Select Page

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

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

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

Very nearly 2 yrs ago, we and lots of other LGBT alumni founded OneGordon, an LGBT advocacy company serving users of the Gordon community (we’re maybe perhaps perhaps not associated with the faculty, needless to say). Many of us knew, from direct experience, exactly exactly how profoundly rooted Gordon’s attitudes that are anti-gay, and exactly how very very long the street to acceptance is. It’s real that present activities have illuminated a fire under us, our supporters, and also the world that is outside but I’ve stayed mentally prepared for the discussion aided by the college of these dilemmas become long and challenging.

What I didn’t expect, but, had been when it comes to university leadership to help make statements that appear to bear therefore small relationship to truth.

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

If you’re unconvinced, read another page provided for alumni because of the chairman associated with 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 why he finalized the page, as well as in that people support him 100 percent.”

Both the president together with trustees of Gordon College, then, want the capability to fire an employee that is female, state, marrying another woman.

Nevertheless now Dr. Lindsay is apparently changing his story — possibly as the above place is costing Gordon its partnerships with neighborhood governments and organizations (such as for example Salem while the Peabody Essex Museum). In the current op-ed, he suggests he didn’t have Gordon in your mind after all, but alternatively other businesses like Catholic Charities therefore the Salvation Army. However it is tough to get together again this along with his additionally 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 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 practice that is“homosexual lumped in with theft and drunkenness as items that “will not be tolerated when you look at the life of Gordon community people, either on or off campus.” It is hard to get together again this policy that is longstanding their declare that intolerance “has no spot at Gordon College.” Maybe, that is the reason he appears to studiously avoid mentioning it.

The conventional response is the fact that Gordon is certainly not against homosexual orientations, just behavior that is homosexual. This is certainly like saying you’ve got no problem with ducks, just pets that quack. Singling out LGBT pupils and workers for unique restrictions to their behavior is discriminatory, complete end, in the same manner that Bob Jones University’s ban on interracial relationship (a behavior) was racist. Also it supports a wider campus tradition of homophobia that Gordon pupils we speak to suffer with even today.

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

This is the Gordon that individuals are typical susceptible to losing. an organization which has taught intellectual humility, integrity and courage to lots of people during the last 125 years now seems dissembling and unserious, wanting to sweep a debate of historic magnitude beneath the rug just as if it had been merely a misunderstanding that is little.

I actually do perhaps maybe not envy President Lindsay’s place. The college’s trustees, faculty, staff, pupils, alumni, next-door next-door neighbors and community lovers are all pulling in numerous guidelines, and there’s no chance to satisfy everyone fully. I would really like to genuinely believe that their motives are great, even yet in the facial skin of unpleasant incongruencies in their therefore the Trustees’ public statements, and just exactly exactly what often appears like a total unwillingness for either to see LGBT Gordonites as full people in the city.

For the reason 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 might be this: it really is okay never to understand the response. It really is OK to be incorrect. Simply talk the facts in love as most readily useful as you’re able, while the truth will set you free. That’s the type or sort of leader this community requires.