From the New York Times, on the growing LGBT student movement at evangelical Christian colleges:
Decades after the gay rights movement swept the country’s secular schools, more gays and lesbians at Christian colleges are starting to come out of the closet, demanding a right to proclaim their identities and form campus clubs, and rejecting suggestions to seek help in suppressing homosexual desires.
“It’s like an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object,” said Adam R. Short, a freshman engineering student at Baylor University who is openly gay and has fought, without success, for campus recognition of a club to discuss sexuality and fight homophobia.
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, anyway? It goes around, over, or under the object, that’s what. After all, it’s unstoppable. And the immovable object simply gets left behind, useless and pathetic in its immobility.
People who attend so-called Christian institutions of higher learning are, of course, no more or less likely to be gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender than anyone else; they are only more likely to have been told by some misbegotten religious authority that they shouldn’t exist as God created them. The good news is that this generation has decided they don’t need to take it anymore.
Some colleges, says the article, “have reluctantly allowed the formation of gay student groups.” Most of the schools – and I have a feeling that Loudoun’s Patrick Henry College is beyond the pale in this regard – are more intransigent in their denial of reality.
At Harding University in Arkansas, which like Abilene Christian is affiliated with the Churches of Christ, half a dozen current and former students posted an online magazine in early March featuring personal accounts of the travails of gay students. The university blocked access to the site on the university’s Internet server, which helped cause the site to go viral in the world of religious universities.
The president of Harding claimed to students that the administration is “not trying to control your thinking,” which is of course nonsense. The reason the magazine is so threatening is the testimony it contains. There is nothing quite so powerful as the stories of real people, telling the truth of their experience. The aforementioned misbegotten religious authorities will surely come to regret educating these young people in biblical literacy, as they can now educate others who have been told horrible, distorted things about God’s creation.
One other thing: In the remarks made by the college spokespersons you can see the tortured attempt to redefine love and acceptance that now characterizes the anti-gay industry’s talking points. They welcome and accept “homosexual” people, of course they do! – as long as they are “struggling.” They are so loving that they want to “give help and guidance to students who are struggling with same-sex attraction.” But a student who has concluded that they are fine the way they are? Well, that represents “a big difference.”
The best articulation of this is what I heard recently from what I would term a “kinder, gentler” Christian radio host, who said the following: “When talking about homosexuality, I like to use three frames. The first frame is The Struggle. That’s when a person is struggling with same-sex attraction, and we would never condemn someone for having those feelings. The second frame is The Behavior. That’s always sin. The third frame is The Agenda, which is what the activists are trying to impose on us.”
See how that works? We are only “people” deserving of all that compassion and regard as long as we are filled with self-loathing and are are “struggling” to change who we are. As soon as we recognize that there’s no need to do that, we are instantly transformed into anonymous and menacing “activists,” no longer fellow humans. I guess this is the only sort of love an immovable object is capable of.
The web zine created by the Harding students dismantles the lie behind that fanciful construction. These are just young people, somebody’s sons and daughters, telling what happened to them. They have provided a great Resurrection story for the Easter season. Go. Read it.