Anna Schultz-Black And White Girl From Behind

Baylor’s Christianity is Fake AF

     Welcome to Baylor University. We are a Christian institution that commits racist acts, hates gay people, and tells you to love one another all in one breath. 

     I grew up in an atheist household. When I found my own Christianity in middle school, my dad, despite his own beliefs, supported me. I decided to come to Baylor because I wanted a solid Christian community which I never truly got in my life before. However, here at Baylor I found myself in a whirlwind of confusion and heartbreak. I have seen Baylor take sexual assault, racism, and homophobia and sweep it under the rug to keep their namesake; but we see it. Baylor students see how others are treated and are taught that the Christian community they “provide” is a facade. I lost my Christianity at Baylor University.

     We all saw what happened with Ken Starr and the football team back in 2016. Major sexual assault acts were blown over. This was a national news story that is no longer spoken about at Baylor. As a sexual assault survivor, I was terrified of how they would treat me; how Baylor would portray me, and how students would talk about me. If I would be made into a meme or called a liar. I know this is the same story most women face, especially at Baylor where being defiled is the survivor’s mistake, a fracture in their Christian character. It took me a year to tell someone about it because I felt I would be treated the same as the silenced women in those cases. Baylor flaunted their new Title X promises and yet still we see Title X presidents(?) coming and going each year, and sometimes once a semester. This means there is something behind closed doors and under hushed tones there is a heavy presence of sexual assault at Baylor. Earlier in my career as a student, there was a shorts policy at the Student Life Center to seemingly protect the eyes of men from seeing women student’s thighs. Just like in middle school, women were being blamed for their bodies in a space that is for working out and is supposed to be safe. Dr. Livingstone quickly protested this policy and it was taken down. Dr. Livingstone showed up for women on campus that day and showed what it means to be a leader of Christian women in this day in age. However, this is not how most situations have gone at Baylor. Christianity at Baylor doesn’t mean protecting its students from the evils that have come down upon them. Christianity at Baylor means boxing up the bad as best as they can then putting a sweet little bow of loving God on top. The God I know is a righteous and kind God that will never let a woman fall on their face as Baylor did.

     Racism strolls amongst Baylor campus, most recently on the base floor of Moody. A group of African American students was in the common area, where all are allowed to gather and talk. A member of Baylor faculty made a racist remark to these students about their volume and he said, “This is not a basketball arena, it is a study area.” Then, the Baylor police were called immediately after by the security guard. You can find the full story at the Baylor Lariat here: Police called on Black students studying, socializing in Moody Memorial Library.  This is not a one-time instance. We see a systemic hurt among our minority students. Baylor and those who represent the institution should never speak to students in such a brash and insensitive manner. 

     I have heard Asian American students lament racism around campus dealing with the corona virus and how they are being blamed by faculty and peers for “bringing the virus”. Stories of zoom meeting comments and covert expressions of hate are being glazed over. Baylor needs to pick up their cross and walk alongside them. They must make a safe path for these targeted individuals to speak out. I lost my Christianity when I saw how poorly these students of color are being treated and how Baylor turns a blind eye to their suffering. Progressive Christianity is understanding that systemic racism is prevalent at Baylor and must be actively fought against. 

     Additionally, Baylor’s own rules and regulations are silencing their students. Just in 2015 Baylor removed their homophobic clause stating homosexuality was punishable by the university. Being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, Baylor really let me down. Now, they refuse to charter the club called Gamma Alpha Upsilon, the “only unofficial LGBTQIA+ club at Baylor University'' according to their twitter page. The Student Senate and Faculty senate have voted in support of the group charter and we as a Baylor community are ready to envelope all of our peers with open hearts. This chartering issue will meet Baylor Regents soon and Baylor has the opportunity to show their true colors, whether they be beautiful and welcoming or dark and hateful. I know too many persons who are scared to speak out about their orientation and pronouns because there is this looming presence of hatred behind their shoulders. It is time Baylor shows their true love for their students and allow God’s unconditional passion for His children to reign free among the campus.

     I am now an omnist. The definition of omnism is, “the recognition and respect of all religions or lack thereof”. As a person in the mental health field, I believe this is the right place for me. I respect and love each and every person with all of their caveats and quirks. I believe we have a right to have unconditional positive regard for each other and Baylor Christianity is not the place to be able to do so. Christianity doesn’t mean posting Bible quotes every other day on an Instagram page. It means walking hand in hand with the people beside you and welcoming them into your heart no matter who they are or what they have done.