When the American church recently raised an uproar over homosexuality, it was something that hit close to home for many of the grad students. This is not because there are heated opinions about what is good and what is not. Instead, the questions around homosexuality matter because we have gay classmates, colleagues, supervisors, friends and/or family.
Furthermore, the culture of the university declares that one has to tolerate and accept gays (and gay culture), as discriminating on the basis of one’s sexual preference is similar to racism or sexism.
At the same time, the church is well-known for being unwelcoming to gays, a stand that non-Christians and Millenials tend to find problematic. The most recent controversy has only increased Christianity’s negative publicity, as it seemed to many more important to be support one’s ‘right’ beliefs than to support a child struggling to survive.
So how does a grad student (or faculty/staff member) reconcile a desire to be faithful to Christian teachings, where the church has traditionally taught that homosexual sexual relationships are sin, while also functioning well within the university context and reaching out with grace and love to those who are gay around us? It is a question without a simple answer, but one I hope we can talk about more in the coming year as we look closer at the topics of sexuality, both as singles and in relationships.