The Rushmore Report – Christian University in Texas vs. Hooters

Hooters is expanding its presence to mid-sized markets throughout the United States. While new locations have been well-received in most municipalities, that cannot be said for one city in Texas. It’s not the town that is outraged; it is one particular university. Rich in Christian heritage, this university is taking a strong stand against Hooters. Which city are we talking about?

Abilene, Texas.

Which university are we talking about?

Abilene Christian University.

The conservative Christian school is urging its students to not apply for a job at the new Hooters. The Abilene Reporter-News has reported that the university released this statement: “We have asked students to consider both what Hooters represents, and whether that is something they really want to support in terms of both their faith and the value this business model places on women.”

You probably have two questions. Let’s tackle both.

Yes, despite the fact the town is home to three religious colleges, despite the fact that you can hardly swing a cat in Abilene without hitting a stained-glass window, the grand opening of the “breastaurant” is next week.

The other two religious colleges – McMurry University and Hardin Simmons University – haven’t raised a fuss, but perhaps that’s because this Hooters is going to be just across Interstate 20 from Abilene Christian. Almost as close as the Cracker Barrel.

The university, affiliated with the Churches of Christ, is serious about its Christian values and its code of conduct. On the Dean of Students Office portion of ACU’s website, it reads right up top: “Abilene Christian University maintains a Christian discipline, promoting a way of life that is intended to uphold the teachings of Jesus Christ, calling all people to God’s truth. Therefore, community life at ACU is a disciplined life.”

This is followed by a quick and handy link for reporting violations of student conduct. And what could one report, other than, say, working or dining at Hooters? Let’s turn to the Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook . . .

Category one violations (punishable by, among other things, a $25 fine) include parking infractions, use of tobacco, profanity, dress code violations, curfew violations, and refusing to report your fellow students’ violations.

Category two violations include alcohol violations, not going to chapel, use or possession of pornography and sexual immorality. Among other punishments, you could get a $50 fine for each.

It goes on from there, but the message is clear: Abilene Christian and Hooters aren’t likely to get along.

Some graduates of ACU include theologian Edward Fudge (called “one of the foremost scholars on hell” by The Christian Post) and Christian pastor and author Max Lucado.

About the Author

Dave Thomas writes for the American-Statesman, the leading newspaper in Austin, Texas.

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