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University’s Gay Friendly Church List Riles Professor

University’s Gay Friendly Church List Riles Professor

 

The LGBTQIA Resource Office of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, has drawn fire from the university’s own head of sociology department for issuing faculty and students with a guide to local gay-friendly churches, businesses, health clinics and other institutions.

The guide circulated in August refers students seeking an affirming place of worship to the Metroplitan Community Church and several other LGBT-friendly congregations.

However, UNC Wilmington criminology professor Mike Adams, who also spends his time as an online commentator, has deemed the list to be “the height of silliness” and “government waste.”

Adams first aired his disdain in an article for TownHall.com dated Monday where under the title of “Separation of Gay Church and State,” and after going through the list of affirming churches and summarily criticizing or ridiculing them, he wrote:

All kidding aside, the stupidity of this list of recommended churches should be self-evident — even to atheists who get gas when they see a cross near Ground Zero. Even they must admit that the University of North Carolina at Wilmington LGBTQIA Office would never be willing to take the time to come up with a list of churches for people who want to hear the two most important truths about homosexuality:

1) It is unequivocally sinful according to both the Old and New Testaments (remember St. Jude?), and 2) God wants you to avoid homosexuality because He loves you and He knows it will hurt you badly, not to mention end your life prematurely. That is why God gave you free will instead of a gay gene.

In an interview with Fox News, in which the news agency casts this in a “tax-payer money being used to tell people where to worship” light, Adams repeated his claims that this guide was entirely wasteful and perhaps even discriminatory because the university hadn’t put out a list of churches that condemn homosexuality:

“It’s just amazing,” he told FoxNews.com. “It appears to me to be the height of not just silliness, but government waste.”

[...]

Adams, who wrote about the church guide in an online column Monday, has previously called for the abolition of the LGBT group as well as several other identity-related groups on campus. He said the university guide probably has not crossed the legal line, but the university should stop distributing it anyway.

“If I were to stand up and start recommending churches in the classroom, that would be a serious problem,” Adams said, claiming a separate UNC campus took down a broader church guide a few years ago following his objections.

While I have absolutely no desire to rob Adams of his right to express his opinion, I must also point out the hypocrisy here. The guide is meant as a resource for interested parties so they can find affirming spaces in which they can practice their religion in accordance with their beliefs and identities. Yet here Adams appears to be suggesting that because this is not how he chooses to interpret his religion it is not worthy of accommodation.

This speaks to a wider religious freedom issue. Those on the more conservative side of the religious and political spectrum are passionate defenders of religious rights, which of itself is a worthy cause. However, to pick and choose which person’s religious rights one defends based on whether they accord to one’s own beliefs smacks of the same intolerance such groups claim they are assailed by. And given that no one is being forced to read this guide, this seems doubly intolerant.

I would also add, it could be suggested that this guide provides a service for those students who perhaps believe as Mr. Adams does, that homosexuality is not agreeable with their choice of religious affiliation, in that it notifies them of establishments both religious and secular they may wish to avoid. In effect, if they don’t like it, they don’t have to go there, and similarly they don’t have to read this guide.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Steve Rhodes.

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22 comments

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10:30AM PST on Dec 21, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

12:07PM PST on Jan 7, 2012

“He said the university guide probably has not crossed the legal line”

No. but this professor (who appointed him?) has. In the UK his written and vocal condemnation and mockery would be regarded as homophobic and at the very least he would be cautioned as to his language. I would also question his tenure in that a requirement of his employment should be that he treat all students with the same respect.

12:22PM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

The Bible was also used to justify slavery, and the second-class status of women

9:57AM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

"While I have absolutely no desire to rob Adams of his right to express his opinion, I must also point out the hypocrisy here. The guide is meant as a resource for interested parties so they can find affirming spaces in which they can practice their religion in accordance with their beliefs and identities. Yet here Adams appears to be suggesting that because this is not how he chooses to interpret his religion it is not worthy of accommodation."

Here here.

3:39PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Providing information for the study body of UNC Wilmington is not bad. Young GLBT people need all the support environments they can get. Obviously, Mike Adams does not seem to think this is necessary. Mike Adams is obviously speaking out of ignorance.

7:40AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

I have to commend UNC for producing such a list. There are many deeply religious LGBT people who waste a lot of time searching for places to worship. They go to churches only to find precahers who condemn and preach hate against them. This professor is clearly trying to make a name for himself on the backs of those who do not agree with his narrow minded ideology. What bugs me more than anything is the "cherry picking" that goes on. we have seen it with the Bible for years. Men like this are quick to quote scripture when it suits them. "The Bible says homosexuality is a sin", now I am going to go home to my garden, where I have planted tomatoes and lettuce together ( an offense worthy of being stoned to death) and put on my polyester shorts and cotton T-shirt to do it ( wearing clothes made of two different threads, another stoning per Leviticus) and the sit down to a nice dinner of pork chops and applesauce ( a major sin per Leviticus 11:7). If a person is going to preach hatred for those that are different and use God's words to jusitfy that hate, they better be sure, they follow all Gods words. By the way, NC is a big BBQ state, how bout this Professor taking to the streets to preach that eating the pork BBQ is a sin in Gods eyes. Let's see how far that gets him.. Hypocrite

6:07AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

I am a 64 yr. old Christian, Lesbian and I have a magnet on my fridge that says "If God didn't make homosexuals, there wouldn't be any." All of us were born this way, it was not a choice that any of us would have made! I believe that people should be allowed to love whoever they wish! As long as we are all consenting adults, leave us alone and allowus to live our lives the way God meant us to.

5:50AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

There won't be clarity as long as Adams says the Bible is unequivocal. That's standard, fundamentalist Christian propaganda.

5:45AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Why can't people follow their own beliefs, and leave others to do the same?

3:42AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Sigh. I find Mike Adams attitude very sad. There is nothing wrong with producing this kind of list. Personally, keeping everybody from such a narrow minded idiot would be best. That he is a head of a department only makes his position worse.

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