They’re here; they’re queer; they’ve plenty to fear: LGBT students form secret club at conservative Christian university [now including updates]

[UPDATE: Biola president Barry Corey uses bully pulpit to threaten Biola QueerUnderground.]

queerbiola
If you imagine American Christianity as a 1950′s city in the Midwest, Biola University would be its Central High. Gigantic (145 academic programs; 95 acres; more than 1 million square feet of building space in 40 major buildings) and long-established (founded in 1908; . . .  well, that’s about it), Biola is one of the big dogs of Christian colleges. And as big dogs go, it is definitely one of the more conservative ones. On the Biola website, under “Our Vision,” it says, “Biola University’s vision is to be an exemplary Christian university, characterized as a community of grace that promotes and inspires personal life transformation in Christ which illuminates the world with His light and truth.” Located in Los Angeles, Biola is, in short, the sort of place where, back in the day, the Church Lady would have been a (awesome!) cheerleader. So yesterday afternoon whilst working in a coffee shop I received this email:

Hi John! I’m a student at Biola University, which is one of the country’s most prestigious evangelical universities, and arguably one of the most close-minded when it comes to LGBTQ issues. I am a huge fan of your work. At Biola, if a student is openly in a same-sex relationship, they’re almost certain to be expelled—and God only knows how the school would handle those who are transgender. I am the co-founder of Biola’s secret LGBTQ-Straight Alliance. And we just staged a mini-uprising at Biola to announce our new website, Biola Queer Underground. This morning we had a group of students from other universities come on to our campus and pass out business cards with our website information on it. We also had our friends put up posters that read Biola is Queer, and we placed QR codes for our website on popsicle sticks which were then placed all over campus. My favorite part was a sign we made that had a picture of Ellen and Portia, and Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, with a Biola, Why U No Like?? meme underneath. Anyway, we would really appreciate anything you might do by way of letting the world know we’re out here (ha, ha). Of course, none of my personal information could be disclosed; I’m trying to remain anonymous as possible, since we’re all facing possible expulsion by doing this.

My coffee almost became a choke-a-chino. A group of gay underground student activists at Biola!? That’s pretty much like being a snickerdoodle in the inside pocket of Cookie Monster’s sports coat! How long can that last?

I right away asked my new underground gay activist student friend if I could phone him/her/I’ll never tell. After receiving the number to call, I immediately stepped outside: the walls, after all, have ears. Plus they block signal reception.

“So you’re really forming this club?” I asked the person on the other end of the phone. “At Biola?”

“That’s what we’re doing,” came the voice of a kind and intelligent young adult. “We have to. This whole school is so oppressive. What we’re doing is so needed here.”

“This is amazing. Aren’t you afraid you’re going to get caught? And expelled?”

“Oh, we’ll definitely get expelled if the school finds out we’re doing this. That’s for sure. I’ll send you an article from our campus newspaper in which Chris Grace, Biola’s vice president of Student Development and university planning, is quoted as saying that any student who ‘explicitly challenging or violating’ the school’s policies on homosexuality will be expelled. [She/he did send me that article; Mr. Grace did say exactly that.]

“Do your parents know you’re doing this?”

“Not at all. Definitely not.” The extra emphasis made sense. It costs some $40,000 a year to attend Biola. I can’t imagine too many of the students’ parents being thrilled at their child being expelled from the school for being unrepentantly gay.

“How did you even start this club?” I asked.

“Well, I’m [gay/lesbian/transgender/guess you'll have to guess, Mr. Grace], and knew a few other students who were the same. So one day I was talking with a friend, and we came to realize how badly a club like Queer Underground was needed at Biola. So we decided to start that club ourselves. We held our first meeting this past winter. From there the club grew very quickly, and we’ve been holding weekly meetings ever since.”

“How did you find people to join Biola Queer Underground?” I asked. I imagined her/him standing in the shadows of the student union building, wearing dark glasses, a fedora, and a belted trench coat with the collar turned up, whispering to students passing by, “Pssst. Gay? Wanna be in a club?”

“Telling people that we exist is definitely the tricky part. We have to be so careful. But the truth is, once we started the club, I could just … we could … I mean, not to sound all charismatic about it—but we could just feel when we were dealing with a student who would benefit from it. But even then, we’re very careful. We have this whole system set up, where we essentially, and very delicately, vet a person through talking to and connecting with their friends and associates. It’s a subtle process. But it works. By the time we actually extend someone an invitation to join us, we know that’s the right thing to do. And so far it’s been great. It’s surprised even us how many people have joined the group.”

“And no leaks so far?”

“No leaks so far. But after the event we did this morning, we’re all feeling the pressure. The whole security and safety thing at Biola has always been really pronounced: there are always security guards all over campus. Which is great. But that whole apparatus really kicked into gear after we had spread our stuff all over campus this morning. Within ten minutes, everything we put out had disappeared. All of it, gone. Now everyone in security is looking for us.

“That’s pretty scary.”

“It is. But we blend. If there’s one thing gay Christians know how to do, it’s blend.”

“What would you like for me to tell people?” I asked.

“Just tell them we’re here. That’s all we want, is for people to know that we exist. Even though our group is large, we can’t help but feel awfully isolated, having to be so secretive, always knowing that at any moment our whole world might be turned upside down and shaken hard, just because of who we are. So it would be a huge comfort for us to know that out there in the world people know of us, and support us in what we’re doing. From deep underground we are calling for love and acceptance. It’d be nice to know that our voice broke through the surface, and that someone out there actually heard us.”

* * * * *

[UPDATE 1: "In the wake of [the] conversation on human sexuality started yesterday by the announcement of the Biola Queer Underground, Biola president Barry Corey released a letter concerning the continuation of that conversation shortly after 5 p.m.” For more in the Biola campus newspaper, see Biola Queer Underground promotes LGBTQ discussion on campus.]

[UPDATE to UPDATE 1 since it doesn't really qualify as its own update: From a source at Biola who would know: "This story has already been The Chimes (student newspaper's) most-viewed story in the lifespan of its website. The only other story to come close was that time last year when some guys in a dorm circulated a rumor that Justin Bieber had applied to our school (wish I was joking)."]

[UPDATE 3: From a comment left on this post, from LGBT-BJU: "Bob Jones University also has a growing network for former and current students. Our Twitter feed is here. A list of our allies among other Christian colleges who are also present on Twitter is here. Strength and courage to all LGBT people struggling with fundamentalism---as well as their supporters!"]

[UPDATE 4: Biola Queer Underground responds.]

[UPDATE 5: Someone who is not sympathetic to BQU's cause secured the domain name UndergroundBiola.com. I am deeply hopeful that whomever put up the (as of now single) post at that site is not a typical Biola student. Because if he or she is, then the standards of education at that school are so poor that I now fear for ... America, basically. Yikes, man. That cannot have been written by someone in college.]

Print Friendly

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Reece Dennis Benoit via Facebook

    omg. NPH and his family. So stinking sweet. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.jordan3 Michael Jordan via Facebook

    This is somewhat sad to me-I appreciate the courage of the LGBTQ students but feel sad that there are so many oppressive environments out there.

  • Tom Backus via Facebook

    I am humbled by these students. I would not have had their currage at their age.

  • Ashley Green via Facebook

    My friend attends Biola, and I got wind of the happenings on campus this morning and wrote to Biola Queer Underground telling them to contact you…I guess they were one step ahead of me! Glad they got in touch and thank you for spreading the news! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/john10423 John Gragson via Facebook

    Dumbledore’s Army? May the Lord be with them.

  • Wendy

    I’m so proud of these young people and their courage…I’ll definitely be praying for them!

  • Luthor Parks via Facebook

    I have former students at Biola. I wholeheartedly support what they are doing!

  • Mary

    WOW! WOW!! WOW!!! I know BIOLA from living in Southern California & being raised in a Fundamentalist Christian home. Everyone went to BIOLA!! It saddens me as a member of The Christian Left that these people have to sneak around, keep their authentic selves under wraps & basically live a lie. However, I do understand the environment they find themselves in all too well. My wish for them is that they are successful with this “club”, in that they are giving the LGBT kids a place to be themselves & some sort of acceptance & family. However, I know that, at some point, each one of these precious people will be forced to “come out” or go crazy. It’s very difficult to live a lie on a daily basis. For the time being, they have all of my support, admiration & prayers for their success.

  • Johnathan Lemons via Facebook

    We support you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/maryruth.gossett MaryRuth Green Gossett via Facebook

    Makes me furious they are having to deal with this. Is there a local PFLAG that could give them support? What brave students they are!!

  • Patricia Boese

    I have a gay son and am a hairdresser with a large clientele of fundamental Christians and I live in Northern California. I often hear clients talk about sending their children to school here or to other equally fundamental schools in the state. Sometimes I talk to their children, some of whom don’t want the severe restrictions those schools would impose. As I have become more open and vocal about my beliefs, I know I have lost clients over this issue. I am excited and proud of them and of course, have concern about the severe oppression and threat to their education. My son’s ex cannot come out fully to his mother ( his dad knows) because he fears his med school education funding is on the line. These are perilous times but exciting times. God bless them and be with them.

  • ryan

    Love these students and their courage. But…

    Yes, I have an honest question and it may be naive or it may just be stupid but here it is anyway.

    Why in the hell are these students at Biola? They are paying the University money to be go there and the University – as ridiculous as it is – has the right, as a private institution, to make whatever rules they want. I think?

    So, why not stop paying the University money, stop supporting it in a sense, and go to a University that isn’t’ stuck in 1950? Seriously, if this is how they treat homosexuals, who wants to learn anything from them anyway – especially in regards to theology?

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Perhaps because that is where their *parents* pay for them to go?

      and/or because high school seniors looking to become college freshmen are generally confused, not merely about such matters as you mention (theological, economic, etc.), but even about who they are and where they’re going in life—and this even without the added complication of coming to terms with a sexual identity shunned and derided by their community and/or those closest to them, perhaps?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Ryan: These are young people trying to negotiate their way through the life they’ve always known–the life of their parents, their friends, their family, a safe life where they’re loved and supported—into a life where they might very well lose all of those relationships and vital emotional touchstones. They can hardly be expected to simply sever themselves from the only life they’ve known, and embrace a whole new life they’re just now exploring. They need to find their way into what for them really is a brave new world.

      • Allie

        Well, I disagree. I think all people of all ages can be expected to do the right thing and not defraud others.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          sigh.

          defrauding?

          never mind.

        • Mindy

          Allie, really think about what you are asking. Of KIDS. Good grief!

          They are “defrauding” no one. They are paying for an education, and I assume that is what they are receiving.

          They are also bravely attempting to offer a supportive place of comfort to those in need in an unwelcoming place. I think the idea of shaking things up, starting small and underground is outstanding. Sure, Biola has the right to set whatever rules it wants as a private institution – to a point. It can’t turn away students of color, for instance – that’s illegal. Anti-discrimination laws keep that from happening. Back in decades past, it would be very easy to say to black students who enrolled in historically white colleges that begrudgingly had to accept them why they would intentionally go somewhere they are not wanted. Wouldn’t it be easier to just not be there?

          Easier isn’t always right. Revolutions have to start somewhere. Maybe this is the way a revolution starts in the fundie world. Maybe when the group is 100+ strong and somehow gets found out, Biola will realize that to stick to it’s guns, it has to voluntarily toss out nearly a half-million dollars a year by expelling all of them. Because ultimately, sadly, it will be the almighty dollar that turns the tide.

          • Allie

            These kids are legal adults, and this is actually illegal, guys. The law says it’s not too much to ask.

          • DR

            Please provide the specifics of how this is “iegal”. At best, these kids might be breaking some kind of behavior or “ethics” oath that universities like this one and Bob Jones University make students sign and if violated, face expulsion. Please educate us on how being gay on a private campus and meeting together are convictable offenses legally, I’m fascinated.

          • DR

            I love that I quoted “illegal” and it’s misspelled! (fixed)

          • Lymis

            If it takes a witch hunt to root out the queer kids, you can hardly make a case that they’ve defrauded anyone by being blatantly open.

            Note that they letter says that they’ll be expelled if they are found to be in a same-sex relationship. Is it fraudulent to attend if they are celibate and just meeting other gay people as friends?

            Or are you assuming that LGBT club = orgies?

          • http://www.unchainedfaith.com Amy

            Um, what? I’m not sure what’s “illegal” here about students forming this underground club. Against school rules, yeah. But not “illegal.”

            Everyone has patiently explained that these students are there because their parents are making them go; because they believe in the Christian teachings aside from the school’s stance on LGBT issues; they may not have known they were gay when they got there; etc. Please stop asking the same question multiple ways just because you don’t like the answer you’ve gotten.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            And if the law violates people’s basic human rights? That shouldn’t be peacefully protested?

        • DR

          What? Meeting together is “defrauding” someone? What are you talking about??

        • DR

          How easy it is for those of us from the sidelines to talk about the risks and losses others should take for the same of doing the right thing.

        • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Lore

          Like Queen Esther defrauded Xerxes? And the Egyptian midwives defrauded Pharaoh? And the Magi defrauded Herod?

          • vj

            :-)

      • ryan

        Right… I’ve admittedly never had to go through what they are going through and I suppose that does make me a little ignorant and potentially arrogant, neither of which I want to be.

        I just get frustrated at these institutions. There is one in our hometown that is similar and the fact that people continue to go there and listen to their dribble and rules and hate and fear – and pay money for it – it gets to me.

        But change is frustrating and difficult so more power to them and I hope they can find hope and community somewhere and that these institutions find less people seeking hope and community from them… as they don’t seem to offer much to anyone anyway.

        • Matthew Tweedell

          They do offer a great deal of community.. to people who more-or-less fit their cookie-cutter expectations just right.

        • Eva – Biola Student

          So sad that you use the word hate. Biola does not hate the LGBTQ community. Perhaps there have been individuals who have been misguided and said things they shouldn’t have said and I apologize on behalf of them. But the community as a whole and my and my friends love the LGBTQ community, even if we don’t agree scripturally.

          • BG

            from what I’ve read, you seem to have a pretty funny idea of what it means to love.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            And a funny view of hate, too.

          • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

            I’m sure you don’t hate them in the sense that you actively wish them harm. But telling people that their orientation–something that’s as much a part of them as their eye color–is sinful does harm them. It makes them a target for bullying, it creates self-hatred. It leads gay teens to suicide all the time.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            No, no, let’s tell it like it is.

            I being officially told that the best parts of me – my greatest capacity for love and intimacy – are no worse than their most wicked temptations to murder, lie, cheat and steal.

            If there was someone I thought so little of, I’d be hard-pressed to find a word better than “hate”.

          • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

            Thanks, Christine. I stand corrected.

          • Lymis

            First, please don’t apologize on behalf of people who wouldn’t agree with your apology.

            Second, please understand that statements like “we love the LGBTQ community, even if we disagree scripturally” in the context of the modern gay rights situation, sounds exactly like the comments of a generation or so ago, like “Oh, we love our colored people, even if we don’t want them in our churches, schools, and neighborhoods.”

            Point of etiquette. It is bad form to go on a national forum and advocate the marginalization and expulsion of people you love. It looks bad.

          • Diana A.

            Exactly!

          • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com DR

            Let me translate for you: your “disagreement of scripture” is causing kids who are gay to kill themselves. The guy men and women who somehow find a way to emotionally survive you want nothing to do with our church as a result of you. Stop making this some kind of disagreement, it’s a lot more than that.

