A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Gay Seminary Student to Pay Baylor 77K

I happened to be searching Yahoo for another article on Baylor and stumbled upon this one...I'm sure many of you remember this story. My comments are below.

Baylor Student Expelled for Being Gay Ordered to Pay Back $77k Tuition 07.21.05

By Ross von Metzke

(Waco, TX) - A former Baylor University theology student who had his scholarship yanked after he announced he was gay to school officials was ordered to repay the school $77,000 in tuition money and lawyers fees. In February 2003, the Waco, Texas Baptist school withdrew James Matthew Bass' financial aid package after he came out.

According to the school’s student handbook, the punishment for any misconduct — including homosexuality, drinking alcohol and engaging in premarital sex — carries a maximum penalty of expulsion. Bass said the administrators initially told him he could keep his scholarship if he would agree to be admitted to counseling, but he refused.

The lack of financial aid forced Bass, who was enrolled in Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary, to quit school. In March 2003, hundreds of students formed a protest and maligned the administration for stripping Bass of his scholarship.

Bass told the Atlanta Executive Network, a gay business and professional networking group, about the situation during a speech last June. He said his journey was a “difficult one” and a “worthwhile one” and he “wouldn't have done a single thing differently.”

In January 2005, the school filed suit against Bass, accusing him of sending inappropriate e-mails to Baylor employees and their family members, court documents indicate.

In its complaint to Texas' 74th District Court, Baylor alleged that Bass sent more than a thousand e-mails containing pornographic pictures, sexually explicit comments, racial slurs and a hoax obituary for a staffer who is still alive. According to the school, employees began receiving the messages in August 2004.

The e-mails were traced to the modem of an Internet service subscriber at Bass' home address. The subscriber was identified as Bass' roommate, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.

Judge Alan Mayfield has now issued an order that Bass pay $47,000 in damages and $30,000 in attorneys' fees to Baylor. He also ordered Bass to stop e-mailing officials at Baylor, the world's largest Baptist university.

Bass, who was enrolled in the school's George W. Truett Theological Seminary, is now a theology student at Emory University in Atlanta.

Matthew Bass definately got screwed by Baylor and Truett Seminary. His own preacher and confidant outed him. You would think it couldn't get any worse for Bass - but it did. Many fellow Truett students came to his rescue and protested the Seminary's decision to strip Bass of his scholarship. And now this?

You've got to be a little twisted to pull a stunt like Bass. His emails were not only lewd but several were incredibly cruel including the fake obituary he sent out. Sure, he got shafted by Baylor - but his recent actions and comments speak for themself. What a waste...


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