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Hillsdale College asks gay athlete to pray for destruction of "evil" same-sex marriage

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Hillsdale College's chaplain is asking members of the school's community, including athletes, coaches, students, faculty and alumni, to pray against "evil" same-sex marriage rights being considered by the Supreme Court.

Hillsdale College's chaplain today sent an email to athletes, coaches, students, faculty and alumni from the school warning them about same-sex marriage and inviting them to pray to destroy "evil" same-sex marriage. Hillsdale College is an NCAA Division II school in Michigan.

One of its most recent alumni is Derek Schell, the basketball player who came out publicly and to his Hillsdale team as gay a couple years ago. Schell received the email sent by Hillsdale College chaplain and religion lecturer Peter Beckwith:

Hey friends!

Just to give you a heads up, ugly things are happening in the Supreme Court right now. Justice Anthony Kennedy is seen as the "swing vote" and, if that is the case, he will have the power to legalize same-sex marriage NATIONWIDE! Yeah... I do not even think we can imagine the effects this could have on our nation, the church, and families.

So we are praying for God to give the Justices and the courts wisdom, courage, and discernment, for evil to be revealed and destroyed, and for a heart of love and sound mind.

There is a "time of prayer" at the Old Snack Bar Tuesday, May 5, from 4:30-5pm so people can pray together against marriage equality.

Schell, who is in a long-term relationship with his boyfriend, posted this on Facebook in response:

I've never been one to shut my ear to an opposing argument or point of view. However, this is a step too far. I have tried to describe my college environment and experience to some friends and family and this is a good example. Imagine being a closeted, scared, struggling student and receiving this CAMPUS WIDE email (that sends to alums as well). I met good, kind people in my time in that little town in Michigan, but today I am ashamed, disgusted and angry. This is violence, hatred, and ignorance personified. My heart is heavy for my Hillsdale family today. When I put a ring on my husbands finger, I'll be sure your invitation is lost in the mail. Instead, I'll say a prayer that you discover some love, and stop hiding behind the fear of something that doesn't affect you at all.

Bravo.

Hillsdale College is considered by many to be the most conservative college in the country. It includes in its Code of Conduct this ominous clause that would make any LGBT athlete, coach, student or faculty member cringe:

Failure to uphold the Hillsdale College Honor Code and the policies, procedures, regulations and guidelines set forth by the College may result in disciplinary action ranging from a minimum of a warning to a maximum of expulsion. Many times, the severity of the consequence will be at a level between the minimum and maximum, and the deans reserve the right to issue fines, community service, counseling, social probation, etc., as deemed appropriate. In all cases, an incident report will be filed in the deans' offices.

In order for a student to be approved for graduation and to receive a Hillsdale College degree, he/she must resolve any outstanding charges of misconduct and must have complied with the terms of any penalties imposed as a result of misconduct. This applies to summer school students as well. Hillsdale College does not guarantee the award of a degree. The awarding of a degree is conditioned upon compliance with College regulations as well as meeting the expectations of the faculty. Therefore, diplomas may be withheld until all outstanding questions are resolved. This applies as well to any student when requesting a transcript.

After that email, you have to wonder what the school might do to a student who entered into a same-sex relationship on campus.

It is a sad state of affairs when a school that is obviously intent on marginalizing LGBT students and fighting against equality would be allowed to stay in the NCAA. It continues to be a pox on the entire association that schools with policies and practices like Hillsdale College would be allowed to remain.