A Christian College and its Prohibitions

Westmont College, a Christian liberal arts college near Santa Barbara, California, is facing increasing scrutiny about the way it treats gay students. Westmont policy currently “will not condone practices that Scripture forbids. Such activities include… homosexual practice.”

According to an article by Steve Chawkins in the Los Angeles Times:

31 gay and lesbian Westmont alumni… earlier this month roiled the Christian college in Montecito with an open letter in the college newspaper that spoke of the “doubt, loneliness and fear” they felt on a campus where homosexuality is taboo.

More than 100 fellow alumni signed on in support, and last week, 50 of Westmont’s 92 faculty members responded to them in a sympathetic letter seeking “forgiveness for ways we might have added to your pain.”

Okay, it doesn’t work that way. Do not ask for forgiveness if the actual error hasn’t been addressed. The college “added to the pain” of the students specifically by barring homosexual practice on campus. Fix that problem, and then go about getting forgiven.

It’s worth pointing out that Westmont also forbids “sexual relations outside of marriage, drunkenness,” and “profanity,” things that occur fairly frequently on most college campuses.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer