MOBILE, Ala. — The editor of the student magazine for the University of South Alabama recently took to the media after a Christian printing company declined to publish a particular edition of the publication that was favorable toward homosexuality and drag queens.
“Initially, I was shocked. It never crossed my mind that we’d have an issue with the company,” Sara Boone, 21, told NBC News. “I wrote back to let them know that I wished that would have been something they disclosed on their website and that we would be using a different printing company in the future.”
Interstate Printing states on the “about us” page of its website, “We are a Christian company that will serve the Lord God Almighty in any way we can.” It also quotes Romans 10:13 on the main page, which reads, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The company says that it has had a 40 plus-year relationship with the University of South Alabama, but a recent issue of Due South discussing “diversity” conflicted with its Christian beliefs, and it did not feel comfortable with helping to print the messages contained therein. The special edition reportedly included content about homosexuality and drag queens.
“After reviewing the subject matter of the 2019 fall edition of Due South, we must respectfully decline to print this issue of the publication,” representative Tracey Smith advised in writing. “As the magazine expresses freedom of lifestyles, we must express our freedom by declining to print on the principle that we are a Christian company that does not adhere to the content.”
But Boone feels that there is a difference between holding to one’s convictions and discriminating against others.
“This is more than having personal beliefs,” she told NBC. “This is actively discriminating against a group of people and trying to silence their stories.”
“It’s very ironic for me because this particular issue of Due South is a special topics issue on diversity and inclusion. And it’s the very first special topics issue that we have ever produced. For them to decline printing it because it’s so diverse and the content is incredibly ironic,” Boone also remarked to AL.com.
The university printed the magazine itself, which was released on Nov. 20.
Bob Lowery, the school’s director of communications and media, praised the students in a statement, but also affirmed the rights of businesses to hold to their religious convictions.
“The University of South Alabama is committed to the principles of freedom of expression and the exchange of different points of view. We respect our students for having the courage of their convictions,” he said. “At the same time, we also respect the rights of individuals and private businesses to make decisions that are consistent with their values.”
1 Timothy 5:22 says, “[N]either be partaker of other men’s sins; keep thyself pure.”
The late preacher A.W. Tozer also once stated, “There is no Christian victory or blessing if we refuse to turn away from the things that God hates. Even if your wife loves it, turn away from it. Even if your husband loves it, turn away from it. Even if it is accepted in the whole social class and system of which you are a part, turn away from it. Even if it is something that has come to be accepted by our whole generation, turn away from it if it is evil and wrong and an offense to our Lord and righteous Savior.”
“Every Christian holds the key to his or her own spiritual attainment. If he or she will not pay the price of being joyfully led by the Holy Spirit of God, if he or she refuses to hate sin and evil and wrong, our churches might as well be turned into lodges or clubs.”