Hillsdale College in Michigan would never be mistaken for liberal Berkeley, but a mass email sent by the school's chaplain nonetheless angered many.
"Just to give you a heads up, ugly things are happening in the Supreme Court right now," said the email, reportedly written by a student but circulated campuswide by Chaplain Peter Beckwith Tuesday. "Justice Anthony Kennedy is seen as the 'swing vote' and, if that is the case, he will have the power to legalize same-sex marriage NATIONWIDE! Yeah...I do not even think we can imagine the effects this could have on our nation, the church and families." A prayer gathering that took place later that day was organized "for God to give the Justices and the courts wisdom, courage and discernment, for evil to be revealed and destroyed, and for a heart of love and sound mind."
Hillsdale College is an NCAA Division II school and it recently had an out player on its basketball team, Derek Schell. Now an alumnus, Schell became privy to the email and was none too pleased, according to OutSports. He wrote the following on Facebook:
"I've never been one to shut my ear to an opposing argument or point of view. However, this is a step too far. I have tried to describe my college environment and experience to some friends and family and this is a good example. Imagine being a closeted, scared, struggling student and receiving this CAMPUS WIDE email (that sends to alums as well). I met good, kind people in my time in that little town in Michigan, but today I am ashamed, disgusted and angry. This is violence, hatred, and ignorance personified. My heart is heavy for my Hillsdale family today. When I put a ring on my husbands finger, I'll be sure your invitation is lost in the mail. Instead, I'll say a prayer that you discover some love, and stop hiding behind the fear of something that doesn't affect you at all."
In light of the email, the school is considering changing its communications policies, reports MLive, a site for several Michigan newspapers. Also, Provost David Whalen released the following statement Wednesday:
"The tone and language of the email did not properly represent our commitment to thoughtful inquiry and civil discussion as necessary to the pursuit of truth. We have a long history of treating all students with love and respect, and our Honor Code requires our students to do likewise."
The college, located in Hillsdale, Mich., is not affiliated with any religion but is known for embracing a conservative worldview. "The College considers itself a trustee of modern man's intellectual and spiritual inheritance from the Judeo-Christian faith and Greco-Roman culture," its online mission statement reads in part.