Phyllis George Kirkwood, Elementary Education (1959), writes:
The letter to the George Fox University community presents the issue both to students and the university in a compassionate and supportive way. When a new student policy came out about three years ago, I contacted the administration about their attitude toward gay students. It did not seem that Jesus would have had this policy. I was told that I had a different interpretation of scripture than they; but it was at George Fox that I learned God loves all people very dearly, and all knowledge is God’s. I carried this with me into my teaching career.
I believe the misunderstanding lies not in Biblical interpretation but in ignorance about the sexuality continuum that is a God-given part of our whole selves and so fundamental to each person’s happiness. People do not wake up some morning as a teenager and say to themselves, “I think I’ll be a homosexual,” as if it were something fun to do. As some have written in these blogs, they knew when they were four years old or maybe third grade. They knew they were different, and being different subjected them to insults in school. In their church, they learned that they were sinful just by being who they were, and there was no place for them in God’s Kingdom. Their career choices would be limited. People would be afraid for them to be around children. Who would want to be a homosexual?
When our son was born, a chromosome test had to be done to determine his sex. We were told that the condition was common, but people didn’t talk about it. Kind, knowledgeable doctors and nurses walked us through several surgeries. During my pregnancy, I temporarily developed facial hair and a deeper voice, and my chest went flat. I believe that I received some of his male hormones. He has feminine characteristics and is slight of build, and at age 15 underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy. He endured more than I know of teasing in school and in adulthood was mistaken for a woman until he decided to grow a beard. Still his bank won’t talk to him over the phone. He has never come out as gay, but I would not have been surprised. Fortunately, he has many enduring friends.
Since we at GFU are a university on a mission to discover truth in the many academic areas, I challenge the biology department to study the continuum of sexuality and relationship of hormones in human formation. Such a study of how we are wonderfully made will surely bring some “My Lord and my God” moments. And then may we also get down on our knees and beg forgiveness for the way we have treated people whom God has created differently.
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