Christian College Forcing Staff To Sign Anti-Gay “Statement of Faith”

According to Donald Dowless, President of Shorter University in Rome, GA, the most important thing on his agenda is getting faculty and staff to sign a two-page “affirmation of our Christ-centered mission” that, among other things, says they “do not view premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality ‘as acceptable.’”


The Rome News-Tribune reports that, in addition to poo-pooing homosexuality and adultery, the statement requires staffers at the small Christian college adhere to three other principles: loyalty to the mission of Shorter University, abstinence from illegal drugs, and not using alcohol in the presence of students and in public.

While some students at Shorter do receive government aid, the university itself does not receive any federal funding for its $50 million annual budget. It would seem, then, that the school is protected from a discrimination lawsuit. But does the pledge mean Shorter won’t hire gays, sexually active single straight people and non-Christians?

“That’s a hypothetical situation and I’d rather wait and face it if we have to,” Nelson Price, chairman of Shorter’s board of trustees, told reporter Lydia Senn.

Ooh, good dodge!


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  • Ruth

    Reason #88 of why I dislike working for a Christian College…

  • Kurt

    The pledge only speaks to staffers “views” not their actions. As we know, Christians stumbled but then confess their sins and are forgivin. Then they stumble again and are forgiven again.

    The school violates no law.

  • Phil

    There are special laws regarding religious schools. I believe religious schools are free to discriminate based upon faith. I don’t think there’s much to be outraged about there except that “some Christians lots of things olol”.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Kurt: Not drinking alcohol in public is a view? Funny, I thought the word drinking or to drink as a verb, noting the action of drinking. No one is suggesting that these pious puritan are breaking any law; just a little fun exposing how small minded they are and how little faith they have in the students to understand for themselves the words of Jesus. Clearly, this is an “Old Testament” school that has little regard for Jesus and Jesus’ work.

  • Wingfield

    OMG I go to this school…. can’t believe it’s making headlines. Its a tiny school in Rome Ga, 1600 people I believe but things are getting crazy quick. It is true that this new President hopes to create a stronger “Christian” atmosphere. The problem is that instead of emphasizing community building principles everything he has done has been heavily divisive. He has done random shit like ban any “Halloween” activities because it is “glorifying the paranormal” ban swing-dances because they are too “sexual” , remove all Gothic literature courses, require students to take 2 courses in Religion regardless of their major, and bigger things like this pledge. The main issue is that these changes are all of a sudden and not an idea that they implement a year or two from now so people had no chance to transfer or rethink their choice of going there. President Dowless is a Tyrant and probably a closet homo I pray people wise up and transfer.

  • B

    No. 4 · Mike in Asheville wrote, “@Kurt: Not drinking alcohol in public is a view? Funny, I thought the word drinking or to drink as a verb, noting the action of drinking. No one is suggesting that these pious puritan are breaking any law; just a little fun exposing how small minded they are and how little faith they have in the students to understand for themselves the words of Jesus. Clearly, this is an ‘Old Testament’ school that has little regard for Jesus and Jesus’ work.”

    If they are Bible-thumping, ask them about Matthew 11:18 — 11:19 for a quote attributed to Jesus – “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

    Hey, his contemporaries wouldn’t have called Jesus “a glutton and a drunkard” if he didn’t at least have a few social drinks.

  • Hyhybt

    @Wingfield: Wow. I didn’t know anyone still opposed *dancing* on ‘moral’ grounds!

    (You probably know the old joke about Baptists being against having sex standing up because it might be mistaken for dancing. But I was sure that went out 50 years ago.)

  • timncguy

    @Hyhybt: I always heard that Baptists said that “a praying knee can’t have a dancing foot on the end of it”. LOLOL

  • Mike

    Not surprised. My first boyfriend went to “sister”/”rival” school Berry College in the same town. The student body was more enlightened than the faculty…

  • A.

    I am totally pissed at this crap going on at Shorter.I graduated from the school years ago,& there is no way I would have signed anything so ridiculous. I just hope someone has the balls to step forward & challenge this idiot.

  • Lloyd Wilson

    The same as Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA. You have to sign the pledge to work there. Check it out!

  • randy

    How come divorce isn’t listed as one of the “unacceptables?”

  • iDavid


    Would u or anyone u know consider starting a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance)? It’s not dancing or being gay that is the problem, it’s the smelly negative brain fart your principal is attaching to them, he is the problem. FYI Born Again Christians have a higher rate of divorce than Athiests.

    It’s up to the youth to put these dinosaurs out if commission.

  • Dan Cobbb

    Consider the source: Georgia!

  • Hyhybt

    @Dan Cobbb: There’s a lot of good in Georgia! But yes, there’s a lot of this (insert expletive here) too.

  • Cam

    Do they also sign a statement against wearing mixed fibers? That is listed as an ABOMINATION in the Bible.

    Also, funny, I didn’t see DIVORCE listed there, even though Christ himself spoke against it.

    Bigots and hypocrites.

  • Little Kiwi

    there are more straight people than gay people, thus the people who favor “Biblical Marriage” should be fighting harder to implement “virginity tests” before marriage licenses are given, as this is a clearly a society where straight couples are sexually active before marriage and that’s a direct contradiction to what the bible says is valid.

    you MUST be a virgin in order to get married. can you imagine how society would react to banning heterosexual non-virgins from marrying?

