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


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

Being a proud graduate of Gordon university, i’ve discovered the last 8 weeks of debate over Gordon College’s anti-LGBT discrimination discouraging.

But absolutely nothing has frustrated me just as much as 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 of the Gordon community (we’re perhaps perhaps perhaps not connected to the faculty, needless to say). Many of us knew, from direct experience, how profoundly rooted Gordon’s attitudes that are anti-gay, and exactly how long the street to acceptance could be. It’s real that present occasions have illuminated a fire under us, our supporters, therefore the outside globe — but I’ve stayed mentally prepared for the discussion aided by the college of these dilemmas become lengthy and challenging.

The things I didn’t expect, but, had been for the university leadership to produce statements that appear to keep therefore relationship that is little truth.

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

If you’re unconvinced, read another page delivered to alumni because of the president for the Board of Trustees (the ultimate authority at Gordon) on July 13; it is connected through the very first post in the OneGordon 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. For this reason he finalized the page, as well as in him 100 %. that people support”

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

However now Dr. Lindsay is apparently changing their story — possibly considering that the above place is costing Gordon local governments to its partnerships and organizations (such as for example Salem therefore the Peabody Essex Museum). In his current op-ed, he suggests he didn’t have Gordon in your mind after all, but alternatively other companies like Catholic Charities and also the Salvation Army. However it is tough to get together again this together with his therefore the president’s previous statements.

Similarly difficult to think is his consistent claim that Gordon university will not participate in discrimination. Nonetheless it does. You don’t have actually to simply simply take my term for this: it is from the university internet site for anybody to see (the most effective Bing result for “gordon university behavioral requirements”). Beneath the words “Who We Are,” there are practice that is“homosexual 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 policy that is longstanding their claim that intolerance “has no spot at Gordon College.” Maybe, for this reason he generally seems to studiously avoid mentioning it.

The conventional response is the fact that Gordon isn’t against homosexual orientations, just behavior that is homosexual. That is like saying you have got no issue with ducks, just pets that quack. Singling out LGBT students and workers for unique limitations on the behavior is discriminatory, complete 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 tradition of homophobia that Gordon pupils we speak to have problems with even today.

The Gordon university that we know and love, and that built this type of previously good reputation on the North Shore, wouldn’t normally run from all of these uncomfortable conversations. It might take part in truthful, candid discussion internally along with the wider community in regards to the genuine dilemmas at risk. There clearly was a profound discussion to be had about religion, pluralism, the Bible and sex in modern-day America, and Gordon university should really be in the middle of it. The teachers I’m sure could be afraid of losing their jobs recently — but they’re not scared of any intellectual or ethical debate under the sun’s rays, nor do they enter all of them with their minds already composed.

That’s the Gordon that people are vulnerable to losing. an organization which includes taught intellectual humility, integrity and courage to several thousand individuals during the last 125 years now seems dissembling and unserious, wanting to sweep a controversy of historic magnitude beneath the rug just as if it had been only a misunderstanding that is little.

I actually do perhaps maybe perhaps not envy President Lindsay’s place. The college’s trustees, faculty, staff, pupils, alumni, neighbors and community lovers are pulling in numerous instructions, and there is no chance to completely satisfy everybody else. I wish to genuinely believe that their motives are good, even yet in the facial skin of unpleasant incongruencies in their while the Trustees’ public statements, and exactly just what often appears like an unwillingness that is total either to see LGBT Gordonites as full users of the city.

For the reason that nature, 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 could be this: it really is okay not to understand the response. Its okay to be incorrect. Simply talk the reality in love as most readily useful you free as you can, and the truth will set. That is the variety of frontrunner this community requires.