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Ohio university seizes copies of student publication

LGBT-friendly content, criticism of administration cited as reasons for censorship

Officials of an Ohio university that describes itself as a “Christ-centered, Baptist institution” has seized copies of a student publication, with one administrator saying that its editors do not have permission to distribute it. Credit: cedarville.edu

Officials at an Ohio university that describes itself as a Christ-centred, Baptist institution, have seized copies of a student publication, with one administrator saying that its editors do not have permission to distribute it, a post by Generation Progress states.

Generation Progress funds The Ventriloquist through its journalism network.

Zach Schneider, a former editor of The Ventriloquist who says copies of the latest issue were grabbed from him as he was passing them out, finds that reasoning strange, noting that the publication has been distributed since 2010 without objection. The publication’s editors suggest that a series of LGBT-friendly articles may have triggered the confiscation of the latest issue.  

Mark Weinstein, Cedarville University’s executive director of public relations, told Generation Progress that distribution of The Ventriloquist would be allowed once permission was granted, but it is unclear what staff members are required to do to obtain it.

Schneider, who recently resigned from the editorship, wrote a farewell piece that expresses concern about what he calls the “ideological fascism” at work at the school. “The general orientation and attitude espoused by the administration and mirrored by the student body is one of ideological fascism. By that, I don’t mean campus safety beating down dorm room doors but rather a firm belief in a faith, doctrine, and world that contain no shades of gray. If you’re a feminist, you don’t believe the Bible. If you’re pro-LGBT+, you’re exercising revisionist hermeneutics. If you publish a newspaper with controversial opinions, you’re pursuing an anti-God agenda. If you’re female and you want to teach the Bible to men, or if you’re gay, or if you’re insufficiently Baptist, you’re not welcome here.”