Roughly two weeks ago, the Samford community was made aware of a university decision to uninvite two on-campus ministries, UKirk Birmingham and Trinity Commons, from the Campus Ministry Fair on Aug. 31. Students, faculty, staff and community members responded to this decision with a silent protest on the steps of the Wright Center during convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
On Friday, Sept. 30, University President Beck A. Taylor responded to these recent events via a video message emailed out to the entire Samford community.
In the video, Taylor reminded viewers that, during his inaugural year as president, he “encouraged us to embrace the theme of love as a defining characteristic of this community,” specifically “loving God and loving others.”
“It is within that context and with fidelity to those faithful commitments that we decided to limit Samford’s formal ministry partnerships to churches and organizations that support Samford’s traditional view of human sexuality and marriage,” Taylor said.
Taylor continued to emphasize the motivation behind Samford’s decision.
“We at Samford will not buy into the lie that culture tries to sell us – the lie that in order to truly love someone, one must be perfectly aligned with another’s personal, theological, or political beliefs,” Taylor said. “The love that Jesus models for us is so much more than that.”
Taylor went on to explain what this decision means for students at Samford.
“It does not mean that we are excluding whole swaths of people (students, employees, alumni, and even ministry partners) from denominations who have churches that differ on this topic… It doesn’t mean we don’t welcome LGBTQ students and want to have relationships with them or that we’re closing our campus to them,” Taylor said.
Taylor concluded his video by emphasizing his love for each student at Samford University.
“Let me say once again that at Samford, each person will be loved unconditionally because that is the command our Lord gives to us.” Taylor said.