Just days after administrators at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California announced their decision to lift sanctions barring romantic same-sex relationships on campus, one professor is calling for the college president to resign.
Barbara Harrington, an honors professor who teaches writing at APU, wrote a letter at the beginning of the week, in which she argued university president Jon R. Wallace “must immediately step down” from his position, according to The American Conservative.
Harrington admitted she and a handful of other faculty members have been concerned about the direction of APU for some time:
There is a feeling that there has been a muzzling of the voices in the community that would advocate traditional Biblical understanding. We have been afraid to speak as whistleblowers lest it redound against us personally, or against our departments. I have decided to come out and speak despite this fear, because I perceive the threats to the essence of APU to be so dire.
“The loss of ‘God First’ means APU stops progressing and loses itself and its defining character in a wave of change,” she added. “It becomes a university indistinguishable from so many others who are sinking in the ‘messy middle’ of post-modern confusion.”
The educator’s pointed letter comes just days after the university’s leaders announced their new and somewhat unclear stance on marriage and romantic relationships.
While on paper remaining committed to the belief that sex “is intended by God to take place only within the marriage covenant between a man and a woman,” the college’s administration has loosened its stance on homosexual relationships on campus.
APU’s revised policy still requires all unmarried students to abstain from sexual interaction, but now no longer “singles out” students who identify as part of the LGBTQ community.
Erin Green, co-executive director of Brave Commons, an advocacy organization for LGBTQ students, and an alumna of APU, argued it’s “unfair to single out queer folks in same-sex romantic relationships while it is impossible to enforce or monitor [whether other students are remaining abstinent].”
She went on to say those in the LGBTQ community are “just as able to have romanticized relationships that abide by APU’s rules,” claiming the college’s previous policy on sexuality “falsely assumed that same-sex romances always involved sexual behavior.”
In its new statement, APU has dropped the word “sin” from the following sentence: “Any deviation from a biblical standard of sexual behavior is sin and therefore is an opportunity for repentance, grace, and redemption so that as a community we might honor one another and glorify God.”
Despite the murky policy change — which seemingly OKs homosexual romance, but stops short of approving same-sex marriage or sexual interaction — Bill Fiala, associate dean of students at APU, said, “The language changed, but the spirit didn’t. Our spirit is still a conservative, evangelical perspective on human sexuality.”