For my undergraduate education, I attended Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. A year after I graduated, the gay and lesbian students on that campus published a zine in March 2011 about their experiences as closet homosexuals at a socially conservative Christian college. As an alumnus with a frequently updated blog, I was asked by Harding University Queer Press to write a review of their zine a week before they distributed it on campus.
What I read encouraged me. One passion of mine is seeing better treatment of homosexuals occur in our culture and, especially, in our churches. While the zine could in no way be the end-all solution, I thought it had a lot of merit. Not perfect, but a good step in the right direction, and I had hoped it would be a good starting point for dialogue and conversation. (The publication can be read in its entirety at HUQP’s website.)
In retrospect, I still wonder how much good came from it. Perhaps we’ll never know. Even though I was in Nashville five hours away from Searcy at the time, I had my finger on the pulse of the campus and realized the ensuing impact was bigger than I had expected.
It got a fair amount of play in the media. Google “Harding University gay” or something along those lines, and you’ll easily find a smorgasbord of articles. A lot of the response from the media was incredibly disheartening. Several of my friends were the brains behind HUQP, and they told me they were not happy with how most of the media had responded.
Though I did not intend to write ten essays on this one topic for the entire month of March, I could see by about the third post there was more that needed to be addressed in the media that wasn’t being talked about. I decided to keep writing since, for whatever reason, visits to my blog had skyrocketed that month and people kept asking me questions about what I thought.
The ten-post series is linked below. For sake of clarity, I encourage you to read HUQP’s zine first before taking a gander at each of my posts. You are still more than welcome to comment on these posts even though they are now very much in the past, for I receive a notification on every comment and try to respond to any thoughtful, considerate opinions shared by readers.
Part 4: Toeing the Line of Hypocrisy
Part 5: What Healthcare Reminded Us
Part 6: Conditional Love Is a Commodity
Part 7: A Tactile Illustration
Part 8: A Digital Illustration
Part 9: The Issue of Force
Part 10: Typifiying “Neighbor”