BLOGHow This Christian Professor Took a Stand for His Faith—and How You Can Help Him

By Maureen Collins Posted on: | January 31, 2019

As Christians, we know that there will be a time when we have to stand up for our faith. We may not know the circumstances surrounding that stand, but Jesus does tell us in John 16:33 that “in the world you will have tribulation.”

It’s not easy being a Christian, even though we are blessed to live in a country where our freedom to believe and speak is protected. But now, these freedoms are under attack. And the day that we will have to take a stand may come sooner than we think.

Just ask Dr. Nicholas Meriwether.

Dr. Meriwether is a philosophy professor at Shawnee State University in Ohio. One day, during class, he answered a student with the words “yes, sir.” He did not think anything of it. Dr. Meriwether often refers to his students as “sir” or “ma’am” or by a title (such as Mr. or Miss) followed by a last name. He finds that it fosters an atmosphere of academic seriousness and mutual respect in the classroom.

But this time was different. The student approached Dr. Meriwether after class and informed him that he identifies as a female and demanded that he be referred to as a woman. When the professor did not immediately agree to these demands, the student called him an explicit name and promised to get him fired.

It would be one thing if this story involved just one upset student. But then, the university administration launched a formal investigation into the situation.

Dr. Meriwether offered a perfectly reasonable compromise: he would refer to the student by a first or last name only (whichever the student preferred) to accommodate the student. But that was not enough for the student or administrators. They told the professor that he must refer to students with the pronouns of their self-asserted gender identity or he would be in violation of the school’s non-discrimination policy.

This simply is not possible for Dr. Meriwether. You see, he is a Christian. He believes that God creates every person as male or female—and God does not make mistakes. To call a man a woman or a woman a man would not only go against common sense, it would violate his conscience, forcing him to say something that just is not true.

This should have been an easy enough situation for Shawnee State to resolve. After all, Dr. Meriwether proposed a compromise that would have accommodated both Dr. Meriwether’s religious beliefs and the student’s desires.

But this is not about accommodation for Shawnee State. It is about forcing Dr. Meriwether to completely embrace and communicate an ideology contrary to his belief. The message is clear: violate your conscience or face punishment.

When the government—especially a university, which is supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, where all viewpoints can be expressed—demands that people adopt a controversial ideology or face punishment, it should concern everyone.

Times have changed. It is no longer a question of if Christians will be punished for freely living out their faith—but when and where it will happen.

Thankfully, there is hope. There are many people out there, like Dr. Meriwether, who refuse to be bullied and are willing to take a stand for their faith. And right now, the world needs people of faith that are willing to stand up for their beliefs, no matter the cost. That is why Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit against Shawnee State University on Dr. Meriwether’s behalf.

We must follow Dr. Meriwether’s example. We cannot sit idly by and allow our freedoms to be stripped away. This professor is bravely taking a stand for faith and freedom—but he can’t do it alone.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we can help support Dr. Meriwether and others like him. After all, no one should be forced to speak a message that they disagree with, especially in a society that protects freedom of speech. That is why your gift is so crucial today.

In a culture where truth and those who speak it are punished, please stand with Dr. Meriwether today. Together, we can create a society where freedoms of speech and religion thrive! Thank you for giving generously.

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Maureen Collins

Web Writer

Maureen has a passion for writing and her work has appeared on The Federalist.

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