"defend the obvious good character of the students and faculty who support Samford Together"

Dear Dr. Westmoreland:

I must address you anonymously because although you have expressed a desire for dialogue, many faculty and staff are officially gagged in this matter and threatened, professionally, for our principled dissent. Meanwhile, multiple internal and external sources have claimed that we support your anti-equality political views (you can’t credibly attribute them to “a Christian worldview” when most of the Christians in this community stand in passionate opposition). There will be no progress in this matter while you threaten your employees. With a single email message to the entire community, you could remove the gags, condemn the threats, and solicit the free exchange of ideas any legitimate university represents.

Unfortunately, the rhetoric you employed to justify your refusal to give Samford Together a fair hearing suggests that you do not sincerely intend to advance the group’s extremely mild goals. Samford Together is not controversial and has met no informed, ethical skepticism. It has endured these outrageous slanders through no fault of its own. Your job as the ethical leader of this university was to defend the obvious good character of the students and faculty who support Samford Together. Instead, you gave credence to the paranoid ravings of a dying regional ideology.

This can be corrected by keeping your promise to this community. Present Samford Together to the trustees for the up-or-down vote allowed every other student organization approved by the faculty senate. If you really do wish to advance Samford Together’s goals, as you have said, that is the appropriate process. The students and faculty have spoken very clearly, so there is no need for committees, consultants, or further suppression of the Samford community’s core values.

A Loyal and Longtime Employee

Brit Blalock