Christian university rejects $3M in Baptist funding after LGBT row

A Christian university in Alabama has decided not to accept the anticipated $3 million annual budget allocation from a Baptist Convention next year after the latter opposed the school's proposal to establish a student organization that will discuss LGBT rights.

(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Brian R. Mooney /Sweetmoose6)Samford University Beeson Divinity School. 22 May 2006.

On July 7, Samford University announced that it would not accept the $3 million coming from the Alabama Baptist State Convention on Jan. 1, 2018. The decision was made in light of the tension between the two parties over the proposed "Samford Together" student organization which would provide an avenue for students to talk about sexual orientation, gender identity, and other LGBT issues, reported.

"I believe the action taken by our trustees is something that both parties have been anticipating for some time and will serve the best interests of both Samford and the Alabama Baptist State Convention," Samford University president Andrew Westmoreland explained. "Our longstanding educational and ministry relationships with Alabama Baptists have always been more significant than money, and these relationships will continue and flourish."

In response to the announcement, State Convention president John Thweatt and State Board of Missions executive director Rick Lance expressed sadness over the university's decision. Nevertheless, they contend that the proposed LGBT student group would go against Biblical teachings and added that the decision to recognize it is now in the hands of Samford University.

Meanwhile in Indiana, Lighthouse Christian Academy has come under fire for adhering to the Bible's definition of marriage. Critics and LGBT activists are crying discrimination and are currently calling for a funding cut for the Christian school because it condemns homosexuality, fornication and other sins, the Christian Broadcasting Network detailed.

Lighthouse Christian Academy said it has never expelled any student on the basis of sexual orientation. However, the school said it has the right to set certain standards for its students and that parents have the freedom to choose other schools for their children. Its lawyer and spokesman Brian Bailey also said true freedom means the government should not force schools to cave in to its political correctness.