Wheaton College Student Pelted With Apple For Asking Question About Homosexuality

Wheaton College certainly had good intentions when they hosted a Town Hall Chapel for students Monday night. The annual all-school forum is meant to offer an opportunity for students to engage with the College President, currently Philip Ryken, on campus issues.

But the goodwill toward men didn’t last. When Philip Fillion, a straight, married senior at the college, approached the microphone with a question about the school’s stance on same-sex relationships, things got weirdly violent. Fillion read his question aloud from a public Facebook note he’d published:

“All students, via the Community Covenant, and all faculty, via the Statement of Faith, are required to affirm a sexual ethic that denies everyone except celibates and married straight people a place in the kingdom of God. This sexual ethic is not at all universal and depends on a reading of scripture that is incredibly narrow and ignores history, culture, and science. The Statement of Faith and the Community Covenant also lack any language about the sacraments of the Christian church. Why is it the case that our college, in documents we all must agree to or be expelled, insists on formally condemning and denying equality to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, on spurious theological grounds, yet completely leaves behind baptism and Eucharist, which Jesus Christ himself instituted to grow and strengthen the Christian community?”

As Fillion was walking back to his seat, someone in the audience chucked an apple at him.

And nobody did anything.

“There was no response when the fruit was thrown. No boos, no gasp,” he says. “A student was in line after me and when it was his turn to ask a question, he began his time at the microphone by calling out whoever had thrown the fruit, remarking that such behavior was inappropriate and disrespectful. There was restrained applause for this.”

“President Ryken did not see the incident and did not fully understand what happened until after chapel ended,” Wheaton College told TIME in a statement.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Shortly after the forum, a person who claims to be the apple-thrower posted a letter defending himself on a public wall at Wheaton designated for sharing student opinions.

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Kentucky Student Privacy Act, the Anti-Transgender “Bathroom Bill,” Dies In Committee… Barely

Kentucky’s anti-transgender SB76, or the Kentucky Student Privacy Act, failed by a single vote in a Senate committee hearing Thursday. And ironically, the failure of a bill with “privacy” in its name will actually do more to protect Kentucky students’ privacy than if it had passed.

SB76 was the brainchild of Republican Senator C.B. Embry Jr. (below), who introduced the measure back in January. Under the guise of “privacy,” the bill would have banned transgender students from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. So a student who was assigned male at birth but lived and presented as a girl would have to use the boys’ restroom (or a “separate-but-equal” unisex bathroom, if one existed), and vice versa for a trans boy assigned female at birth.



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The Catholic Church’s Transphobia Has Never Been a Secret

I am so tired of writing to extremist Christians who believe they know transgender people better than transgender people know themselves. You’re probably tired of reading them.

But a recent post from Patheos Catholic’s Thomas J. McDonald has made it clear that the epidemic of shaming, delegitimizing, and dehumanizing trans people by the Catholic Church has no end in sight, and I can’t let that slide.

Over at Patheos Atheist’s Rational Doubt, Mary Johnson (below), a nun-turned-atheist who used to work with Mother Teresa’s order, gave an interview about the process of doubting, then leaving, her faith. It’s brief but insightful, yet it has McDonald up in arms.

Here’s the segment McDonald takes issue with:

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San Francisco Students Protest Catholic School “Morality” Policy

Students at a San Francisco Catholic high school have had enough of their administration telling them that being gay is a “grave evil” — and they’re standing up for teachers who they fear could lose their jobs.

Earlier in February, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone sent a letter to teachers in the Archdiocesan Catholic High Schools “clarifying” the church’s view on morality. One of the affected schools is Archbishop Riordan High School.

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Arkansas Legislature Pulls Out All the Stops to Block LGBT Equality — and Other Civil Rights, Too

The Arkansas House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill that will block cities and counties from enacting their own policies to protect LGBT people from discrimination — or, for that matter, creating any civil rights ordinances outside those put in place by the state.

SB202 bars cities and counties in the state of Arkansas from ensuring civil rights protections for any group not already specified in the state law. Currently, the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993 protects against discrimination based on the following characteristics:

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