The writer ripped ORU — whose basketball team is headed to the Sweet 16 — as a ‘hotbed of institutional transphobia, homophobia with regressive, sexist policies’
After tiny Oral Roberts University shocked the sports world with its otherworldly upsets of second-seeded Ohio State and then seventh-seeded Florida in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, you knew the woke mob sooner or later would deliver vitriol against the famously conservative Christian college.
Sure enough, a Tuesday op-ed penned by USA Today’s Hemal Jhaveri did just that.
While acknowledging that Oral Roberts has “become a fan favorite” due to its improbable underdog run, Jhaveri pulled no punches when came to the school’s moral standards, which she said are “wholly incompatible with the NCAA’s own stated values of equality and inclusion” — particularly its “discriminatory and hateful anti-LGBTQ+ policy.”
She noted that ORU condemns “homosexual behavior” along with “adultery” and “premarital sex” and requires students to pledge they won’t be in marriages other than those “between one man and one woman,” none of which is surprising for a conservative Christian college.
More from Jhaveri’s op-ed:
As a private university and under the banner of fundamentalist Christian beliefs, the school is free to impose whatever standards of behavior they see fit, even if those standards are wildly out of line with modern society and the basic values of human decency. Now, as Oral Roberts gains national attention, the focus shouldn’t just be on their very good men’s basketball team, but on their prejudiced teachings and moral regressiveness.
That Oral Roberts wants to keep its students tied to toxic notions of fundamentalism that fetishize chastity, abstinence and absurd hemlines is a larger cultural issue that can be debated. What is not up for debate however is their anti-LGBTQ+ stance, which is nothing short of discriminatory and should expressly be condemned by the NCAA.
She went on to argue that “any and all anti-LGBTQ+ language in any school’s polices should ban them from NCAA competition.”
Calling ORU “a hotbed of institutional transphobia, homophobia with regressive, sexist policies,” Jhaveri added that “there is no way to separate their men’s basketball team from the dangers of their religious dogma, no matter how many top seeds they defeat.”