The school doesn’t represent all Christians.
The two major reasons why Millenials are rejecting Christianity more so than previous generations are the religion’s anti-science and anti-LGBT views.
According to a study by the Public Religion Research Institute, nearly one-third of Millennials left the told researchers it was “negative teachings” or “negative treatment” related to gays and lesbians.
Clarks Summit University in Pennsylvania is a Christian institution emblematic of the type of Christian homophobia which is turing away the formerly-faithful in droves.
The private, Christian university rejected the application of returning student, Gary Campbell, 35, because he is gay. Campbell is just six credits shy of the number needed to graduate.
“I was heartbroken. I was hurt and essentially I just ... felt like I was punched in the gut again,” Campbell said in an interview with WBRE-TV. “I always spoke highly of the school. I thought it was a great school with a great staff, and for them to do this to me, it just felt like a slap in the face,” he said.
Campbell attended the university when it was called Baptist Bible College from 2001 and 2003 and then enlisted in the United States Navy. After Campbell’s service, he battled alcoholism, and has been sober for two years.
“It doesn’t make sense to me why I can’t get the same fair treatment,” he said.
Campbell’s rejction has inspired people to suport him on social media via #LetGaryGraduate.
This is my dear friend Gary from college days. Make some noise, y’all. If @ClarksSummitU wants to take his money but withhold his degree, let them see just how clearly we see through their veneer of false platitudes re: “the love of Christ.” They have none of it. #LetGaryGraduate https://t.co/9k3AXcLq8K— mama mia let me go (@matthaeck) September 10, 2018\n
If you’re a student at @ClarksSummitU and are LGBT+ and are feeling alone and/or scared (especially after all this #LetGaryGraduate) there are ways I and others can help and support you that we’re working on. But PLEASE feel free to DM - your voice matters and you’re not alone.— Mikayla Nester (@MickaShae) September 11, 2018\n
#LetGaryGraduate at @ClarksSummitU do you truly believe that your school offers teachings for service to Christ by denying your student in achieving their life goals of self betterment and to better serve others?Disgusting misinterpretation by CSU to deny this student— Rebekah B. (@RebekahBaha) September 11, 2018\n
Heartbreaking story of a Christian college that is not only on the wrong side of history but weaponizes the Bible to harm students. It’s time to catch up to Spirit and change #LetGaryGraduate https://t.co/aCVyyAkKXJ— Adam Phillips (@phillipsan) September 11, 2018\n
The school rationalized its institutional bigotry in a statement sent to FOX 56:
As a Christian college, we expect all students to act in a way that is consistent with our biblical belief system. We have always clearly stated those beliefs and have exercised the freedom to uphold our faith.
To prepare students for worldwide service opportunities, CSU clearly affirms biblical sexuality.
Clarks Summit University’s decision prompted nearby Lackawanna College to offer Campbell the chance to finish his degree.
“This is right in our mission ... of providing opportunities for young men and women who really want to better themselves,” Mark Volk, Lackawanna College’s president, said.