  • Dan

    Any biblical scholar who is honest will tell you that early Christians fought for over 3 centuries on what to include and exclude from the current bible, so it is filled with plenty of prejudice that is completely created by humans – like homophobia, slavery, not allowing women to preach, etc. It is so far removed from anything actually divine as a book that to take it as anything other than a collection of writings by humans put together by other humans is insulting to the entire notion of intelligence and reality. There are so many different versions of each book in the bible (bible means library in hebrew) that claiming people in the past had more wisdom and understanding than people in the future is absurd. Any gay kid told the god condemns them should be reminded that humans wrote the bible, not any deity. And any pastor who tells gay kids they are bad or wrong should be reminded that any pastor receiving a paycheck for working on the Sabbath must be put to death according to the bible (read Exodus 35:3, keeping the Sabbath holy is one of the ten commandments which is why the bible says it is a capital offense to take a paycheck for working on the Sabbath). Then ask that pastor, how unerring the bible is. Anti-gay pastors fall into either being hypocrites, or being merchants who invaded the temple and have corrupted Jesus’ teachings (both of which the bible says Jesus detested; the only time Jesus became violent according to the bible was to throw the merchants out of church).

  • iDavid


    Very good comment. It’s quite succinct and well written. Might we comm by email? I have a few q’s and comments I’d like to share. Thx so much.

  • Dan

    “…Exodus 35:2…”

    Exodus 35:3 makes it a capital offense to heat your house on the Sabbath.

  • Wingfield

    @iDavid: Trust me ….this isn’t going away ANY time soon, this is getting more and more press each day. Teachers are saying they are afraid there will be a witch hunt soon to remove anyone suspected of being gay. The overall attitude on campus is disbelief. It’s just funny our new motto is “Transforming lives through Christ” but there are talks of tagging up the school with “Transforming lives through hate”. There are all kinds of whispers about what to do, alliances, picketing, protesting…. only time will tell what’s going to happen.

  • The Doctah

    @Wingfield – I wish something would happen. As one of the folks impacted by this, I feel powerless and I haven’t heard any of the whispers. :(

  • Ogre Magi

    typical christian crap

  • Jeremy

    @iDavid: I believe that a faculty advisor is required to form an official group such as GSA on campus. There was an attempt to do so at one point, but the professor who volunteered to be the group’s advisor claims that she was told by the administration that doing so could cost her her job.

    If anyone wants to sign the petition asking for faculty and staff to not be forced into signing this pledge, please go to

  • iDavid

    @Winfield, Doctah, Jeremy,

    This petition is a really good way to start the process of breaking the ice, taking steps as time will permit, to implement rational natural thought. It’s hard to believe, but the die-hards really do believe what they are saying, and suffering in their own anger conflict and sexual confusion. So with that, compassion can become a component as you move forward. Gandhi never got mad, he just got what was right through peace patience and courage.
    Maybe the three of you could get together and discuss strategy. Wheaton would most likely be very supportive and may have some good suggestions. It dawns on me that linking Christian Universities/Shools with possibly an i.e. Equality Coalition for Christian Universities may help build a strong infrastructure.
    I’m amazed that almost a thousand have signed your petition (me included) within almost a day. That means you have alot of support for equality. I hope this gives you and the staff courage enough to stand in your truth and not back down. I really believe you guys have what it takes.

  • iDavid

    PS Here is my comment on your petition:

    1444. Matt Mason Oct 30, 2011 West Hollywood, CA

    President Don Dowless, Your homophobia brings into question your own sexual orientation. Are you gay? I will say that your suppression of a natural part of the human race will collapse your university, as finances will be pulled from the most unsuspecting places. You are undermining your students’ future in the workplace by placing Shorter on the laughing wingnut status list, when seculars look at employment applications. You live in a fantasy world. I would say the students should get out and protest asking for your resignation, for their own financial and moral sake on this issue. You are ruining Shorter’s reputation and their financial future. They have a right to bring you down. You’re an irresponsible ass pushing feces for beliefs. You need to be directed down the toilet, i.e. be fired. Nothing Shorter of this would be acceptable. Students, get out there and fight for your stability by getting Dowless off your campus, then start rebuilding your reputation post firing of this man, by excelling justice and equality to all at Shorter, to include a GSA Gay Straight Alliance. Demand it in payment for the national ruin he has brought you, and bless the many instead of the fallen fear wielding few i.e. president Dowless and his cohorts. Jesus was a freedom fighter and he still is. Make him proud of you.

    PSS This issue is going viral on the internet. I wouldn’t doubt it will get on the national news soon if it already hasn’t.

  • Shannon1981

    If you’re gay and go to this school, drop out. Now. Go somewhere else, even if it means taking a semester off. You’ll get kicked out anyway.

    That being said, it is beyond me why any homo would ever even consider attending a religious college. Whether their church is gay affirming/reconciling or now, I think we all know that religious places up the ante on the homophobia and anti gay policies. Gay bashings are probably a dime a dozen at these places, and they remain unreported because the administrations agree with the actions of the assailants. Disgusting, but true.

  • Shannon1981

    or not* edit button, please!

  • iDavid


    That seems easy to say but dad has the dollars, and the parents rule in most cases i’d suspect. And a child refusing would bring up red flags potentially about sexual orientation.
    Some kids think they risk total abandonment and homelessness by coming out, so for me to even whisper GSA is a huge deal for some of them to entertain.

    @guys at Shorter, please keep us in the loop. We are totally rooting for you.

Comments are closed.