UPDATE: Erskine College has released a statement via its Facebook page in an attempt to further clarify its "Statement On Human Sexuality:"
Much of the recent news coverage of Erskine's Statement on Human Sexuality has been based on an inaccurate understanding of the timeline and reasons for the statement.
For those who are interested in the discussion surrounding news coverage, we would like to offer a few points of clarification.
The statement was not developed in response to any individual students or group of students. It was not a response to any previous news coverage. It was not prompted by pressure from individuals seeking to exclude students.
It is the attempt of the board of trustees of Erskine to provide clarity regarding a complex issue within the context of a Christian academic community. Erskine seeks to honor both our theological commitments and our students as we engage in civil, respectful dialogue on this topic.
Erskine does not ban gay students. We don't discriminate against any group of students. Our campus community is welcoming and supportive to students from a wide variety of backgrounds.Here are two places to find more accurate information about this issue:
ORIGINAL POST: Erskine College in South Carolina is making changes to its official school manual after the Student Services and Athletic Committee submitted a harshly worded “Statement On Human Sexuality” to the college’s board of trustees last week. Erskine has just under 600 students and proclaims itself a Christian liberal arts college aligned with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian tradition.
The document, which some deem a denouncement of homosexuality on campus, materialized after two male athletes on the college's volleyball team came out last year in an article on OutSports.com.
A few passages from the statement were highlighted by The Washington Post:
"We believe the Bible teaches that monogamous marriage between a man and a woman is God’s intended design for humanity and that sexual intimacy has its proper place only within the context of marriage."
"Sexual relations outside of marriage or between persons of the same sex are spoken of in scripture as sin and contrary to the will of the Creator (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:9-11)."
"Therefore, the Erskine community is advised to practice humility and prayerfulness when engaging in any conversations or other actions related to these topics. Erskine’s conduct policies and procedures seek to uphold biblical standards, promote repentance and grace, and point people to Jesus Christ."
"As a Christian academic community, and in light of our institutional mission, members of the Erskine community are expected to follow the teachings of scripture concerning matters of human sexuality and institutional decision will be made in light of this position."
In a followup statement, Erskine says, "This statement describes a position. It does not prescribe a policy and does not ‘ban’ any individual or class of individuals from attending Erskine. No students have been asked to leave Erskine based on this statement."
The conversation will not end here, not if Juan Varona has anything to say about it. The openly gay athlete took to Twitter to let everyone know he's pushing back at the administration in a bid to ensure equality on campus.