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

Column: Challenging Gordon university’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 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 2 yrs ago, we and lots of other LGBT alumni founded OneGordon, an LGBT advocacy company serving people of the Gordon community (we’re maybe perhaps perhaps not connected to the faculty, needless to say). Most of us knew, from direct experience, just just how onlinedatingsingles profile examples profoundly rooted Gordon’s attitudes that are anti-gay, and exactly how very very long the street to acceptance will 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 using the university of these dilemmas become long and challenging.

The thing I didn’t expect, nonetheless, had been when it comes to university leadership to help make 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 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 just take my term because of it: In a page posted regarding the university site on July 7 (“Questions about the Letter to President Obama”), he had written, “Signing the page was at keeping with this decades-old conviction that, being an clearly Christian organization, Gordon should set the conduct objectives for people in our community.”

If you’re unconvinced, read another page provided for alumni by the president for the Board of Trustees (the authority that is ultimate Gordon) on July 13; it is connected through the very very first post regarding the OneGordon site. With it, he describes Dr. Lindsay’s signature the following: “He, as with any of us in the Board of Trustees, can be involved about Gordon’s capability to employ for objective. Which is why he finalized the page, plus in that people support him 100 per cent.”

Both the president and also the trustees of Gordon university, then, want the capacity to fire a feminine worker for, state, marrying another woman.

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

Similarly difficult to believe 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 word for this: it is in the university web site for anybody to see (the most truly effective Google result for “gordon university behavioral requirements”). Beneath the words “Who We Are,” there are “homosexual practice” lumped in with theft and drunkenness as items that “will not be tolerated into the life of Gordon community people, either on or off campus.” It is hard to get together again this policy that is longstanding his declare that intolerance “has no destination at Gordon university.” Possibly, for this reason he appears to studiously avoid mentioning it.

The typical response is the fact that Gordon is certainly not 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 stop, in the same manner that Bob Jones University’s ban on interracial relationship (a behavior) had been racist. And it also supports a wider campus tradition of homophobia that Gordon pupils we speak to have problems with even today.

The Gordon university that we understand and love, and that built such a reputation that is previously good the North Shore, wouldn’t normally run from the uncomfortable conversations. It might participate in truthful, candid discussion internally along with the wider community in regards to the real problems on the line. There is certainly a conversation that is profound be had about religion, pluralism, the Bible and sex in modern-day America, and Gordon university must certanly be in the middle of it. The teachers i am aware might be afraid of losing their jobs recently — but they’re not scared of any intellectual or moral debate under the sun’s rays, nor do they get into all of them with their minds already composed.

That’s the Gordon that people are susceptible to losing. an institution which includes taught intellectual humility, integrity and courage to lots of people over the past 125 years now appears dissembling and unserious, attempting 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 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 no chance to completely satisfy everybody. I would really like to think that their motives are great, even yet in the face area of unpleasant incongruencies in their as well as the Trustees’ public statements, and exactly exactly just what often may seem like a total unwillingness for 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 will be this: it really is okay not to understand the solution. It really is okay to be incorrect. Just talk the reality in love as most readily useful as you are able to, and also the truth will set you free. This is the type of frontrunner this community requires.

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