“Sadly, Christian institutions will likely respond to the Fuller case by moving into defensive mode, crying “First Amendment!” and putting lawyers on speed-dial. If that is all that happens, then that reaction in itself will speak eloquently of the moral tenor of such places. For the first reaction should be one of serious and prolonged institutional heart-searching and, where necessary, of true repentance and change.”
(Carl Trueman – First Things) Fuller Theological Seminary is facing a Title IX lawsuit from a former student, whom Fuller had expelled for entering into a civil same-sex marriage. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex at any institution of higher education receiving federal funding….
As I have noted before at First Things, this law does allow exemptions for religious institutions, but such exemptions are becoming increasingly tenuous. And despite the Trump administration rescinding the infamous “Dear Colleague” letter by which the Obama administration sought to expand Title IX to cover transgender people, the elasticity of the legislation in our current climate renders it the left’s equivalent of Batman’s all-purpose utility belt.
Such a case was bound to happen at some point. Civic piety and Christian piety in the realm of sexual mores and identity are increasingly antithetical to each other. Not since perhaps the middle of the third century have those things that constitute good citizenship of the earthly and the heavenly cities been so difficult to reconcile. It is ironic, perhaps, that Fuller could be the seminary test case for this. Anyone familiar with the history of the institution from the work of George Marsden or Rudolph Nelson will know that it has long been a byword in conservative evangelical circles for theological compromise. But in the seminary world, cultural relevance is a cruel, demanding, and insatiable mistress. Too much will never be enough.