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Students At Evangelical Biola University Form Underground Gay Group

It reminds us of the student groups of the 1960s, only without the draft-dodging and bra-burning: LGBT students at Biola University, a private Evangelical college in La Mirada, CA, have launched a website and campus-wide campaign after the school released a policy defining “any acts of sexual intimacy between two persons of the same sex as an illegitimate moral option for the confessing Christian.”

The goal of the Biola Queer Underground, as the group calls itself, is to put the spotlight on administrators and protect gay students the school might try to expel. Fear of reprisal is high, though, so last week, the BQU invited students from other universities to pass out information about their website and plaster “Biola is Queer” posters and quick-response code (QR) stickers across campus.

Seeking out members without being outed is tricky, one (anonymous) member told blogger John Shore:

“We have to be so careful… We have this whole system set up where we essentially, and very delicately, vet a person through talking to and connecting with their friends and associates. It’s a subtle process. But it works. By the time we actually extend someone an invitation to join us, we know that’s the right thing to do. And so far it’s been great. It’s surprised even us how many people have joined the group.”

The Underground is also (respectfully) challenging Biola’s homophobic code of conduct. In an open letter to administrators and fellow students on their site, the BQU wrote:

First of all, thank you for your ongoing work to make this university an important, beautiful place. We appreciate your sacrifice to make Biola’s mission a reality – “equipping men and women [and other] in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Let us make clear the purpose of this website. Please understand that our goal is not to change, disrespect, or rebel against the mission or values of this university. This project is a compilation of many individuals; therefore one piece does not necessarily reflect the feelings of all involved. While this letter does not speak for everyone in Biola’s LGBTQ community, the majority of us hold similar values to those which Biola is founded on. We chose to attend and be employed at Biola, and desire to finish our education here and continue our service. Know that this is a big risky step for us.

The purpose of this website is multidimensional:

1.We want to bring to light the presence of the LGBTQ community at Biola. Despite what some may assume, there are Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, and Queers at Biola. We are Biola’s students, alumni, employees, and fellow followers of Christ.

2. Biola’s value statement reads, “We believe that integrity and authenticity should be hallmarks of every believer. Our relationships should be models of transparency, truth-telling and unwavering commitment to the example set by the Lord Jesus Christ.” Although Biola may have good intentions in the way it handles homosexuality and related subjects, this does not foster the desired outcome of integrity and transparency among LGBTQ individuals. We speak for our majority in saying that most LGBTQ people feel isolated and fearful of rejection should we act with integrity and come out of the closet. Biola needs to take a close look at its fundamental values, first to question whether they are carried out, and second to discuss if identifying as LGBTQ is in fact contrary to these values.

3. We want to be treated with equality and respected as another facet of Biola’s diversity. Reconciling faith with non-conforming gender/sexual identities is our most important and difficult goal. This of course will take time. We begin by sharing a few of our personal stories and writings.

In conclusion, hearts need to be changed not policies, minds opened not handbooks, and love spread where there is division. We unapologetically pursue our purposes with prayer, patience, and humility.

Frankly, we’re a little confused: It’s not so surprising to hear of gay students trapped at small Evangelical colleges in the middle of Wyoming or Louisiana, with no place to go and no funds to strike out on their own. But Biola is in Southern California—its main campus is, like, 25 miles from West Hollywood. Imagining the hardship these kids must face, we can’t help but feel like they should run and never look back.

But we know it’s not always that easy.

Regardless, we wish the Underground the best of luck with changing the stone hearts of Biola administrators. You’re in our prayers, guys!

By:           Dan Avery
On:           May 14, 2012
Tagged: , , , , ,
  • 20 Comments
    • Adam
      Adam

      It seems like Dan/Queerty is missing the point. These students say they love their school and its approach to Christianity and that they “hold similar values” to the University. They are not trapped at Biola and would possibly feel more alienated in WeHo, which may not accept their beliefs and values, than they do at Biola, which actively rejects their sexualities.

      I think the group’s intentions are clear and sensible and their efforts are noble; since they love themselves and their school, they’re willing to fight for the right to be themselves at their school.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Adam: Beliefs and values change. Sexuality does not! You see the difference? This is just a group of self-hating homosexuals that would be perfectly fine kissing the ass of their bigoted university if it was not for the fear they might be found out as gay and expelled or fired.

      May 14, 2012 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      That they “hold similar values” to the University would indicate they are pretty loathsome.

