When a department chair at the University of North Carolina Wilmington suggested that the school's staff could send a list of “gay-friendly” churches to the school's students, she ignited a heated debate on the separation of church and state.
“I was really ticked,” said criminology professor and TownHall.com columnist Dr. Mike Adams during an interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday.
Adams openly criticized the school's LGBTQIA Resource Office, a diversity office that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and intersex students, in his Aug. 15 column for spending government time and money on locating and endorsing certain churches over others based on their view of homosexuality.
The list of five churches is part of a bigger resource guide which was initially circulated last month to the school's staff by Amy Schlag, the LGBTQIA Office Program Adviser. But when Dr. Kimberly Cook, chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at UNCW, got a hold of it, she said it could be passed on to students as well.
“It might be useful for you and your students,” she wrote in the email to other staff members. “Use as you deem appropriate.”
Adams, who is an atheist-turned-Christian, recalled that in 2009 he sent an email to students that mentioned that they were “endowed with a purpose by their Creator,” which Cook then sent to the school's dean in protest.
Now she's allowed a list recommending churches to students to be passed out, and that outrages Adams.
He says that there are, undoubtedly, people on campus at UNCW that agree that the school should not endorse specific churches. But, he says, “no one will speak up at all because it's the gay movement, and everyone is terrified of speaking up against the gay movement.”
Adams says that he is currently in the middle of a court battle with UNCW over a promotion that the school denied him five years ago due, in part, to his controversial column and his criticisms of diversity. In April, he won a unanimous decision for his first amendment rights in front of a circuit court of appeals.
He originally wrote his latest piece, he says, because he saw the list of churches as an opportunity to “expose the hypocrisy of how the separation of church and state 'card' is sort of played by the academic left.”
Neither Schlag nor Cook had replied to Christian Post queries before this article was published.