US: Christian college attempts to shut down student newspaper over pro-gay article

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A Christian university is confiscating copies of the campus’s student newspaper, after it ran a pro-gay article.

The Ventriloquist, a student newspaper at the Baptist Cedarville University, had run on the campus for four years, but an editorial on the paper’s website says that last week, physical copies were confiscated by staff.

It reads: “On April 23, distribution of the April issue of The Ventriloquist was forcefully shut down by Cedarville University president Dr. Thomas White and VP of Student Life Jonathan Wood.

“White and Wood walked around the distribution stations confiscating papers. Wood forcefully removed papers from the hands of at least one distributor.

“The move to shut down The Ventriloquist is likely the latest in a series of shifts towards right-wing religious fundamentalism by the new administration.”

It added that new fundamentalist policies at the university include “no longer permitting male students to enroll in Bible classes taught by women.”

The issue included a pro-gay article, which lambasted the university’s ‘ideological fascism’ over LGBT issues.

The paper’s editor Zach Schneider told Generation Progress that the copies were ‘grabbed’ from his hand.

He said: “[Wood] came up to me and said I didn’t have permission to pass out [The Ventriloquist] and he grabbed the copies from my hands.

“I let him have them because I didn’t want to get into a tug-of-war, but asked if I could have the copies back.

“He just told me they were being confiscated.”

Mark Weinstein, the school’s Executive Director of Public Relations, said: “Yes, they were confiscated.

“Our school has policies for soliciting and [students] need permission to distribute. It was checked and [The Ventriloquist] did not have permission.”

Schneider said the newspaper had been distributed for four years on the campus with no issue until now.