      May 14, 2012 at 10:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • david
      david

      why would openly gay students go to an evangelical or christian school in the first place??

      May 14, 2012 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Klyde
      Klyde

      I grew up a block from this horror show and I have relatives who work there today, so I know a thing or two about this place. Taking into account that Biola’s “Psychology” dept. still performs exorcisms on gay kids to rid them of demons, it’s no surprise this group is underground. No matter what folks may think of gay conservatives, everyone should keep in mind that these kids have been brainwashed since birth to believe is invisible people living in the sky that watch their every move and monitor their thoughts. The very fact that they’re even coming to terms with who they are and trying to deal with their reality should be commended.

      May 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J Stratford
      J Stratford

      For a lot of people, college is where you find yourself…. and they are doing just that.

      You guys are so judgmental!

      May 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TracyDom
      TracyDom

      I’m not sure I would want to send my children to study at an institution with a name like that. It sounds either like a hair-gel, or a brand of ice-cream.

      May 14, 2012 at 7:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blah, bla..huh?
      Blah, bla..huh?

      They’re going to win over William Lane Craig, who will help them to “fine tune” Jesus’ relationship with his 12 disciples, especially John. It’s gonna be peachy.

      May 15, 2012 at 7:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eva
      Eva

      @Klyde: This is simply not true. Biola does not hold exorcisms for gay students. Perhaps this happened in the 70s, but that practice – if it ever existed – has not been continued.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blah, bla..huh?
      Blah, bla..huh?

      @Eva: STFU, silly religio-ditz. Your worldview called, it wants humanity back.

      May 16, 2012 at 6:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne

      Hi.

      I’m located in Chicago, identify as lesbian, and attend a Welcoming Church.

      I’m wondering if you could assist me with forwarding an anonymous questionnaire meant for LGBTQ Evangelicals. I have been posting on various social media sites, so I’m wanting a random sample (location not important).

      The purpose of this questionnaire is to better understand the needs of those in the Evangelical community who are either questioning their sexual orientation, are completely out and proud, or are somewhere in-between. Instead of a check-box survey, this questionnaire encourages participants to share their thoughts, experiences, and opinions using their own words.

      Once a sufficient amount of participants have answered, the information will be consolidated and shared with trustworthy LGBTQ-Affirming Christian church leaders. The feedback will help ministers in LGBTQ-Affirming churches to create and nurture safe spaces for LGBTQ / Questioning Evangelicals to explore their beliefs without pressure to make any life-altering decisions.

      Here’s the link to the questionnaire:
      http://rainbowunbroken2.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/lgbtq-evangelicals/

      Thank you,
      Suzanne

      rainbowunbroken2{at}gmail{dot}com

      May 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Klyde
      Klyde

      @Eva:

      Uh yes IT EXISTS. They gave my good friend an exorcism – ON SCHOOL PREMISES. Her father was a professor there and was behind the whole thing. It ruined her life. This was in the 90’s. And, considering that God’s word/law is forever and unchangeable, I seriously doubt that this has stopped.

      May 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Klyde
      Klyde

      @Blah, bla..huh?: @Eva: AND like said I my cousin and her husband work at Biola today. Four years ago, at a family get-together, I asked them about Biola’s exorcisms and they both got nervous, tried to change the subjects, shut down and left minustes later. This answered my question.

      May 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Klyde
      Klyde

      @Eva: And yes, I need to proofread my comments before I hit “submit.” Maybe I’m possessed by a demon?

      May 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blah, bla..huh?
      Blah, bla..huh?

      @Klyde: I’ve dealt with these fucktards before, as a “culture war” target. They had a program to seed the internet with apologists that works in conjunction with infiltration of community mental health agencies, parolee and exit programs from foster care, along with Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Boy Scouts of America, your local city hall, etc. They started a “get paid to troll” program that the Republican party uses today, with 30,000 employees in the US.

      How many “sober” people have you met who like to talk evangelical crap, telling you about tweaking a year ago and being “saved” now? Yep, it’s a big influencer, especially in the west and southeast. In the early 2000’s they only had fifteen IP addresses, now they seem to work solely from the cloud and offshore troll stations with cloaked IP’s. They are mainstream, and probably consulting with Mitt as we speak. They seem to be trying harder at appearing to be moderate. (hence the “plaintive voice of the American Christian” posts on this thread.)

