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Student At Evangelical University Fights For LGBT Group: VIDEO

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This was included in our news roundup the other day, but it's worth mentioning again that Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego is becoming the site of a small yet meaningful battle for LGBT inclusion.

Sean Lewis, a gay senior at the evangelical-aligned school, told local ABC 10 that he has experienced plenty of homophobia over the years -- including Facebook messages saying he is going to hell -- and recently asked officials if he could organize an LGBT organization to help bridge religious and social divides.

The answer: no.

To lessen that angst among gay students, Lewis recently spearheaded a campaign to begin a gay-themed discussion group.

Lewis read a portion of the mission statement to 10News.

"We hope LGBT students can share their neglected stories, lingering questions and increasing trials with their Christian comrades," he read.

Lewis applied for a charter for his group, but he was recently called into a meeting and told by Caye Smith, the school's vice president of student development, that there would be no be group.    

"It would be problematic for us to charter any group that would be contrary to the positions of the Church of the Nazarene," said Smith.

The group was to be called "BridgePointLoma".

Smith also said that while they welcome "discussion" at the school, officials are not even entertaining the idea of an LGBT organization.

"We affirm those students are individuals created in the image of God," she said when asked whether she agreed with Lewis and others that rejection of the group could lead to further isolation.

Of course the school's position may change now that the press is picking up word -- and, more importantly, national advocacy group GLAAD, which is supporting Lewis' campaign. So too is Bishop Gene Robinson, first gay bishop in the Episcopal church.

Watch video of ABC News 10's report AFTER THE JUMP.

 

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Comments

  1. The gay-themed discussion group is a good idea, but it's not sufficient.

    Posted by: GayFactory | Dec 13, 2012 8:52:06 AM


  2. The School/Church cannot change anymore than the gay student can change. The only solution is to part ways.

    Posted by: Chadd | Dec 13, 2012 9:23:57 AM


  3. I think it will change eventually. The Church of the Nazarene, like any other denomination, will change.

    I'm really proud of this guy! I graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University. I was too afraid to come out because I didn't want to lose my scholarship (plus I never met gay people and thought I was the only one). I'm glad he's trying to create a place where people can meet and talk.

    Posted by: Dan4444 | Dec 13, 2012 9:34:46 AM


  4. The Church of the Nazarene will never change. It is about as cult-like as a church can get. They do, indeed, excommunicate members who cone out as they did to me 12 years ago. Arminian theology is dangerous and represents a rejection of Christ's Grace, but exclusivity is a central tenet of both that church and it's theology. I suppose this kid is lucky that he wasn't expelled as he would have been at nearly ever other Nazarene school. If he was trying this at Mount Vernon, he'd probably be found face down in the campus's lake.

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 13, 2012 10:24:04 AM


  5. @MICHAEL Interesting comments. Thanks for the reference to Arminian theology. It is as dangerous and corrupt as Calvinism is. Both are repugnant deviations.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Dec 13, 2012 11:16:59 AM


  6. I work at a ballroom dance studio in San Diego, and we have a dance social every Friday night. During the school year, a group of students from Point Loma Nazarene come to the studio, primarily dancing West Coast Swing. This group was also denied a charter at their school because dancing is against the beliefs of the Nazarene. I agree with Chadd in that it's best just to part ways with this school. If they've gone this long without budging on dancing, they're certainly not going to change with regards to us heathens.

    Posted by: Andrew | Dec 13, 2012 1:07:25 PM


  7. @Jamal Yep, dancing is forbidden. Going to the movie theater is forbidden. And boys and girls are not allowed to swim together in the same poll. They call it "sexual bathing."

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 13, 2012 1:10:41 PM


  8. How unfortunate the three people at the University, in charge of student development and diversity, are bigots. Jeff Bolster, Jeff Carr, and Catherine Smith are each members of a professional organization which, "does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, gender identity, gender expression, affectional or sexual orientation, or disability in any of its policies, programs, and services." It's too bad these three bigots haven't learned anything from professional best practices. You might want to write to the organization (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) and suggest the group drop the three individuals and the school - there's a clear conflict with the organizational mission. Organization President: Kevin Kruger, kkruger@naspa.org

    Posted by: MarkRocks | Dec 13, 2012 2:11:25 PM


  9. I am also surprised he has not been expelled. I am a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University. I was closeted during college. While I was there I know of two students that were expelled after being caught in their dorm room kissing or something sexual. When I attended, you could not wear blue jeans, we had curfews (girls dorms were even more strict), a female could not enter any male dorm room and vice versa, if you were caught going to a club you were expelled. Not sure they are still this way, but my guess is still not far from it.

    I also grew up going to the Nazarene church. There is NO chance whatsoever that this school or denomination will change it's stance on homosexuality. I would suspect that if a specific church or Nazarene college that would try to change it's LGBT views it would be excommunicated from the Nazarene church.

    The Nazarene church teaches bigotry... they would never admit that obviously... they would say we love you but hate the sin. My parents made me go to Exodus International for counseling when I was forced out by my mother, this decision heavily influenced by the Nazarene church we attended.

    For this guy to do this took some major balls.. and I commend him for it. It sadly however will not make a difference.

    Posted by: rexguy | Dec 13, 2012 5:29:36 PM


  10. @JAMAL49: All religions are "repugnant deviations" from reason, rationality and science.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 13, 2012 9:28:57 PM


  11. @RexGuy --- It looks like we had similar experiences. I could tell you stories that would either hit too close to home or would make you feel absolutely dejected at realizing that's what we were brought up in.

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 14, 2012 2:41:33 AM


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