Good News Story: Christian College Fires Employees For Pronouns in Email Signatures

In a bit of a good news story, Houghton University, a private Christian University in New York associated with a conservative faction of the Wesleyan Church has terminated two employees for including their personal pronouns in their email signatures. According to reports:

When Raegan Zelaya and Shua Wilmot decided to include their pronouns at the end of their work emails, they thought they were doing a good thing: following what they viewed as an emerging professional standard, and also sending a message of inclusivity at the Christian university where they worked.

But their bosses at Houghton University, in upstate New York, saw the matter very differently.

Administrators at Houghton, which was founded and is now owned by a conservative denomination that branched off from the Methodist Church, asked Ms. Zelaya and Mr. Wilmot, two residence hall directors, to remove the words “she/her” and “he/him” from their email signatures, saying they violated a new policy. When they refused to do so, both employees were fired, just weeks before the end of the semester.

Though some alumni are upset about the ordeal, promoting a petition that has accumulated several hundred signatures, it appears that Houghton is in the process of righting some wrongs. Two years ago, they rescinded recognition of an on-campus LGBTQ support group after it refused to promote biblical notions of sex and gender. 

Petition organizers specifically requested that the institution “acknowledge that there is a range of views reasonably held by faithful and active Christians on topics of gender, sexuality, and race. In practice, this would mean a broadened understanding of the views that are acceptable for staff, faculty, and chapel speakers to hold and express.”

In a letter sent to petition organizers and alums, however, Houghton President Wayne Lewis was adamant about the University’s position and denied their request, writing:

Now, I will not sign your statement of affirmation. I have been consistently and explicitly clear about my priorities and the direction of the university. Houghton provides an intentionally Christ-centered, academically challenging education in the liberal arts and sciences to students from diverse traditions and backgrounds….

Using the language of your affirmation, I will not “broaden [Houghton’s] understanding of the views that are acceptable for staff, faculty, and chapel speakers to hold and express.”…. We do, however, require as a condition of employment that all employees be respectful of the positions, doctrine, and beliefs of the university. However, Houghton unapologetically privileges an orthodox Christian worldview, rooted in the Wesleyan theological tradition. (which states ‘we privilege the understanding of marriage as between a man and a woman, and the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.”)



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65 thoughts on “Good News Story: Christian College Fires Employees For Pronouns in Email Signatures

  1. Sadly the lawsuits will now start flying as the Nazi’s try to take them down. May God uphold them as they stand strong in the fight.

  2. Bravo, a man of convictions who refuses to waiver on what constitutes a God-honoring worldview. Unfortunately, Susan is likely correct as no doubt the woke are readying their lawsuit(s). May they fail spectacularly.

  3. Good for them! I hope they stay strong and that this emboldens others.

    P.S. I love this site and the work you all do, but if you could moderate comments to delete or block the sp*m that would be great. They clutter things up. I know that on WordPress I can set comments to be moderated on the first submission or to block IP addresses completely. I assume you can do the same.

  4. ” … on topics of gender, sexuality, and race … ”

    They never fail to conflate abominable sin with ethnicity and skin color. Among other wickedness, it’s an admission that they know full well homosexuality and transvestism are abominable sins.

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