SEATTLE — A homosexual professor who works as a nursing instructor at Seattle Pacific University, a private Christian-identified institution in Washington State, has sued the school for discrimination for declining to hire him for a full-time teaching job.
According to the lawsuit filed on Monday, Jéaux Rinedahl was hired in 2019 as a part-time adjunct faculty instructor in the School of Health Services/Lydia Green Nursing Program, where he taught undergraduate students. Rinedahl professes to be a Christian but is “married” to another man.
The school itself apparently welcomes homosexuals, offering various “LGBT” scholarships to high school seniors. Rinedahl also states that “the person who hired [him] congratulated him on his recent marriage and asked for a wedding photograph of [him] and his husband.”
However, a 2005 “Statement on Human Sexuality” posted to the Seattle Pacific website outlines that the university holds to a biblical view of sexuality, as it believes that sexual activity is to be reserved for marriage, and that between a man a woman.
“We believe it is in the context of the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman that the full expression of sexuality is to be experienced and celebrated and that such a commitment is part of God’s plan for human flourishing,” it reads in part. “Within the teaching of our religious tradition, we affirm that sexual experience is intended between a man and a woman.”
In May 2020, the university advertised that it had a position open for a full-time assistant/associate professor of nursing. Rinedahl applied for the job, submitting an application and agreeing to Seattle Pacific’s Statement of Faith, which does not mention homosexuality.
In the application, he was also asked to provide a description of how he would support the school’s commitment to diversity and cultural in his classes.
“I firmly attest to the beauty that cultural diversity brings to our communities to enhance self-governance where everyones [sic] opinion is respected regardless of the color of their skin, whether they are attracted to the same or opposite sex, regardless of where they were born, or what they believe in,” Rinedahl wrote. “When we all work together cohesively and practice respect for diversity, our world is a better place.”
According to the legal challenge, the assistant dean of nursing informed Rinedahl a month later that he his application was rejected because he was “not heterosexual.” However, he has reportedly been asked to continue teaching in his capacity as adjunct faculty.
“While Rinedahl appreciates SPU’s recognition of and appreciation for his strong teaching credentials, he remains puzzled both by SPU’s blatant hypocrisy and its discriminatory animus in its hiring practices,” the lawsuit states. “SPU clearly has no issues or concerns with Rinedahl serving as an adjunct nursing instructor, but it refuses to recognize his hard work, skill, and experience by making him a permanent faculty member simply because he is gay.”
“This is hurtful, demeaning, and demoralizing to Rinedahl.”
Citing the Washington Law Against Discrimination and the Seattle Municipal Code, Rinedahl seeks financial damages for loss of pay and benefits, as well as for “loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and humiliation.”
While a common argument among those who struggle with feelings toward the same sex is that they were “born this way,” the Bible teaches that all are born with the Adamic sin nature (Romans 5:19), having various inherent feelings and inclinations that are contrary to the law of God and being utterly incapable of changing by themselves (Job 14:4).
All men, therefore, face the same predicament, being natural lawbreakers and guilty in the sight of God (Romans 3:19), evoking His wrath.
“[W]e all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others,” Ephesians 2:3 outlines.
“All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way,” Isaiah 53:6 reads, “and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
It is why Jesus came: to do what men could not do for themselves, to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Scripture outlines that Jesus came to be the propitiation for men’s sins (1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10), a doctrine in Christianity known as substitutionary atonement, and to save men from the wrath of God for their violations against His law (Romans 4:25, Romans 5:9, Romans 5:16), a doctrine known as justification.
Acts 2:38-40 exhorts, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
The Bible also teaches about regeneration, as in addition to sparing guilty men from eternal punishment, Christ sent his Holy Spirit to make those who would repent and believe new creatures in the here and now, with new desires and an ability to do what is pleasing in the sight of God by His indwelling and empowerment (Ezekiel 11:19, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Titus 3:5).
The late Anglican preacher J.C. Ryle once explained, “The Lord Jesus has undertaken everything that His people’s souls require — not only to deliver them from the guilt of their sins by His atoning death but from the dominion of their sins by placing in their hearts the Holy Spirit; not only to justify them but also to sanctify them.”