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

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

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

Nearly 2 yrs ago, I and many other LGBT alumni founded OneGordon, an LGBT advocacy company serving people in the Gordon community (we’re perhaps maybe perhaps not connected to the school, needless to say). Most of us knew, from direct experience, exactly just how profoundly rooted Gordon’s attitudes that are anti-gay, and exactly how very long the street to acceptance could be. It’s real that current activities have illuminated a fire under us, our supporters, additionally 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, was when it comes to university leadership in order to make statements that appear to bear 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 employment nondiscrimination guidelines, was ordinary and easy — it had been to exempt Gordon from those guidelines. You don’t have actually to simply simply take my term because of it: In a page posted regarding the college internet site on July 7 (“Questions in connection with Letter to President Obama”), he published, “Signing the page was in maintaining with your decades-old conviction that, as an clearly Christian organization, Gordon should set the conduct objectives for users of our community.”

If you’re unconvinced, read another page delivered to alumni by the president for the Board of Trustees (the authority that is ultimate Gordon) on July 13; it is connected through the very first post from the OneGordon internet 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, plus in him 100 %. that people support”

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

Nevertheless now Dr. Lindsay is apparently changing their story — possibly since the above place is costing Gordon its partnerships with neighborhood governments and institutions (such as Salem as well as the Peabody Essex Museum). In his current op-ed, he suggests he didn’t have Gordon at heart after all, but instead other businesses like Catholic Charities in addition to Salvation Army. However it is hard to get together again this together with his therefore the president’s prior statements.

Similarly difficult to think is his claim that is repeated that university will not take part in discrimination. Nonetheless it does. You don’t have actually to just 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,” you will discover practice that is“homosexual lumped in with theft and drunkenness as items that “will not be tolerated within 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, this is the reason he generally seems to studiously avoid mentioning it.

The conventional response is the fact that Gordon isn’t 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 workers for unique limitations on the behavior is discriminatory, complete end, in the same manner that Bob Jones University’s ban on interracial dating (a behavior) had been racist. Also it supports a broader campus tradition of homophobia that Gordon pupils I speak to have problems with even today.

The Gordon university that we understand and love, and that built this type of reputation that is previously good the North Shore, wouldn’t normally run from all of these uncomfortable conversations. It can participate in honest, candid discussion internally along with the wider community concerning the real problems at risk. There was a profound discussion to be had about faith, pluralism, the Bible and sex in modern-day America, and Gordon university must be in the middle of it. The teachers i am aware might be afraid of losing their jobs lately — but they may not be scared of any intellectual or debate that is moral the sun’s rays, nor do they get into these with their minds already composed.

That’s the Gordon that people are typical vulnerable to losing. an organization that features taught intellectual humility, integrity and courage to tens of thousands of individuals throughout the last 125 years now seems dissembling and unserious, wanting to sweep a debate of historic magnitude underneath the rug just as if it had been merely a small misunderstanding.

I really 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 all pulling in different guidelines, and there’s not a way to satisfy everyone fully. I’d like to genuinely believe that their motives are good, even yet in the face area of unpleasant incongruencies in the and also the Trustees’ public statements, and exactly just just what often appears like an unwillingness that is total either to see LGBT Gordonites as full people in 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 might be this: it’s okay not to understand the solution. It’s okay to be incorrect. Simply talk the reality in love as most readily useful you free as you can, and the truth will set. This is the type or sort of frontrunner this community requires.