Christian University Cancels Promise Keepers Event Over Pride Statement
By Abigail Olsson/The Washington StandJune 26, 2023
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A Christian University in Nashville has recently dropped Promise Keepers from their list of events this month due to the group's stance against gender ideology, sparking controversy among believers throughout the country.
Early last month, Promise Keepers embarked on a mission to encourage men to "take the first step towards a more courageous and bolder life, lived in Jesus" by offering a series of events called "Daring Faith." While events were scheduled for Memphis, Houston, and New York City, Belmont University recently disinvited the group over a statement Promise Keepers released in response to Pride Month.
"As fathers, husbands, grandfathers, and young men -- we see the dangers of gender ideology and the harm it causes," it read. "At Promise Keepers, we affirm that God made human beings in His image to reflect Him. He created male and female with equal worth and dignity -- and there was no mistake in that design."
According to a recent Promise Keepers press release, the "Christ-centered, student-focused" university decided to cancel the group's event on September 29 because certain representatives from the school "cited a conflict in values."
Promise Keepers' values have been unmistakably clear from the start, even before teaming up with Belmont to host one of their events. Founded in 1990 and based in Colorado Springs, the movement is "focused on helping men live with integrity" and providing a biblical framework for how to do just that.
Promise Keepers have also made their view of Pride Month clear, stating "that marriage is designed by God to be for one man and one woman." Belmont, reportedly, has not done the same. According to ChurchLeaders.com, "The university ... has wrestled with its denominational identity and stance on sexuality throughout the past few decades."
"Christians should not have to face 'cancellation' from our own spaces -- places built for the purpose of proclaiming unchanging truth, by the faithful of preceding generations for the benefit of the generations to follow," said Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council.
After Belmont dropped the event, Promise Keepers chairman of the board and CEO Ken Harrison "reached out to Belmont leadership" seeking a "conversation about the influence of social norms and popular culture on the values of Christian Institutions." The organization noted that they have not yet received a response.
Belmont is not the only large Christian institution facing backlash for one of their decisions. Texas Christian University (TCU) recently announced it will be offering a "Queer Art of Drag" course through the Department of Women & Gender Studies. The requirements for the course have been heavily disputed since its announcement.
Although the syllabus page is currently down, The Daily Wire reported that those enrolled in the course will first curate a "drag persona" and then perform in front of their peers. They are also required to "'participate in a live group number on the night of the Spectrum Drag Show' in order to receive an A or A- in the course." The course will be taught by Dr. Nino Testa, a drag artist who goes by the name "Maria Von Clapp."
"In this age of confusion in the culture over basic truths about men, women, sexuality, and family, Christians rightly look to the institutions we've built to be resources and refuges for the faithful," Kilgannon noted. "When those doors are closed to us, we should make note of that reality and support institutions and organizations that are willing to stand up for our beliefs."