    • Melody

      I see what you’re saying, Ryan. I myself would not have the patience to deal with that kind of environment. It’s probably like Matthew and John said, a combination of parental expectations and a personal growth from when they first attended Biola. However, they’re choosing to stay and effect change from the inside, something I’ve never had the long-suffering or courage to do. I applaud their bravery and vision for change at their school.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dkwells Diana Wells Miller via Facebook

    As a graduate of a conservative Christian college, I give them my utmost respect. I’m not sure what the consequences for this would be at my old college, but I can’t imagine they would be good. I felt like I had to keep my support for the LGBT community quiet, and any LGBT students on campus knew to keep their mouths shut. I was afraid of being judged, and I’m not even gay! I pray for their success, but no matter what happens, I bet they’re getting a ball rolling that the administration isn’t going to easily stop.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    We hear you, Biola Underground!

    You are very brave! May God bless you and keep you and work wonders in the hearts of your oppressors!

  • Kristyn Whitaker Hood via Facebook

    I’m a straight ally from Messiah College Inclusive Alumni. We support ya! https://www.facebook.com/inclusivealumni

  • http://www.facebook.com/conniechai Connie Chai McKenney via Facebook

    Doesn’t LGBT already cover the Q?

    • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Lore

      Q is for Questioning.

      • C3PO

        there are some branches of Q (which can stand for QUEER) that the LGBT portion doesn’t cover. It could be questioning or Pansexuality/omnisexual.

        • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

          Or gender-queer – gender non-identifying. Q as in queer is an umbrella term. Keeps us from needing another alphabet of letters.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            Oh, and intersexed! And there’s another “I” (I’ve seen QLBGTIIQ), but I can’t remember what it stand for.

            “Queer” is always better when trying to capture everybody. Otherwise, someone gets forgotten.

          • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

            I’ve also seen QUILTBAG:

            Q – Queer and Questioning

            U – Unidentified

            I – Intersex

            L – Lesbian

            T – Transgender, Transexual

            B – Bisexual

            A – Asexual

            G – Gay, Genderqueer

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            LOL. Easy to remember but what an aweful acronym. Quiltbag…

    • http://www.unchainedfaith.com Amy

      Not always. There are people who don’t identify as trans, but neither do they identify with whatever gender they were assigned at birth. And, as others mentioned, there are people who are pansexual or omnisexual, and people who wouldn’t necessarily identify as bi but have been in relationships with people of both sexes.

    • vj

      Won’t it be great one day when the only letters we need are P.E.O.P.L.E. (as per one of John’s recent posts)?

  • Kristyn Whitaker Hood via Facebook

    I think it stands for “Questioning”, too.

  • Melody

    Wow! God bless you guys for your courage in standing up for yourselves in such a hostile environment. Keep fighting the good fight!

  • Nancy Schloss

    Wow, what courage! It’s interesting to point out that Biola’s website states:

    “Within this cultural milieu the University is called not only to respect this diversity, but to reflect it as well, for Christ intends his Church to be a multiethnic, multicultural and multinational body of believers. We believe it is our purpose, therefore, to create an environment in which all believers, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age, economic status or physical ability, can pursue knowledge and personal development as they strive to become all God intends them to be.”

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      Maybe even Biola will thank this group one day for helping it live up to the spirit of it’s mandate.

      The institution will only be able to grow from an underground, because otherwise none of it’s policies will ever be challenged.

    • Lymis

      There’s a gaping hole in that diversity statement. Go figure.

      And it’s cute that they can’t even say “sex” in a diversity statement, and misleading as well, because you know damn well they won’t honor it if the gender in question doesn’t match the body it’s housed in.

  • K (aka Caring Heart)

    I support you and send my love – you are very brave!

    I’d love to leave copies of John’s “Unfair” book all over campus – hee hee

    Maybe you guys should leave a copy in the library sometime (watch out for security cameras though)

    Stay strong!

    • Diana A.

      There is this!

      • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

        Getting students at other colleges to do it seems like the way to go here too.

  • DR

    This is awesome! I have so much respect for people like this. The one thing that comes to mind is how vile it is at a Christian organization, people are feeling like they have to hide. What has happened to us.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      I don’t think anything has happened to us. It was always this way, sadly.

      Indeed even Jesus had to hide who he really was (except from a few close companions and relatives)—the Messiah, the Son of God—until the time was right that he will to be lifted up on the cross!

      • DR

        Great point, M. He did.

      • Chester

        Irrelevant. Jesus did not have to hide anything. He chose to. side note: I do not find my identity in being gay straight or otherwise. I am a child of God redeemed and purchased by the precious blood of Christ.

        • Matthew Tweedell

          Right… He didn’t have to save the world.

          And LGBT students don’t have to save themselves *from* the world.

          Yet they will to.

          Does that somehow bother you, Chester?

        • Matthew Tweedell

          I feel I may be appeasing you (and/or perplexing others) too much if I failed further to explain the following:

          Though nothing compelled Jesus to do this but his own free will, the Father had given him this task (that his sacrificial death should take place at the appointed time); so Jesus had this to do.

          Now, if the Son was to accord his will with the Father’s—which we know he was—then he had to do this, and thus I am right in saying so, Chester.

    • Lymis

      Nope. Focus is wrong. Gay people in this sort of setting have always been there and have always had to hide. Being a secret subculture is nothing new – it isn’t even that recent that we all had to be that way, and not just in Christian colleges. This is just the closet reinterpreted for a new generation.

      What has happened is that these kids realize it’s wrong and refuse to put up with it and are being more open about it than was ever true before. That’s great.

      It’s also necessary, because the dark side of the huge progress in gay rights is that gay kids cannot hide. Passing as straight is infinitely harder than it used to be. Remember that people not only thought that people like Liberace, Paul Lynde, and Elton John were straight, they got seriously offended if anyone said otherwise. These days, they’d never be able to hide.

      At least, these days, what they are doing only breaks college rules and might cost them their diploma. A generation ago, it was a felony and they could have gone to jail.

      • DR

        Yes. I stand corrected ( thank you).

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      And there are Christians in North America claiming THEY are persecuted!

      • Lymis

        By gay people. .

        In this case, by gay people who are going out of their way to keep even their very existence a secret. The bullies!

  • http://ArthurCurtis.org Arthur

    God you for your bravery, I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Biola Student

    Hi,

    I’m a current Biola Senior and this entire discussion really frustrates and saddens me. I am very opposed to the actions of this group. Yes, they have something to say, and yes, they feel isolated, but that does not excuse their conduct. First, Biola requires every student to sign a contract for admission into the school that has students swear to not take part in any pre-marital sexual activity or advocate any controversial doctrine that goes against the general practices of the University. Biola is a private school that has the right to demand such restrictions. These people have voluntarily attended this school and signed this contract. Second, the group laments a lack of attention to this issue that is so closely attached to their lives. Certainly, there may not be a large pool of resources that address homosexuality on campus, but there is definitely enough. During my four years here, I have witnessed at least three conferences addressing the acceptance of homosexuals in love. I know many students on campus, like myself, who have a passion for homosexual ministry. We long to love and accept homosexuals. People may disagree with our beliefs concerning homosexuality, but our main attitude is to accept everyone in love, as Jesus did, because we are all sinners. The Biola community, in general, is very open to discussion and acceptance of fellow sinners. This “queer” group makes Biola seem like a vicious and cold entity that turns away homosexuals. However, the truth is quite the opposite. Biola only turns away individuals who are unrepentant in their actions that are blatantly breaking the rules that they agreed to. Biola believes homosexuals to have developed their sexuality as part of their sin nature. This group defines their sexual proclivity as not being sinful. Clearly, this is a hotly debated and controversial topic. That does not matter in this case. What matters is that these students are directly challenging the rules and doctrine that they agreed to when they were admitted to this university. Biola welcomes open discussion on topics such as this, but I can’t help but agree with their actions to not tolerate a movement designed to undermine the system this “queer underground” agreed to.

    • http://milestogobeforeisleep1976.tumblr.com/ Luthor Parks

      Biola student. I have a question. You stated that: “Biola requires every student to sign a contract for admission into the school that has students swear to not take part in any pre-marital sexual activity or advocate any controversial doctrine that goes against the general practices of the University.” So, if Biola expels these students will Biola expell students that have had any pre-marital sexual activity? It seems like Biola should. But. I know. Biola will not because it would decrease the student population by at least 50%. Being a graduate from a local Private University I know sexual activity is rampant. In fact, one of the most frequent occurrences of sexual activity in the dorms was during chapel. Now, isn’t that ironic?

      • Mindy

        If you “love and accept” homosexuals by ministering to them about their “sin,” you are not showing them love OR acceptance.

        And Biola IS a vicious entity that turns away homosexuals. Their public information says so. A gay person can just as easily sign a contract saying they will not engage in premarital sexual activity as a straight person can, dear. If you don’t know even THAT much about LGBT people, you cannot, in any meaningful way, in any way but a damaging one, minister to LGBT people.

        They can’t be repentant about who they are. That’s absurd. I know gay teens who are not interested in premarital sex – they are still 100% certain they are gay, always have been and always will be. The only way to “minister” to them is to treat them exactly the same way you would treat any other person.

        When a “system” is wrong and immoral, which any organization that openly discriminates against gays absolutely is, then undermining it is the exact right thing to do. And it has to start somewhere. Providing moral support to others also entrenched in the oppressive system is a perfect way to start.

        And while I fully understand questioning why someone would attend a university so diametrically opposed to their own core being, I also do understand bowing to the familial will when one is but 17 or18 years old. I understand that someone who grew up in a fundamental family never had choice but to strive for, apply to and attend a school like this. And never realize what life feels like out from under their parents’ iron fists of “love,” until they are. And then needing to be supported where there are. I imagine they’d be told that sure, they can leave Biola and throw their education away, but Mom and Dad sure as heck will no longer be footing the academic bill. Or believing that they “owe” the church community that rallied to help them secure scholarship money to Biola, believing they’ll never qualify for the same amount of scholarship money anywhere else. Assuming that they can simply walk away and start over somewhere else, without far-reaching repercussions that they are not yet ready to deal with, is simplistic and unfair. They are doing something far more meaningful, by bucking a broken system and giving those in need a place to find comfort.

      • Mindy

        My previous post was supposed to be a reply to Biola student – not sure how it landed under yours!

      • Eva – Biola Student

        Actually, this is incorrect. Biola students who have had pre-marital sex will be and are expelled. There is not special treatment given to students who are gay. If you break the contract, you break the contract. There is also a grace policy for homosexuals and those who are straight. If you are reported as having broken the contract, you are not immediately expelled. There is a process and an option to stay if one agrees to not break the contract again.

        • Eva – Biola Student

          I meant to say who are *not gay.

        • Lymis

          You’re assuming that any person who joins the group is having sex? What about gay, bi, and lesbian virgins?

          If straight kids who do not have sex but admit that they might do so someday are allowed to stay, but gay kids are kicked out for admitting an attraction, then, yeah, that’s special treatment for straight people.

          • Richie Rich

            Lymis,

            It’s not special treatment to straight kids. It may not be the mainstream view of sexuality but it’s an equally valid one that is logically supported by their beliefs.

        • DR

          Why are you assuming that gay kids are having sex??

      • Richie Rich

        Hey Luthor,

        Just because that was your experience at a private university doesn’t equate that all are that way. There are people at Biola that break contract in that sense but it’s far from 50%. Spirituality is taken very seriously at Biola. It’s a much different atmosphere than most.

      • jerry

        That is not true. I have seen expulsions at many schools for this activity. I do not believe in discrimination, but I do believe in honesty. To purposely infiltrate a college that you know believes your lifestyle violates scriptures is extremely dishonest.

    • Ashley

      Hi Biola Student,

      I can understand your frustration about students signing contracts and knowingly breaking the rules, but I equate it with other times in history when people had to break rules to do what was morally right (e.g. the Holocaust, civil rights movement). There had to be underground groups at this time because speaking publicly meant you would be silenced so you couldn’t get your message out anymore. These students and faculty need to stay at Biola so they can effect change from within.

      Also, I noticed that you said there are outlets for “gay ministry”, but I am guessing these are based on the philosophy “love the sinner, hate the sin” which does not match up with this groups philosophy. That is why they cannot even be involved in that school-sanctioned activity.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      How can you claim that Biola welcomes open discussion of such topics and at the same time invoke Biola’s right to insist on doctrinal uniformity in this regard? You would seem to want to have it both ways. Are students free to speak openly in challenge of the doctrine or not, Biola Student? I think we know the answer: The Biola Underground’s actions wouldn’t be necessary if they could truly could.

      “Biola is a private school that has the right to demand such restrictions.”

      And private restaurants have the right not to serve people of color, right?

      By the way, having a “passion” for “homosexual ministry”, or any sexual sort of ministry, seems.. awkward to say the least. In fact, the whole idea of looking at ministry through the lens of sexuality just seems somewhat perverted to me, and to have a passion for it—nothing but a perverse obsession. But perhaps that’s just me.

      “Biola believes homosexuals to have developed their sexuality as part of their sin nature.”

      While Biola has the right to believe this (to whatever extent a university can have a personal faith; or even a coherent soul for that matter), that doesn’t give them the right to act on that belief in the case that that belief is irrational. I can’t just pull out a gun and shoot someone because—In the absence of any real evidence but also absent any evidence to the contrary—I simply choose to believe that they are about to assault me and thus I act in self-defense. Nope, that one doesn’t fly.

      Sexual being, as with any simply being, cannot be sinful. It is only acts of a sexual nature that can ever be considered sinful. And that being the case, if the rules say no premarital sex, why do you take into account a person’s sexual orientation at all? Being gay doesn’t mean running out and having sex with reckless abandon. There are plenty of celibate gay people—perhaps especially among gay evangelicals and Catholics (not to mention Mormons and Muslims too). But, yes, your university has a problem with the way they are even so.

      “What matters is that these students are directly challenging the rules and doctrine that they agreed to when they were admitted to this university.”

      Ok. whatever. We’re all sinners, after all, right? That would seem to be your perspective, so let’s practice forgiveness: We’ll forgive your university for all the pain it causes LGBT young adults, and your university must forgive these young adults for breaking its rules. Fair enough?

      “I can’t help but agree with their actions to not tolerate a movement designed to undermine the system this ‘queer underground’ agreed to.”

      You know.. Jesus was—and is—all about undermining the system.

      • Mindy

        Matthew, I would hazard a guess that “having a passion for homosexual ministry” is code for “I am passionately committed to convincing gay people I can cure them for several thousand $$$ in the the new reparative prayer therapy clinic I plan to set up after graduation.”

        I could, of course, be wrong.

        • Biola Student

          That is wrong. I see your sarcasm, but I cannot see any possibility in my present or future to ever profit financially from being involved with the homosexual community. To clarify my passion for homosexual ministry, I plan on doing the following: Being friends with homosexuals, opening up my home to homosexuals, praying for homosexuals, donating to AIDS cure research (as I have done in the past), going to church with homosexuals, having open discussions with homosexuals, and yes, sharing my faith with homosexuals that includes a condemnation of their homosexual actions. I have been redeemed for the rampant sin in my life. Jesus Christ has shown me indescribable grace that I did not deserve in any shape or form. He offers that same grace to homosexuals. I wish to show love to others as Christ showed to me.

          • Lymis

            So you expect to hang out with spiritual masochists.

            Don’t be surprised if you get a limited number of takers on this oh-so-kind offer. “Have another canapé while I tell you why you are going to hell.”

            What you propose has very, very little to do with showing love.

