A top Christian university has turned down $3 million in funding from the Alabama Baptist State Convention because it would have to kill off an LGBT student group to accept the money.
Andrew Westmoreland, president of Samford University in Birmingham, said in a statement:
"Our longstanding educational and ministry relationships with Alabama Baptists have always been more significant than money, and these relationships will continue and flourish.
"Our actions at Samford, irrespective of financial considerations, must demonstrate fidelity to God's truth, abiding compassion and respect for all people, and solidarity with the timeless ideals of a strong university."
In April, Samford's faculty approved the creation of Samford Together, a discussion group where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students can talk about sexual orientation and gender identity in "an open-minded and accepting environment."
The group is awaiting full approval from university brass.
That didn't agree with the Alabama Baptist State Convention, which represents Baptist churches throughout the Yellowhammer State. It made the $3 million donation contingent on Samford rescinding Samford Together's provisional group status.
In a joint statement, John Thweatt, president of the State Convention, and Rick Lance, who heads its Board of Missions, said:
"Reports are that the faculty of Samford University voted to affirm the recognition of a student group that identifies with values contrary to biblical teachings on sexuality. We are saddened by this decision, which provides recognition for an agenda that we believe to be contrary to Scripture.
"We strongly believe that the Old Testament and New Testament each speak unequivocally against homosexuality. When addressing same-gender sexual relationships, the Bible without exception never affirms such behavior as an approved lifestyle."
Samford University, a private Christian University founded in 1841, has more than 5,400 students and 10 academic offerings, including arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health.
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