April 17 was the National Day of Silence, an annual event raising awareness of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Haven, Sophia, Mosaic, the Department of Sociology and the Student Counseling Center sponsored the event on campus. The day included many students taking an 18-hour vow of silence, a display in Martin Square and a debriefing session at the end of the day where students and faculty gathered to discuss the day and the many ways society silences people.
Not only were we excited to hear about the overall success of the Day of Silence and the support Haven received, but we were proud of Haven and the respect they showed the administration after it strongly requested Communion not be served during the debriefing.
Kevin Neuhouser, professor of sociology, was asked by the administration not to serve Communion, primarily because he is not an ordained minister.
We believe the entire group handled the situation with restraint and wisdom. The group decided not to further test or pressure the administration. Instead of serving Communion as a "way to stick it to the administration," as Grant Rehnberg, Haven group leader, said to a Falcon reporter, Haven dropped the issue and continued dialogue at the debriefing, with prayer and openness.
Although Haven handled the situation well, larger issues still need to be dealt with. Rehnberg expressed his frustration, saying, "I believe it is an excuse," and that the administration used differences of Communion doctrines as a way to tip toe around how LGBT students should be treated at SPU.
Neuhouser said the larger question that needs answering is, "Are gay Christians going to be accepted as full members of our community or not?"
Although we support Haven’s decision not to fight the administration’s request, we hope dialogue continues. We need to discuss the issue openly on campus, and the administration must take part as well.
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Title: Staff Editorial | Author: Unknown | Section: Opinions | Published Date: 2009-04-29 | Internal ID: 112