          • Richie Rich

            Lymis,

            It only has “little to do with showing love,” if the Bible is wrong. If the Bible is right, then it is showing love because it is freeing the person in Christ.

          • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

            Your interpretation of the Bible on that topic isn’t the only one. People used to argue that the Bible supported slavery too.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            “Being friends with homosexuals, opening up my home to homosexuals, praying for homosexuals, donating to AIDS cure research (as I have done in the past), going to church with homosexuals, having open discussions with homosexuals, and yes, sharing my faith with homosexuals that includes a condemnation of their homosexual actions.”

            All those things sound very Christ-like, except one.

            Which of these is not like the others?

            Which of these did Jesus Christ specifically tell us not to do?

            “Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.” (Luke 6:37)

            Can’t you..

            be friends with homosexuals..

            open up your home to homosexuals..

            pray for homosexuals..

            donate to AIDS research..

            go to church with homosexuals..

            have open discussions with homosexuals..

            share your faith with homosexuals..

            without judging them; without intertwining your faith with your subjectivity as regards anyone else’s so-called sin but your own?

            “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17)

            My own faith informs what is to be considered sin to me, and objective morality guides me in how to avoid compromising associations with evildoers and lets me know if and when it might be necessary to point out to another what they might be doing wrongly. Yet my faith also teaches me that it is not my place to project what is good and bad to my own heart onto my brother (being as I am pretty solidly straight, homosexuality is not good for *me*, and it would be perverse for *me* to engage in same-sex sex; yet I have faith enough to believe him when my neighbor tells me it is just the opposite for him [Love always trusts (1 Cor 13:7), and I am to love my neighbor]).

            “If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.” (Matthew 12:7)

          • Biola Student

            I keep telling myself I won’t post anymore, but I need to do some maintenance on something I said because it is getting misinterpreted…

            “sharing my faith with homosexuals that includes a condemnation of their homosexual actions.”

            Matthew, you are right that Jesus did not come to the Earth to condemn. That is not what I meant. What I meant by that comment is that homosexuals are condemned by their actions in the same way that I am condemned for my sinful actions. I am condemned for greed, lust, and an innumerable number of other offenses that I commit. I am condemned due to my nature. Romans 6 says the wages of sin is death. Then, Jesus, as you pointed out, is the one to redeem us. I would also share that with anyone, homosexual or otherwise. We can argue all day, but my belief is that there is an absolute morality to all things. Everyone falls short of perfection. I believe homosexuality is a sin. Scripture, experience, observation, and my conscious inform me of that. I also believe that God is good and he can heal. I have seen transformation in people’s lives and there is hope for all sinners.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Scripture cannot inform you regarding concepts there’s no conception of in the language a scripture is written in. Experience.. you really (and pretty clearly, from both your word choice and your age and environment) just don’t have enough of. Observation.. is good thing to do, and there are even people who do it force us (it’s they’re job); they’re called scientists. And your conscious.. can only tell you what is right for *you*.

            If you didn’t catch it before, I too believe in an absolute morality. You however, though you claim to believe in this, ignore it and substitute your own interpretations (or perhaps more generally the interpretations of men).

            And I too believe that God is good and he can heal: Go and learn where the illness truly lies.

            (I understand if you just don’t have time for posting anymore, but I hope you don’t get the wrong impression: I for one am delighted to have you here, I really am! Just because I counter you somewhat forcefully doesn’t at all mean you should stop posting, Biola Student :))

          • Matthew Tweedell

            oops. . . * do it for us (it’s their job).

          • Richie Rich

            Matthew–

            If you act like she is substituting her own interpretations, that’s ridiculous. Pro-homosexual interpretation is a modern phenomena, so you shouldn’t criticize for something you’re committing. I’m confused with that.

            The bible doesn’t change with the times or whims of people. It’s steadfast. Science doesn’t trump scripture, nor can science prove anything in this area as to it not being a sin. It hasn’t even shown it as an equally healthy alternative to heterosexuality. So i’m confused.

          • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

            Right, that’s why we’re all reading the Bible in the original languages, and translations don’t differ at all on how they render the words in those particular verses.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            ANTI-LGBT interpretation is a modern phenomenon, Richie Rich!

            Moreover, since when have I been “committing” any “pro-homosexual interpretation”? Rather I clearly stated, “Scripture cannot inform you regarding concepts there’s no conception of in the language a scripture is written in.”

            In other words: no interpretation at all, as regards any kind of committed, monogamous, loving same-sex relationships, and the natural expressions the same. And a null interpretation is a NEUTRAL interpretation.

            Or where have I claimed that the Bible is favorable towards any particular sexual orientation(s)?

            Of course, what may be known of God is plain to all, being understood from what has been made: God manifests a clear tendency to prefer making straight people.

            Yet He likewise seems to prefer making right-handed people, but that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with people who are left-handed!

            Anyhow, the Bible is not pro-ANY-sexual! In fact, it says it is better not to marry.

            Being “fruitful” refers not merely to the sphere of procreation, but ALL spheres of human existence; as regards physical numbers, man has collectively overachieved already in fulfillment of God’s command to our kind to multiply, so it’s really no problem that God has made individually some to be eunuchs, others to be barren, and still others to be gay. Yet man has still today very much work to do, for he has been neglecting to multiply as regards many other gifts he’s been given (our Biblical talents), including the greatest spiritual gift of all. Let love therefore increase in the world!

          • Lymis

            Yes, but being gay is not a sin. That’s where your parallel breaks down.

          • Leslie Marbach

            Biola Student, you’re partially right in something you say. Jesus Christ does indeed show indescribably grace to all of us. The flaw in your thinking is that LGBT people need grace for being LGBT. We need grace for things like, oh, sinning! You know, not treating others and God with love which covers all the sins there are. Requiring someone to deny a part of who they are in order to attend Biola is like making all blondes dye their hair brown for the duration of their college years. Being gay doesn’t mean someone’s out there having sex just like being straight doesn’t mean they’re out having sex.

            You might want to rethink the way you think about “homosexual ministry.” In any ministry you have to think about the people you’re serving. Right? You wouldn’t go to a homeless shelter and intentionally say things that are hurtful to the people there like “Why don’t you just get a job?” or “Why can’t you just save up enough money to move into a house?” You wouldn’t do that because it’s not loving. Why do we know it’s not loving? Beyond common sense, those who are homeless teach us what things we say hurt them. Likewise, you need to hear your LGBT brothers and sisters when we say that the way you condemn us hurts us. Repeating to us over and over the very verses that we’ve studied ad nauseum don’t do a darn thing and is condescending. Please don’t become one of those people that actively hurts others.

            If you’re truly interested in “ministering to homosexuals” I would suggest you look into the Marin Foundation. Marin (I can’t remember his first name) wrote a book titled “Love is an Orientation.” What’s interesting is he never once says in the book whether he thinks homosexuality is a sin or not. I have no clue what he believes. What does come across is his true, complete love for a group of people that have for so long been disenfranchised and hurt by the church. Someone close to me who seems to be in your camp (thinks it’s a sin but thinks being loving to all people is necessary) thinks all Christians should read this book, particularly those who don’t know how to bridge the gap between traditional Christianity and LGBT people.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            Please keep it to yourself.

            Don’t you ever wonder why no one wants your version of love?

    • DR

      I don’t care if you’re disappointed and I don’t care if you happen to believe that being gay is sinful (which is wrong). .

      It’s students like these that stand up against the bigotry and oppression that creates the need to go underground in the first place. People with the courage to stand up against this kind of thing are the ones truly living in the Spirit of God, standing against systemic evil that would tell them – like your school does – that they are condemned by God because of their sexuality (which they are not).

      They’re grown adults who signed up for a school with certain rules. So if they get caught and expelled? That’s totally on them, they are choosing the risks and the potential consequences. But you’ll look back at this group one day soon after we’ve rid the church of this horrifying oppression against the GLBT community and see them as the model of courage and be ashamed that you didn’t support them.

    • Lymis

      Dear Biola Student,

      Here’s a clue for you. Actual people who know actual LGBT people don’t talk about “homosexuals” – in the same way that advocates for fair and loving treatment of racial minorities no longer speak about “coloreds.”

      The very fact that you repeatedly use the word homosexual and then put the word “queer” in quotes sends a signal to any actual LGBT people to run the other way. The chances are far, far above average that anyone speaking that way is a bigot with an agenda.

      As such, you cannot possibly have a “passion for homosexual ministry” and “long to love and accept homosexuals” – especially not when you fling around terms like “developed their sexuality as part of their sin nature” and discuss homosexuality as being a “sexual proclivity.”

      But keep it up, because it does at least as much as anything else you can do to signal that it is not safe for gay people to be around you. People like you are exactly the reason your fellow students need to be underground.

      If you can even write like this, then you have never been in an environment that welcomes open discussion on the topic. You are either kidding yourself, or, more likely, have been sold a lie. Luckily, you’re young enough that you have a better than even chance of getting over it.

      • Kathleen

        “Biola welcomes open discussion on topics such as this…”

        No, it does not.

        You’re right, as a private college they can do what they want but I’m not going to stand by while you also claim to welcome open discussion when that’s untrue.

        Also, your “passion” for “homosexual” ministry? Please do not act on it. You could be the well-meaning person that shoves a desperate gay Christian over the edge to suicide. Your idea of love is not needed for that person, please, leave them alone.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        You make excellent points here, Lymis! I personally tend to shy away from judging people by their patterns of word choice—it’s kind of like judging a book by its cover. But actually—given limited information about its contents—the cover is really a pretty darn good evaluator whether to you think you might like a given book or whether you should expect to be uninterested in such a book. So I think you’re exactly right to point this out here.

        • Eva – Biola Student

          Regarding Biola being open to a discussion – Biola is. In front of the president and his team at a open meeting last year in the middle of campus, a student who was clearly gay or struggling with being gay (I don’t know him well enough to say what he decided upon) stood up and asked the President and his team about gay students on campus. There was no rush to “arrest him” or kick him out. In fact, I’m positive that student walked away from the meeting unscathed. His question was taken and answered in a conversation format.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            (I understand that it is only by mistake that this appears here, in reply to the comment of mine immediately above, but I would like to respond to something here anyway.)

            You do understand that “struggling with being gay” is still “being gay”, right?

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            He was allowed to ask a question. He just can’t voice any opinions contrary to school policy? Yeah, allowing one perspective and questions… totally open.

          • Lymis

            If not being arrested or rushed out of the school is your measure of what constitutes “open conversation” you’ve set the bar incredibly low.

          • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

            He was “clearly gay” based on what? The fact that he asked the question?

        • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

          I think gently pointing out to someone that they’re using terms that are derogatory can only be a good thing. Usually, either they honestly don’t realize it, because that’s the language everyone around them uses, and they’ll make a note of it for the future **or** they’ll get into an argument with you about how judgmental you’re being by policing their language, and you’ll have more info about whether you want to associate with them or not.

          And if Biola student really does want to reach out to LGBTQ people in a way that’s helpful and not harmful, not saying discriminatory or hurtful things is a good place to start.

      • http://www.unchainedfaith.com Amy

        ‘Here’s a clue for you. Actual people who know actual LGBT people don’t talk about “homosexuals” – in the same way that advocates for fair and loving treatment of racial minorities no longer speak about “coloreds.”’

        I’m so glad you pointed this out. Back in the days when I was certain it was mortal sin, I had a lot of trouble even saying the word “homosexual.” It was like some dirty, shameful thing I wasn’t even supposed to talk about. My sister is a lesbian, and I was church-trained to refer to her as having “homosexual lusts.” It never felt right to me. I’ve left that behind, and I don’t ever refer to people that way.

      • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

        You are, of course, right. But I get nervous when this is explained to people. Sometimes it’s the only way to tell them apart. Maybe we don’t want to help this guy sound more convincing?

        • Lymis

          We’ll still be able to tell. I promise.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            ;)

    • http://audioarchives.blogspot.com spinetingler

      “I know many students on campus, like myself, who have a passion for homosexual ministry. We long to love and accept homosexuals. ”

      uh-huh.

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      No organization should or can legitimately have people sign away their fundamental rights – in this case, the right to free speech.

      This is an educational institutions banning advocacy against it’s policies. Even straight allies would be expelled just for speaking out.

      A contract that sets up a university as a dictatorship with such extreme control over people’s lives and speech is not legitimate (not to mention conducive to learning) and should be broken.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        Certainly people can sign away their right to say something. Our rights to our own words would not truly be complete without also our right to do this.

        Non-disclosure agreements, indemnity clauses, and other terms touching upon otherwise free speech are common elements of contracts.

        • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

          Tad bit different agreeing to not disclose a specific peice of information than agreeing to not voice an extremely wide range of personal opinion, no?

          • Matthew Tweedell

            One still has a right to make—and to expect enforcement of—such a contract if they so choose (regardless of whether you or I would ever choose to do the same).

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            No, they don’t. I have my doubts that contracts going beyond reasonable limits are legally enforceble. But even if they are, I can’t be seen as legitimate. No one should expect to be able to enforce them. I fully support these students breaking that contract.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            Should have been “I can’t see them as”… Oh, editing fail.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            If legally competent individuals deliberately and knowingly consent, then it’s presumably reasonable (even if you happen to have your own reasons *not* to consent to it).

            And if no one should expect to be able to enforce it, then no one should expect any harm to come of breaking it, and the Biola Queer Underground should just come right out to the surface, right?

            Legally speaking, though, the contract (though I’ve not seen it and have no particular expertise by which to give legal opinions) seems legitimate. So I would recommend treating as such: I recommend a cautious assessment of all risks and rewards, doing a cost-benefit analysis, so to speak, of them, in accordance with one’s personal priorities, and choosing the right course of action accordingly.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            “If legally competent individuals deliberately and knowingly consent, then it’s presumably reasonable”

            You’ve got to be kidding.

            And I meant “reasonable” in a very particular sense of the term – “reasonable limits” in the context of human/civil/political rights. That isn’t judged by what people are willing to do.

            And in this case, we are talking about some degree of coersion as well.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            “That isn’t judged by what people are willing to do.”

            No, it’s judged by what reasonable people may find reasonable.

            And no, I’m not kidding.

            “And in this case, we are talking about some degree of coersion as well.”

            In which case exactly is there evidence of coercion? And what is that evidence?

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            “And if no one should expect to be able to enforce it, then no one should expect any harm to come of breaking it…”

            That’s ridiculous. Harm comes in many ways, not just legal repercussions (having to go theough courts would ITSELF be a cost,. even if you won).

            But again, I meant it is wrong to expect it – wrong in a moral/ethical sense. It may well have the force of law there, I’m not an expert.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Going through the courts should only happen if someone should expect enforcement of it.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            Again, “should” in a moral sense, not a legal one. “Should ethically expect” versus ” does legally expect”.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            But it’s more than that, even. When looking at acceptable limits to free speech you look at the harm done to those unable to speak and those unable to receive their information. The burden of proof is on showing that limits are reasonable and here they are clearly not in both cases.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Harm incurred and (a) benefit(s) forgone are two different things.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            I’m talking about rights being undermined.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            And freedom of contract is a most fundamental right.

        • Lymis

          Christine said it was not legitimate, not that it is illegal. I’m sure it’s perfectly legal, especially as a religiously-affilitaed institution and with there being no federal protections for gay people that would apply in this case.

          The freedom of speech, in legal terms, only applies to government intervention by law or force of law, anyway. If they call in the National Guard to haul off their students, that’s a potential issue.

