Column: Challenging Gordon College’s ‘deeply rooted’ attitudes

Column: Challenging Gordon College’s ‘deeply rooted’ attitudes

As a proud graduate of Gordon university, I have discovered the last 8 weeks of debate over Gordon College’s anti-LGBT discrimination discouraging.

But absolutely absolutely nothing has frustrated me up to President D. Michael Lindsay’s Monday op-ed in this paper (“There are a handful of wounds that could must be healed,” Aug. 25).

Nearly 2 yrs ago, we and lots of other LGBT alumni founded OneGordon, an LGBT advocacy organization serving members of the Gordon community (we’re maybe maybe not connected to the school, needless to say). Most of us knew, from direct experience, just just exactly how profoundly rooted Gordon’s anti-gay attitudes went, and exactly how very long the trail to acceptance will be. It’s real that present occasions have illuminated a fire under us, our supporters, additionally the outside globe — but I’ve stayed mentally prepared for the discussion aided by the university during these problems to be long and challenging.

The thing I didn’t expect, nevertheless, ended up being when it comes to university leadership in order to make statements that appear to bear so relationship that is little truth.

Dr. Lindsay’s aim in signing the letter that is famous asking President Obama for an exemption from LGBT employment nondiscrimination guidelines, ended up being simple and easy — it had been to exempt Gordon from those guidelines. You don’t have actually to simply just take my term he composed, “Signing the page was at maintaining with this decades-old conviction that, being an clearly Christian organization, Gordon should set the conduct objectives for people of our community. for this: In a page posted regarding the university web site on July 7 (“Questions in connection with Letter to President Obama”),”

If you’re unconvinced, read another page delivered to alumni because of the chairman for the Board of Trustees (the authority that is ultimate Gordon) on July 13; it is connected through the very first article in the OneGordon web site. Like all of us on the Board of Trustees, is concerned about Gordon’s ability to hire for mission in it, he explains Dr. Lindsay’s signature as follows: “ he. This is the reason he finalized the page, as well as in him 100 %. that people support”

Both the president as well as the trustees of Gordon university, then, want the capacity to fire an employee that is female, state, marrying an other woman.

Nevertheless now Dr. Lindsay is apparently changing his story — maybe considering that the above place is costing Gordon its partnerships with regional governments and institutions (such as for example Salem therefore the Peabody Essex Museum). Inside the recent op-ed, he suggests he didn’t have Gordon in your mind at all, but alternatively other companies like Catholic Charities while the Salvation Army. However it is tough to reconcile this together with his while the president’s previous statements.

Similarly difficult to think is his consistent claim that Gordon university will not take part in discrimination. However it does. You don’t have to just simply take my term it’s on the college website for anyone to see (the top Google result for “gordon college behavioral standards”) for it:. Underneath the words “Who We Are,” there are practice that is“homosexual lumped in with theft and drunkenness as items that “will not be tolerated into the life of Gordon community users, either on or off campus.” It is hard to reconcile this longstanding policy with their declare that intolerance “has no destination at Gordon university.” Possibly, this is the reason he appears to studiously avoid mentioning it.

The typical response is the fact that Gordon is certainly not against homosexual orientations, just homosexual behavior. This is certainly like saying you have got no nagging issue with ducks, just pets that quack. Singling out LGBT pupils and employees for unique limitations on the behavior is discriminatory, full end, in the same manner that Bob Jones University’s ban on interracial relationship (a behavior) had been racist. Also it supports a wider campus culture of homophobia that Gordon students we speak to have problems with even today.

The Gordon university that we know and love, and that built this kind of reputation that is previously good the North Shore, wouldn’t normally run from all of these uncomfortable conversations. It might practice truthful, candid discussion internally along with the wider community concerning the genuine problems at risk. There clearly was a profound discussion to be had about faith, pluralism, the Bible and sexuality in modern-day America, and Gordon university ought to be in the middle of it. The teachers I’m sure might be scared of losing their jobs recently — but they’re not scared of any intellectual or debate that is moral the sun’s rays, nor do they come right into all of them with their minds already composed.

That’s the Gordon that people are prone to losing. an organization that features taught intellectual humility, integrity and courage to lots of people throughout the last 125 years now seems dissembling and unserious, wanting to sweep a debate of historic magnitude underneath the rug as though it had been only a little misunderstanding.

I really do perhaps not envy President Lindsay’s place. The college’s trustees, faculty, staff, pupils, alumni, next-door next-door next-door neighbors and community lovers are pulling in various instructions, and there’s absolutely no way to completely satisfy everybody. I would really like to genuinely believe that their motives are great, even yet in the facial skin of unpleasant incongruencies in the and also the Trustees’ public statements, and exactly exactly what often may seem like an unwillingness that is total either to see LGBT Gordonites as full users of the city.

For the reason that character, if i really could give one belief in to the head of President Lindsay, it can never be that he’s a wicked guy whom needs to repent (though that may also be true). It could be this: it really is okay not to collarspace reviews understand the response. It really is okay to be incorrect. Simply speak the facts in love as most readily useful as you’re able, plus the truth will set you free. This is the type or type of frontrunner this community requires.

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