Funding of New Brunswick Christian university under attack by homosexual activists
MONCTON, New Brunswick, June 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Moncton’s Crandall University, a Christian liberal arts school formerly known as Atlantic Baptist College, is in the crosshairs of homosexual rights activists who claim the school’s “Statement of Moral Standards” discriminates against homosexuals and is a violation of human rights.
The school’s Lifestyle and Ethical Standards Covenant states, “As a Christian community, Crandall University upholds Christian standards of behavior to which faculty and staff are required to conform. These standards derive not only from the Christian scriptures, but also from the culture of the supporting evangelical constituency.”
Among seven points of ethical standards that staff and faculty agree to follow, one requires employees “To be sexually pure, reserving sexual intimacy for within a traditional marriage between one man and one woman, and refraining from the use of pornographic materials.”
River of Pride, a Moncton activist group that organizes the city’s homosexual “pride” week, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) are demanding that public funding be taken away from Crandall University because of their ethical standards.
“If you’re going to use public money, it has to be used for the public,” said Josie Harding of River of Pride, according to a Global News report.
“I think [funding] should be cut if they are indeed a public institution and want to enforce this. It’s against human rights law,” Harding said.
Since 1996, Crandall has received about $24 million in funding from all levels of government, which includes an annual grant of $150k from the city of Moncton, according to Global News.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers has blacklisted several Canadian Christian universities including Crandall, Trinity Western University (TWU) in British Columbia and Canadian Mennonite University in Manitoba, for what the national umbrella group of faculty associations claims are violations of academic freedom for requiring professors to sign a statement of faith as a condition of employment.
James Turk, executive director of CAUT, said of Crandall University, “If an institution calls itself a university and imposes an ideological test or a faith test as a condition of being able to be a professor there, we think it’s entirely inappropriate.”
The National Post reported last year that since 2006 CAUT has issued “lengthy reports ... that took months to complete” on each of the three schools. The reports concluded that the schools did in fact oblige faculty to sign a statement of Christian belief as a requirement of employment.
Critics of CAUT, however, pointed out that the investigations were not necessary because the statement of faith requirements were readily available on the schools’ websites and in their academic catalogues.
CAUT subsequently suspended its practice of “investigating” Christian schools.
The vice-president of Crandall University, Seth Crowell, defended the institution’s right to require staff to conform to standards of Christian morality.
Crowell told CBC that a 1983 act of the New Brunswick legislature gave what was then Atlantic Baptist College the right to grant baccalaureate degrees focused on a Christian ethos.
“The human rights standard does allow for certain bonafide impositions as it relates to faith and religious positions,” Crowell added. “I’m fine with those who want to disagree and challenge it.”
Moncton city councilor Daniel Bourgeois said that though he opposes Crandall’s morality policy, he thinks the school should continue to be funded for the positive influence it has on the city.
“These are institutions that draw to the city the best and brightest minds in the region,” Bourgeois said.
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