          But the legitimacy of the rule, and the right (or even obligation) of the students to quietly break illegitimate rules, even if doing so has consequences? Entirely different question.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            I’m of the view (as I am sure many of you are) that rights exist whether the government recognizes them or not. And whether protected by the force of law or affected by particular freedoms or not, it is – yes, exactly – illegitimate to have people sign away their rights.

            My original comment on this was in response to someone commenting (all the way up there) on being upset that these students are breaking the rules. Illegitimate should be broken.

            And while freedom of expression would not interfere with such a contract, it could, theoretically (for emphasis: theoretically!) make it difficult for the courts (an arm of government) to enforce it. You can sign a peice of paper making you a slave to someone else, too, no one will stop you – but it won’t carry the force of law.

    • Don Rappe

      Dear Biola student,

      You make a fine legalistic point about a contract to sign. But Biola advertises itself as a Christian school, not an Anti-christian school. If a significant number of Christians attending the school have to go underground because of their God given sexual gifts, then its false claim to be a Christian school makes its acceptance of tuition appear fraudulent. Legalistic self righteousness needs to be very careful.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        An excellent point, Mr. Rappe!

  • Allie

    Just one question: why attend Biola in the first place? You are giving Biola 40k to continue to propagate their evil – why?

    Is it a scholarship based thing? My sister and I are 1/8 Cherokee. My sister used this to get herself on the tribal rolls and got a scholarship based on being Native American. I didn’t, because I’m someone who grew up in a white neighborhood surrounded by white people and not speaking a word of Cherokee or understanding anything about their experiences or even knowing my Cherokee ancestor’s name until my sister looked it up. But I do understand the temptation to cheat to get that amount of money. Nevertheless, that’s what it is, taking money under false pretenses.

    • Melody

      THEY aren’t giving Biola their money. It is likely their parents, to whom they haven’t likely come out and would be appalled if they stopped going. They aren’t cheating. They’re doing what needs to be done: making change from within. They can’t just come out outright.

    • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Lore

      Some gay Christians are fairly conservative. They might feel more at home in an environment like Biola. Others may be going there because that’s where their more conservative parents are sending them. Some people don’t realize or acknowledge that they’re not straight until college. Maybe those students would rather not go home and explain that they want to transfer from this prestigious institution to one with a better LGBT-rights policy. If they’re from conservative families, their parents might cut them off, and they’d rather finish college than risk that.

      There’s a growing online network of Bob Jones University alumni who are LGBT. Some of their stories might shed some light on these questions for you.

      http://lgbt-bju.org/

      And here’s a story of a girl who always assumed she was straight until she met her future wife at a conservative Christian college:

      http://findingsnooze.blogspot.com/2011/12/story.html

    • DR

      Biola is an amazing academic university. It has a lot to offer educationally.

    • sayla1228

      This is NOT the time. Plus, many of these students probably don’t realize they are LGBT until they get to Biola. Also, some go there mistakely thinking that being a Christian College has the environment needed to get rid of temptation of their “struggle” with “homosexual tendencies”.

    • C3PO

      Allie, you have every reason to ask “Why attend Biola in the first place?”

      It’s true that some of us were, in a sense, “forced” by our parents to come to this _expensive_ university. It’s a common and sometimes accurate assumption to make.

      I came to Biola because I am a gay CHRISTIAN.

    • Don Rappe

      Allie, if one of your sisters great grandparents is Cherokee, she is not defrauding anyone, nor would you be. You and she participate in the blood of those who were not exterminated in the American genocide, including the trail of tears. The fact that you personally don’t understand the significance of this does not alter its truth.

  • sayla1228

    These Biola students make me proud.

  • Deana Minard-Rivera via Facebook

    Biola alumni here! I’m so proud!!!! That huge painting of Jesus on the wall may be grinning!!!

  • Kathleen

    I am proud of these students yet I am also fearful of what may happen to them. Please, be very careful and take good care of yourselves.

  • Biola Lesbian

    “It is. But we blend. If there’s one thing gay Christians know how to do, it’s blend.”

    How true! I am a graduate of Biola, and I certainly blended in there, in my church, at home……the list goes on. I am SO GLAD that this group is there to support so many people who exist but who are forced to blend in and give the impression of who they “really are” in order to be allowed to remain, LOVE CHRIST, and be accepted in general. Now, I understand there are those who will say “Hello, the rules say no gays, so if you don’t want to go there, pick another school.” It’s much more complex than that. For me, I WANTED THE BIBLICAL WORLD VIEW to my education and wanted my Christian heart to be fed and challenged and education. And the curriculum apart from the Biblical aspect also was filtered through the Biblical world view I love so much. So I resent that, as a lesbian Christian, I had to blend in to get fed in the Word.

    I applaud this group. I love this group. I support this group!

    • C3PO

      Amen, Biola Lesbian. This is exactly what some people don’t understand.

      We are still CHRISTIANS.

      • Allie

        There are plenty of Christians who are not bigots and churches which don’t condemn gay people. I’m not sure what you’re saying, exactly. Are you saying that you wanted a school which condemns evolution, so you had to attend one which also condemns homosexuals?

        • Matthew Tweedell

          Not many of the Christians who don’t condemn gays run private universities, not to mention a university with so much to offer (both qualitatively and quantitatively).

          Hey, I know, why don’t we start one? :)

          Oh.. that’s right.. because that requires millions and millions of dollars. :cry:

          • Diana A.

            You know it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.cash.12 Michael Cash via Facebook

    Wow, this is awesome! Way to go folks! Gotta admire their courage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.rutledge.98 John Rutledge via Facebook

    I hear them from Yucatan, Mexico!

  • http://www.unchainedfaith.com Amy

    You go, Biola students! Awesome! Praying for you. May God bless your efforts, and may you be the light that your fellow students need. This is so very brave of you!

  • Student

    Perhaps the fact that they feel yet have to “hide” is clear evidence of their sin. That’s typically what people do when theyre running from God. Oh that we would return to the Gospel and find ourselves grounded in scripture and Gods design for us.

    • Kathleen

      People also hide from those who would do them harm; especiallyhiding from those who would use the bible as a blunt object.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Just like that wicked self-righteous glory-hogging Sabbath-breaking blasphemer, Jesus of Nazarath, who had to hide who he really was too, until the proper time had come!

    • Diana A.

      It’s clear evidence of oppression. I can tell you that.

      Back in Roman days, Christians had to hide. Was being a Christian a sin?

      • vj

        Perfect response!

    • Melody

      The gospel is that Jesus LOVED. You are ignoring what the gospels say about not judging and taking the log out of your own eye. You obviously don’t know any openly gay people, or you wouldn’t presume to claim knowledge of God’s design for us. Your self-righteous judgment against these people says much more about you than it does about them. People like you are the reason they are only safe underground for the time being.

      • Wendy

        Amen Melody, amen.

      • Jenn

        Amen, sister.

    • Jenn

      “return to the Gospel”…

      YES! Because I have been looking to sell my daughter into slavery.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      So why don’t you use your real name, eh “Student”?

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      They aren’t hiding from themselves. They aren’t running from their sexuality. They are brave to accept themselves.

    • Lymis

      Christine is right, Student. They aren’t hiding from themselves. They aren’t hiding from God.

      They’re hiding from YOU.

      • DR

        Exactly.

    • DR

      I guess for you, women back in the day who had to hide the fact that they could read was a sin too, right? That was against the rules of ethics and morals.

    • John (not McCain)

      Anne Frank was a big ol’ sinner, I guess. Not like she faced any sort of threat from violent hateful goons just like Student at all.

    • Brena

      Ahh, yes. The way the early church hid. It must have been clear evidence of their sin.

      What? You say hiding from persecution is a thing? We learn something new everyday.

      • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

        Yep. And apparently the ichythys (Jesus fish) was invented as a code to suss out who it was safe to tell you were a Christian. And here I thought the early Christians just slapped them on the back of their oxcarts (with WWJD written next to it). ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/michele.hoddy Michele Tiffany Hoddy via Facebook

    This is much needed good news in a week that has been sad and infuriating. I fully support these courageous students!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Moore/1554332494 Mike Moore via Facebook

    Done.

  • Jennifer Costa Rego via Facebook

    I hear them! Loud and clear!

  • otter

    Revolt! Upheaval! Civil disobedience!

    A critical mass of youth exploding the BS!

    May the generations of tortured souls salute you!

  • Richard Jones

    I also attended a very conservative Christian college (my school would have considered Biola LIBERAL, by the way). Fortunately, I was straight and an avid koolaid drinker at the time. However, I will say this. I admire these students and what they are doing. But I don’t think it’s going to end well for them. That is, if ending well means staying a Biola student. Maybe this is just part of the process of coming out to their friends and families. But speaking from experience at Gestapo-like disciplined “Christian” schools, I think the cat will be out of the bag before Monday.

  • Paula

    God bless you, and if you haven’t already, I hope you’ll connect with alumni. You KNOW Biola has gay alumni, every school does. And alumni who can be allies. Get them to start a facebook group, and then to make public their support. Alumni can’t be touched, but they matter. Moreover, they give courage and consolation to students coming out.

    I can’t remember — but I’m pretty sure this has happened on other conservative Christian campuses. Alumni —I think they’re key. Best to you all!

  • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

    Good for you. This is incredibly brave, and I pray God watches over you and helps you make a positive change in your school.

    If there’s anything tangible we can do for you, please let us know. (Like, we could totally put together a care package of LGBT-affirming religious books, supplies for posters/flyers/whatever, and homemade cookies with rainbow sprinkles. That’s probably totally cheesy and proves that I’m old, huh?)

    • Kate

      Totally with you Kelly. I have kids just their age. One of my sons is gay and my husband and I support him completely. If these kids need surrogate/supportive/cookie-baking adults to love them and cheer them on, I’m in. Rainbow sprinkles and all. :-) Lots of ((((Hugs)))) to you, brave Biola Underground!

      • Kate

        Of course, you ARE adults. I’m just an old(er) adult whose maternal instincts blur my common sense occasionally. Ahem.

        • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

          Same here with the maternal instinct, though I don’t have kids myself and only have about ten years on these guys.

          For some reason, it’s hard to remember that college students are adults. Maybe because higher ed dorm life is kind of a prolonged adolescence, maybe because I look back at my college self and think “Wow, I was *young.* And immature. And clueless.”

          But, anyway, Biola Underground, if those of us who are older than you slip up and refer to you as “kids,” please know that we’re not trying to be condescending. (And you’re a heck of a lot more mature than I was as a college student.)

          • Brena

            And we forget because psychiatrists agree: we are not mentally adult, as in ready for modern life challenges independently, until 21-24 years of age. It increases as successful living requires more decision making. So, I did not feel “adult” until 24 and I see 20 year old people as young.

        • Mindy

          LOL, Kelly – I was thinking the very same thing!! I will bake cookies. I will send hugs and care packages. So will my daughters, if they need surrogate sisters to cheer them on. :)

  • Student

    @melody

    No one says they aren’t loved. And we are absolutely called to judge behavior, not people. If I am convinced someone is in error and I ignore it because I “love” them, is that love? A few of my closest friends are gay, two of them ex biola students. I love them. And we talk about these things but they know where I stand and I hope that at some point they can have a clearer understanding of sin and recognize that a man and a woman’s marital relationship is a picture of the Gospel and the church being the bride. Just because a person feels a certain way doesn’t make it right. Sometimes I have feelings of rage and sometimes I have feelings of jeolousy. But I take those things before god and he is always sanctifying our minds and hearts.

    • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

      Kind of arrogant to assume that you know more about it than they do, isn’t it? And rather cruel to treat the desire to love and be loved as the same as anger or jealousy.

    • Lymis

      While you are taking the beliefs and feelings that you have before God, how about bouncing this homophobia off Him? The results might surprise you.

      I hope that your friends find better friends. It would be wonderful if one of them was you.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      An “error” has objective measure. What you really mean is a sin, and the only measure you have of it is your interpretation of what it says in the Good Book, with which interpretation others rightfully disagree, and in which book there are others who do not believe.

      When it comes to things like this, the Bible seems pretty clear: Do not judge; do not condemn. You want to use such a measure? Then know that the same will be used against you in the end: Have you checked how well you measure up to the Qur’an recently? Or against *my* understanding of the Bible?

      And how are you to judge another’s behavior(s) and tell me you are not judging them? Does the justice system not convict a person when handing down a guilty verdict?

      Perhaps you’ve misunderstood what God gave you a conscience is for: it should be plenty busy simply telling you what is wrong for *you*. I would leave another’s conscience to be their guide.

      Yes, there is a placing for judgment: but this place is our dealings in the world, on an objective basis, and it has no place in the life of, at least my own, faith (at least, not until the world to come).

      • Matthew Tweedell

        (Jeez, what is with my using too many letters today? Usually I tend to err on the side of *dropping* words/affixes/letters. But today it seems I’ve been consistently *adding* them [in ways that spellchecking doesn't catch]. Sorry for any increased difficulty in making sense of me today [I probably should get more sleep :lol:].)

    • Allie

      We are all the Bride, men AND women, in that picture, so it’s particularly silly to use it as an excuse to limit marriage to a man and a woman.

    • DR

      When did you choose to have feelings for the opposite sex? Did those feelings cause you to want to kill yourself because your “good friends” who represent God told you they were an abomination but as hard as you tried, you couldnt change them?

      How dare you set yourself up as a friend and a support to these precious children that God loves. Here’s a bucket of reality – gay men and women are barely surviving your “kindness”. A lot of gay kids don’t, they go into despair and kill themselves.

      As a fellow Christian I am begging you, please just stay away from gay men and women. Please just leave them alone.

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      The Bride thing is a ANALOGY! Ack!

      An analogy is taking a simple, common-place and easily understood concept and using it to explain something complicated.

      The simple thing used for comparison was the marriages all around them. It is saying: Look at this really complicated thing – the relationship of Christ to the Church. It will be easier if you just think about it like your own marriage. Think St. Patrick explaining the trinity with the three-leaf clovers.

      Now, the first analogy doesn’t say ANYTHING fundamental about the characteristics of all marriages. It’s using what marriage looked like for those people to help them understand the DIFFICULT concept. The point of the analogy is not to explain anything about marriage, but to explain the relationship of Christ and Church.

      Saying that analogy means all marriages must be between one man and one woman is like saying four-leaf clovers are heresy.

    • Lymis

      “A few of my closest friends are gay, two of them ex biola students. I love them. And we talk about these things but they know where I stand…”

      And clearly, your interpretation of this is that you are right, and they agree with you and since you are right, they are willing to continue to be your friends even though you know this awful thing about that you are willing to put up with for the sake of the friendship in the hopes that they will see the light and change.

      Has it ever occurred to you that they feel the same way? That it is your failing that they know about and are overlooking for the sake of the friendship in the hope that you will eventually understand the truth and get over yourself?

      • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

        I had friends like that. Thank God for them.

  • Student

    @matthew

    Comparing a gay biola student to Christ is pretty silly. No context whatsoever. Someone wasn’t going to their theology 1 classes.

    • Lymis

      Yes, how unbiblical. It’s not like Jesus ever said he was anything like the poor, the sick, the homeless or the naked, or that treating the least of your brothers badly had anything to do with Him.

      Who needs that refresher?

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Thanks, Lymis.

      Christ has descended to the lowest depths and ascended to the highest heavens, that he might fill all things.

      He said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

      If my Lord thinks it worthwhile to specifically point out that he’s telling me the truth, I’m going to take that pretty seriously, and literally. For who am I to say my friend who tells me he’s gay is not indeed my very Lord and Savior putting my faith in the true Word—the Word which became flesh and dwells eternally among us—to the test?

