I've been thinking a lot about the young man, the student at Rutgers, Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide recently. Prone to Laughter has a short post up listing the names of some other young people who've committed suicide in recent weeks, all of then in some sort of response to bullying and harassment, some of which has been targeting their sexual orientation or practices or supposed sexual orientation or practices.
Our campus is celebrating National Coming Out day on October 11th. Well, celebrating probably isn't the right word, since it's not on the official events calendar, though there will be events in the quad area most of the day. Folks have been invited to get and wear special t-shirts. Yes, I'll be there.
But it seems like very little, doesn't it, just acknowledging that some members of our community are gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered, and queer? But even that's being handled sort of on the quiet side, since by golly we wouldn't want any potential students or their parents to know it's happening.
I've read a few blogs, and there are good words there, better than I can do mostly.
But on one, there's a whole Christian thing about whether or not homosexuality is sinful, and whether it matters if one is "born" gay/lesbian, because would the Christian God have created people to be sinful, and then there's the comeback that we're all born with original sin and so on.
Can I just say, just once, I'd like to see the Christian community put as much energy into condemning greed and envy as it does into condemning consentual sexual practices.
Just once, I'd like to hear a Christian preacher on TV talk about greed and human rights and justice, and not be asking for donations to his/her own organization.
And really, if you aren't troubled by the basic premise that a beneficent greater power, omnicient and omnipotent, created the horror that is cancer or rabies (or any number of other horrible diseases), all of which hurt beings which can't have original sin because they have no capacity for sin within Christian theology, then I really don't get how you do it.
Meanwhile, I'm going to get my t-shirt and worry about how many of our students are being bullied and harassed.