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A university, a dean, and Chick-fil-A: One administrator’s brave stand for religious tolerance

LGBTQ activists in hysterics over basic Christian theology

Cynthia Newman has done something important for the debate surrounding religious tolerance in this country. Newman, the dean of Rider University’s College of Business Administration, recently stepped down from her position there after the school barred the popular fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A from opening a location on campus. The school had forbid Chick-fil-A from coming to campus because of “the company’s record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community.” That’s a fancy, dishonest way of saying that the company takes the traditional view of marriage, i.e. that it is between a man and a woman—a position so historically anodyne that even Barack Obama believed it through the entirety of his first term as president.

Rider University is in effect institutionalizing anti-Christian prejudice. Newman, to her immense credit, is not standing for it. “I am not willing to compromise my faith and Christian values and I will not be viewed as being in any way complicit when an affront is made to those values,” she said in her resignation speech. She is right: Rider’s decision is most assuredly an affront to Christian values, insofar as the school’s decision was an entirely political one meant to denigrate a reasonable and good-faith position held by countless Christians across the world. 

It is increasingly difficult to have reasonable conversations with progressive activists, inasmuch as any disagreement with them usually results in one being called a Nazi or a racist or a Nazi racist. This is a shame. Gay marriage is an extremely new, very novel concept; traditional marriage is a millennia-old institution the ordering of which is based in immutable truths about biology, child-rearing and social stability. People can disagree about these things, of course, and there is every reason to engage in fruitful, meaningful debates over these critical societal issues. But first we have to agree that there can be a debate—and Rider University has apparently closed the door on that altogether. It is a shame to see an institution of higher learning engage in such base, partisan hackery.

In any event, Cynthia Newman stands as a fine testament to an active, practical Christian lifestyle. We should all be so convicted in our beliefs. Rider University may have forced an ideological opponent off campus, but it is quite plainly Newman who looks the victor here, in no small part because she exemplifies the kind of mature, reasonable conviction that the leaders of her school so sorely lack.

MORE: Gay student groups want Chick-fil-A off campuses

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