Thursday, October 06, 2016

Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship USA to Purge Gay-Friendly Staff

We hear the Christofascists constantly rail against Islam and, of course, ISIS.  Yet, but for the level of violence they employ, these same "godly Christians"are just as intolerant and driven by contempt of those who believe differently as are Islamic extremists.  Hatred of others and discrimination against "non-believers" are a common theme and characteristic.  A case in point is Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship USA which has announced that it will purge all staff who do not adhere to the organization's virulent opposition to gay rights and, same sex marriage in particular. Since the organization has chapters on some 667 college campuses, one can only hope that its discriminatory views will lead to loss of university funding and/or qualification for use of college/university facilities.  Time magazine looks at the new jihad against those who support same sex CIVIL marriage.  Here are highlights:
One of the largest evangelical organizations on college campuses nationwide has told its 1,300 staff members they will be fired if they personally support gay marriage or otherwise disagree with its newly detailed positions on sexuality starting on Nov. 11.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA says that it will start a process for “involuntary terminations” for any staffer who comes forward to disagree with its positions on human sexuality, which holds that any sexual activity outside of a husband and wife is immoral.
“We internally categorize these as involuntary terminations due to misalignment with InterVarsity ministry principles, which is a category we use for people who leave for theological and philosophy of ministry disagreements,” Greg Jao, an InterVarsity vice president and director of campus engagement, told TIME in an email.
InterVarsity has also said that staffers should only share views publicly that are consistent with its positions, though it’s unclear if that means someone could be fired for posting on Facebook, for example. Outlined in an internal 20-page paper, the positions include injunctions against divorce and sex before marriage, though critics say the biggest effect will be among younger staffers who support gay marriage—in essence, making it something of a theological purge.
Bianca Louie, 26, led the InterVarsity campus fellowship at Mills College, a women’s liberal arts school in Oakland and her alma mater. When it became clear several months ago that the policy would go into effect, Louie realized she had to leave, after four years of working with the group. She is not sure what will happen to the outreach she and others worked to create at Mills. “I don’t know how InterVarsity can do ministry on campus with integrity anymore,” she says. “Mills is a women’s college with inclusive trans policies, and higher ed is overall making more efforts to be inclusive and safe for LGBTQ students. … I could see us getting kicked off campus because of this.”
Louie and about ten other InterVarsity staff formed an anonymous Queer Collective earlier this year to organize on behalf of staff, students, and alumni who felt unsafe under the new policy.
InterVarsity has more than 1,000 chapters on 667 college campuses around the country. More than 41,000 students and faculty were actively involved in organization in the last school year, and donations topped $80 million last fiscal year.
In its description of sexual attraction, identity, and behavior, the paper states, “Scripture is very clear that God’s intention for sexual expression is to be between a husband and wife in marriage. Every other sexual practice is outside of God’s plan and therefore is a distortion of God’s loving design for humanity.”
The position paper also outlined theological positions against divorce, sex before marriage, pornography, cohabitation and sexual abuse, but the practical application of the study focused on implications for the LGBTQ community. The July letter states: “We expect that all staff will ‘believe and behave in a manner consonant with our “Theological Summary of Human Sexuality” paper,’ as described by the Code of Conduct.
InterVarsity’s decision reaches beyond just its campus ministry. InterVarsity Press, a division of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, is a prominent evangelical publisher that has published bestsellers like J.I. Packer’s Knowing God, John Stott’s Basic Christianity, and many theological commentaries and biblical reference books used at evangelical colleges. “InterVarsity employment policies are for all employees, including employees of InterVarsity Press,” . . .
Evangelicals are increasingly divided over gay marriage, and support is rising, especially in the younger generations. One in four white evangelicals support gay marriage, according to the Pew Research Center, more than double the support from ten years ago, and nearly half of millennial evangelicals favor or strongly favor gay marriage.
The move is also another sign of a trend in evangelical circles for stricter orthodoxy.

For Ginny Prince, 32, the consequences of the new policy are very difficult to discuss. Until last week, she was an assistant area director near Oakland, and had worked for InterVarsity for seven years. She is an LGBTQ ally—and she has a transgender child. Already, she says, her husband has walked away from the faith largely because of how the church has dealt with the LGBTQ community. She knew she had to tell her supervisor she did not support the new policy. “This was very painful for everybody,” Prince says. “I got fired … I sent an email and said, I cannot align, and I think that this policy is discriminatory, and I cannot align. That was it. We cried, we cried really hard my last day.”
As noted, I hope the organization finds itself kicked off of many campuses.  The other irony is that among the under 30 generations, young adults are leaving religion in droves with anti-LGBT bigotry being a commonly cited reason for walking away from Christianity.  This bigoted move will likely accelerate this trend an, with luck, will hasten the death of conservative Christianity in America. 

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