      Now, the context, which I think was sufficiently clear, is that Christ too kept who he really was on the down low until the time was right—which is to say, doing so is not any clear sign of sinfulness (unless you think it’s also sinful to be God).

  • bob

    Great. Go to a conservative Christian college, hide in the closet, have a lousy social life, be unable to participate fully in campus activities. Want to do something good & sane & healthy for yourself? Transfer.

    • BG

      that’s not always a viable option, for some, pressure from parents who are only willing to pay for a school like Biola keeps them there, for others, especially juniors and seniors, transferring would mean needing to take extra semesters or even years of school because units don’t always transfer.

      furthermore, if schools like Biola are ever to change, it will be through students and actions like these. On their website, on the contact us page, there is a video of a speech by Harvey Milk. I recommend watching it. The main point is that LGBTQ people who find themselves in oppressive environments can either move away to more accepting ones, or they can stay where they are and fight for a more just society.

  • Student

    @kelly and lymis. Hmm, those are some pretty judgmental statements. I thought I was the only one doing that here. Is that how this needed “conversation” goes? You sound exactly like the kind of Christians your attacking in here. How unsurprising.

    • Diana A.

      @ John Shore: Thomas /Andy /etc has been blocked –correct? Because “student ” sounds suspiciously like him.

      • Melody

        I think this is a different person. For one thing, Andy/Thomas/Frank was always going on about “rewriting scripture” and his obsession with telling “where God blesses same-sex unions in scripture.” I don’t recall him playing the martyr so much, saying “You’re being just as judgmental as you say I am.”

      • Matthew Tweedell

        I agree with Melody, but it’s understandable how they all seem to start sounding a lot alike after a while.

        • Diana A.

          Yeah, it is true…they all do tend to sound alike after awhile.

    • Lymis

      Aww. Cute. Nice try, though.

    • DR

      Don’t be ridiculous, no one here is judging “just like” these students. These students are telling gay men and women that they are condemned to hell for a part of themselves they cannot change.

      They (you) are being treated like a grown up. People are furious with you or the impact you have on gay men and women and they are treating you like a grown up and telling you that directly to your face.

      Get some emotional maturity to face the consequences of your choices (you can look to the gay men and women who survive you as inspiration).

    • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

      If you don’t like that I find it arrogant to assume you know more about someone’s life and struggles than they do, that’s fine. But nowhere did I say you were a bad person, or going to hell, or that an inherent unchangeable part of you is a sin against God.

  • Mike

    Thank God they can have community in the midst of that oppressive environment! I am sorry they cannot be out and free to be themselves. All of us are children of God made in God’s image. We, the church must love as our example, Jesus, loves – and that means unconditionally. They will be in my prayers every day.

  • Kristyn Whitaker Hood via Facebook

    One Wheaton is also trying to catch up with you, Biola guys:https://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans?ref=ts#!/onewheaton

  • Nathan

    Sorry this is a bit off topic, but I think this is an article (and a blog) that many on this community would enjoy. I certainly enjoyed this person’s perspective on Tuesday’s election.

    http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/post/22710725963/a-challenge-to-both-sides-of-the-amendment-one-debate

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      The title of the article was telling. Then I saw the author.

      I think I’ve said before why I find these things so troubling. But I can’t express how hurt and frustrated and saddened it makes me feel.

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      Ok, Nathan. Let me talk to the article.

      Calling bigotry bigotry is not calling the bigot (who is a bigot) evil, inhuman or stupid. It is not failing to try to understand the root causes of bigotry so one can educate said bigot. It is not even not loving the bigot or not treating the bigot how any of us would like to be treated, even if said bigot clearly isn’t going to return the favour.

      Loving my enemy, yes. Denying I have an enemy only puts me in danger.

      We need to be able to call bigotry what it is. Name it for what it is. And we don’t need people (who have shown they are willing to put “dialogue” with bigots over the safety of LBGT people) telling people not to do that.

      All bigotry can be said to be done out of ignorance, out of a lack of understanding. All bigots, regardless of who they are prejudice against, may genuinely feel that they are going the right thing. Racists, sexists, anti-Semites, those who descriminate against the disabled. Slave owners obstensibly thought they were doing the best things for their slaves.

      And if we can get past that (let’s face it) chosen ignorance, great. But if we can undo the legal and systematic discrimination without changing their minds, I’m all for that, too.

      Because in the end, it isn’t about the bigots. It’s about the persecuted.

      Justin and those like him (almost all the rest of his approach in the public eye being straight as far as I’ve seen) are SO preoccupied with saving the bigot, I think they forget they claim to speak for or in defence of the LBGT community. They seems to put us at risk and compromise our rights or full inclusion because they might be able to educate a bigot for the bigot’s sake.

      Honestly, I think these people relate more to the bigots because they were them, they were in their place. And, maybe without realizing, they feel a greater call to save those bigots from their bigotry then to stand up for the people actually being persecuted.

      The insanity of this, of course, is that in society – or the church in particular – those particular bigots are doing just fine. And the means out of their bigotry is right in front og them if they want it.

      Those who are persecuted have no such advantage and no such choice. They not the protection – not their oppressors.

      • Nathan

        “Honestly, I think these people relate more to the bigots because they were them, they were in their place. And, maybe without realizing, they feel a greater call to save those bigots from their bigotry then to stand up for the people actually being persecuted.”

        That’s an excellent point.

        See the comment I wrote to DR below.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        “All bigotry can be said to be done out of ignorance, out of a lack of understanding.”

        How are you so sure, Christine? What makes you think it’s never done in full enough understanding of it out of a deep-seated drive to maintain control, power and privilege (and possibly to increase in them)? Why rush to judgment regarding its necessary general cause, rather than maintain a sufficiently open mind to evaluate individual instances potentially individually?

        • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

          read: “All types of bigotry could be done…” I don’t know for sure. And I don’t mean to presume that there aren’t SOME people who do just as you describe. But I can’t think of any type of prejudice or bigotry where that couldn’t apply. There are also sufficient examples to suggest that some people with each type of prejudice do so out of ignorance.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            I do suppose you’re right, Christine.

        • Lymis

          I think if you add in the question of lack of empathy and compassion, you get a reasonable statement. Bigotry arises from either a lack of information (not knowing what is actually going on), a lack of empathy (not being able to put yourself in the other person’s place), or a lack of compassion (not caring), or a combination of the three.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            I do believe you’ve nailed it (yet again), Lymis!

    • DR

      Nathan it is awesome you ate here. I love it. I love that you’re still here even though you’ve been spoken too harshly it shows a commitment Ro Christ.

      You’re not angry enough yet. Your heart hasn’t broken enough yet I’ve hear kids, over these people we’ve damaged in the name of Christ. You dot yet feel a father’s love -a mother’s love – a brother’s love for these people . For you this is all at a debate level still, just ideas though I think how real this all is is beginning to sink in.

      Give yourself of getting truly angry. Have a moment that Jesus did, so enraged that he flipped tables. Allow your heart to get that broken for these people. It will make the difference.

      • Nathan

        I didn’t write the article. I just thought it was an interesting perspective from a gay Christian. I think the thing I enjoyed about the article (and really, about Justin’s blog in general) is that it reminded me that all gay Christians are not theologically liberal. After pursuing Justin’s website a bit, I felt quite “at home” with his theology. He’s the sort of guy that I’d love to sit and chat with about theology, philosophy, or the culture of Christian churches in the US.

        And, related to this blog entry, *HE* is exactly the sort of person who would attend Biola. Hence, the need for an “underground” homosexual group there.

        While I appreciate your viewpoints and John’s viewpoints, I am frequently uncomfortable with the “bashing” of traditional churches. (I attend one) I wasn’t at all uncomfortable with Justin’s descriptions. The church needs to change. I agree. But bashing it and poking fun at it isn’t the best way to go about it. Justin’s commentary was a great reminder of that.

        • Lymis

          People are literally dying because of the actions people are taking because they hold these views, Nathan. Families are being destroyed, children are going without insurance, people are losing their homes, spouses are being deported, people are being beaten and killed in the street, and gay teens are killing themselves, all because parts of the Church teach people that they are right to condemn gay people.

          And your concern is that the theology is comfortable.

          Are you listening to yourself? I can’t believe you are. This is not an intellectual issue for a lot of us. This is our lives, our families, our health, our children, our jobs, our homes.

          We don’t have the option of being comfortable.

          I’m glad you’re all warm and fuzzy and can content yourself with the knowledge that you’ve found a pet gay person who reinforces your own views. I’m not going to open the door to the rage that what you’re saying brings up for me.

          You have it wrong. Very, very, very wrong.

          • Nathan

            Lymis, you’re right. It is at an “intellectual” issue, not an “emotional” issue for me. I don’t have a lot of gay friends (in fact, only really a couple – through Facebook – none in my “real” life). Intellectually you (and others) have “converted” me to largely your way of thinking. But that’s probably about as far as it will go. You probably are not going be be able to “convert” me to be a zealot. I attend a traditional, conservative Christian church. My friends and family are mostly conservative Christians. I live a “sheltered” life by your standards. I think it is unrealistic that you should expect me to somehow jump down the throats of those “misguided” people that I care about and respect. I’m one voice. I’ll speak up for what is right – but I’m not going to turn against my friends and fellow Christians over this issue.

            Change within the church on this issue, unfortunately, will be gradual. (but inevitable) I’m hoping that it can happen INSIDE the evangelical churches – without tearing them apart. I’ll stand up for the injustice I see in my immediate surroundings. But I’m not ready to become a zealot or a martyr for this. I’ll stand up for what’s right – but I’m certainly not willing to step away from or turn against my church community. It would be a completely different story if I saw that actions of my church were actively oppressing homosexuals. You can call me blind, but I just don’t see that.

          • Lymis

            Then, please, keep your eyes open. Because chances are extremely good that they are, if only by encouraging people to vote for anti-gay measures.

            And again, I invite you to consider the story of the Good Samaritan, and who it was the Jesus approved of. The people who saw someone in need and walked to the other side of the road because they didn’t cause it and their friends weren’t involved and nobody in their church did it weren’t the ones that Jesus said were doing the right thing.

          • DR

            Its heartbreaking that you would characterize those who are outraged over abuse, vocalizing that and trying to stop it as “zealots”. That actually makes me feel like I got punched in the stomach.

            Nathan, here’s what I think is going on. You want to find a place where no one is mad at you, where everybody likes you. Where you don’t have to deal with pain. You’ll be here, doing lots of engaging but stopping short when something feels too threatening. You can just walk away rom the computer. And you’ll be in your church where if this comes up, you might just dance around the issue lightly and “agree to disagree” then get waffles with everybody after church.

            Because in the end, it’s about you maintaining “you” and your family. Maintaining your identity, maintaining the safe environment of the conservative church you go to for your kids. Maintaining your friendships. Not going too far where you might lose any of that security. Jesus is a courageous pursuit of truth, but when things start feeling threatening, you bail. Then He is just a lifestyle .

            A lot of us have been just where yiu are and had people call us out just like you are getting called out. When you’re ready to lose everything for the sake of Christ – including the identity and safety your surroundings – your friends – your understanding of good and bad – then your heart will break for those the church has abused beyond recognition. But only until then and know that while it’s great you are here, there’s no ttolerance for Christians who want to stay in the middle while people are being abused by your theology in the name of God.

            It would not be reasonable to expect that, kids are in real trouble . You’re speaking to abuse survivors. To watch you just kind of casually bat a few ideas around, reducing their experience to just “disagreements over theology” is tough to swallow. I’m sure you understand.

        • DR

          I’m so fascinated that you continue to call this “bashing”. It is so much more reflective of your own issues with your loyalty to your beliefs vs righteous anger and abuse and oppression, Nathan. That’s the point I’m trying to make to you! But we get these things over time, it takes a while.

          And of course there are gay men and women who are conservative. There are gay men and women who are virgins. There are gay men and women who speak in tongues. There are gay men and women who are criminals. There are gay men and women who are atheists. There are gay men and women in ((insert area of life or belief system here)).

          There are gay men and women *everywhere*. Being gay does not mean you’re a Liberal. Being gay does not mean you don’t believe in God. Being gay is like having blue eyes or blonde hair. The comparison stops there.

          • Nathan

            I’m mainly refering to comments that John makes now and then. Here’s something he wrote just yesterday:

            “I can’t help it if people who live in fear of their own sexuality, or people who are so lazy they won’t read for themselves, or people who are so cognitively challenged they simply prefer having someone think their most important thoughts for them, have come to “believe” that God finds homosexual love a moral abomination. But that conviction is so mind-bogglingly stupid, and so murderously toxic…”

            Those “murderously toxic” people are my friends, and my family, and my wife that he is talking about. I call that “bashing”. Maybe you don’t.

            Maybe he’s right. But I’m not going to leave my community over this issue. That’s absurd. Rather, I’ll do what I can to stand up for what’s right WITHIN my community.

          • DR

            It’s bashing because it’s people you love . It is bashing because all of that is you. It wouldn’t be bashing of John was describing the Westboro church.

            I TOTALLY get it. I went through it! I was deeply offended that the people accusing my community refused to see them, to see the whole of them. Of us. To really know us. But I realized how demanding I was, I realized I was insisting gay men and women see me as I saw myself. I refused to see myself through their eyes.

            Thank God He have me the Grace to open my eyes to the courage that was required to admits how insistent I was to be spoken to with kindness. And that’s when I allowed the Truth to start speaking.

            When you’re ready to accept responsibility for what we have done – for what you have done – for what your friends and your wife have done, what we have all allowed to go unchanged and unchallenged – you won’t feel bashed anymore because it’s not about you anymore. Xoxo

          • Lymis

            That’s a great observation, DR.

            Can I add, too, that in the vast majority of cases, it is “insisting gay men and women see me as I (see) myself” and refusing “to see myself through their eyes” while at the same time categorically refusing to make any effort to see gay people through their own eyes?

            The knee-jerk “you don’t know us, and you are condemning us with too broad a brush” is particularly and spectacularly ironic coming from people who refuse to even consider the basic realities of being gay as experienced by gay people.

          • DR

            Yes, that was the other side of that coin. I’m so glad you mentioned it.

            Lymis, it’s hard for me to imagine what it must be like to be on the other side of these comments as a gay man. I can’t tell you how much I learn from your thoughts and perspective and I’m so glad you’re here despite what it must be like at times. Thank you for hanging in with us here.

          • DR

            And of course you should stay in community dude. But it might be tough.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Nathan: You’ve taken that statement of mine out of its context. I said that I write what I do in response to those who “have come to ‘believe’ that God finds homosexual love a moral abomination.” If I understand correctly, that does not describe you. But you’re saying it DOES describe your friends, family, and wife—that they do find homosexual love reprehensible? If so, it must be difficult for you, to have an opinion about such an important theological, moral, and social issue that’s so radically different than those around you.

          • Nathan

            Well, do you equate “moral abomination” with “sin”? From my readings, you do. As such, then yes, most of my family and fellow-church members fall into the category you named.

            Certainly none of my family or fell0w church-members are picketing, protesting, or “actively” suppressing the gay community. But I would guess that 80% or more of them would view homosexuality as a sin and most would vote against gay marriage. On the other hand, only a small fraction of them would say that homosexual activity is a “moral abomination” or “reprehensible”. So I don’t know whether my family and faith community would fall under your “murderously toxic” category or not. You tell me.

          • DR

            Yes, they do.

