I know how you expect that sentence to end. We have covered endless stories of Christian schools abusing teachers or students due to their perceived lack of faith or morals. However on this occasion, the line ends something like this: “Student Class President Comes Out As Atheist And Christian College By Supporing Him.” That’s right, when Eric Fromm, 21, announced in an article that he is an atheist, he said the school and fellow students at Northwest Christian University went out of their way to assure him that he was valued and appreciated as part of their community. It is a good thing. A happy story. Such places do exist where religious people are both tolerant and pluralistic.
Writing in the school paper, Fromm declared “I am an atheist. Yes, you read that correctly, I am an atheist.” He enrolled in the christian school because of its strong communications department.
Jeannine Jones, director of university relations at NCU explained that “All of our students are on a journey. While the majority of our students profess a Christian faith, not all do. We as an institution meet students were they are at and believe that our God is big enough.”
She added “Eric is an exemplary student, a good friend, a thorough academic, and when it comes to credibility as the ASNCU president he is the best qualified to fill that position.” Amen, Sister, Amen.
28 thoughts on “Student Class President Comes Out As Atheist And His Christian College Responds By . . .”
Jill, it’s not that a fundamentalist wouldn’t accept him as a friend, it’s that the fundamentalist university would not allow him to remain the class president. His unbelief would be punished. I don’t want to have to trash fundamentalists, but having grown up in a fundamentalist church, I know how they operate all too well, unless they have modified their teachings extremely over the years.
I like the ability of these people to recognize what is good about Fromm even though he is very different from most of the members of this college.
This is exactly what needs to happen between people. It isn’t true to say that fundamentalists would never accept an atheist as a friend. Some of them do. It would be nice if people who were atheist or mainstream religious would accept fundamentalists instead of constantly trashing them.
To accept someone does not mean to agree with them or to lack critical thought regarding their system of belief or ideas. It means to quit the blanket hatred and attribution of everything horrible in the world, which I see from people on this blog.
The school is showing what it means to be thoughtful and kind towards those with whom one has a real disagreement. Good for them!
Brent Fewell worries, “How then are believers to reach unbelievers?”
This assumes unbelievers want to be “reached for.” This assumes believers have something unbelievers either want or need. This has historically nodded toward believers feeling superior to unbelievers simply due to the phrase, “I believe.” The “good news” MUST be heard, and any rejection of it has been regarded as “sinful,” particularly if this view is held by unbelievers. Those times appear to be ending.
This university gets it exactly right. Live, let live, and find a way to embrace.
This is a wonderful thing….. I hope they all can unite in whatever belief or non-belief they have….
I’m reminded of the rabbi a few decades ago (in Ann Arbor?) who announced that he was an atheist. The congregation kept him as rabbi because, for them, he was a good rabbi. At the time, the situation seemed quite unusual to me. Since I was not a member of the congregation, who was I to judge?
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