More Controversy at ACU

By Wayne Jackson

Arlie J. Hoover is a professor of history at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, Texas). This is the same institution that was plagued with the huge scandal a few years ago, when two of their professors were exposed as theistic evolutionists. Unfortunately, the spiritual climate “on the hill” has not improved; rather, it definitely is worse.

On November 12th of last year, Hoover posted an article on the internet site of a local newspaper, The Abilene-Reporter News. In that piece, he expressed his approval of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to honor the privilege of the “right of association” to the Boy Scouts of America. This, in effect, granted to that organization the right to exclude avowed homosexuals from scout membership.

Hoover pointed out that the practice of homosexuality has been viewed as “sexual perversion” for untold centuries. He then called attention to the more recent trend to “sanitize” sodomy by:

  1. inventing a new nomenclature (e.g., “gay”);
  2. searching ancient history for notable characters who reputedly practiced this vice (e.g., Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.); and,
  3. arguing that the practice is “genetically” precipitated, etc.

The professor further argued that once homosexual conduct is legitimized, there really is no stopping point for the contention that other bizarre sexual aberrations must also be treated as “normal,” (e.g., incest, pedophilia, bestiality, etc.). He pressed the point that once one rejects an objective standard of morality, any form of sexual abuse may be justified. This ideology found recent expression in the theory that the tendency to “rape” is a male characteristic that is a remnant of man’s “evolutionary” ancestry.

Though I have not always agreed with Hoover on every issue, on this occasion he did a masterful job discussing this theme. He pressed the point that if the present trend continues – where virtually all forms of sexual deviation are granted honorable status – then we will see our society spiral towards a state too horrible to contemplate.

Now here is the shocker. In a letter to the Reporter News a few days later, Darryl Tippens, also a professor at ACU, wrote the following:

“It is important that readers of this newspaper know that Dr. Arlie J. Hoover spoke only for himself in his Nov. 12 guest column concerning homosexuality. He did not speak for Abilene Christian University, and most certainly he did not speak for Wayne Barnard, Angela Brenton, Thom Lemmons and myself, his colleagues and co-workers.

“We wish to express our personal disappointment with Dr. Hoover’s intemperate remarks. In particular, we are pained that persons sincerely struggling with sexual issues in their lives might have felt insulted and demeaned and therefore less willing to seek help or to communicate with people of faith about the matter. We are grieved that young Christians struggling with same-sex attraction might feel injured by his remarks.

“Our view is that all of us are created in the divine image and therefore deserving of profound respect. For those dealing with various sexual issues – and for those who have loved ones who are – may we say that compassion and understanding characterize most members of our academic community.”

What a compromising statement from the leaders of a “Christian” university! What a disgusting capitulation to “political correctness.” What was “intemperate” in Dr. Hoover’s article? Was it the fact that he called homosexual conduct “perversion”? Read Paul’s description of this vileness in the first chapter of Romans. Hoover’s is tame by comparison. Shall we apologize for the New Testament? What does it say for us when we have become so mesmerized by the degenerate standards of our age, that we cannot even address a moral problem of this magnitude without rebuke from our own people?

News accounts have just reported that several religious universities (e.g., Southern Methodist University and Wake Forest) now are granting “spousal” benefits for their employees who have same-sex “domestic partners.” Can some of our folks be far behind?

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.