A Christian college in North Carolina has demanded that every member of staff sign a statement agreeing with their stance on abortion and gay marriage or quit.
Montreat College asked more than 180 employees to agree to a set of pledges which includes opposition to abortion and to same-sex marriages.
Anybody who refuses to abide by the pledges has to leave the college.
The most contentious parts of the document are pledges to:
- “Uphold the God-given worth of every human being, from conception to death” – i.e. to oppose abortion
- “Affirm chastity among the unmarried and the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman” – i.e. to oppose gay marriage
According to local news station WLOS, eight staff are leaving as a result. The college disputes this and says the correct figure is only two.
A number of other students have said they are thinking of transferring as well.
Montreat has an explicitly Christian mission statement, so it makes sense that its religious positions have a bearing on its curriculum and are potentially relevant to many of its courses.
But it’s unclear how a teacher’s convictions on the subject affect their ability to teach, say, cybersecurity, theater or music.
In a statement to the Associated Press, English teacher Corrie Greene said: “It says we must affirm and uphold the college’s specific spiritual stances in our full 24 hour/seven-day-a-week personal life. I can’t let somebody else write my personal testimony.”
In a statement the college claimed the new agreement was only formalizing what had always been college policy.