A Christian dean at a New Jersey university resigned from her position over the school's decision to not allow a Chick-fil-A restaurant on campus.
Rider University in Lawrenceville sent out two surveys asking students to vote on their top choices for campus restaurants. Chick-fil-A ranked as one of the top choices in the first survey but it was removed from the list on the second survey because its "corporate values have not sufficiently progressed enough" on LGBT issues, the school said.
Cynthia Newman, the dean of the College of Business at the university, said In an interview with Campus Reform that she "felt as though I had been punched in the stomach," when she learned the university's reasons for rejecting the popular fast food chain.
On Feb. 14, Newman handed in her letter of resignation notifying faculty that she decided to leave her position because of the university's hostility toward Chick-fil-A’s Christian values.
Newman's resignation as a dean will go into effect on Aug. 31, however she will stay on at Rider as a professor starting in September.
"As some of you already know, I am a committed follower of Jesus Christ," Newman wrote in the letter. "As such, I endeavor every day to do exactly what Chick-fil-A puts forward as its overarching corporate value: to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to me and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with me."
Chick-fil-A’s corporate values first came under fire in 2012, when its President Dan Cathy affirmed his stance in support of traditional marriage. In 2014, however, Cathy expressed regret for wading into the marriage debate.
Newman said she had advised school administrators to apologize for their blatant discrimination of religious values, but they refused. Instead, she said, staff was "given a set of talking points about the Chick-fil-A decision that we were to use to respond to those who were critical of the decision."
"I could not, in good conscience as a committed Christian, adhere to those talking points," she maintained.
Newman told Campus Reform the university leadership is "sorry to see me go," but she believes that seeing her stand up for Christian values will give others the courage to also stand up for their beliefs.
"Don't be afraid. Stand up for what you believe in. Do it in a respectful manner so that you, at the end of the day, can still respect yourself for how you expressed your views and how you stood up for your views," Newman told Campus Reform. "And understand that. I mean, you're the one who has to live in the world that's around you, and so if you feel something is not right in that world, you have an obligation to stand up and to say what your perspective is on that."