George Fox as GBLT battleground?

National GBLT group Soulforce, in a Nation-wide campaign, is targeting Oregon’s George Fox University as part of its tour of Christian Institutions. The balance of religious freedom with those of expression, education, and lifestyle has always been a precarious one. College, especially, is an exercise in conundrums.

In general I have a hard time saying that a religion should have to compromise its morals for any reason, and yet the reality is that the laws and ethics of this (and other) countries do, sometimes, come into conflict with religious morals and doctrine. There’s no way around that. In arenas such as keeping people safe, or equally employing individuals it’s important that religious institutions not be given free reign. For example, I am very troubled by the lack of oversight of religious daycare, which often don’t have any sort of screening process for its childcare providers. But I digress…

On first glance, then, it would seem that colleges should be able to have their own codes of conduct and yet, college is a land of paradox. Young adults in this country make of a large bulk of college attendees. And while 18 to 21-year-olds are considered adults in this country there are so many ways in which they have considerably less freedom than one would think a free adult should have. That is why they need more protections. Students cannot receive financial aid based on their own earnings, not those of their parents, until they are 24. That’s a long time to have to wait if your parents are unwilling to help with educational expenses. And parents can be quite manipulative when it comes to schooling. Religious institutions can often be the only place religious parents will “allow” their “adult” children to go, despite any anithetical beliefs said student might have. Parents might not be able to put their “deviant” children into mental institutions at their own whim past 18 but there are plenty of ways to keep control of these people who exist in our country’s bizarre child/adult limbo of one’s college years.

But even if these rather odd aspects of American culture were not in place there are other reasons Christian Colleges could use a lesson in tolerance. Many many Christians believe that you can follow their teachings of God as this accept homosexuality. There are entire churches of Gay Christians as well as many other welcoming faiths. A Christian young person should not have to compromise their desire to go to a Christian school. And yet, at least in this instance, the student might be able to find a more accepting Christian School, of course within the limits of finances, geography etc.

It is for reasons like these that I think a project like Soulforce is an important one. It’s tough deciding when it is important to try to influence the inner workings of a place like George Fox, but its a cause worth working for.

18 comments to George Fox as GBLT battleground?

  • mooksfan

    Don’t forget this.

    George Fox is also discriminating against drug addicts, alcoholics, heterosexuals, pagans, and gamblers. I wonder if Soulforce will stand up for the rights of those people too.

    But if people kept their sexual activity in the bedroom (remember…what happens in the bedroom is nobody’s business, right?), there would be no problems.

  • SHSgrad75

    George Fox is a Christian college. Christians believe that the Bible is God’s Holy Word and His authority, so we have to believe His words to be true. Like it or not, homosexuality is denounced in several places in scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments. Such as Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Romans 1:26-27.

    However, as Christians we need to follow after God’s heart and if He says we need to love the sinner but hate the sin, that is what we should do. Agree with it, condone it and look the other way?? No!! The pathway to heaven is narrow and homosexuality will not get you in.

    And don’t tell people that God made people to be homosexual….He did not.

  • 4kiwis

    What I want to know is when did homosexuality become it’s own little “race” of “special” people? It really bothers me that homosexuals cry about being discriminated against when all they had to do was keep what they do behind closed doors! Nobody would be the wiser and then they wouldn’t feel discriminated against. I am also tired of it constantly being crammed down my throat to except all these queers and their queer lifestyle. I absolutely do not hate them, I actually feel very sorry for them that they have to go through such a disgusting trial. But that’s all that it is, a trial. Seriously, didn’t any queer ever take sex-ed. Girl/girl, boy/boy don’t fit together. I am grateful there are still schools that stand behind such moral courage.

  • puffy999

    The Bible says a lot of things, especially the Old Testament. Talk about a pornographic book… Deuteronomy 21:18 is great, if you’re into that sort of thing.

    Anyway, I must say that God probably dislikes when one of his followers is caught speaking for Him. At least, moreso than people who care for eachother doing “bad” things in the bedroom. After all, the origins of the laws/bigotry against homosexuality in the Christian world didn’t necessarily come about because two men or two women were having consensual relations in the privacy of their homes… Thinking about the Bible in context (as in, using it as a guide created from historical and/or mythical events, not as a set of unbreakable rules) seems to be a lost art in this country.

    Anyway, I’m straight, not Christian, and hate the way that many of the Christian faith have tried to argue their bigotry toward gays is based off of the Bible, when they conveniently ignore plenty of the text in their day to day lives.

  • weetzie

    Unfortunately, mooksfan & 4kiwis, if george fox was only said “keep it in the bedroom” then it wouldn’t be a problem. instead they say, “you can’t attend this university if you are gay.” why is asking for equality cramming it down people’s throats?

  • Mooksfan


    Again….they are discriminating against drug addicts, alcoholics, heterosexuals, pagans, and gamblers. They are saying all of those people are not welcome if at their campus.

    People have the right to choose to go to that school or not based solely upon the requirement setup by that PRIVATE university. No one is forcing people to attend George Fox. In fact, it is one of the more liberal theological schools in the NW.

    I’m sure Christians are welcome with tolerance at Cal-Berkeley, right?

    Of course you will scream bigotry, homophobe, etc. in regards to these comments. Typical when you don’t have a leg to stand on.

  • brodieusa

    Then don’t go there. There are certain places I’m not able to go because of who and what I am. Frankly, I feel if they don’t want me I’m not interested. It’s a large world…pick somewhere else to go.

  • SHSgrad75

    I do have a question…..why in the heck do you all call yourselves “queer”? I mean, if being a homo was normal, you sure wouldn’t call yourself queer now, would you? Look it up, you are right, homosexuality is not normal now, is it?

