I'm sorry. I don't want to go off about controversial things. I mean, of course I do, but too many people now read this blog - people I love and respect, my professors and family members, my peers. So I guess I'll just remind everyone again that the Feminarian is an overblown characterization of me and not really me. She's the person that allows me to say all the things I think in my deep dark moments. I guess she is me, in a way, but I'm not her.
Okay, that said, I got an email that's made me so spitting mad. Last night we talked in our Pentateuch class about why the arguments in Leviticus and Gen 18-19 don't work on the anti-homosexual agenda. In other words, those who wish to argue biblically against homosexuals need to do so from a broader perspective because those proof texts can easily be refuted. Christians just look stupid when they use bad arguments. So the prof was trying to help people see that, however they may wish to feel about homosexual people, they couldn't use these passages of Scripture without making idiots of themselves.
Fair enough, right? If anything, even helpful?
Yet someone emailed him that he was teaching a "pro-homosexual" agenda, and that Fuller must have changed its stance on the issue (believe me, they have not, and don't I know it). So my prof had to email the class to tell us exactly what he told us last night, which is what I described above, which was perfectly clear to anyone who was actually listening and not turning off their brain at the mere mention of "Homos".
The prof was just trying to help us understand what arguments NOT to use against homosexuality because they don't work. It can only help Christians to understand when they're using a dumb argument. Apart from my personal feelings on this, the point of the lecture was clear to me.
And if I may rant just a moment, this makes me absolutely sick. I can't imagine people getting away with such bigoted behavior at any of the other schools with which I or J are affiliated. GLBT people are possibly the last group that it's perfectly acceptable for Christians to slam, and I hate it. People think it's perfectly fine to go whining about "pro-homosexual" teaching, as if somehow we're talking about something demonic or anti-Christian or at least, an agenda and not a group of human beings. I can't fathom how a person who knows a GLBT human (Christian especially) can possibly not see that it's not the most hurtful, nasty way to behave. So WHAT if the professor even says we should all "go gay"! That doesn't have to lead us to bitching about it. Why can't we just try to talk it out, maybe change minds or at least have intelligent debate.
But when he asked for questions or comments, there was not a peep from the class. No, people saved their vitriol for the anonymous forum of email. Cowards. If the student would have said something right then, the prof could have explained and it would all be okay. But now this person's left thinking the prof believes something that I know he does not believe. Ugh! I hate this kind of behavior!
And the really ironic thing is that the message was intended to help the anti-homosexual arguments become more focused and intelligent. And even if I don't agree with them, I don't like my brothers and sisters looking stupid by quoting non-applicable Biblical passages. So I could deal with it.
You know what's funny? We're talking about that same class period about how substitutionary atonement just may not be biblical. That's a serious theological paradigm shift. Yet THIS is the issue people want to talk about. This and evolution, which also was a favorite topic.
The professors at Fuller are so bright and reasoned and biblical. I just wish the students could grow up.
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My own experience, Feminarian, as the ex-husband of a Fuller student (and a friend of a few Fuller faculty, including Rich Mouw), is that a great many Fuller kids come from extremely sheltered, conservative Christian schools -- or who went to big state schools but "hid out" in safe Christian subcultures. My ex's classmates had undergrad degrees from places like Dordt College; they were utterly thrown by the relatively open atmosphere of Fuller. Trying to get them to the next "stage of faith" was and is a hell of a lot of work!
What is it with seminarians? When I was in Seminary -- in a galaxy far far away -- one of the students tried to get me to join him in tape recording lectures that could be used against the professor.
Nope -- not for me.
For whatever reason(s), Feminarian, this is an issue that gets a lot of people riled up. The post which has generated the most hate mail for me remains the one I wrote in which I attempted to argue that Leviticus 18:22 can be interpreted in a variety of ways (beyond the normative traditional reading which categorically calls homosexuality abomination.)
One day the person who sent this e-mail will preach what s/he believes is a well thought through, biblically faithful sermon. Someone in his/her congregation will latch on to one sentence in that sermon and interpret it to mean that this preacher is a dangerous heretic who hates the true faith. No attempt to reason or placate this person will avail anything. Justice will be served.
well Feminarian, having talked with you offline about this very issue, i feel it time to put my two cents in publicly. i have to agree with the observations of hugo. so many of our classmates have live sheltered lives that they can't handle the slightest deviation from the norm - let's call this Christian Autism. So many of us cannot break out of the routine thinking(or lack thereof)to address serious issues with intelligence, compassion, and understanding.I'm not saying it is biological rather this is social, but like the real autism, Christian Autistics need help in coping with the realities of our Creator world. Some will learn, there is hope...
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