Haven encourages discussion

This Monday, SPU took an important step toward a more inclusive and grace-filled campus culture by finally deciding to grant Haven (the LGBTQ group on campus) club status.

Extra-curricular clubs are an important part of SPU’s student life and play a significant role in bringing together students with similar backgrounds and interests.

SPU sponsors 61 clubs ranging from the Black Student Union to the SALSA club to the Law Society.

Student clubs are a way for people with different ethnicities, political views and hobbies to further their learning experience and share their passions with the SPU community.

For years Haven has been fighting to gain club status, but was continually rejected. With so many other diverse groups represented, it was sad to see the LGBTQ community alienated. The decision to acknowledge Haven as a club speaks volumes about the type of university that SPU is becoming.

Being a Christian University, SPU holds to the biblical belief that homosexuality is a sin and has used that to justify their refusal to promote related activities.

As all SPU students know, before attending the university, students must sign and agree to certain lifestyle expectations.

Part of this expectation is abstinence from homosexual acts. While some complain that this clause is discriminatory, I do not see it as such because it is preceded by a clause against all premarital activities, hetero or homosexual. What is discriminatory is the refusal to represent all minority groups whether the administration agrees with their lifestyle or not.

The goal of Haven is to start discussion on all aspects of human sexuality. While the primary focus is on LGBTQ issues, they often talk about sexual health, stereotypes, and gender equality.

Junior Brandon Malde-Zoradi, co-leader of Haven, says that the goal of Haven is to be a safe place where people can share what is on their mind and bring up questions they might have without feeling embarrassed, like they might in a classroom setting.

Anyone who might have questions is welcome to the club, even straight people.

Malde-Zoradi states that they are grateful that SPU has been accommodating thus far and is thrilled that Haven has at last received club status and is finally officially recognized by the school.

They would like to be treated the same as everyone else because Haven is as much a diversity club as the others, Haven just discusses more sensitive issues.

Previously, there have been numerous LGBTQ students on campus who felt alienated by the administration based upon their sexuality. The inclusion of LGBTQ clubs sends a powerful message to SPU students, which is a grace-filled message of acceptance and support.

What initially attracted myself and many other students to SPU was their motto: “Engage the culture, change the world.” I am proud to see my university standing by that statement and showing their commitment to it through action and acceptance.

Truly engaging the culture requires us to step outside of our bubble and realize that there are many lifestyles that we as Christians may not understand, or be comfortable with. Nonetheless, we are called to show them love and support.

The previous decisions to exclude Haven were at odds with SPU’s motto and did not reflect the grace-filled teachings of Jesus.

The acceptance of Haven, whose mission it is to provide a safe space for students to talk about human sexuality, fosters a culture of grace and inclusion, making me proud to be a Falcon.

 

Natalie Pimblett is a junior political science major.

This article was posted in the section Opinion.

7 thoughts on “Haven encourages discussion

  1. As a former staffer of “The Falcon” (1959-1960!)I’m delighted to read the news about Haven. Let’s remember that it’s not just certain Bible verses but Scripture and tradition in conjunction with reason that guide us. I invite you to my website, http://www.darrellreeck.com, for a blog on MLK, Jr. and Nelson Mandela as mentors to millions. (Five decades+ after 1960 and still writing!)

  2. It’s a shame that hardly anyone (?) at Seattle Pacific can be found to stand up for Biblical principles. The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is sin, whether the overt act or the propensity for it. I’m from the SPU Class of ’79 and I stand on the Word of God. When the Bible says something is sinful, you don’t create a support and discussion group to coddle those who want to contemplate sin and try to find loopholes for the Christian life. SPU was correct to ban this group for a number of years and it still ought to be banned. God’s principles haven’t changed, but the principles of sinful man have gone the way of the world, the flesh and the devil. This is now officially the “post-Christian” era at Seattle Pacific University. Here is what Romans chapter one teaches: “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done…. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

    • Mr. Gwinn, I am sure you do not agree with this verse, “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his property.” (Exodus 21:20-21) As a modern society we do not accept people owning slaves and surely we would not think that this rule would apply. I don’t understand how we can throw out some parts of the Bible as being irrelevant to us now but still hold on so strongly to the verses that we think “should be relevant,” such as those referring to homosexuality.I think the most important rule to follow is to “Love thy neighbor,” as Jesus said. This act of hating and bashing those who are homosexual is in no way living the way of Christ.

    • If we took our moral cues from the Old Testament, there are a great many things indeed that we would need to advocate for differently in the world.

      Luckily for all races, genders, and sexual orientations, we do not. If there is such a thing as moral progress — which Jesus, Martin Luther King, Jr., and (thankfully) the student body of SPU realize there to be — we have the right, and indeed the obligation, to grapple with truth as we find it, not as it is presented to us by others. This actually lets us act more out of love than any outdated interpretation of something someone else once said.

      The moral truth is not writ in stone. It is something we continually discover on a day-to-day basis as we live with love toward all humanity. Kudos to the SPU student body for contributing to our moral evolution in this crucial way.

    • “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Is 5:20
      Bravo Mr. Gwinn. “Do not be conformed to this world…”

  3. I’d love to join Haven’s discussion. I do have to wonder how many people are involved who don’t agree with homosexuality as something God intended for humanity and how their presence and opinions are encouraged or validated.

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