Bake sale killed by ‘divine discrimination’

Bake sale killed by ‘divine discrimination’

An American Seventh-day Adventist University has been forced to explain why it pulled the plug on a bake sale organised to raise funds for homeless gay people.

Following a media firestorm over the cancellation of the event, organised by student members of the unofficial LGBT group, AULL4 on behalf of Project Fierce, Andrews University President Niels-Erik Andreasen, above, said in a statement:

The Church’s religious and moral views do not allow for the pursuit of intimate LGBT relationships, including marriage.


Andreasen said that, while the University was all in favour of providing “care and compassion wherever and for whoever needs it”, the “perceived mission” of the Project Fierce agency was that it advocated:

Behaviors contrary to Adventist beliefs.

Andreasen denied that the university was in any way anti-gay:

The problem of LGBT homeless youth in particular is a heartbreaking national problem – perhaps as many as 40 percent of the homeless teens on the street at any one time are LGBT. Many of these teens were in Christian families who rejected their child’s orientation and, in the process, their child. A safe place and genuine care must be provided for these homeless LGBT youth.

But he then went on to lay the blame for the furore on a student who exposed the cancellation to the media:

As the University was saying ‘no’ to the specific, proposed agency, an administrator suggested an alternative support agency in Chicago that also deals with homeless LGBT teens. That suggestion does not appear to have been pursued by the student who instead proposed an additional unacceptable agency.

Shortly thereafter, the student stopped his conversations with administrators, asked for a ‘written’ clarification of the decision not to support his recommended agency, and went to the press/social media.

This portrayed the University:

In a light that was neither fair nor accurate.

Andreasen added:

Students should engage in serious-minded dialogue about fundraising options with club sponsors or University administrators. Together, students and faculty/staff should explore whether a particular recipient of funds is largely and primarily aligned in support of the University’s mission and its faith commitment.

According to this report, Andrews University is the largest evangelical Christian institution of higher learning in Michigan and the first in the nation started by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

It boasts over 3400 students, an endowment reported at more than $26 million, and a history that began in 1874, in Battle Creek – the same town where John H Kellogg, also a Seventh-day Adventist, founded a sanitarium and the company that today is best know for making corn flakes.

After speaking with AU students and staff, Zach Stafford, writing for the Guardian, spoke with Abigail Muldoon, a graduate student at DePaul University, the largest Catholic University in the US, about the bake sale and her research to better understand why Christians are so bent on hurting certain minority groups.

It’s ‘Divine Discrimination’, she told me, a term she uses to discuss the phenomenon of using Christian beliefs to justify minority harassment.
Discrimination justified by Christian beliefs may be particularly harmful, as faith carries powerful weight … how do you argue with someone who believes they are doing God’s work when hurting the LGBT population?

Muldoon, who is a devout Christian, added:

There is no way Jesus would have stopped that bake sale. He would have been the first one in line.

Hat tip: Trevor Blake.

13 responses to “Bake sale killed by ‘divine discrimination’”

  1. 1859 says:

    Unfortunately Jesus isn’t here to show his dumb flock the right way to be inclusive.

    ‘Divine Discrimination’ – oxymoron of the year?

    Being from the UK what I don’t understand is how an exclusively religious group can open and run a ‘University’ ? It just doesn’t make sense to me?

  2. barriejohn says:

    Jesus… would have been the first one in line.

    Would that be the same Jesus who said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them”?

    Isn’t it funny how people with such divergent views all claim to be endorsed by the same Jesus (or Mohammed), but then that’s the beauty of religion – you can adapt it all perfectly to suit your own ideas and prejudices.

  3. barriejohn says:

    1859: Billy Graham graduated from Wheaton “Christian liberal arts”College with a degree in anthropology. The mind boggles. This is a man who believes that the entire human race is descended from the three sons of Noah!

    The building housing the Billy Graham Center (BGC), named after one of the college’s most well-known graduates, opened in September 1980. The Billy Graham Center itself, as the repository of the evangelist’s corporate records, had existed since 1974. The BGC houses several evangelism institutes, a museum of the history of evangelism, the college’s Archives and Special Collections, as well as the Wheaton College Graduate School and the school radio station.

  4. Marky Mark says:

    …yea’ were “Bright”, we read and see logic…but there is something that is missing. an emotion!

    Come listen, A powerful emotion religion creates that release endorphins…the ones we like… naturally.

    Were smart, argumentative, factual…but lack “Harmony”.

    I’d join what ever church the littler girl is singing at…(for that sunday) just to hear here “Harmony”

    …and we have to offer??

  5. barriejohn says:

    Marky Mark: There’s nothing to be commended in those with religious or political ideologies tugging on people’s heartstrings and using powerful emotional tactics to influence them – often in a mindless way. I experienced years of that sort of thing (ever been to a Biily Graham Crusade?) and I know how it works. I still love the Welsh Male Voice Choirs, but there’s no way that I would allow my reason to be overrruled again by blind faith.

    Yes – a great love song that always brings tears to my eyes; but although religion may have inspired much great music and art (for the reasons that you give), it is not necessary for “inspiration”. In any case, to the puritans music is supposed to be “of the devil”!

  6. Robster says:

    He would have been the first one in line, having pushed and shoved all the other, lesser people, the sinners, out of the way with his sword of power, as in the guide book, near the punishment instructions for the slaves. At the counter, Baby Jesus was heard to have said that from then on, it’s wafers and only wafers and those wanting a beverage had wine and only wine to choose from. This instruction was passed onto the kangaroos, bouncing back to Australia, with the penguins after their cruise with that Noah. No sillier than the rest of it, really.

  7. Laura Roberts says:

    To some extent, religion has inspired art, as have all other forms of mythology. Yes, powerful, wealthy churches have funded art and in doing so, placed tight constraints on content. It is also no secret that many artists and composers were atheist. The art may have been “inspired” (bankrolled) by religious piety, but the artists themselves were not necessarily pious.

  8. barriejohn says:

    Laura Roberts: Most of the great artists of the past were entirely dependent upon their “sponsors”, so produced what was wanted. I love the idea that Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece can actually be viewed in a different order to tell a pagan story (and he surely possessed the intellect for that), but to Catholics, the true purpose of all this extravagant art is educational – “to bring souls to Christ”:

    Blessed Pope John Paul II — who oversaw the cleaning of the chapel and ordered the removal of many draperies — chose the Sistine as the permanent home of the conclave. In this room, the cardinals realize that they are not only rendered naked before the eyes of God, but confronted — thanks to Michelangelo — with the Pope’s true role: saving souls.

  9. Newspaniard says:

    Hmmmm…. So it IS OK for me to eat “own brand” corn flakes?

  10. barriejohn says:

    As long as it’s not Sugar Puffs!

  11. barriejohn says:

    Do you think that these religious imbeciles ever expose their brains to anything like this?

    A true feast for the mind, and well worth watching (airing Thursday and Friday as well), and Buzz Lightyear was on the programme too!

  12. David Anderson says:

    Andreasen had better be careful killing a bake sale. Doesn’t he know what Jesús did to the fig tree?