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Today Queerty’s Douche of the Week is actually a group. Or is that “are” a group?
Apparently some unidentified Vanderbilt University students think it’s totes hilar to call their rival school, the University of Kentucky, gay. They even took to online peddler Cafe Press to make a T-shirt saying “UK2GAY” to wear at the schools’ upcoming basketball game this weekend.
Girlfriends, some real talk right here: that joke don’t even make sense.
GLAAD wagged its exceptionally manicured finger at the students, telling them that real live gay people were not ROFL-ing over their little homophobic T-shirt.
The creators didn’t mean to be anti-gay. They even said so with a disclaimer on their online storefront: “These shirts are not meant to be offensive or derogatory. They are only meant to be humorous.”
GLAAD schooled the creators of the t-shirt a statement:
But whether they’re “meant” to be offensive or derogatory or not, the fact remains—they are.
These shirts are not meant to celebrate the fact that the University of Kentucky has a vibrant LGBT community. They’re not commending UK for its successful Gay-Straight Alliance. These shirts are meant to insult a rival. And the “insult” here is based on the assumption that being gay is bad.
Maybe they’re meant to be humorous, but what message do they send Vanderbilt’s LGBT students? How safe and welcome will they feel on campus when they see their fellow students using their identity to insult a rival? And what about the thousands of other students, who walk away with the idea that it’s perfectly fine to use sexual orientation as an insult? As is always the case, intent is important, but so are the messages being received.
We shouldn’t be surprised, really. Vanderbilt isn’t looking like any bastion of tolerance or diversity lately: In 2010, a campus imam said he supported the execution of gays. Then a Christian fraternity, Beta Upsilon Chi, asked an openly gay brother to resign, despite the school having a clear-cut nondiscrimination policy. When the school told campus Christian groups they couldn’t use freedom of religion as an excuse to discriminate, groups like the Christian Fellowship of Athletes had a hissy fit. In a recent op-ed in InsideVandy , writer Justin Poythress goes on at length about how “Christians can’t be gay.”
Let me point out bluntly something that should be crystal clear to all professing Christians: They can’t be gay. To be clear, this does not mean they cannot struggle with homosexual temptations; it means you cannot claim to follow Christ and at the same time actively pursue a homosexual lifestyle. The two are incompatible. This would indeed be an extremely narrow-minded and bigoted standpoint if it was based on any single opinion. But Christians are supposed to take the Bible as the word of God, and if God says not to do something, it doesn’t make any difference what anyone else thinks. “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions … the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men … ” (Rom. 1:26-27) And again: “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality … will inherit the kingdom of God.” (I Cor. 6:9-10)
I’m sorry if these words are offensive to some, but the reality is that much of what the Bible has to say is offensive to our modern culture. As Christians, we must decide whether we are going to follow God wholly or pick and choose which things we like. What’s truly narrow-minded and bigoted is to make and support a policy that says we need to tolerate everyone except those people whose beliefs go against the accepted, establishment, pluralistic, politically correct views.
Wow, maybe Poythress should reread his Bible passages. We’re pretty sure “sexually immoral” would cover most college kids, even at Vanderbilt.
All together now: What a douche!