Georgia University to Employees: Reject Premarital Sex and Homosexuality, or Leave

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Courtesy of Shorter University

Working at Georgia’s Shorter University isn’t a nine-to-five gig. It’s a way of life.

That’s what the university’s top brass seem to be hoping, anyway. On Oct. 26 the Baptist university in Rome, Ga. announced that all 200 employees must read and agree to a Personal Lifestyle Statement. Among other things, it commits them to being active members of their church and avoiding the consumption of alcohol in public. “The ‘why’ is really simple: What you stand for matters,” the school said in a statement. “Proverbs 3:5-6 tell us to ‘Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’… If we acknowledge Him, He will make this university’s path straight.”

Straight being the key word. Employees must also pledge to “reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality.”

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Speaking to LGBT newspaper Georgia Voice on condition of anonymity, one employee said he would likely leave the university as a result of the “witch hunts.” “We now will live in fear that someone who doesn’t like us personally or someone who has had a bad day will report that we’ve been drinking or that we are suspected of being gay,” the employee said.

Don Dowless, the school’s president, said that no employee—no matter how high up the chain of command—is exempt. “I think that anybody that adheres to a lifestyle outside of what the biblical mandate is would not be allowed to continue here,” Dowless told Atlanta’s WSB-TV. Because Shorter does not receive federal funding, its actions do not violate any laws. (via WSB-TV)

William Lee Adams is a staff writer at the London bureau of TIME. Find him on Twitter at @willyleeadams or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.