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

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

As being a proud graduate of Gordon university, I have discovered days gone by 2 months of debate over Gordon College’s anti-LGBT discrimination discouraging.

But absolutely absolutely nothing has frustrated me up to President D. Michael Lindsay’s op-ed in this newspaper (“There are some wounds that may need to be healed,” Aug. 25) monday.

Very nearly couple of years ago, we and many other LGBT alumni founded OneGordon, an LGBT advocacy company serving people in the Gordon community (we’re perhaps not associated with the school, needless to say). Many of us knew, from direct experience, exactly exactly just how profoundly rooted Gordon’s anti-gay attitudes went, and just how very very very long the street to acceptance will be. It’s real that present occasions have illuminated a fire under us, our supporters, plus the world that is outside but I’ve stayed mentally prepared for the discussion with all the university of these problems become long and challenging.

The things I didn’t expect, nevertheless, ended up being when it comes to university leadership to create statements that appear to keep therefore relationship that is little truth.

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

If you’re unconvinced, read another page delivered to alumni because of the chairman of this Board of Trustees (the ultimate authority at Gordon) on July 13; it is linked through the very first article in the OneGordon internet site. With it, he describes Dr. Lindsay’s signature as follows: “He, as with any of us in the Board of Trustees, is worried about Gordon’s capability to employ for objective. This is the reason he finalized the page, as well as in that people support him 100 per cent.”

Both the president and also the trustees of Gordon university, then, want the capability to fire an employee that is female, state, marrying an other woman.

The good news is Dr. Lindsay appears to be changing their story — maybe as the above place is costing Gordon local governments to its partnerships and organizations (such as for example Salem while the Peabody Essex Museum). In the current op-ed, he suggests he didn’t have Gordon at heart at all, but alternatively other companies like Catholic Charities together with Salvation Army. However it is tough to reconcile this together with his plus the president’s previous statements.

Similarly difficult to think is his claim that is repeated that university will not participate in discrimination. However it does. You don’t have actually to 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:. Beneath the words “Who We Are,” there are “homosexual practice” lumped in with theft and drunkenness as items that “will not be tolerated within the everyday lives of Gordon community users, either on or off campus.” It is hard to get together again this longstanding policy with their declare that intolerance “has no spot at Gordon College.” Possibly, this is exactly why he generally seems to studiously avoid mentioning it.

The typical response is the fact that Gordon just isn’t against homosexual orientations, just homosexual behavior. This is certainly like saying you’ve got no nagging issue with ducks, only pets that quack. Singling out LGBT pupils and employees for unique limitations on the behavior is discriminatory, complete end, just as that Bob Jones University’s ban on interracial relationship (a behavior) was racist. And it also supports a broader campus culture of homophobia that Gordon students we speak to suffer with even today.

The Gordon university that we know and love, and that built this type of reputation that is previously good the North Shore, will never run from the uncomfortable conversations. It could practice truthful, candid discussion internally along with the wider community concerning the genuine dilemmas at risk. There was a profound discussion to be had about religion, pluralism, the Bible and sex in modern-day America, and Gordon university must be in the middle of it. The teachers i understand might be afraid of losing their jobs recently — but they may not be afraid of any intellectual or debate that is moral the sunlight, nor do they get into all of them with their minds already comprised.

This is the Gordon that people are typical prone to losing. an organization which has taught intellectual humility, integrity and courage to several thousand individuals over the past 125 years now seems dissembling and unserious, trying to sweep a debate of historic magnitude underneath the rug as though it were simply a misunderstanding that is little.

I actually do maybe perhaps not envy President Lindsay’s place. The college’s trustees, faculty, staff, pupils, alumni, next-door next-door neighbors and community lovers are pulling in various instructions, and there’s no chance to satisfy everyone fully. I wish to think that their motives are great, even yet in the facial skin of troubling incongruencies in their as well as the Trustees’ public statements, and just just what often appears like an unwillingness that is total either to see LGBT Gordonites as full people in the city.

In that character, that he is a wicked man who needs to repent (though that might also be true) if I could impart one sentiment into the mind of President Lindsay, it would not be. It will be this: it really is OK never to understand the response. It really is okay to be incorrect. Simply talk the facts in love as most readily useful as you are able to, while the truth will set you free. This is the variety of frontrunner this community requires.

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