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

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

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

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

Nearly 2 yrs ago, we and many other LGBT alumni founded OneGordon, an LGBT advocacy company serving people in the Gordon community (we’re perhaps not associated with the faculty, needless to say). Many of us knew, from direct experience, just just exactly how profoundly rooted Gordon’s anti-gay attitudes went, and exactly how long the street to acceptance will be. It’s real that present activities have illuminated a fire under us, our supporters, additionally the world that is outside but I’ve stayed mentally prepared for the discussion utilizing the university during these problems become long and challenging.

The thing I didn’t expect, but, had been for the university leadership in order to make statements that appear to keep so relationship that is little truth.

Dr. Lindsay’s aim in signing the famous page, asking President Obama for an exemption from LGBT work nondiscrimination guidelines, ended up being ordinary and easy — it had been to exempt Gordon from those guidelines. You don’t have actually to simply simply take my term for this: In a page posted regarding the university site on July 7 (“Questions about the Letter to President Obama”), he published, “Signing the page was at maintaining with your 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 delivered to alumni by the president associated with the Board of Trustees (the ultimate authority at Gordon) on July 13; it is connected through the very first post in the OneGordon site. Inside it, he describes Dr. Lindsay’s signature as follows: “He, like all of us in the Board of Trustees, is worried about Gordon’s capacity to employ for objective. This is the reason he finalized the page, as well as in him 100 %. that people support”

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

The good news is Dr. Lindsay is apparently changing his story — maybe since the above place is costing Gordon its partnerships with regional governments and organizations (such as for example Salem in addition to Peabody Essex Museum). In the present op-ed, he suggests he didn’t have Gordon in your mind at all, but instead other businesses like Catholic Charities while the Salvation Army. However it is hard to reconcile this along with his while the president’s previous statements.

Similarly difficult to believe is his claim that is repeated that university will not participate in discrimination. However it does. You don’t have actually to simply simply take my term for this: it is regarding the university web site for anybody to see (the most truly 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 life of Gordon community users, either on or off campus.” It is hard to get together again this policy that is longstanding their declare that intolerance “has no destination at Gordon College.” Maybe, this is why he generally seems to studiously avoid mentioning it.

The typical response is the fact that Gordon just isn’t against homosexual orientations, just behavior that is homosexual. This is certainly like saying you have got no issue with ducks, just pets that quack. Singling out LGBT pupils and workers for special limitations to their behavior is discriminatory, complete end, in the same manner that Bob Jones University’s ban on interracial dating (a behavior) was racist. Also it supports a wider campus culture of homophobia that Gordon pupils we speak to have problems with even today.

The Gordon university that I understand and love, and that built such a reputation that is previously good the North Shore, wouldn’t normally run from all of these uncomfortable conversations. It might take part in honest, candid discussion internally along with the wider community in regards to the genuine problems on the line. There was a conversation that is profound be had about faith, pluralism, the Bible and sex in modern-day America, and Gordon university should really be in the middle of it. The professors i understand could be afraid 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 comprised.

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

I really do perhaps not envy President Lindsay’s place. The college’s trustees, faculty, staff, pupils, alumni, next-door neighbors and community lovers are pulling in various guidelines, and there’s no chance to completely satisfy every person. I wish to genuinely believe that their motives are good, even yet in the face area of unpleasant incongruencies in the while the Trustees’ public statements, and just just what often appears like a total unwillingness for either to see LGBT Gordonites as full people of 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 solution. It really is okay to be incorrect. Simply talk the reality in love as most readily useful as you’re able, and also the truth will set you free. This is the style of frontrunner this community needs.