            The belief itself that being gay is unholy has created the exact environment in which we all find ourselves ,within which the GLBTA community is oppressed and abused. Our beliefs are the root of that and we work hard as a Church to maintain it ( over 80% of Evangelical churches refuse to allow gay men and women in leadership positions within the church and make other elders sign a declaration of being against same sex relationships, or they can be elders.

            We are responsible for the experience of gay men and women and we are responsible for ensuring that these beliefs we as Christians have held have made their way into the educational and legal system ( for many years, gay men and women were not allowed to teach in public schools). We continue to believe that our Christian definition of marriage is the universal definition of marriage (even for non-christians) and we vote people in who support it.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            It’s a distinction without a difference. I think it’s safe to say that on the 1-10 Morally Offensive Sin scale–where, say, raping a child is a 10–your people would rate homosexual sex as a 9, or 8 at lowest. And I think that safely puts it within the “moral abomination” range.

            And that makes it murderous, insofar as so many young (and older, certainly) gay people are driven by bullying/hatred/societal condemnation to suicide.

          • Nathan

            That’s an awfully presumptuous statement. Have you visited my church? Do you know my family?

            There’s an awful lot of sins that are spoken of from the pulpit and in classrooms. Greed, gossip, pride, etc. I’ve never heard a mention of homosexuality except in casual conversation among people. I, frankly, have no idea what “number” category most would put it in. (Frankly, most evangelical churches have moved beyond putting sins in a “number category”. Sin is sin. Are we in 5th grade here?)

            Seriously now: What is your advice to people in churches like mine? You (and others) on this website so often ask me to put myself in their shoes. Now: Put yourself in my shoes. I’m ready to agree that homosexuality isn’t a sin. But I’m not going to leave my church over this. People disagree over sins all the time. I’m in a loving, vibrant, and growing community who happens to be misguided on a couple issues. You call it “murderously toxic”. So be it. Who ISN’T misguided on some issues?

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Nathan: “There’s an awful lot of sins that are spoken of from the pulpit and in classrooms. Greed, gossip, pride, etc.” The difference, Nathan, is that those are things people DO. Being gay is something people ARE. Massive, massive difference.

            Anyway, I’m not banging on you personally, at all. I don’t know you. I’m glad you’ve changed your mind on the gay thing; that’s awesome. But I don’t think you should leave your church, or anything like that. If anything, I’d prefer you didn’t leave. I’m hopeful that, since you’re there, and you have a different perspective on this issue, that in thoughtful, real conversations with the people in your life and at your church, you’ll present your ideas to them, and … talk will happen. I’m all for that, always. The kind of change we’re talking about here can only happen one person at a time. You seem like exactly the kind of person, in exactly the kind of place, who can help to gently bring people to what I think is fuller, more God-centered place relative to the relationship between Christians and LGBTQ people.

          • Diana A.

            One step at a time, Nathan.

            Here are some thoughts. Enact them as you feel both able and willing. (Warning: Wall of Text Ahead)

            1) Get your hands (if you haven’t already) on a book called “UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity…and Why It Matters” by David Kinnaman (turns out he’s a graduate of Biola University–I didn’t know that until now) and Gabe Lyons. This book drove me crazy because it comes from a more conservative viewpoint than my own. But it discusses how Christians are seen by those outside the faith. And it’s not flattering. Christians are seen by those outside the faith (and honestly, some of us within the faith) as: a) Hypocritical; b) Too focused on getting converts; c) Antihomosexual; d) Sheltered; e) Too political; f) Judgmental. Again, what drove me crazy about this book was that the writers provided very objective information about how Christians come across to those outside the faith–but seemed to want to hold on to their old attitudes and behaviors without having to face the consequences of refusing to change, especially on homosexuality. Still, the book gives a wider perspective to how the antihomosexual attitudes are a result of a larger sickness within Christianity.

            2) Look into the possibility of having a bible study on the verses that seem to condemn homosexuality. The one that I took was “Claiming the Promise: An Ecumenical Welcoming Bible Study Resource on Homosexuality” (Edited by Mary Jo Osterman.) This study is through the Reconciling Ministries Network, which is a United Methodist resource, but I’m sure there are other similar resources through other denominations–United Church of Canada, Mormons, Baptists, Brethren/Mennonite, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Catholic, United Church of Christ (these are denominations listed at the back of my workbook from the above mentioned class.)

            Anyway, these are my suggestions. And I’d rather see you take tiny steps forward on this issue than have you take too much on at once, get overwhelmed or discouraged, and quit.

          • DR

            Who is asking you to leave your church?

            If you knew that one of your friends was inadvertently carrying a fatal disease – that he was a carrier and didn’t have any symptoms – and had no idea of how sick he was making those vulnerable to catching it, wouldn’t you do anything you could to protect the people from him?

            That’s what this is. You need to see this belief for what it is – a virus – and make people aware of it. And it’s going to be hard, people will fight you. They’ll be suspicious of you. They’ll accuse you of being a fake Christian. You’re going to offend them. But isn’t that all worth it so another gay kid doesn’t kill himself?

            When you frankly Nathan, get over yourself a little bit and stop choosing to be offended that people are using strong language (that is accurately reflecting the damage we do to the GLBT community), the decisions you need to make will be very clear.

          • Nathan

            Thanks Diane and DR. I was being facetious about leaving the church. Obviously I’m not doing that. I was saying that somewhat sarcastically in response to my offence at John’s statement that my friends and family have “murderously toxic” beliefs. Misguided and poorly reasoned? Yes. Murderously toxic? I think (hope) that is a bit of hyperbole.

            Diane, I like your idea of reading “Unchristian”. My wife has read it and highly recommended it to me, but I never got around to reading it. I’ll make that a priority.

            I need to keep thinking and praying through my own beliefs. I’ve definitely come around to believing that these constitutional amendments against gay marriage are nothing but hateful. They have no place in the church. I also have definitely come around to believe that condemnation of homosexuality has no place in the church. That’s up to an individual to work out. But my views are still “evolving” (sorry for the pun!) about how to interpret the verses in Romans and how I would react if an open homosexual were to try to step up to a leadership role in my church. It’s a process.

            Don’t get me wrong, I do feel badly for the suicide rate among gay youth. That’s horrible. But what is more horrible to me is what the hurtful and arrogant attitude of Christians about this issue has done for the broader message of the gospel. We’re supposed to be the BODY of Christ – his hands and feet here on Earth. The message we spread is GOOD NEWS — but instead, the message we have given (on this issue) is hurtful and has made many, many people (gay and strait) turn and run away from the truth of Christ’s work for us. That’s the biggest tragedy in my opinion.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Nathan: you said, “in response to my offence at John’s statement that my friends and family have “murderously toxic” beliefs. Misguided and poorly reasoned? Yes. Murderously toxic? I think (hope) that is a bit of hyperbole.” Didn’t we already resolve this?

            And haven’t you already decided where you stand on the gay issue?

            Oh no. Tell me you’re not one of these:

            My Blog and the Silly Putty People

          • DR

            Nathan, ask a gay kid who got thrown out of his loving Christian home due to “tough love” for his “decision to be gay” who gets raped on the streets if your belief is “murderously to xic”.

            Ask my friend Kendall who was asked to leave her church position when they found out she was gay, The tutoring program she created where over 200 kids who needed help were getting it? Gone. And that was a mainstream church.

            Here’s a question I dare you to ask yourself honestly. To what degree will you allow your others to decine who you are? Who hour wife is? To what degree will you allow the impact and that of our church to define what you are? What we are? What your belief is?

            To what degree are you willing to give that power away? This is about control. And when we are in relationship with Jesus, that’s the first thing we are called to give up.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            @John

            Being greedy is also something people are though (and one could say the same of being prideful, etc.).

            Of course, the sin comes in greedy people’s tendency to DO greedy things. However, one could likewise argue, as most fundamentalists do, that the sin comes in gay people’s tendency to do gay things (namely: sex).

            It doesn’t really matter (and good luck trying to solidly establish) to what varying extent being greedy and being gay would be “choices” (whatever that really means anyway).

            What matters is the spirit which directs one’s actions. A spirit of greed is not a spirit of love. Sex, however—gay, straight, or otherwise—can be performed with a heart of love, or without. “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16)

          • DR

            @Nathan (and Nathan, thank *you* for being here. You’re taking a lot of heat and this is a huge thing to process. I don’t say this a lot on the forum, but I’m praying for you, I’m praying that the reason the Holy Spirit led you here will be realized. No matter how frustrated I get with you, now or in the future, know the core beneath that is an acknowledgement that just because I may be in a different place with all of this now, I am saying all of this to myself just as much as to you. We’re in this together.

          • Lymis

            Nathan, here’s the deal.

            My guess is that at least a large percentage of these same people would probably say that being Jewish, and staying Jewish after having been exposed to the Gospel, is “wrong” or may send someone to hell or some other variation on disapproving of it.

            And yet, again, my guess is that those same people would never dream of voting to pass constitutional amendments making it illegal for Jewish people to marry, or to support barring them from the military, or making it legal for employers to fire someone for being Jewish, or to refuse to rent apartments to Jewish people, or to keep Jewish people from adopting. My guess would be that they would say that while it’s wrong, it’s none of their business, and that other people’s religious choices don’t affect them.

            That’s where the difference lies. Not in the disapproval. In taking it active, and turning that disapproval into active social oppression.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Great point there, Lymis!

          • DR

            This is so spot on perfect.

          • Nathan

            By the way, my dad graduated from Biola. I graduated from another Christian university, not quite so conservative as Biola. But certainly not “friendly” to homosexuals, unfortunately.

          • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

            Nathan, what John said was that the *conviction* was mind-bogglingly toxic, not the people.

            One thing that I think might help you out here is the difference between talking about the effects of actions and making judgments about people. I have no doubt that there were lots of kind and loving people who, say, voted for Amendment One. There was probably at least one person who stopped to cast that vote on their way home from dropping off a big donation at a food bank or volunteering at a homeless shelter. But the fact that they are, overall, good people, doesn’t negate the harm of that specific action. And someone who doesn’t know each and every one of them personally has no way of knowing how many people voted that way because they were sincerely trying to do the right thing, and how many people did it out of hatred. It may not even really matter (except to them and the people who interact with them, and to God).

            Good people can believe evil things or toxic things. Good people can make horrible, harmful decisions for whatever reason. But if we give people a pass on harmful behavior because they’re otherwise good people, then we have to ignore tons of harmful actions. And people are never all good or all bad. We’re all both fallen and screwed up *and* made in the image of God.

    • Lymis

      Nathan, I’ll speak to the article as well.

      Justin makes what I see is a very common mistake, which is to deliberately gloss over the meaning of the words prejudice and bigotry.

      He says people who voted to write anti-gay discrimination into their state Constitution aren’t bigots or prejudiced, no, not at all. They are merely ignorant or uneducated and have a lack of understanding. and werehonestly trying to do the right thing.

      But that’s missing the point in some pretty huge ways. That’s what bigotry and prejudice are. Making fundamental judgements about other people without actually knowing anything about them is prejudice. Choosing to take action deliberately designed to hurt someone else because you don’t like who they are is bigotry.

      And, especially today, especially on gay rights, there comes a point where not knowing the truth is a deliberate choice. This is no longer a brand new concept, one that it is completely unfamiliar, when there is no real opportunity to actually learn the truth, meet the affected people, get a different perspective, and make your choices based on the truth.

      A generation or so ago, you could make a reasonable case that the truth wasn’t available, that the stereotypes and misinformation was all people had available to them to base their decisions on. You simply cannot make that case now. Anyone who does not know the other side, doesn’t know about gay lives, doesn’t know how these laws are hurting actual people, can only “not know” by a deliberate, almost herculean, act of will. They have to stand in the world with their fingers in their ear shouting “La,la,la,la,la” at the top of their lungs.

      There may – and only may – be some excuse for saying “I don’t know anything about this, and I don’t want to, and so I will avoid the whole issue and leave these people alone.” Even that is pretty cowardly and unChristian in the face of the pain and suffering LGBT people are experiencing – the Gospel doesn’t look kindly on the people who left the assaulted man lying in the dirt waiting for the Samaritan.

      But there is no longer, if there ever was, any justification for saying “I don’t know anything about this, and I don’t want to, and so I will actively hurt other people while making every effort to avoid understanding their side of the story.”

      That isn’t “honestly trying to do the right thing.” That is deliberately choosing not to become informed enough to know what the right thing is.

      When you believe an untruth, that may or may not be sinful. But when the truth is readily available and you continue to believe and spread the untruth, it is. The lies about LGBT people are not only common and being willfully spread, the fact that they are lies is just as widely available, and the people spreading the lies know that, and don’t care. And the people who listen to the lies know that, too.

      Reread the piece. He calls it “a challenge to both sides” but somehow never gets around to challenging the people who voted for the Amendment. He challenges the people who are victimized to understand that the people who went out of their way to hurt their neighbors are really nice human beings who don’t know any better. But somehow he forgets to tell the anti-gay people that their challenge is to stop hurting people because of easily refuted lies.

      He starts from the premise that people don’t like to be called bigots or prejudiced, and announces that the answer is for people to stop calling them that, while somehow ignoring the far more important idea that if people don’t want to be called bigots, the should simply stop being bigots.

      • DR

        Yes.

        Nathan, bigotry is bigotry. It’s institutionalized so we don’t have to name it very specifically, often, it’s what happens when people side-eye one another when a gay man gets on an elevator. It’s why gay men and women can’t rent an apartment sometimes when it’s discovered they are gay. It’s the whispers and the innuendo and it’s the “just stopping short” of saying what one is thinking in order to be “kind”.

        All of that is stemming from this theology. That’s where all of this started and now it’s woven into our legal and educational systems. Many of us bigots. Period. It’s time to start facing who we are and calling it what it is.

      • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

        That’s perfect, Lymis. Exactly.

        But maybe what Nathan relates (and correct me here if I’m wrong) is that you don’t see the people around you (who you are pretty sure would view homosexual acts – or even the orientation itself – as sinful) as being the passice people Lymis describes. The ones who don’t know, don’t want to know and so try to stay the hell out of it – but WOULD probably vote against equal rights.

        John’s quote and pretty much everyone else here (myself included) are still calling those people bigots (btw, John called the conviction “muderously toxic”, not the people). And you want them distinguished between people with bad theology and the people who are the real haters. You want to make that distinction and we don’t. Am I right?

        • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

          Sorry – should have been that you DO see them as the passive version.

        • Nathan

          Generally that’s right. I’d agree with your summary of my thoughts. The ONE distinction that I will make is that Christians that *I* have spoken with don’t view homosexual ORIENTATION as sinful, but rather homosexual SEX. I can only speak for the few evangelical churches I have attended over the past 10 years.

          Thanks for pointing out that “murderously toxic” was referring to the conviction, not to the people. I didn’t pick up on that distinction.

          I guess I found it rather contemptuous that he was calling my faith-community “murderously toxic”. But now I see that I was making an inaccurate inference about his words.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Nathan: thanks … cuz, right: I’m always extremely careful to make the distinction between what people believe and who they are. I get to judge the former (I think we’re all morally obliged to call foul when we see it), but of course never the latter.

          • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

            Nathan, I think a lot of people try to get away from the implications of anti-gay theology by making that distinction, but I don’t think they really grasp what they’re asking of people. (I’m sure God calls some people to lifelong celibacy, but I don’t think it’s someone else’s job to proclaim that every gay person is called to that.)

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            Cool. Then I get it.

            I think for me, bigots come in many colours. A “bigot” is someone who is prejudiced and I can’t, no matter how anyone spins it, see the view that I’m geared towards sin in a way that other people are not, is not prejudice.

