Silenced Students

This Private Christian College Confiscated Every Copy Of Their Newspaper For Being Pro-Gay


Some leaders of Ohio’s private and Baptist-based Cedarville University were so upset that the student newspaper The Ventriloquist was developing a reputation for pro-gay content, they decided to just go ahead and confiscate every copy of it.

In an interview with Generation Progress, an organization that promotes “progressive solutions to key social and political challenges” generally centered around college campuses, Ventriloquist editor Zach Schneider recalled the initial confrontation with University President Thomas White and VP for Student Life Jonathan A. Wood:

“[Wood] came up to me and said I didn’t have permission to pass out [The Ventriloquist] and he grabbed the copies from my hands. I let him have them because I didn’t want to get into a tug-of-war, but asked if I could have the copies back. He just told me they were being confiscated.”

Sounds like Wood’s being a dick to us.

Schneider thinks that the pro-gay stance of The Ventriloquist was behind the shockingly immature behavior, and indeed recent stories from the newspaper with headlines like I’m Gay. Why Must I Live In Fear At Cedarville?” and the recently published op-ed from a student leader who was removed from multiple posts after coming out prove his point.

Still, Cedarville is a private college and according to Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center Frank LoMonte, with that unfortunately comes limited first amendment rights for its students.

“On campus at a private college, the First Amendment doesn’t come into play at all. It’s like a private business.”

For now, the students seem to have given up, and distributed a letter to the students in which they “grieve the loss of free expression and healthy discourse once found in your newspaper, traits that ought to characterize all vibrant institutions of higher learning.”

We encourage them to bring The Ventriloquist into 2014 and just make it into a blog. They may be able to halt distribution at school, but they can’t close the internet.


Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #freespeech #homophobia stories and more


  • Dakotahgeo

    First of all, let’s forget about the “Christian” college mierda! Cedarville U is anything but Christian! The President proved that! Ohio? Baptist-based? The Baptist church hierarchy (I don’t care which conference one names) is the most dysfunctional denomination in the United States! I survived ten years in that ass hat religion (and I’m stretching it by calling it a religion!). The church I was in as a minister and member literally forced people OUT of its doors because “we built this church, we’ll close it down,” attitude. Today they sit, all 35 of them, in a 600 seat auditorium that used to have two services a Sunday 20 years ago!

    My sympathies go to the students of Cedarville and I hope you can change the Administration’s mind… but first they need a mind to change. Blessings on the students!

  • stonrdude

    Christians are going to have to face the facts eventually, they can’t keep young people quite and can’t control progressive thoughts. More and more people, Catholics and persons of all faiths feel its OK to be Gay. Gay people are not going away and not diving back into the cedar chest. The secret is out, they will not control the feelings and attitudes of the congregation.

    I too am sorry for the students, these religions are not from God. He does not hate gays, the Lord is all about love, thats all he ever asked. We need to Love each Other, that is loving the Lord.

  • Jason b.

    The Indepentent Florida Alligator at UofF broke away from the University over disagreements with the administration. The final straw was over a professor being reprimanded for being a communist in the early 70s. It made them a better news source for the students since they no longer had to report to the University.

  • jwrappaport

    If there’s one thing that’s sure to get an idea out there faster and wider than anything else, it’s censorship.

  • aliengod

    It’s a private, christian college! What do you expect.

  • bjohnmasters

    I know, it’s a private school, but I thought all the krazy kristian kooks was “freedom of speech,” and for organizations to “remain neutral in the culture war.”

    Yeah, not so much.

  • murphy0071

    To bad the don’t know anything about sexual orientation. Evangelicals gone berserk. Here are some facts that are supported by copious peer reviewed authoritative scientific articles. When will evangelicals go to a biomedical library instead of believing scripture brought to them by Constantine and his political friends. Christ never mentions homosexuality and Saul of Tarsus continued to promote his own quasi=Jewish religion in Christ’s name. Do your homework and you will find that the Koine word translated as “homosexual, etc.” meant child molester at the time it was written.

