Campus Reform | Students demand revocation of assistant professors’ honorary degree for his Christian beliefs

Students demand revocation of assistant professors’ honorary degree for his Christian beliefs

Over 300 students, faculty, and alumni from Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee have signed a petition calling on the Vice Chancellor of the school  to renounce the honorary degree of conservative Christian writer Eric Metaxas. 

The petition calls for the revocation of  Metaxas honorary degree due to what it calls "anti-LGBTQ" and "anti-democratic" beliefs and statements. It references an article written by the assistant professor in which he said that the LGBTQ community Is “capturing the hearts and minds of young people” through literature. 

In the article, Metaxas warns parents to shield children against such influences. 

"Anyone who reads books for teens these days will tell you that portrayals of gay relationships and characters are rapidly increasing," reads the piece in question. "In fact, they’re increasing to the point where they’re all out of proportion to reality. If you know the statistics on rates of homosexuality in the real world, you know that it’s somewhere around 3 percent, maybe less. Not so in the world of Young Adult fiction; there, it’s far more pervasive."

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The signatories of the petition content that Metaxas’ statements are contrary to the university's mission because of its commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

The petition also refers to another article by Metaxas titled “How Gay Marriage Harms Religious Liberty,” arguing that he "promotes the disingenuous claim that legalizing marriage equality will somehow prevent religious extremists from speaking out against the policy," and taking issue with the fact that he uses "harmful rhetoric of 'love the sinner, but hate the sin.'"

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The petition argues that such rhetoric "has fostered an industry...dedicated to religious pseudo-psychology that attempts to change the sexual and gender identities of LGBTQ people to conform with Metaxas’ hetero- and cisnormative views."

Campus Reform reached out to the Sewanee Administration and a few students from the University for comment this article will be updated accordingly.