worldview and understanding of right and wrong and don't even realize it.

    So before you declare Christianity "evil," you ought to do a thorough search of your own language and use of categories and remove all semblance of Christian terms and categories. And when you do, you will come to the scary conclusion (I hope) that you are left with no solid basis to define anything as "evil" or "good." Except, maybe, your own culturally-influenced sense of it, which is still heavily-indebted to the Christian faith and the Bible.

    Of course, the Nazis thought they were doing what was "good", and those who opposed them were "evil." And they were the majority in Germany. And those who stood against them were outspoken Christian clergy (who were jailed and murdered for doing so) like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

    It's good to think through things.

    Posted by: Jon | Apr 29, 2014 2:30:13 PM


  15. " no longer allowing male students to be taught Bible classes by female professors." Now that is a new one. What could possibly be the basis for that?"

    @Joel:

    1 Timothy 2:12: "I do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man, she must be quiet."


    The problem with so many cafeteria "Christians" is that they don't seem to realize that the Bible is an anthology of various people's opinions, many of which were said or written by people who disagreed with or persecuted Jesus (and even then the words were altered by new versions over and over). They don't differentiate between anything that's written in the Bible, even if one person says something in one chapter and Jesus disagrees with it in another.
    Jesus never said a word on record against gay people or homosexuality. I often think if he walked into American churches today the self-professed "Bible-believing" ones would be the first to observe his ways and tell him he's not "Christian" enough to be there.

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 29, 2014 2:45:57 PM


  16. "Evil is actually a religious term, and in Western culture specifically it's a Christian-term."

    Nonsense. Christianity certainly redefined terms like "evil" (to, among other things, encompass people like us), but the terms predate Christianity in Roman, Greek, and other cultures.

    Posted by: BobN | Apr 29, 2014 3:59:16 PM


  17. "Evil" is a Christian term? Please stop the insanity. Leave it to a Christian to be totally ignorant of anything outside of their BS cosmology.

    Posted by: Mawm | Apr 29, 2014 4:23:23 PM


  18. All so-called Christian communities, I know of, are led by Satan.

    None have a clue about the real Christ. As such they are anti-Christ and will be judged by the Father Himself.

    None should give a POOP about any judgments from Baptists or Catholics. They are all going to Hell anyway or leading God's real children to stumble.

    As an asside, I do know of 1 Christian Baptist Church. 1st Baptist in Evanston, IL. Loving people. Gay associate pastor. Lesbian couple are lead deacons.

    Unfortunately, I no longer live in a land with Christian hospitality. I now live in the Bible belt where they keep the belt as a noose around your neck.

    Posted by: Art | Apr 29, 2014 4:54:16 PM


  19. @ JON

    "...remove all semblance of Christian terms and categories. And when you do, you will come to the scary conclusion (I hope) that you are left with no solid basis to define anything as 'evil' or 'good.'"
    This reeks of the pathetic Christian notion that without Christianity you have no morality. Get a grip, get a life, and get over it!

    By the way, the problem of evil belongs to philosophy, and just because some lowly theologians like to dabble in the topic by relating it to their beloved myths, doesn't make it theirs...

    Posted by: Neighbour | Apr 29, 2014 8:20:05 PM


  20. why does he choose to attend and continue to study at this bigoted institution? it's not like they didn't make their position on gays known in advance.

    i feel so sad for the student, and hope he transfers to an accepting institution where he can learn and grow without fear.

    Posted by: northalabama | Apr 29, 2014 8:52:52 PM


  21. JON:
    Christianity we know today copied almost everything from some other religions, like Judaism. Even "virgin birth" is nothing new. Have you seen the movie "Clash of the Titans" which is based on the Greek mythology. Harry Hamlin character is also the son of Zeus and produced by a virgin called Danae.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 30, 2014 12:58:58 AM


  22. It is funny people think "evil" or "marriage" are religious terms. These terms existed long before Christianity. Christians just stole them from others.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 30, 2014 1:28:17 AM


  23. The only thing invented by Christianity was "plagiarism".

    Posted by: simon | Apr 30, 2014 1:30:56 AM


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