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Gordon College stirs controversy over hiring practices

Gordon College is a private, non-denominational Christian school in Massachusetts established in 1889.
Gordon College is a private, non-denominational Christian school in Massachusetts established in 1889.
Gordon College

Earlier this month, Gordon College president D. Michael Lindsay joined other religious leaders who sent a letter to the White House requesting an exemption to a planned order that would bar federal contractors from discriminating in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation.

The letter said "Without a robust religious exemption...this expansion of hiring rights will come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom." [Boston Globe]

The letter was sent following the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in favor of craft giant Hobby Lobby regarding the Obamacare HHS contraception mandate.

Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker wrote that "The school’s autonomy isn’t threatened by an antidiscrimination order — unless, of course, the school really is committed to homophobic hiring practices. If Lindsay really feels so strongly about the right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, the school can always opt out of receiving federal money."

But Owen Strachan counters at First Things, "If religious groups like Bowdoin Christian Fellowship or Gordon College have to amend their beliefs to conform to the New Sexual Moralism, then they are not in fact able to practice their religion."

The action by Gordon College was a problem for the City of Salem, Massachusetts announced that they would immediately terminate a contract with Gordon College for the use of the city's Old Town Hall.

Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll told The Christian Post that "This is in violation of the LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance that was unanimously adopted by the Salem City Council earlier this year."

While there had been calls for Gordon College to lose its accreditation the Boston Business Journal reports "In a letter addressed to Gordon College President Michael Lindsay, the body that accredits colleges and universities in Massachusetts informed him that 'there is no chance' it would be withdrawing the college's accreditation at its September meeting."

Geoffrey P. Hunt at American Thinker believes Gordon College should not back down. He writes, "Time is ripe for Gordon College, its collegiate peers, and thousands of faith-based institutions to stop apologizing. Once upon a time, religious liberty was a non-negotiable central tenet to this republic. Act like it still is. And quit asking for permission to exercise our most fundamental and inalienable right."