Sunday, May 13, 2012

Biola Queer Underground, some thoughts

Dear Biola Administration and Community,

First of all, thank you for your ongoing work to make this university an important, beautiful place. We appreciate your sacrifice to make Biola's mission a reality - "equipping men and women [and other] in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ."

Let us make clear the purpose of this website. Please understand that our goal is not to change, disrespect, or rebel against the mission or values of this university. This project is a compilation of many individuals; therefore one piece does not necessarily reflect the feelings of all involved. While this letter does not speak for everyone in Biola’s LGBTQ community, the majority of us hold similar values to those which Biola is founded on. We chose to attend and be employed at Biola, and desire to finish our education here and continue our service. Know that this is a big risky step for us.

The purpose of this website is multi-dimensional:

1.We want to bring to light the presence of the LGBTQ community at Biola. Despite what some may assume, there are Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, and Queers at Biola. We are Biola's students, alumni, employees, and fellow followers of Christ.

2. Biola's value statement reads, “We believe that integrity and authenticity should be hallmarks of every believer. Our relationships should be models of transparency, truth-telling and unwavering commitment to the example set by the Lord Jesus Christ.” Although Biola may have good intentions in the way it handles homosexuality and related subjects, this does not foster the desired outcome of integrity and transparency among LGBTQ individuals. We speak for our majority in saying that most LGBTQ people feel isolated and fearful of rejection should we act with integrity and come out of the closet. Biola needs to take a close look at its fundamental values, first to question whether they are carried out, and second to discuss if identifying as LGBTQ is in fact contrary to these values.

3. We want to be treated with equality and respected as another facet of Biola’s diversity. Reconciling faith with non-conforming gender/sexual identities is our most important and difficult goal. This of course will take time. We begin by sharing a few of our personal stories and writings.  

In conclusion, hearts need to be changed not policies, minds opened not handbooks, and love spread where there is division. We unapologetically pursue our purposes with prayer, patience, and humility.

The Biola Queer Underground
I'm grateful this conversation was brought out. It's been quite interesting to think and reconsider how everything is working. 
There is a lot to be said about this, but a few things as a beginning:
1) Dialogue isn't equated with changing one's mind. All dialogue allows is for the expressing of opinion in the pursuit of truth. One cannot have dialogue if one is so blindly convinced. This applies to traditionalists and gay activists as well. If some want traditionalists to reconsider the data, then the option of being wrong is on both sides to be humble. 
2) Biola is not required to change their mind about anything, being a private university. However, in the manner of Christ, we ought to pursue truth as our priority. This means looking intently to what Scripture says. 
3) I see little reason to not allow gay-advocates to come to Biola to give their opinion, as long as we all transcend comments about "hate-speech and liberal wussies." I think another comment is needed in response to a comeback offered by the Biola Queer Underground. 
3a) What happens if Biola is right? If we are all pursuing truth, and Biola's traditional stance is indeed correct, how will gay-advocates and the Biola Queer Underground respond? It seems to be an uneven demand here. 
3b) I'm willing to reexamine the data to see if it supports same-sex marriage. However, if it turns out the traditional view is correct, what happens? I'm not certain what happens to Christian gay-advocates if they are wrong, especially in relation to their conduct at Biola.

3c) Of course, what if the traditionalists are wrong?
Still thinking about it. For more, go HERE.

1 comment:

  1. "3) I see little reason to not allow gay-advocates to come to Biola to give their opinion, as long as we all transcend comments about "hate-speech and liberal wussies." I think another comment is needed in response to a comeback offered by the Biola Queer Underground."

    I'd love to have Justin Lee and Matt Anderson come out and do a talk together. They disagree on the issue, and would provide a good point/counter-point discussion. That would be a good way to get dialogue going.

    I think your 3A and 3B points are worth working out further. From what I can tell, it seems that Biola is sort of damned if we do and damned if we don't: if Biola re-examines the relevant Scriptures and comes up with the 'traditional' viewpoint, then the call will be that we didn't honestly approach the issue. If Biola reverses their position, then the numerous alumni, shareholders, parents, etc., who disagree with the change will be outraged. Of course, outrage itself isn't worth not-pursuing the truth, but Biola had better be really, really convinced to make that sort of change.

    One further point, I think it is important to note that there is a difference between this BQU discussion and a discussion of gay marriage. The moment you start talking about gay marriage, you've got to start talking about what the role of the State is, at least here in the US. It strikes me as possible that you could affirm the State's position of gay marriage/rights while rejecting the morality of the action/union (i.e., wouldn't condone the marriage in a church context, but are willing to grant state rights), without being inconsistent.

    We'll see what happens as this issue goes forward, though.