Syracuse U bans Church from school property for upholding Christian sexual beliefs
Syracuse University has barred a church from holding its services on university-owned property campus, citing alleged violations of the university's standards of 'inclusion.'
The church had been holding Sunday services in the ballroom of Drumlins Country Club, which Syracuse owns, since July.
Syracuse University has barred a church from holding its services on university-owned property campus, citing alleged violations of the university’s standards of “inclusion.”
Radiant Church had been holding Sunday services in the ballroom of the nearby Drumlins Country Club, which Syracuse owns, since July. The university’s decision came in response to allegations of homophobia against the pastor of the church for comments he made in a recent interview.
“We have notified the Radiant Church that they are not allowed to host their services on Syracuse University property,” Syracuse said in a statement to Campus Reform. ”We are taking the necessary action to ensure groups requesting use of our property are properly vetted prior to being given permission to gather on our campus and at our facilities.”
Radiant Church holds to the basic Christian belief that homosexual activity is a sin. In an interview with Syracuse.com, Radiant Church’s pastor, Jason Lankford, stated that Radiant excludes people from membership if they do not believe in this Christian tenet.
“If you go, ‘No I don’t believe it’s a sin’, would that keep you from membership at Radiant? Yes. But so would many other things,” Lankford told the outlet.
In its statement, Syracuse implied this articulation of Christian morality was tantamount to “bigotry.”
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“Syracuse University condemns bigotry of all forms,” the university said. “The University is home to 27 religious and spiritual life groups and prides itself on offering diverse opportunities that align with our deeply held values of respect and inclusion.”
But in a September article covering the decision, Syracuse student newspaper The Daily Orange admitted in its article that “it is unclear if those beliefs have been preached at Drumlins.”
This is not the first time the congregation has been pushed out of venues for maintaining its religious beliefs. From January to June of 2023, it met at Nottingham High School, according to Syracuse.com.
Syracuse.com also reported that parents in the district complained about the church meeting in the public high school, saying it violated the Separation of Church and State and district policy. Others argued that the church’s commitment to Christian sexual morality was intolerant and violated the district’s commitment to support LGBT students.
After the Nottingham teachers union began raising its concerns, the board quickly established that anybody who wishes to use the school building must adhere to the code of conduct for the district, which also emphasizes inclusion, The Daily Orange reported.
Campus Reform reached out to Jason Lankford for comment. This article will be updated accordingly