            But there are bigots I love. There are bogots I even LIKE! Sometimes I don’t even WANT to like them (because it makes it hurt more) but I can’t help it, they are, in everything else, perfectly wonderful people. Which completely boggles my mind! I don’t understand it – gosh darn it, I’ve been trying – but I can’t deny it.

            And there’s nothing wrong with loving or liking bigots. In fact, it’s great – UNTIL it in any way interferes with our fight for justice for those those are persecuted and descriminated against by them (that persecution and descrimination comes in many forms, not just attack adds and protests) – UNTIL we prioritize the bigots over the disadvantaged.

            Again, the bigots are doing just fine. They have all the priviledge. We have to fight for the underdog. It doesn’t mean changing any of your core theology. It just means that on this issue, you recognize that justice and compassion trump a particular reading of bible. It just means seeing the injustice and harm in a particular interpretations and realizing that if there are other valid interpretations that don’t violate the main themes of scripture and the teachings of Jesus, then those other interpretations are more likely to be the right ones.

            On what you can do… I have a friend, of my parents generation, who attending my old fundie church with me for many years. They were “higher ups”, so to speak. Apparently, she and her husband always supported gay people and their freedom to choose to be in a relationship (the theology behind it was weird in case, but not the point). I never knew until many years later when I can out. She was very supportive to my now wife in particular, they are very close. She even encouraged my wife’s parents to accept our relationship.

            But I can’t even IMAGINE how much better it would have been for me to know that even one person there (particularly someone so respected) believed that. What a difference it could have made.

            Now, we didn’t have an environment where anyone could question anything, but eventually we all got kicked out for questioning things in the end it was that bad, so keeping quiet never did us any good.

            You have a chance to make a difference right where you are. Take it.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            I wouldn’t say a bigot is necessarily a someone who’s prejudiced. A bigot might hold a reasoned opinion (political, theological, etc.) which, while intolerant of any other worldview, need not manifest in judgment of their neighbors (even those with whom they disagree). (And of course not all prejudices constitute bigotry either, but that’s another matter.)

            I am of the opinion that it behooves us to take care in our use of such words, lest they either confound our audience or lose distinction of meaning. And I am enough of a bigot to tell you that, with no real intention of listening to you persuade me otherwise; so don’t bother. ;) jk

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            Yes, I do mean a certain TYPE of prejudice. Against people, for starters – not like having descriminating taste in wine…

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            Wait, did you say there are bigots who are NOT prejudiced…? Yeah, we’re using different definitions.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Well, having reviewed several formal definition, it would seem that our difference in understandings of the word—between definitions incorporating the necessity of prejudice and ones focused on intolerance—exists even among respected dictionaries.

            However, under your interpretation, then certainly *not* everyone who’s against gay marriage, for example, is a bigot—even if they help further the bigotry of others—because one does not necessarily have to act prejudicially in resolving so to construct (or give support to the pre-existing structure of) the institution of marriage as a cross-gendered partnership. (It may be unjustly biased, but that is not the same as prejudiced.)

            Moreover, we all have preconceived notions we carry around with us, and almost all of us can be a bit intolerant about them, to varying degrees at various time; so, it seems to me, we generally restrict such words to cases in the extreme.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            I should add that most of us are sympathetic to the “different shades of bigot” part, even if it doesn’t always seem like it, because most of us used to be there ourselves.

            And we still jump at the slightest hint of someone genuinely interested in being educated on the issue. We have to hold ourselves back enough to not get our hopes up too high we’re that hung up on being accepted. It’s hard. It’s, well, exhausting.

          • DR

            It’s the beliefs that are both murderous and toxic as well as the massive amount of money, time, effort and organization that foes into ensuring these beliefs have dominion.

            What is also murderous and toxic is the passivity of those of us who think we aren’t living every word of the above sentence when we try to say this is about gay sex instead of being gay. We are even more dangerous because we have the capacity to reason, to think and to stop this from moving forward yet we just don’t care about it enough to let it move us into action. We’re focused on our own kids, our own lives.

            We use our theology words and “Well God is a mystery, who can understand it?” as we play both sides of the fence to make sure neither side is angry with us. It’s all just ideas and then we go home and watch American Idol.

            We do nothing because we are cowards. We are the dangerous ones.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            Jim Rigby had this on his blog today:

            “I believe the unconscious root of all forms of prejudice to be a sense of entitlement and a belief that “difference” means “less than.” In other words, when I unconsciously think of my group as the model for all humankind, I will either attack those who are different, or try to cast them in my own group’s image.  And when we are bigoted against another type of person, we usually have no sense of our own presumption. It just feels like we are looking at the world from a higher vantage point. We are simply reading the text the way God intended it. Those who disagree obviously don’t care about scripture as we do. We, of course, humbly realize that we are sinners too. But because we are sorrier for our sins than others are, it is our duty to serve as referee for the rest of the species. Because our sense of privilege is invisible to us, any effort to describe what we are doing feels like an humiliating insult. So, if anyone steps in to defend our target, we view ourselves as the real victims.”

            Best description I’ve seen yet.

          • Lymis

            That’s a wonderful description. Thanks for sharing it.

            One of the things I so often see on all moral issues (and morally adjacent, and often, morally neutral) is that it is so easy to look at things in terms of “The only reason I would personally do this thing is because of this reason, and therefore, nobody else could possibly do it for any other reason, and I can judge them based on those standards.”

            Especially on LGBT issues, you see people insisting that gay behavior be judged, not as the equivalent straight behavior, but as though it was straight people doing something counter to their own orientation.

      • Mindy

        As always, Lymis, thank you so very much. I feel this need to jump in – but you and Diana and DR and others are saying everything I’d have said and more.

        This has been an interesting week – a woman I’ve known since our teenagers were toddlers, an African American woman who is also a local news reporter, asked on her FB wall for people’s thoughts on Obama’s statement this week. I was literally bowled over by some of the comments from African Americans who say they will now vote against him – even though they support him in every other way. And no matter what I said or how I said it, they absolutely do not, in any way, see their religious belief that gays are doomed if they act upon their sexuality, ever, as bigotry. Nope. Not bigotry. God’s very clear, cut and dried word – how could that be discrimination? It totally and completely wore me out. And somehow, their inability to equate it to the oppression their own relatives suffered in this same country, oppression that was oft justified with Bible verses, just made my heart hurt. I did my best, but pretty sure I didn’t change a single heart. I didn’t “bash,” I just talked. But . . . the woman who originally asked for our “thoughts” on the matter messaged me privately to reiterate how I obviously didn’t understand God’s word. I was totally taken aback. :::::::sigh:::::::::

        • Matthew Tweedell

          Mindy, my wife was just pointing out to me the other day actually that, while all this talk is going on in white America over these issues (gay marriage, LGBT/queer rights, etc.), we really do need to be engaging the African American community on this more.

          Now, it seems to me that many of the older and more highly educated African Americans recognize this—in its parallels to issues in their own history—as the basic civil rights issue that it really is. Sadly, however, many do not share their informed perspective or their critical thinking: while younger white Americans are more likely than there parents to be accepting of gays/lesbians/etc., younger African Americans seem to me perhaps even be more hostile than the generation before them (but of course—and again, sadly, and perhaps one of the contributing factors to the tendency to overlook this matter—they do not show up in the same numbers to vote their opinions into law or into office [or involve themselves to the same extent on average in other civic matters such as petitioning or protesting]).

          • Matthew Tweedell

            I guess my point was that I applaud your efforts in engaging with the African American community on this, Mindy, and I wish we could find more effective ways of doing so.

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            http://www.holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com

            This blog follows issues of gay rights, including in the African American community.

        • Allie

          The lady I posted about a couple of days ago who works in our grocery is black. Her church as a whole is definitely anti-gay and has even gone so far as to put up a statue of Liberty several stories tall with tears streaming down her face because of sinful Americans like gay people.

          (This loony thing has to be seen to be believed. If I were younger I would be tempted to vandalize it by spray-painting it in rainbow colors. http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2006/07/04/us/05libertyCA01ready.html )

          Anyway it does appear that my speaking to her has borne fruit. I saw her again today and she volunteered that she has a young relative who is a drag queen and she doesn’t like the way the family has been treating him and will make an effort to reach out to him. So… yay!

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Glad to hear this, Allie! Thanks for the update, and thanks be to God for the work He does through you!

            That statue of liberty’s dress is SUCH a drab color though, imho… I really do think she could use a rainbow repaint!!

          • DR

            You are fabulous.

        • DR

          I am so exhausted and demoralized by Christians. I swear if it weren’t for this community I’d never interact with them again.

  • NKVM

    Good luck to you Biola Underground, and I wish you continued bravery and fortitude in your inhospitable surroundings. Please ignore the judgmental comments here and know that there are people who support you and accept you as you are, as there is not a thing wrong with you!

  • Kristyn Whitaker Hood via Facebook

    You guys are soooo not alone. There are so many LGBT friends and straight allies at Council for Christian Colleges & Universities schools:http://www.soulforce.org/blog/a-letter-from-a-george-fox-university-student/

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Biola Queer Underground, this is kind of random, but.. you guys ought to get your site (http://biolaunderground.webs.com/) onto Google. From the looks of it, you’d think THIS was the site for the Biola Queer Underground site presently (not that I suppose John should have any problem with that).

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Right. I’ll be, like, the BQU annex.

  • Kristyn Whitaker Hood via Facebook

    So brave of them. Recently, a gay Messiah student transferred out, due to harassment:http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/05/gay_student_to_transfer_out_sa.html

  • Patricia Brush

    I work in the Chaplaincy at Carleton University in Ottawa. It frustrates me when gay Christian students are afraid to use the services of the Chaplaincy because they might run into Christians there. I’m not frustrated with the students. I’m frustrated with the Christians that have given them this fear. And it infuriates me to see it drawn with such a wide brush at Biola.

    Congratulations to the BQU. You are warriors for justice.

  • Andrew Raymond via Facebook

    Well done them!!!

  • Mary Wisner via Facebook

    Liked em!

  • Carol B. VanderNat via Facebook

    Amen! Via con Dios!

  • Iyam Leq via Facebook

    didn’t see a like button

  • Ashley Cohea

    I just want to commend the brave and amazing thing these students are doing! I hope they find love and support in their friends and family and turn Biola on its ear! Many blessings, Biola Queer Underground.

  • Deb

    I am going to be graduating with my B.A.’s soon and have considered Biola for my graduate school, but have been really apprehensive because they are so conservative, and I would not only be a woman studying theology, but also a woman who doesn’t quite conform to these “traditional” views. This just warms my heart to bursting to know that there are students who attend Biola that are willing to risk themselves in order to reach out and help those students who may be struggling due to the policies they enforce. You go Rainbow Christians!!! :D

    • Matthew Tweedell

      I agree. What a powerful and true witness these students are for Christ in the world today! What vital work is the Holy Spirit pleased to that He should do through them! The Biola Queer Underground appears as a beacon of light to a beacon of light—the light of light shines forth here unto all the world. The strength, courage, and conviction of such as these—those so honored to have God’s glory be revealed in them—are a blessing to the world.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        I forgot compassion: Make that “strength, courage, conviction, and compassion”!

  • Caring Heart via Facebook
  • http://www.facebook.com/JonShriver Jonathan Shriver via Facebook

    Sounds like Bob Jones!

  • http://www.facebook.com/christie.draper.58 Christie Draper via Facebook

    http://biolaunderground.webs.com/ You can like them from here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christie.draper.58 Christie Draper via Facebook
  • Biola guy

    [Christian college frat boy idiocy deleted.]

    • DR

      Could we get the tone police on this good and loving Christian please, or are you saving your juice for the people trying to stop this kind of filth from splashing on gay children?

  • http://lgbt-bju.org LGBT-BJU

    Bob Jones University also has a growing network for former and current students. Please see https://twitter.com/#!/LGBTBJU OR http://lgbt-bju.org for more information.

    Here also is a list of our allies among other Christian colleges, who have a presence on Twitter:

    https://twitter.com/#!/LGBTBJU/christian-colleges/members

    Strength and courage to all LGBT people struggling with fundamentalism – as well as their supporters!

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Thanks, LGBT-BJU. You got me thinking…

      “LGBT people struggling with fundamentalism”

      You know.. no one ever puts it that way, but that’s really the way it is, isn’t it?

      I mean, we hear from fundamentalists about Christians who “struggle with homosexuality”, but (as everyone here knows) that’s not the way it is at all: queer is simply how one is, a matter of fact, and not an issue to be dealt with since there’s no choice to be made here.

      What’s really going on, as reflected in this brilliant choice of words, is quite the opposite really: one’s religious beliefs are the true (and somewhat arbitrary and culturally-biased) choices LGBT people so often struggle with.

      One *chooses* how one interprets the Bible, assuming one even *chooses* the Bible to be an authority in their life, and then *chooses* how to live their life accordingly.

      The realization of one’s sexuality, on the other hand, has nothing to do with whatever choices in how it’s defined or anything like this (these are just labels society invents for community identity and efficient flow of information) but is, of course, about choices in response to it.

      There are no fundamentalist Christians who struggle with a proclivity for homosexuality; rather there are plenty of gays, lesbians, and others, who struggle with a proclivity for fundamentalist Christianity. Why? Because there aren’t Christian people that need sex (gay, straight, or otherwise) but sexual (and asexual) people (gay, straight, or otherwise) who need Christ!

      • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

        Yes, I liked that phrase, too. I think you described it’s meaning well.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com DR

    Dear kids,

    Please be smart about listening to this ” open dialogue”. It smells like the typical fundamentalist trap to try to “engage” you because they got caught with this vile code of conduct that drove you to have to meet in secrecy and now they look bad. In my opinion, this letter is about not losing any fundraising dollars and avoiding provocative press. Be really careful, when and if this dies down, you will quietly go away.

    • Lymis

      When the commitment to ongoing dialogue starts with the statement that God’s plan for human sexuality is the foundational reason for viewing acts of same-sex intimacy as an illegitimate moral option for the confessing Christian, it’s not going to be a particularly open one.

      • RS

        That sounds like redefining dialogue to me. You’re basically saying you expect anyone who defines themselves as a Christian to believe the same as you do. But that’s a Fundamentalist perspective, not a Christian perspective.

        From my own experience as a former fundamentalist, I know it’s also the fundamentalist’s way of saying, “My way or the highway.”

        It’s the complete antithesis to dialogue.

        Also, believing “same-sex intimacy [are] an illegitimate moral option for the confessing Christian” is a matter of opinion, not a defining characteristic of what makes a Christian. Only a certain sub-sect of Christians.

        • RS

          Sorry, upon reading your comment again, it appears we may agree! ;)

        • Lymis

          I’m confused.

          • RS

            My fault, not yours. I misinterpreted your post by not properly processing your last, paragraph defining phrase. Sorry!

      • DR

        Exactly.

        Please stay underground! And if you do get caught, know that this will be such a defining moment in your life that is so positive. It’s rare to find people who have the courage to do something like this – I’d hire you in a second. :)

    • stormysee

      A careful reading of scripture — Genesis 2 to be exact, shows that God created them ‘male ‘and ‘female’, he brought them together in a marriage (“a man will leave his father and mother…. and be united to his “wife”‘). Within the context of this marriage relationship sexual union took place — to reunite them symbolically as ‘one flesh’ (woman was created by being taken out of man). This physical union creates an intimate emotional bond and produces children, the perpetuation of the species and the foundation/building block of society . This University affirms the model. Our human society is based on this. You call that vile?