    Based on an extensive review of the literature on the etiology of homosexuality, biological events predominantly explain the origins of sexual orientation. While some question the ethics of studying genetic issues related to homosexuality, in-utero genetic or neuroendocrinological events play a critical role in cross-gendering. Genetic and in-utero chemically induced sex-altered groups illustrate the paradigm: Turner’s Syndrome, Androgen Insensitives, Testicular Feminizing Syndrome, Klinefelter’s Syndrome (XnY), progestin-administered females, Adrenogenital Syndrome, “super-males” (XYn), etc. At least 450 Species other than humans, in the wild and captivity, exhibit “homosexual” behavior—some with life bonding. Particularly primates appear to have differing degrees of “homosexual” behavior. The first evidence of the sex-behavior center came from research on mammals. Most research involved surgical interventions and the administration or denial of sex hormones during critical brain differentiation periods. In human female fetuses at risk for masculinizing effects from male hormones, German physicians, using in-utero anti-androgens, have forced female heterosexual genitalia and brain-gender/sex. Although discussed by Dorner, the use of androgens to force male brain-gender is complex and can potentially result in brain damage, attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, hyper-activity, and hyper-aggression.

  • Mezaien

    Christianity is a mental illness there for Christian are mentally ill.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Mezaien: Stupidity is also a mental illness, so I guess we all know where that places you, Hooper! Get well soon!

  • Gregdoc

    I loved Ohio. I grew up there. I thought that if you were gay you just never told anyone. Sadly things havent changed much at Cedarville. I left Ohio, as I wanted to live openly. I know students self-select to go to Cedarville – or their Baptist Christian parents pressure them. I knew one guy whose parents would only pay part of his college if he went to a private Christian school like CEdarville -he is scarred for life.

    I hope that the students attending Cedarville who are gay have some support. They need to know that, if not in Cedarville, there is lots of wonderful support out there and lots of living to do – openly!!!!

  • Tookietookie123

    Just because it’s legal to do it, doesn’t make it alright, I guarantee they’ll get backlash and they’ll scream that they were in their legal right. All people have freedom of speech, but that doesn’t necessarily protect you from receiving negative feedback, look at the Westboro Basptist Church for example.

  • Merv

    There are two core tenets of Christianity: Opposition to abortion, and hatred of gay people. If these students didn’t realize that before going to a Christian school, then they aren’t very smart. Now, they should do the sensible thing and transfer to a different school.

  • mezzacanadese

    I have never heard of someone losing his First Amendment rights at a private college. The administration’s actions seem like something that would have happened in the Soviet Union. What are they afraid of? Clearly they feel threatened.

  • WhyteRabbit

    @stonrdude: uhmmm…. christians (as a whole, not as individuals) have never been REALLY good at “facing facts.” that’s really kind of the exact opposite of their whole “thing.”

  • Jerry12

    Let’s see! If I remember my Catholic Sunday School lessens correctly, Jesus ran around with a bunch of MEN preaching all kinds of things that got him in trouble with the establishment. Also, his “Mother” was a “Virgin”. I find it difficult to reconsile (sp?)the many nonsense chapters in the Bible.

  • Faggot

    @Jerry12: Catholics have Sunday school?

  • jaack

    Have all religious leaders LOST the true message and facts.
    Fact 1 God is INFALLIBLE.
    Fact 2 God LOVE everyone gays, transgenders, even Baptist leaders.
    Fact 3 God hates no one.

    The message is He loves ALL of us , there isn’t one sinner worse than an other. Love one another as you love ME. Do unto others as you would do the God himself, It isn’t really complicated. Religion makes it complicated to justify their own existence and trying to control people and their thoughts that. Talking newspapers cant STOP THE MESSAGE of tolerance, understanding & love and respect for the individual.

  • jonjct

    i know from other posts, you are also a jew hater, a despicable neo-n*zi type of guy. i have also seen your posts about blacks. you are also a rac*st. you have serious problems and you are a hater like no other. your voice has no place in this dialogue, your views are so extreme you should be banned from queerty. i have flagged every one of your hateful posts and yet queerty allows your hate speech against christians, jews and blacks. go elsewhere hater. queerty editors, please supervise this guys speech.

  • jonjct

    above post directed at ^ at Mezaien. my first post was flagged, so i removed the inflammatory words, the second post came through without moderation, but without the tag. UG. is it time for queerty to look at upgrading the comments software, it can be awkward.

  • SteveDenver

    Jonathan A. Wood should be given an award for bringing national attention to The Ventriloquist. Wood also sparked interest among students who probably wouldn’t have read the paper.

    Thank GOD school authorities seized the paper, otherwise the “children” in their charge might have to make up their own minds.

    “The Ventriloquist” made dummies of the school administration.

Comments are closed.