An Alabama-based religious university declined the funding from a Christian organization because they refused to comply the with religious strings that came attached to the money.
Samford University, a Christian college located in the suburbs of Birmingham, was offered a $3 million donation by the Alabama Baptist Convention, a group of Alabama churches.
The donation was offered on the condition that Samford disband the recently established student organization Samford Together, which provides a “forum for students who want to discuss topics relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The Baptist organisation, which opposes the acceptance of LGBT issues and the treatment of such issues as normal, were willing to pay a hefty sum to cut the organization out at its root. Instead, the University voluntarily declined the significant donation after a board of trustees approved the decision.
Samford Together as an organization was vetted and voted on by Samford faculty in April, and was approved to begin operating on the campus. The organization has not yet been formally recognized by the school’s board of trustees.
Having their donation denied and, meanwhile, having their religious overreach ignored has “saddened” the Alabama Baptist Convention.
“We strongly believe that the Old Testament and New Testament each speak unequivocally against homosexuality. When addressing same-gender sexual relationships, the Bible without exception never affirms such behaviour as an approved lifestyle.”
Samford’s decision to ignore meddling in their affairs, even for such a hefty donation, is admirable, particularly because of its status as a university “deeply rooted in its Christian mission.”
The University may have felt emboldened to do so – and even required – thanks to a growing acceptance of LGBT Americans and gay marriage in America.
According to a PEW poll conducted in 2017, the number of Americans who favor same-sex marriage is at an all-time high of 62 percent. The number of millennials who favor same-sex marriage is understandably much higher at 74 percent. With such high support among the majority of their students, Samford would be foolish to silence an LGBT organization.
Fortunately for the students at Samford, it appears the faculty and trustees at the college recognize the need for Christian views to evolve as society does.