American higher education is, by and large, no longer a bastion of free thinking, free speech, and free exchange of ideas. Instead, in thrall to statist politics, feminist hysteria, and gay totalitarianism, it has become a collection of indoctrination camps whose motto is “You WILL Comply!” The latest example comes from this story in the Boston Business Journal, in which Gordon College in Massachusetts finds out that its accrediting agency, for all intents and purposes, no longer certifies Christian institutions:
The regional body that accredits colleges and universities has given Gordon College a year to report back about a campus policy on homosexuality, one that may be in violation of accreditation standards.
The higher education commission of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges met last week and “considered whether Gordon College’s traditional inclusion of ‘homosexual practice’ as a forbidden activity” runs afoul of the commission’s standards for accreditation, according to a joint statement from NEASC and Gordon College.
The commission asked Gordon College to submit a report next September. The report should describe the process by which the college has approached its review of the policy “to ensure that the College’s policies and procedures are non-discriminatory,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Wenham college has formed a new 20-member working group to review the policy.
Barbara Brittingham, president of NEASC’s higher education commission, said Gordon College President Michael Lindsay had sent a letter to the commission before last week’s two-day meeting. The letter explained that the college had formed a working group and begun a review, Brittingham said.
In its joint statement, NEASC and Gordon College called the review process a “period of discernment” that will take place over the next 12 to 18 months. What “carried the day” for commission members was Gordon College’s decision to conduct its own review, Brittingham said. She said the long time frame that Gordon College has been allowed for the review is appropriate considering that Gordon College’s policy is “deeply embedded in the culture of the college” and such things “don’t change overnight.”
“What the commission sees is a policy that may be inconsistent with the commission’s standards,” Brittingham said. However, she said, the commission also felt that the formation of a working group and the policy review “was a thoughtful way for the college to proceed.”
Thoughtful my tuchus. Gordon should tell the NEASC where it can stick its standards. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen:
Only the college’s board of trustees has the authority to change the policy, said Rick Sweeney, a spokesman for Gordon College. The working group will present the trustees with a full summary of the discussions that take place in time for the next trustees meeting in February, he said.
The working group will issue its first preliminary report in November, Sweeney said.
The members of the working group include trustees, faculty, administrators, staff and students, Sweeney said. At least one of the students is gay, Sweeney said, and some of the faculty members on the working group have been vocally opposed to Gordon College’s life and conduct policy. Asked if the working group will consider eliminating the policy entirely, Sweeney said he believes this will be among the options the working group considers.
“There will be a very balanced perspective,” he said.
Which is academese for, “the fix is in.”
What the agency is doing is saying that traditional Christian ethics are incompatible with the mission of an institution of higher education. The only proper response from the college should be that its standards are founded in religious conviction, and that it will not compromise those convictions for the sake of the agency imprimatur. I have real doubts that anyone at Gordon has the intestinal fortitude to turn their back on something the college wants (accreditation) for the sake of something as trivial as Christian faith.
The NEASC is a private agency, rather than a government one, so it has been suggested that there is no First Amendment case to be made against it. Given the role of accrediting agencies, however, I beg to differ. Participation in a variety of federal tuition aid programs is contingent upon accreditation by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, so what the NEASC has implicitly threatened Gordon with here is the loss of its students’ ability to access such programs. That being the case, those students, if not the college itself, may well have the standing as a harmed party to bring a freedom of religion complaint against the NEASC. Sounds like a job for the Becket Fund or American Center for Law and Justice.
The forces of gayness will not stop until every institution, every organization, every social group, every religion, every business, and every individual has bowed the knee to its false god. We have three choices as we face this threat: we can fight it, we can go underground, or we can give in. Let’s hope and pray that there are trustees at Gordon College will to take either of those first two options.