Wednesday, 07 September 2011

Christian Singing Group at NC University Under Investigation for Expelling Homosexual Member

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A Christian a cappella singing group at the University of North Carolina (UNC) is under scrutiny after its members voted to expel another member who is openly homosexual. The Christian Post reported that the student group, called Psalm 100, “was founded on core biblical principles. When its members discovered that William Thomason, a UNC senior, disagreed with the biblical teaching on the sinfulness of homosexuality, a vote was held to have the student removed from the group.”

Winston Crisp, vice chancellor for student affairs at UNC, told the student newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel, that the university would investigate to see if the group had violated the school’s non-discrimination policy. “We are on notice that there is a question as to whether or not a student organization has acted in compliance with the policy or not,” the official said. “We take that very seriously and that will be investigated.”

Psalm 100’s leader, Blake Templeton, insisted that Thomason was not removed because of his sexual orientation, but because of his view on homosexuality, noting that Thomason’s views “clash with the ideology of the Bible, which the organization’s constitution mandates members must uphold,” reported the Tar Heel. According to the paper, the university’s non-discrimination policy “states that groups may limit membership to those who share the beliefs of that group but cannot exclude members based on personal characteristics, including sexual orientation.”

Crisp said that the school’s “commitment to non-discrimination is bedrock strong, but so is our commitment to the First Amendment rights of freedom of association. The non-discrimination policy for student organizations tries very hard to balance those issues.” He added that his department would “take the time that is necessary to thoroughly investigate the issues before we draw any conclusions.” He added, however, that, based on the findings, the group could lose its official recognition by the university.

Baptist Press News reported that while Psalm 100’s decision “might have lost the group some friends around campus, it does not appear to have damaged its relationship with the one person most affected — Will Thomason” (seen as the lead singer in this You Tube video of Psalm 100). Thomason said that he loves “all members of Psalm 100 and know they love me as well.”

He said that while he understood the reason his friends removed him from the group, he insisted, “I also think God can use me, a non-heterosexual individual, to glorify His name.”

Concerning the conflict, Thomason told the Tar Heel that he was “appreciative of the willingness of the larger UNC community to openly engage in the dialogue and I trust there will be continued respect for all parties involved.”

As reported by Baptist Press News, “Templeton called the controversy a good thing on a ‘campus where God is seldom talked about.’ The Christian community on campus has come together in support of the group, with ministries organizing a meeting to pray for Psalm 100.”

Photo: AP Images

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