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A Week of Chapels on Same-Sex Attraction

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BJU is having a week of chapel messages focusing on same-sex attraction, because most fundamentalist kids who grow up in IFB churches can’t wait to get to BJU, because it is well-known as a hot-bed of dorm orgies and just all sorts of same-sex stuff just going on everywhere! In fact, there’s really nothing else going on there–no adultery, no porn use by male faculty, no overeating in the Kalmbach Room, no plagiarism, no hateful rhetoric toward the President of the United States, no firing of administrators for soliciting prostitutes. Shoot, I can’t think of anything more needed right now than a week of sermons on why you should only like boys if you are a girl and only girls if you are a boy.

Or maybe this week’s sermons are┬ábecause there has been some new thinking on same-sex attraction in the broader church. Maybe people are understanding that not everyone is the same. Maybe people are understanding that the place you go to college for a few years shouldn’t tell you how to work out the minutiae of your sexual life. Maybe, if that school is currently being investigated for not responding correctly to sexual-abuse situations, you should not listen to what they say when they start probing into the most intimate part of your life.

Do not tell them you are gay or struggling with SSA. Do not tell anyone on campus. Tell BJUnity.org. Tell the Trevor Project. Do not get shipped, shunned, and outed–that’s what will happen if you tell them. That’s what has happened before. Keep your head down and your mouth shut. Say nothing. Nod at the appropriate times. Try to giggle a little when they make fun. Try to gasp in horror when they specify how creepy it is and how the Gay Agenda is meant to rob my children from me and bring down Life As We Know It.

Why do I, a straight lady from California and BJU alum, care? Because I know people who have been expelled for saying “I might be gay.” Because I know people who are shunned by their families for desires they cannot control. Because if I were targeted for my own social and/or sin problems–my introspection and introversion, my inability to make and keep friends, my gossiping, my eighty extra pounds, my depression (all of which no doubt have a root of bitterness and rebellion and who knows what else)–if I were lambasted from the pulpit for a week on any of those things (or indeed, many others), I would be the poor kid wondering whether it was worth it to keep going. Don’t be that person. Don’t hurt yourself. Don’t let anyone else hurt you. Please, take good care, and know that you are loved and you are okay. You are fine. Get through this week. Breathe. It will get better.

Do not write from your @bju account, but if you need to talk, my email is sharonhambrick@hotmail.com.

 

10 Comments

  1. Sharon,
    We cannot begin to thank you for the way you care for the LGBT+ students at Bob Jones University and your concern for their safety and well-being. Thank you for standing with us to offer hope to those who may be harmed unless BJU changes their public rhetoric about the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity. We’d like to believe they’re tired of demonizing people, tired of seeing the painful stories that they know are true being published on BJUnity.org, tired of hurting so many people so unnecessarily. Could this be their moment for change? We won’t know unless they respond to our petition and offer a sincere, contrite apology: http://www.change.org/petitions/chancellor-bob-jones-university-apologize-for-stating-that-homosexuals-should-be-stoned-to-death

    Jeffrey Hoffman
    executive director
    BJUnity – the affirming alternative for LGBT+ alumni and students of BJU

  2. It adds evidence to the argument that IFB leadership are, in fact, obsessed with sex and it’s “proper” use (e.g. for procreation, whenever the husband wants it for his pleasure, and never with the opposite gender.) Yet there are still so many reports of incest, child molestation, covert affairs (some same-sex) by pastors and church leaders. Truly, if they cared as much about the things Jesus cared about–the poor, the marginalised, and whole-ness–there would be no such thing as poverty OR a need for subsidised health care. Is it an exaggeration to say they are fixated by genitalia and the use thereof? Time for them to grow up and get out of the immature fifth-grader mentality (and now I suppose I’d better apologise to all fifth-graders…)

  3. Thank you, Sharon, for your encouraging words for the staff and students who have to endure this chapel week. As a BJU alum myself, I hurt for those LGBTQ+ students who must sit through this week’s services.

  4. A student who knows about a “matter” and does not bring it “to the attention of the proper authority will be considered disloyal and will be disciplined.” And we all know that being “disloyal” is the unpardonable sin at Bob Jones University. If, by at the end of this week, there is still not a qualified, well-trained, safe professional to whom any student can take their questions or concerns in all confidence, nothing will have changed. If “loyal” students continue to take it upon themselves to judge fellow students and betray confidences to the administration, nothing will have changed. If there is no sincere, remorseful, genuine apology from the chapel platform, in particular from Dr. Jones III, for his harsh words of modern-day stonings of gay and lesbian individuals, nothing will have changed. What will the love of Christ constrain this week’s speakers to say? We’re listening.

  5. Sharon, Thank you for your outreach to the students of BJU. I just finished listening to Sermon #3 by John Daulton, I was enraged by the lies he was feeding the students.

  6. Bless you Sharon. I have been following and cheering on the healing work of OneWheaton and am grateful to learn about BJUnity. In sheer numbers, the so-called Christian colleges can no longer deny the existence of their own alumni who survived to mature and come out publicly and positively. Our silence did not stifle or change us; any student reading today should focus on quietly getting through (or getting out) and believe that *it does get better.* During the winter of 1971 at Wheaton, coming out to myself in total isolation, I used to stand with my face pressed against a freezing cold hallway window, hidden by curtains, saying “I won’t kill myself tonight. Just for tonight.” I never could have dreamed that 30+ years later I would be able to legally marry my wife in a loving and celebrate Unitarian Universalist community where I have been a member for 20 years. Do whatever it takes to quietly get through, or leave and find people like yourself. Look up Benjamin Corey’s and Frank Schaeffer’s blogs to read about 2 former fundamentalists who started thinking seriously about what Jesus would do and decided that violence, hate and judgement didn’t make the list!

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