      It’s part of the Seven Mountain strategy, where evangelicals take over the world (dog only knows why). The whole thing is based on capitalization of the social engineering opportunities present when selling hatred of LGBT’s, assorted cronies at Biola were and are some of the architects. Other players are at Pepperdine University in SoCal.

      They staked it on the work of Paul Cameron, the discredited psychologist from the Focus on the Family foundation. He did a lot of legal work as well as pseudo science, namely in the foundational efforts towards smoking bans. These were test cases, and largely successful, so it’s provided them with the legal template they work with when fighting Marriage Equality, and minority rights. They’ve since branched out, of course, (eg: Kony 2012, NOM, Koch, etc.) These people go back to the work of William F. Buckley and Barclays’ original PR studies on mind control. They will control the 70% of the American electorate that votes reactionary, or they’ll kill the country. To them it’s a win win scenario, and they’re pretty good at it.

      May 18, 2012 at 8:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sam
      sam

      There are several things I’d like to point out about this article that should be corrected, the university did not just add this policy it has been in place for years beyond that they don’t allow for any students to be involved in any sort of sexual relationship outside of marriage. So yeah homosexual activity is prohibited but so is heterosexual. And BIOLA stands for Bible Institute of Los Angeles so it’s above all else going to base it’s rules on biblical teachings. Before condemning a school it’s staff and students calling them homophobic, attacking the beliefs, and thinking they must just hate the LGBTQ community do your homework. Understand that Christian University does not necessarily mean hateful though it has often in the past which is incredibly sad.

      May 19, 2012 at 1:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blah, bla..huh?
      Blah, bla..huh?

      @sam: Disclaimer. In no way did Queerty do anything but attack the school’s actions. I’d like that noted, or you will remain silent. This isn’t your little bubble world, so push off loser.

      May 19, 2012 at 7:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • K
      K

      @sam: I appreciate your comments here. It is very frustrating to see these people simply shutting others down out of ignorance, than listening and asking for a continued conversation. Religious, or not, those type of people only want to hear themselves talk. Blah, bla..huh?, this means you. I would suggest listening to others, or be silent yourself–you’re like a loud noise, with no benefit to your readers.

      We avoid things that we don’t understand, and think they’re icky. This spills over into religion, where we find it really easy to make it policy, instead of listening to the truth. Humanity has a history of oppression. It is unfortunate how the Christian religions, in general, are so closed-minded about this topic, insisting on hell, fire and brimstone for those who engage in homosexual behavior. At the very least, they’ve come away from thinking that whether a gay person “repents” or not, they’re damned. It is a small step, but still a progression toward the better. Our goal should be to make sure everyone has their voice, and maybe we’ll start hearing the things we desperately need.

      Jun 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blah, bla..huh?
      Blah, bla..huh?

      @K: “It is a small step, but still a progression toward the better. Our goal should be to make sure everyone has their voice, and maybe we’ll start hearing the things we desperately need.” A small step for whom? Everyone? Why would you say something so ludicrous? Biola U is, has been, and as far as anyone involved in direct communication with them can tell, will continue to remain committed in keeping their theology intact as it is now. Who the hell do you think you are?

      “Religious, or not, those type of people only want to hear themselves talk.”

      Yes, yes you do. Next time you slither in here to gently leak your pablum flavored venom, bring some facts. You’ll be expected to provide some citations. Examples might contain citations of people at the school describing the institutional change of heart, when it was proposed, by whom, when, you know, tangibles.

      I know in your cultural tapeworm of an “academic institution”, these are probably fighting words, but then you’re a craven apologist for sadistic death. That’s why you feel so confused when I tell you to start “asking for a continued conversation” with the guy who pays you to troll here. Tell him you’ll need to explain what Biola really wants from LGBT’s. And non-Xtians, the research and Academic community (the real one, Dr. Craig), Oh… And all of those forms moving about you everyday when you walk by with your head planted firmly up your messiah complex. You know, people. (it’s easy to forget them when dealing with the talibangelical net workers, why is that?) And I mean you K, back to your hive mind you filthy scumbag. You’re being dispatched, away with you.

      Jun 26, 2012 at 3:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blah, bla..huh?
      Blah, bla..huh?

      @K: Sam and K, get a room. Haggard and crew are having African baby sashimi downtown, might wanna pick up some caviar and pay your respects? And give Daddy Craig my love, ok snookums?

      Jun 26, 2012 at 3:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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