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Missouri committee to investigate sexuality issues at William Jewell

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    December 17, 2002 CALLED OUT This story is from Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press ... Missouri committee to investigate sexuality issues at William
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 17, 2002
      December 17, 2002

      This story is from Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press


      Missouri committee to investigate sexuality issues at William Jewell
      By Bob Baysinger

      JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP)--A Missouri Baptist Convention executive
      board subcommittee has voted to open an inquiry into reports of a
      homosexual agenda at William Jewell College in Liberty.

      The board's inter-agency committee decided to take the action during
      a meeting at the Baptist Building in Jefferson City following news
      reports about pro-homosexual activities at the MBC-affiliated

      Both Baptist Press and KMBC, a Kansas City television station,
      reported that some William Jewell students are campaigning openly for
      a pro-homosexual plank in the college's student bill of rights.

      In another story, Baptist Press quoted the chair of the William
      Jewell department of psychology as saying there is a pattern of
      accepting homosexuality at the college. She cautioned that the
      spiritual and intellectual souls of the students are at risk.

      Patricia Schoenrade, a William Jewell professor since 1989, told the
      news service that she is very concerned about the advocacy of
      homosexuality as a viable lifestyle being affirmed at the college.

      Charlie Burnett, pastor of Harmony Heights Baptist Church in Joplin
      and chairman of the board's inter-agency committee, said both he,
      David Clippard, MBC executive director, and Kenny Qualls, MBC
      president, had been flooded with e-mails and phone calls following
      the initial news reports.

      "Missouri Baptists want to know what is going on," Burnett said.

      A third Baptist Press report, dealing with the scheduled performance
      of a sexually explicit play, "The Vagina Monologues," on Feb. 14-15
      on the William Jewell campus, was released the day after the
      executive board meeting.

      Baptist Press attempted to contact David Sallee, William Jewell's
      president, to ask about the appearance of pro-homosexual activities
      on the campus of the MBC institution. Sallee did not return calls to
      Baptist Press, but he did make a presentation to the MBC inter-agency
      committee on Dec. 9 and another to the executive board Dec. 10. He
      refused to take any questions from board members following his

      Sallee told the inter-agency committee that the "tempest" had been
      created by a small number of students.

      "If the amendment is approved, it won't affect how the school handles
      threats of discrimination," Sallee said. He added the amendment to
      the student bill of rights would not be legally binding and would not
      change administrative practice.

      Both Clippard and Qualls sat in on Sallee's presentation to the
      committee. After listening to Sallee, Qualls said he was more
      concerned about the attitude of the William Jewell administration
      toward homosexual activity on campus than about the action of the

      "We want your students to hear, 'Thus saith the Lord,'" Qualls said.
      "I think the spotlight is on the students and also on the faculty and
      you as the administrator of William Jewell. I think you ought to
      stand up and say this is what we believe and what the Bible teaches.
      I find nothing in Scripture where the opposite view of what God said
      is brought before the people."

      Burnett agreed. "We want to be able to treat this fairly and
      understand it," he said, "but there are certain things we stand for.
      At the top is that God's Word is very solid, true and inerrant. We
      will have to dig into this deeper and would like your cooperation in
      this matter."

      Sallee held firm in his defense of the William Jewell position.

      "We offer a great liberal arts education," he said. "We are proud of
      the multiple views that are presented. You can find people on all
      sides of the issues. If we're going to provide students a good
      education, we've got to give them multiple views. Kids need to hear
      both [Jim] Talent and [Jean] Carnahan and Paul Duke and then make a
      decision for themselves."

      Carnahan, who was defeated by Talent in a November Senate race, was
      the school's 2002 commencement speaker. During her campaign, Carnahan
      was noted as a pro-choice and pro-homosexual candidate.

      Duke, who delivered William Jewell's 2002 baccalaureate address, has
      been a key spokesman for the pro-homosexual faction within the
      Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) and is a former New Testament
      professor at the CBF-supported Mercer University McAfee School of
      Theology in Georgia.

      "Paul preached a marvelous sermon to our students," Sallee said.

      Committee member Gary Barkley asked Sallee during the inter-agency
      meeting, "Does what you are doing make it institutional acceptance?"
      Barkley added that he believes students need to be guided, not
      indoctrinated in that process.

      Sallee responded that some will "see it the way you see it and others
      will not. As educators, we deal with multiple issues and multiple
      points of view."

      In a statement to Baptist Press, Clippard called on the William
      Jewell administration to respond immediately to the pro-homosexual

      "I'm shocked that this kind of thing would be debated on a Baptist
      college campus," Clippard said. "... It may be a liberal arts school,
      but it is a liberal arts school that receives Cooperative Program
      dollars. I believe there needs to be some accountability to the
      Missouri Baptists that support them."

      Both Clippard and Qualls are urging Missouri Baptists to contact
      William Jewell's administration and trustees and let them know that
      "this clear falling away from the teachings of the Bible" is not

      Qualls described the William Jewell issue as "key" and "pressing."

      "If the administration does not take a stand, William Jewell will
      take a step toward losing its distinctive as a Bible-based Christian
      school," Qualls told Sallee. "Missouri Baptists want to know: What is
      the William Jewell philosophy and is it a philosophy we want to agree

      The inter-agency committee findings will be presented to the
      executive board at its April meeting.

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