Shorter University’s unflappable president, Donald Dowless, dismisses the criticism tossed his way over the school’s anti-gay witch hunt as “honest disagreement” as the north Georgia campus strives “to love Jesus Christ.”
Not surprising, since Dowless (photo) has also said the school was just setting up “fair expectations” when it put in place last month a ban on gay employees, as well as ones that aren’t Christians, those that have sex outside marriage and others that commit adultery. Those that drink in public? You’re gone, too, thanks to the school’s new Personal Lifestyle Statement.
But Dowless, in a recent speech to a Kiwanis Club, did allow that the harsh reaction the new policy generated caught him by surprise and that the school could have handled the situation better.
Beyond that, though, he says the school is simply following a call to “fulfill biblical requirements,” according to the Rome News-Tribune.
“We invite people to have dialogue,” Dowless said. “Honest disagreement, that’s OK.”
“We’re only asking essentially our faculty and staff to love Jesus Christ with all their heart and to live a life that strives to fulfill biblical requirements; that’s it.”
Academics and the Christian faith are like a DNA chain, he said. “We are different than other schools. We believe that our mission is one of the best anywhere.”
The school’s No Homo push prompted two recent protests, a trio of petitions calling for the policy to change, worries from gay employees of a witch hunt, concern from gay students about their safety and an explosion of letters and comments on the Rome News-Tribune website.