In this photo taken March 2, 2011, Faith Kroll, 25, and fiance Jim Marcus, 44, pose for a photo in Chicago. The couple engaged in a demonstration in a human sexuality class Feb. 21 at Northwestern University with Kroll taking her clothes off and graphically demonstrating the use of a sex toy, the school has acknowledged. The university's president said Thursday, March 3 he is troubled that a psychology professor allowed a couple to engage in a sex act involving a motorized sex toy in front of dozens of students and is calling for an investigation. (AP Photo/Chicago Sun-Times, Scott Stewart)
The caller said her Northwestern University student group had tried without success to find shelter at about 50 area churches for a project they were doing on the Cumberland Trail, so Community Baptist Church Pastor Clif Roth felt he could help them.
“They were doing Tennessee a favor [in helping build a nature trail],” he said. “I thought, ‘They’re helping us. We can help them.’”
But the next day, when Roth saw a Chattanooga Times Free Press article that mentioned a Northwestern professor’s classroom sex toy demonstration, he felt he needed to rescind the invitation.
The independent Baptist pastor said he “was sure [the Alternative Student Breaks group] had no relationship to [the demonstration],” but he felt allowing the 14-member group to stay in the church indicated “support of that school” and would damage the church’s reputation.
He said he was “concerned about the children” and realized he was painting the group with “a pretty broad brush” but believed the Holy Spirit had showed him the newspaper article for a reason.
Roth said he didn’t make a call to check on any relationship the students might have with the Northwestern professor and didn’t make any calls to help them find shelter elsewhere because the group didn’t ask him to.
Jenny Haag, 22, the school’s Alternative Student Breaks program director who called the pastor to seek shelter for the group, told the Chicago Sun-Times she was “absolutely stunned” by the decision.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” she said. “We give up our spring break to volunteer and to help out in communities and because of this one isolated incident that no one from [Alternative Spring Breaks] had anything to do with, the church decided they couldn’t help us.”
The website of Community Baptist Church, located on Dallas Hollow Road in Hixson, says “it is our mission to be like Jesus by displaying his attitudes.”
Asked if Roth felt his decision reflected the attitude of Jesus, he said, “The Lord Jesus might do something different.”
But he said Christians are called to be “part of the reproval” of sin on earth, and the sex toy demonstration in professor J. Michael Bailey’s human sexuality class is an example of what is driving the nation “into a cesspool of sexual immorality.”
The students, according to the Sun-Times article, wound up finding accommodation during the visit last month with the organization building the trail.
Contact Clint Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6497.
Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...