  • revgerryo

    I attended George Fox twice for my Bachelor of Arts degree and for my Master’s degree. I chose George Fox because the school modeled what I wanted my education to represent: integrity, honesty and Christian principles. I stand proudly as a George Fox Alum! The original blog did not correctly portray the population of the school. I’m sure that the author would be surprised that there are actually older students involved in the highly successful external degree programs and of course the post graduate degree programs.

    Every day I have to be tolerant to many wannabee homosexuals and lesbians; shouldn’t there be a sanctuary for adults who want to learn and practice Christian principles without counter cultural restraints? I believe that there should be a place: stand firm George Fox as a lighthouse to Christian beliefs!

  • HayleySpeck

    As much as I disagree with the homophobic doctrine behind the exclusion of queer folk from George Fox, I still think that a private institution has a right to place restrictions on who it admits. It’s a somewhat analogous situation to the Boy Scouts, and they’ve already come out ahead in the courts. Best of luck to Soulforce, though. While they may not have any real legal leverage, there’s nothing like actually getting to know a queer person to shake a homophobe’s convictions. In many ways social change can be far more powerful than legislative change.

  • bajacali

    An observant hermit lived in a heremitic community in the deserts of Egypt some moons ago. One of the young monks in that same colony succumbed to temptation of the flesh, and when this hermit knew about it…he judged the young monk in his heart. Some moons later an angel of the lord knocked on this hermit’s door. When the hermit saw the angel he thought that he -the angel- had come to visit him because of the hermit’s penance and observance. Instead the angel then told him that the young monk had died, and that God had sent him -the angel- to ask the hermit if he wanted this young monk in heaven or hell. The hermit replied that he wasn’t sure…that he wasn’t God. The angel then said “well, since you started “his” job…you might as well finish it.”
    I was a monk for nine years…it is so easy to just let God be god. The ones standing outside will be others…and boy we’ll be surprised!

  • Milwaukiemom

    I just don’t buy Souforce’s rationale for its actions of choice or the mind set of others who think this a “justified cause” . George Fox is a private college teaching a message of choice to its students – not a MANDATED all-inclusive, gay approved learning insitution. Like it or not diversity has to be able to exist in our FREE society – and that recognition of diversity inside as well as outside the collegiate level means that straight persons in America need to be as tolerant of gays as gays need to be of straights – with all the gray areas of recognition and acceptance being also acknowledged and allowed too – by all persons. By Soulforce choosing to do what it is in its targetting of George Fox I fear for them they will instead be the recipients of being the very ones seen as intolerant and unaccepting in the end of others – not the other way around. Just my opinion…

  • contagions

    Boo Whooooooo! This is America Baby, you are welcomed to do whatever you want including not gracing GFU with your presence our subjecting yourself to their perceived oppression. I am always surprised by the “movement” that blames Christians for oppression; here’s a secret try “ISLAM” babe. Now there is a tolerant group. Protest a mosque or try a trip to Mecca.

    What is most unfortunate is I have number of gay friends who just want to live their lives. Your actions and your pals at Soufource are forcing those on the fence to lean far away from any tolerance they once had. Just remember what goes on in your bedroom is your business just don’t tell me what or who my partner should be, babe!

    Allah Akbar….if you dare!

  • SHSgrad75

    You are right about this being America. However, our constitution says “One Nation under God”. And since God does not tolerate homosexuality, we shouldn’t either. Look, George Fox simply does not endorse a sinful lifestyle, if they did they wouldn’t be living according to God’s standards. So give them a break you all, and quit trying to make “rational” an “irrational lifestyle”.

  • HayleySpeck

    Um, SHSgrad75, just to point something out here…

    The phrase ‘One nation under god’ is found nowhere within the constitution. The word ‘god’ isn’t even in it. You’re thinking of the pledge of allegiance, which had the phrase inserted in the 50s as a response to the ‘godless communism’ of the Soviet Union. Ironically enough, the pledge was originally written by a socialist.

  • SHSgrad75

    Oops…my bad! Thanks for pointing it out!

  • linfieldgrad

    I feel George Fox can set a moral code for their students if they wish. They are a private organization like Augusta National Golf Club (Who doesn’t allow women members), or Curves Workout Facilities (Who don’t allow men. Where the waters get muddy is that George Fox is part of the FAFSA system which receives Federal Money, and that Program does not allow discrimination. So the question is what happens if the Federal Government pulls funding because of George Fox’s code of Morality. Would they alter it, or keep it the same and lose the money.

    When I was looking at colleges, I looked at George Fox. I didn’t feel comfortable with the code of morality, and enrolled at Linfield College. It was my choice. If a person does not like what they stand for, then look at other colleges.

    But at least give George Fox credit for meeting with the Gay and Lesbian Group on their campus. Most religious schools wouldn’t even do that.

  • wep601

    I happen to be a GFU alumni. I did not attend Fox because of whatever “codes” they may or may not have had. I knew _nothing_ of George Fox, I simply attended because it was the only place I _hadn’t_ missed the application deadline for. I have a colleague who grew up in Newberg and knows of the “Quaker Roots” of George Fox–attends a “Quaker” church, and she believes that if GFU _does_ have a stand against homosexuality, it is certainly not the current “Quaker” stand. I wonder how many folks know about the colorful George Fox for whom the institution is named? Not only are the waters muddy for Fox because they accept Federal monies, but also because some of their degree programs are approved by the State of Oregon (and discriminating against anyone for their sexual orientation is _against_ the ethical codes of those State agencies approving said degree programs). Other than all that, it is pretty much like anywhere else. Some reasonable open-minded folks exist and some intolerant folks exist. Most people stick with the good old “don’t ask don’t tell” when it comes right down to surviving many institutions in our country.