An American college chaplain’s email asking people to pray against marriage equality has sparked outrage after it was made public.
Peter Beckwith, chaplain and religion lecturer at Hillsdale College in Michigan, sent an email to athletes, coaches, students, faculty and the alumni warning them about same-sex marriage and asking them to pray against it.
‘Ugly things are happening in the Supreme Court right now. Justice Anthony Kennedy is seen as the “swing vote”,’ he wrote.
‘If that is the case, he will have 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.
Later that day, a meeting took place where people prayed ‘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.‘
One of the college’s most recent alumni, Derek Schell, is the first NCAA Division II basketball player to publicly come out as gay; he took to Facebook to express his opinion on the email.
‘I’ve never been one to shut my ear to an opposing argument or point of view. However, this is a step too far,’ Schell posted.
‘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).’
Schell said while he had met good and kind people at Hillsdale, he was ‘ashamed, disgusted and angry’ when he read the email.
‘This is violence, hatred, and ignorance personified. My heart is heavy for my Hillsdale family today,’ he continued.
‘When I put a ring on my husband’s 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.’
Although it is not affiliated with any religion, the college is known for its conservative values; in light of the email they are considering a review of their communications policies, according to MLive.