On the heels of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s comments in support of gays, lesbians, and transgender people about a month ago in Clowes Hall, Butler University’s sibling instutition, Christian Theological Seminary, came out with a similarly bold statement Monday.
Said the man of many titles, including CTS president, Rev. Dr. Matthew Myer Boulton, “The proposed amendment would certainly hinder efforts, by CTS and many others, to recruit and retain the best and brightest students, faculty, and staff to learn and eventually make their lives in Indiana.”
Boulton’s criticism of efforts to pass legislation further outlawing gay marriage in Indiana—already illegal with the attempt now to write it into the constitution—was not just in the interest of business, though. “But the CTS Board of Trustees and Faculty have decided to oppose HJR-6 primarily for reasons related to our historic mission and core Christian values,” he said. “For decades, CTS has stood for the inclusivity, hospitality, and justice for all so central to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Since our founding more than 150 years ago, we have endeavored to live out these values in response to the evolving issues of the day. With this announcement of the seminary’s opposition to HJR-6, the CTS Board of Trustees and Faculty carry on this venerable tradition.”
The decision was perhaps inspired in part by Tutu’s recent address to an Indianapolis audience. When he visited with Butler and CTS students and leaders, including Boulton, on September 12, Tutu had these favorable words about the world’s LGBT population: “Remember, when Jesus predicted his coming again in the fourth Gospel, he says, If I am lifted up, I will draw—he didn’t say some—he said, I will draw all, all, all, all in this incredible, divine embrace, where no one is left out. Clever, foolish, rich, poor, white, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist—I will draw all, all, all. Assad, Obama—all, all, all, all. So-called straight—all. Gay, lesbian, transgendered. When I am lifted up, I will draw all, all, all in the incredible embrace, where no one is left out.”
What’s more, 300 “faith leaders” statewide have penned and submitted an open letter to Indiana lawmakers expressing their opposition to House Joint Resolution 6, commonly known as HJR-6. That letter said, in part, “People of different faith traditions disagree on marriage-related issues. However, each of us who signs this letter respects the right of religious groups to decide whether or not to sanction marriage or other unions of same-gender couples.”
Butler University president James M. Danko is being pressed by pro-gay activists via a Change.org petition to denounce HJR-6. That petition notably quotes Tutu. Previously, Hoosier-State universities including Indiana, Ball State, DePauw, and Indiana State announced their disapproval of a gay-marriage amendment here. Business and organization leaders such as the Indy Chamber, Eli Lilly and Co., Cummins Inc., and IM‘s parent company, Emmis Communications, have also publicly noted their alliance with Freedom Indiana’s goal to defeat the measure.
CTS was originally founded in 1855 by abolitionists central to the emergence of the Disciples of Christ denomination.