SMU is losing its "divorce" case with its mother church


As you all may know, SMU has attempted to disassociate itself from the Methodist Church and become fully secular over the UMC’s refusal to do same-sex weddings.

Their court battle, which is on appeal, appears to be going against them though, as the appeals court overturned the trial court’s dismissal.

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Suppose SMU ultimately loses this case and is forced to remain Methodist.

Would that make them less appealing as an expansion candidate to the PAC?

Aren’t similar religious concerns what kept BYU out for decades?

As a civil appellate lawyer, what say you @Lawbert?


I take it they want to drop the Perkins School of Theology?

I assume it would become a secular divinity school, somewhat like Harvard’s.

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I know that some Episcopalian Churches will.


Episcopalians, UCC, certain Lutheran sects, Universalists, and certain Presbyterians, as well as some Methodists.

So, a lot.


Not sure if Unitarian Universalists are legitimately “Christian.”

As for Episcopalians, certain Presbyterians, and certain Lutherans, those “mainline” protestant denominations are pretty much all in decline.


Oh I agree with that, I was just answering the OPs question. Point is, a lot of churches will perform same sex marriages.

I don’t particularly care one way or another; churches should be able to do as they please, as long as they stay in their lane.


PAC is almost at a point where they will take any schools right now. Religious affiliated or not. I would stay west if I’m them. Why even mess with Tulane and SMU.

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Yep. If I am the PAC, I invite Colorado State and Utah State. Both up and coming schools in growing states. Assuming two more schools leave, I would then grab two of SDSU, UNLV and/or Nevada-Reno.

No point going into Texas to grab a small private school like SMU. Seems to be a stretch.

UNLV, Utah State, Colorado State, and Nevada-Reno would all be secular R1 schools well within the PAC’s traditional footprint.

Given that, there’s no reason for the PAC to go the R2 (SDSU), religious R2 (SMU), or all the way to NOLA (Tulane) route.

They can easily expand closer to home while maintaining their secular R1 preferences if it comes down to that.


Yep, agreed.

I think the real issue is, how many schools end up leaving. If everyone starts jumping ship, then the PAC may end up just being Wazzou, Oregon State and Utah, assuming Cal, Stanford, Oregon and Washington go BIG, and ASU and Arizona go Big 12, or some combination of the two. Worse case scenario limits their options on new members.

Actually, its the reason the Methodudt church is splitting but more are going to the division that allows same sex marriage


For those of us that claim the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God, this schism is painful but necessary (IMO). Me and my church voted to leave the UMC (86% to 14%). I hated to lose some good friends that left after the vote, but that’s the polarization that impacts so much of our lives today. As Tiny Tim said, “God bless everyone!”


Deciding what is divinely inspired has been an argument since day one. Scholars can tell multiple sects wrote different bible passages. Its why so much stuff is contradictory.
In the end I’m fine with churches that want to maintain their beliefs. We are all free to find a place of worship where others share our values and beliefs. That’s the point of church, a community with shared values. That’s not the pont of cities, states or countries or even universities. Instead their task is to bring diverse people together



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Over “refusal to conduct same sex marriages.”


What serious religious institution related to Christianity conducts same sex marriages??



I was unaware that you were the official judger of whom or what is considered a “serious” Christian denomination. Considering that those denominations (often referred to as “Mainline Protestants”) I mentioned contain approximately 15 percent of the U.S. population (or 50 million Americans), to suggest are not serious is somewhat insulting.

In addition, it should be added that Evangelical denominations have been losing members at a drastic rate, and that overall church attendance has dropped dramatically. Russell Moore, former head of the Southern Baptist convention (my church of birth) and self-proclaimed liberal leftist (/s), has called it a crisis and just wrote a book discussing it. His main argument is that too many Evangelicals have let politics become their religion, and that too many Evangelical leaders, in pursuit of power, have forgotten the gospel.

This is exactly what the Founders were concerned with when they included the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment. That by intertwining religion with government, you will end up weakening religion by strengthening government (not the other way around). I point to Iran, the land of my father’s as an example.


You nailed it EastCoastCoog. I don’t want to live in the white nationalist Christian version of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and neither do most Americans.


Hyperbolic much?

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