Hostages at home

[Author’s Note: The San Antonio Express-News printed an earlier column on the front page of its Business section today. Find it here:]
“You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything,” so sang twangy country artist Aaron Tippin two decades ago.

Collectively, we are standing for less and less and falling for more and more.

Case in point:

Christian fraternity Beta Upsilon Chi (a.k.a. Brothers Under Christ) started at The University of Texas in 1985. It has since spread to two dozen campuses across the country including Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, my beloved birthplace BTW.

Vanderbilt’s chancellor recently issued a decree to every campus organization: sign a statement that you will not discriminate in your membership or leadership requirements based on, among other things, a person’s sexual preferences. Or get kicked off campus.

How can Brothers Under Christ pledge to accept and elevate a person who chooses homosexuality when such a choice is juxtaposed to the vast majority of Christian teaching and tradition?

Vanderbilt law professor Carol Swain succinctly summarized the situation this way, ““Carried to its logical extension, [the new university policy] means that no organization can maintain integrity of beliefs.”

The policy ignores a basic tenet of private property rights, namely, that ownership is most clearly defined by what is excluded, not by what is included.

The irony, of course, is that while one must remain quiet about his or her opposition to homosexuality, there would be no limit to how loudly one could promote gay rights.

And so tilts the academic marketplace of ideas, that hallowed ground where once all perspectives received voice.


Second case in point: President Obama’s ruling last week that forces Catholic institutions to provide insurance coverage for birth control and abortion-inducing drugs. San Antonio’s archbishop is decrying the decree, as are many, many others.

Rarely, if ever, has there been such a blatant affront to a religious tradition. All in the name of nothing but raw ideology.

Abide by the regulation or pay a hefty fine. Get in line or shut your doors. Let homosexuals lead your Christian fraternity or never associate with this university again.

Do you see the hostage theme unfolding here?


Third case in point: The Susan G. Komen Foundation decided against giving half a million dollars to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings. Like any philanthropic organization, the breast cancer awareness group regularly reviews and adjusts where its funds go.

And, all things being equal, it’d probably rather associate with less controversial groups than with radioactive ones.

Officially, Komen has a policy not to grant awards to groups under government investigation, as Planned Parenthood currently is. Hence, the decision not to grant the organization $580,000 this go-round.

Sensing a hostage candidate in the making, liberal ideologues pounced on the pink people, demanding that Planned Parenthood get what it was “entitled” to. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg personally pledged $250,000 as a show of support to Planned Parenthood.

Dallas-based Komen showed signs of relenting under the pressure, though it is still unclear whether the grant money will continue to flow to the abortion clinics.

Investigations aside, it seems more fitting for Komen to support life-giving breast screenings at pregnancy centers that directly promote life than at abortion facilities that purport to eliminate it.

Regardless, such a thought is of no import if liberals in academia, government and the social sector can subdue hostages into relinquishing the integrity of their beliefs.

Kevin Thompson writes weekly for The Boerne Star. He can be reached at

1 Response to “Hostages at home”

  1. 1 jessestroup February 12, 2012 at 18:24

    Kevin, Thanks for being the voice of those who care for people, but want God to be God even if we must suffer for believing his Word and acknowledging him in all our ways. Keep up the good work and believing.

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