      • DR

        After a careful examination of Scriptire it’s

        Clear that God hates divorce. Because he said so. But it’s not a Sin in Christianity to get a divorce, the very act that has made marriage disposable. What’s vile are those of you suggesting that marriage as a sacrament is defiled by gay men and women being able to defile it when we as straight people have already perverted it so we can do what we want.

        • Matthew Tweedell

          Ooh, excellent response, DR!

        • stormysee

          His model is HIS model. Not mine, yours or anyone elses. He made it that way and to affirm its is not vile anymore than the model itself is. What happens between 2 people of the same sex cannot even fit the model as he designed it. Therefore its something other than marriage. And divorce is only acceptable in one circumstance, ONE. Adultery–thats it.

          • Melody

            And how do you know this model is the only acceptable one? No, the answer isn’t in Genesis 1:27. You don’t know God’s design any better than anyone else. And don’t take Jesus’ words on divorce out of context. He was referring to the practice of a man divorcing his wife for any ridiculous reason. The Bible does NOT say that marriage is limited to one man and one woman. You’re certainly free you interpret it that way based on your favorite proof texts, but it doesn’t. It recognizes polygamous marriages as well. You don’t have the right to speak for God concerning what defines a “real”marriage.

  • John Grimes

    These guys can suck my… Nevermind they would enjoy it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      You’re angry at who, now?

    • Lymis

      Sorry to hurt your ego, but no. Most of us are more choosy than that. Keep it in your pants.

      • Biola Honey Badger

        Well played.

    • andie

      Classy!

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      I though he meant the big wigs at Biola there for a second.

      Good point, John. They might just be closeted.

    • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

      Afraid you’d enjoy it too much?

  • Reed

    Well, bless ‘em, I think they’re brave and idiotic all at the same time. Biola was founded on Bibliolatry (Bible Institute Of Los Angeles), so they’re fighting an uphill battle. But nonetheless, fight on, queer Biolans!

  • http://www.facebook.com/reed.boyer.3 Reed Boyer via Facebook

    BIOLA (Bible Institute of Los Angeles) was founded on Bibliolatrist principles, and it’s unlikely to change. Bless ‘em, I think Biolan queers are brave and doomed to fail (in getting that hidebound organization to budge), but I love ‘em to pieces and I’m glad that they’ve formed their own support network.

  • Anna Aruna Reifman via Facebook

    Where can you “like” them on Facebook. I only see Twitter & Tumblr.

  • Anna Aruna Reifman via Facebook

    No FB link to like there

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      If you look on the bottom of any of the pages of BQU, you’ll see a little place where you can like that page.

  • Adara Pallady via Facebook

    How amazingly cheerful! Sad that in this day & age there is a place like Biola in *So Cal* of all places.

    • Melody

      Yup. Sadly you can find backward and crazy anywhere.

  • Christelle

    As a former BIOLA student – You have my 100% support! Stay brave, my friends! Actually, as I’m writing this, I’m realizing – that as a former student, I should write a letter to the President of BIOLA too… Now, off to do just that!

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    Read the story yesterday and didn’t comment…

    Really, all I have to say is “I admire your guts and hope they don’t get spilled.”

    The choice of celebrities for the poster was good, too. I know people who practically *worship* NPH and Ellen is just… cute. Insufferably cute.

    The dog-picture makes me think “Steve-Dog Paw-bert?”

  • http://comingintothesoul.wordpress.com/ HJ

    I definitely have respect for these college students! Sometimes I wonder if it is worth the risk at these ultra-conservative schools. They clearly won’t change their minds. But likewise, these students have a right to be there if they feel they should be, and if they’re there they have the right to not have to hide… maybe. I support them anyway. I look forward to following this story.

  • textjunkie

    Wow. Serious guts on those kids. Biola’s one of those places that can’t even teach evolution in its biology classes, if I remember rightly. (Makes several of the physical sciences and plenty of the social ones tricky to teach, one of their professors commented to me many years ago.) The idea that these kids could band together in An Environment Like That is mind-boggling. Best wishes!!!

  • Fred

    I’ve heard of Enola Gay, but not Biola Gay : )

  • Concerned

    I disagree with the frequent use of Queer. Some people in the gay world find this term derogatory. It’s like how some black people think its okay to drop the N-word just cause they are black.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      It’s their show; obviously, they’re free to use whatever language they think best. (I know they think “queer” is significantly more inclusive than “LGBTQ.”)

      • Concerned

        Obviously they are free to use whatever term they like. I wasn’t questioning thier freedom of speech?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          no, no, I didn’t think you were.

    • Lymis

      I object strongly to having other people call me queer. I have no right to object to other people embracing the term for themselves, and it has developed quite a legitimacy in academic circles and uses in the last few decades, adding even more validity to as student group choosing to use it.

      For all sorts of reasons, you really don’t hear “queer” as much as an anti-gay slur these days, and it never really had as forceful a weight behind it as some of the more vicious slurs did.

      I’d say it has more of a parallel to using “African American” or “Person of Color”, (or for that matter, “black” itself, back in it’s day) than it does to “nigger.” If you are looking for a parallel to that, it would be the use of words like “fag” and “dyke” privately among gay people to discuss each other.

      I don’t like it, and I don’t use it, and I’d certainly strongly counsel any straight person against using it unless you know that’s what the individual in question wants to be identified as. But I’m also well past my sell-by date on cutting edge transgressive language, and something like queer is much easier to use and embrace than the alphabet soup. My generation still identifies more with it as a slur than an identity. But we can adapt, especially if it is a signal of broader social equality.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        That’s exactly it. I appreciate the value of that word within pretty particular contexts. Within those contexts, it’s gold: no other word comes close. But outside of those safe contexts, it’s … anathema, basically. (Lymis: we must be the same age. I still come from a place, rooted of course in time and culture, when that word was pretty exclusively derogatory and particularly toxic. And I have really enjoyed watching its connotations change: I love the way it was adapted and utilized by so many of the very people it was meant to harm. But I still have a viscerally negative response to it–until I remember its newer, better, stronger, really more lovely connotations. It’s one of the most fascinating words in the language, basically. It’s such a … house of mirrors. Anyway, thanks for your exceptionally keen insights into it.)

        • Lymis

          52 years old yesterday.

          • Leslie Marbach

            Happy Birthday! :)

          • Diana A.

            Happy Birthday, Lymis!

        • Lymis

          Less than often known LGBT trivia: “Gay” itself was intended by a lot of people to be the umbrella term that queer is wrestling to become. The glitch happened when no male-specific neutral term could be agreed on as the male equivalent of lesbian. One candidate was Urning or Uranian. Another was Androphile. When none of them took off, what started as “Gay men and women” soon became “Gay men and lesbians” which then became “Gays and lesbians” and the umbrella was off in search of a new name.

          Alas.

          A lot of 50′s science fiction seemed to settle on “Bent” as the complement to “Straight.” I could actually live with that, but again the boat sailed.

          As long as they let me be a gay man, I’m happy being part of the queer community. Just, please, don’t call me a queer.

          • Diana A.

            I think some lesbians actually prefer the term “gay” as well. One of Rita Mae Brown’s characters thought that straights could be referred to as “grims” or as “dire straights.” I just thought I’d share that little tidbit of (almost) completely pointless trivia.

          • Leslie Marbach

            I prefer the term gay for myself (being of the lesbian variety.)

          • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

            I get “gay” as an umbrella term, but only for sexual orientation. (Sometimes it’s easier to use “gay” because you don’t have to wrestle over the proper term for your place on the Kinsey scale…) Lesbians, bis, gay men are “gay”. Trans and intersex people, not gay. Because gender and orientation are two different things. Anyways, that’s how it seems it me. I often refer to myself as gay or as lesbian. I’m ok with queer but don’t use it to refer to myself. You better know me pretty well before you call me a “dyke”, though.

      • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Lore

        I’m in my late 20s, and honestly, I hear the word “gay” as a slur *way* more often than I hear the word “queer”.

        • Lymis

          That’s part of my point. The efforts to reclaim and repurpose queer have worked amazingly well. We’re at a midway point where it really isn’t insulting, but that most people really don’t know quite what it means – which is definite progress.

          I remember a discussion a year or so ago where some older politician called someone a pansy on camera and the younger commenters said that there was no way that anyone could know that was an anti-gay slur – they had never heard the word used as an insult. That’s progress!

      • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

        I think it’s as much how it’s used than anything. SomeTHING can be queer easily. A queer group, queer underground, queer community, queer issue – no problem. To say “a queer” or holler “you’re queer!” – back up now!

        • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

          Like anyone talking about “the gays”.

      • brianne

        Hi, as a transwoman, and bisexual, I find the word “queer” much to be preferred over terms like “it”, “fag”, “homo” and the like. Queer, meaning just that; un-usual, or out of the mainstream, is fine. It doesn’t carry much value judgement. GLBT is unwieldy, though if you want to call someone in the glbt a “Giblet” then that’d work for me to.

        I’m Queer, and I embrace self love and the love of God. I wish you the same!

        Brianne

  • Matt

    “…If there’s one thing gay Christians know how to do, it’s blend.”

    A million amens to that.

    I remember when I wanted to go to a conservative Christian college, but one of my concerns was that they also had an explicit anti-LGBTQ stance. I expressed to my mother my concern that I would meet someone but then have to be secret or be expelled, or be in the closet for four years, far from home and without any support.

    My mother said, “Well, isn’t it more important to get an education than explore your sexuality?” She rather missed the point, as you can see.

    It was ultimately a better decision for me just to not go to that college. But I’m sending good vibes to the Biola students. Even if they never “get anything done” or don’t change anyone’s minds, they need support just like anyone else.

    Not every single thing LGBTQ folks do in a group needs to be in service of activism. Sometimes you just need assurance that someone is there for you. And that is, of course, sorely lacking at Biola for these students.

  • Adara Pallady via Facebook

    This is so cool- Maybe all the evangelical Uni’s will get it together & we can change the face of Christianity!

  • Isabelle Hakala

    Isn’t it against the law in California, or in the USA to discriminate against sexual preference/identity? I can understand why a single person wouldn’t want to ‘come out’ and stand against Biola, but with an entire group… that would be a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen. If the entire group was expelled they would not be able to lie and give another reason for the expulsion… and so they could all sue the school together, couldn’t they? I know in California you can’t ‘sign away your rights’, I suspect that it wouldn’t matter what Biola decided their rules where… if those rules were unconstitutional then they would lose in court. Just a thought:)

    • DR

      As a religious organization they can set up their own private expulsion guidelines based on theological merits.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      I would indeed *hope* that such a situation would be legally recognized as like unto how private businesses (especially in the South) used to be able to refuse service to persons of certain apparent ethnicity/ethnicities. Conservatives have often resisted, however, such legal measures as would ensure LGBTQ person’s the same protections presently accorded racial minorities. While I think you’re probably right that expelling students on the basis of sexual identity would not be upheld in the state of California, it might be legal for the university to stipulate that, at least while on university property, students not openly declare their sexual identity (similarly to the military’s former DADT policy). Of course, they would have to apply that evenly to all students, without regard for what that identity might be, for it to be valid: For instance, if a guy and a girl can hold hands without that being construed as a declaration of their heterosexuality, then two guys or two girls should be able to do so as well.

      The Biola Queer Underground would be well advised to consult with a California attorney (perhaps even more than one, as the matter may be, to some degree, open to varying interpretation) before taking any such risks and to consider carefully whether this might be worth it. While it might be possible to get some good pro bono counsel on a case with such likely notoriety and civil importance, students also risk, instance, losing a semester or even several, even if the end result is favorable, and it may be quite unnecessary for attaining, although perhaps too risky of losing, a favorable result: The only rule the administration is thus far accusing them of violating, as far as I’m aware, is placing unauthorized signs on and littering the university property, and it would seem a bit heavy handed if the penalty for a first-time offense of this nature were expulsion; plus, even if that were the case, as long as they should apply such a rule evenly to all students without regard for stated beliefs or presumed sexuality, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be upheld in court. Also, coming out publically like this, especially without any preparation of close friends and family for it, carries risks of serious negative consequences far beyond whatever the administration of the university might seek to impose, and no one should feel pressured by their peers in having associated themselves with the Biola Queer Underground into accepting whatever the consequences might be in their own personal case, which may well result in essentially the same outcome (regardless of the university’s actions and any subsequent legal decisions) if it should result in burning the bridge(s) to wherever tuition, room & board, etc., might be coming from.

      • Allie

        Matthew, it’s still legal for private clubs to refuse entrance to people of certain ethnicities. My husband, who is from Indiana, has been taken to a “restaurant” which made you fill out a “club application” and issued a “membership card” before you were allowed to eat there (which happened instantly, if you were white.) I’d like to say that he made a heroic stand against his parents and their racist friends and refused to go in, but no, he just sort of went, with his mind blown. Point being, there are still certain circumstances in which it is legal to discriminate.

        • Don Rappe

          Indiana is especially like that.

  • William George Cook via Facebook

    Does putting the word “official” in quotes (such as I just did) make it more, well, “official”? What if I used it frequently within the same sentence?

  • Karen Rowland via Facebook

    cannot even imagine these kids lives … i’m praying it isnt going to bust open for them,because in a place like that,it would be all about a witch hunt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/heatherjeanne Heather Dube via Facebook

    I’m not sure I really understand what is going on with the biolaunderground.com domain purchaser. Keeping up with the story though. Prayers for these students. How nerve wracking.

  • Jana Harrison Currier via Facebook

    Bless you for everything you do, John!

  • mptw

    I’ve seen you, John Shore, mispell a word here and you’re a professional writer. So stop using a typo to try to discredit that Biola student. We all do it sooner or later..

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      A typo? Friend, typos are hardly where the problem with that text even begins.

    • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

      To say that the characterization of the writing on the website as less than college level based on a simple typo is disingenious at best. The statement on the biolaunderground.com website is a heinous concoction of run-on sentences, extreme overuse of quotation marks and random shifts from the first person to the third.

      I wrote better stuff when I was a high school freshman. I rather think John Shore did, too.

  • RS

    I imagine Biolaunderground.edu or Biolaunderground.net are still available …

  • sue

    God, I wish Ellen, Portia, Neil, and/or David would get wind of this and show up on campus to support these brave young souls.

  • Caleb

    I dunno.

    I’m actually really torn about this whole endeavor. As a gay male who has faced significant adversity before, I don’t understand why it’s a good thing for gay/lesbian/transgender students to celebrate the closet. The closet is an ugly place, and staying at a college that you so whole-heartedly disagree with seems, in my mind, very much like the professor at a conservative college that wrote to this blog recently.

    Coming out is complicated, and can be difficult. But I see no reason to celebrate students who are too cowardly to openly defy the college. There are other colleges out there.

    I’m sorry. It sounds like their voices coming together create a voice of privilege. Some of us didn’t have the luxury of the closet. Some of us had to pick our own college, and damn the consequences if our parents knew.

    Thinking of the brave souls that came out in years past when it was physically dangerous to do so, so I could come out in relative ease today, I’m very frustrated by students who will not do the same.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Well, it’s the fact that they go to a very conservative Christian college that … makes it a tad more complicated than it might be anyway.

      • Caleb

        Also, I realize now the irony of my talking about privilege, given that almost everybody involved in this discussion so far seems to have gone to college, something that we can all take for granted. So, add “relative” before privilege, and there we go. :)

  • Rachel Anne Enders

    Wow. That’s really amazing.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X