March 4, 2011

my take

I'm not very good with words, but I have a definite opinion about what's happening on campus this week. I'm also not a very loud person, so this is the only place that my opinion is going to be heard. So I'm going to do my best to explain how I feel about all of this. Just stick with me :)

I have to say that I really have no problem with people wanting to share their stories. I think there is incredible power in being able to be open and honest with the things that we've experienced. I know that there are homosexual people that attend Harding University, just like I know that there are people who have sex with their heterosexual partners, those who choose to drink and do drugs, and those who struggle with gossip. Not one of these things is any worse than the other. I love it when people share their stories about their struggles. It brings people together. So the thought behind the zine sharing the stories of those at Harding who do struggle with homosexuality is completely legit. In fact, I think it's brilliant.

Here is where I have a problem. The stories were, in my opinion, unnecessarily profane. The images in the zine were of things that Harding makes a point to block from our internet access. Writers were taking the Lord's name in vain and, in fact, going so far as to essentially cuss Jesus out. I was uncomfortable reading several of the stories and was incredibly uncomfortable with the majority of the images within the zine. And so when I heard that Harding had blocked the website, I was not surprised...not because the content was unacceptable (as I said, I think the idea behind it was great), but because the way that they went about presenting the information was absolutely inappropriate. The language was vulgar and offensive. The images were unbelievably graphic. Anyone who thinks that the blocking of the website was strictly because of the fact that it was homosexual in nature is delusional. If a group of heterosexual people published something containing stories and images of the same magnitude, it would be blocked just as quickly.

Personally, I do not struggle with homosexuality, but I DO struggle with an incredible amount of things that are just as much of a sin, like lying, lust, gossip and judgement. I would NEVER claim that I was better than someone struggling with homosexuality. A sin is a sin is a sin is a sin. None is better or worse than another. Further, I am absolutely certain that Harding does not discriminate against homosexual acts. Students can not be kicked out of Harding for struggling with homosexuality. They CAN be kicked out for acting upon it. Page 11 in the handbook states that sexual immorality of ANY KIND is means for suspension. Homosexuality is one of those kinds. So is premarital sex, among many other things. If any student is caught engaged in an act of sexual immorality, they will be required to leave. So this thought that Harding is discriminating against homosexuals is absolutely false.

I can honestly say that I am proud of the way that Harding is handling this. It's disheartening to hear all of the backlash that the University is getting as a result. And that's all I have to say.