Harvard has placed a campus Christian group on a one-year probation for following the Bible’s teaching regarding homosexuality.
The Harvard Crimson reported that Harvard College Faith and Action ran afoul of the university’s nondiscrimination policies after it pressured a female member of its student leadership to resign when she revealed she was dating another woman.
HCFA is the largest Christian organization on campus, hosting Bible studies and other activities for over 200 members on a weekly basis
College spokesperson Aaron Goldman released a statement last month explaining the decision.
“After a thorough review and finding that HCFA had conducted itself in a manner grossly inconsistent with the expectations clearly outlined in (the Office of Student Life’s) Student Organization Resource and Policy Guide, OSL has placed HCFA on a one year administrative probation,” Goldman said.
HCFA co-presidents Scott Ely and Molly Richmond have denied being in noncompliance with the school’s standards.
“We reject any notion that we discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in our fellowship,” the co-presidents told The Crimson. “Broadly speaking, the student in this case was removed because of an irreconcilable theological disagreement pertaining to our character standards.”
In other words, the leaders were saying they do not remove people from leadership merely because they experience same-sex attraction.
There are multiple verses in the Bible instructing believers not to engage in homosexual sex and to preserve sex for marriage between a man and a woman.
The Crimson noted that HCFA has allowed those with same-sex orientations to hold leadership positions in the past, including two graduates from the classes of 2016 and 2017, but the students did not pursue same-sex relationships while in office.
Tyler Parker told The Crimson he remained “chaste” during his tenure as an HCFA leader.
Ely and Richmond recounted that college administrators informed them HCFA is the first ever student group to be placed on administrative probation.
HCFA can continue to book rooms and hold meetings on campus during its probationary period and has not been cut off from school funding as of yet.
To get off probation, the group must prove it is in compliance with the university’s nondiscrimination policies.
Harvard’s assistant dean of student life, Alex Miller, told The College Fix the school is currently in a dialogue with HCFA.
“We are working closely with the leadership of HCFA to ensure that they are in compliance with all of Harvard’s policies with respect to recognized student organizations,” he said in a statement.
Miller added, “While we will not discuss specific details regarding discipline of students or organizations, we look forward to continuing our work and dialogue with HCFA.”
Harvard was founded in 1636 by Puritans as an institution dedicated to training Christian ministers.
The school’s original seal read “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae,” or “Truth for Christ and the Church.”
As part of their teaching, students were to read the Bible at least twice a day on their own in order to gain proficiency in it.
The school’s “Rules and Precepts” explained that a knowledge of Jesus Christ was the “foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.”
Citing Psalm 119:130, the student guide added, “the word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.