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Calvin Faculty Wants Homosexuality Statement Withdrawn


At a meeting in late September, the faculty senate of Calvin College voted 36-4 to ask that the school’s board of trustees withdraw its statement on homosexuality, adopted last May.

That statement said, in part, that advocacy by faculty and staff, both in and out of the classroom, for homosexual practice is unacceptable.

Calvin College is a Grand Rapids, Mich., school owned by the Christian Reformed Church.

Board chair Bastian Knoppers told The Banner that the statement was intended to confirm that the position of the college was in tandem with the position of the CRC. (See Banner, October 2009.)

Karin Maag, vice chair of the faculty senate, said that the faculty would like to see the college go back to its 2008 position: that faculty, administration, and board trustees need to talk about how best to address homosexuality in teaching, writing, and speaking. A task force was created at that time to do that.

Maag said there are key issues beyond this topic—about the place of academic freedom in a Christian college and how to discuss topics that are challenging for the church and society.

In a statement released to the media before the faculty senate met, Knoppers, president of Calvin’s board of trustees, said, “It has become apparent in recent weeks that Calvin faculty, staff, and students believe our actions circumvented normal processes for the college. That was not our intention. It is clear that there are important issues that we need to address and work out.”

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