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

As a proud graduate of Gordon university, I have discovered days gone by 8 weeks of debate over Gordon College’s anti-LGBT discrimination discouraging.

But absolutely 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.

Nearly couple of years ago, we and lots of other LGBT alumni founded OneGordon, an LGBT advocacy company serving people in the Gordon community (we’re perhaps maybe maybe not connected to the school, needless to say). Many of us knew, from direct experience, just just just how profoundly rooted Gordon’s attitudes that are anti-gay, and just how very very very long the trail to acceptance is. It’s real that current occasions 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 during these dilemmas become long and challenging.

The thing I didn’t expect, but, 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 letter that is famous asking President Obama for an exemption from LGBT work nondiscrimination guidelines, had been simple and simple — it absolutely was to exempt Gordon from those guidelines. You don’t have to just just just take my term because of it: In a page posted regarding the university web site on July 7 (“Questions in connection with Letter to President Obama”), he penned, “Signing the page was at maintaining with this decades-old conviction that, as an clearly Christian organization, Gordon should set the conduct objectives for people in our community.”

If you’re unconvinced, read another page delivered to alumni because of the chairman regarding the Board of Trustees (the ultimate authority at 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 from the Board of Trustees, is worried about Gordon’s ability to employ for objective. This is why he finalized the page, as well as in him 100 %. that people support”

Both the president in addition to trustees of Gordon university, then, want the capability to fire a feminine worker for, state, marrying an other woman.

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

Similarly difficult to think is his claim that is repeated that university will not take part in discrimination. However it does. You don’t have to just simply take my term for this: it is in the university internet site for anybody to see (the most effective Bing result for “gordon university behavioral requirements”). Beneath the words “Who We Are,” you will discover “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 difficult to get together again this longstanding policy with his declare that intolerance “has no spot at Gordon College.” Possibly, that is the reason he generally seems to studiously avoid mentioning it.

The typical response is the fact that Gordon just isn’t against homosexual orientations, only behavior that is homosexual. This is certainly like saying you’ve got no nagging issue with ducks, just pets that quack. Singling out LGBT pupils and workers for unique limitations on the behavior is discriminatory, full end, in the same manner that Bob Jones University’s ban on interracial relationship (a behavior) had been racist. Plus 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 formerly good reputation on the North Shore, wouldn’t normally run from all of these uncomfortable conversations. It might participate in truthful, candid discussion internally along with the wider community concerning the genuine problems on the line. There was a profound discussion to be had about faith, pluralism, the Bible and sex in modern-day America, and Gordon university should always be in the middle of it. The teachers I’m sure might be afraid super singles dating of losing their jobs recently — but they’re not afraid of any intellectual or debate that is moral the sun’s rays, nor do they access all of them with their minds already made.

That’s the Gordon that people are typical vulnerable to losing. an organization which includes taught intellectual humility, integrity and courage to 1000s of individuals during the last 125 years now seems dissembling and unserious, wanting to sweep a debate of historic magnitude under the rug as though it had been just a small misunderstanding.

I really do perhaps not envy President Lindsay’s place. The college’s trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, next-door next-door next-door neighbors and community partners are pulling in various instructions, and there’s no chance to satisfy everyone fully. I wish to genuinely believe that his motives are great, even yet in the face area of unpleasant incongruencies in their therefore the Trustees’ public statements, and just exactly what often may seem like an unwillingness that is total either to see LGBT Gordonites as full people of town.

For the reason that character, if i possibly could give one belief to the brain of President Lindsay, it can never be that he’s a wicked guy whom has to repent (though which may also be real). It could be this: it really is OK never to understand the solution. It really is okay to be incorrect. Simply talk the reality in love as best you free as you can, and the truth will set. That’s the type or sorts of frontrunner this community needs.

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