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Despite her successful ministry at Wheaton, she resigned in 2015, and wrote an article about her disappointing experience.The president of Wheaton “said he’d heard nothing but positive things about my ministry with students on campus, but they hadn’t anticipated so much criticism from alumni and donors,” Rodgers wrote.For example, last year, the writer Eliel Cruz was allegedly told by administrators that he couldn’t sell cupcakes to raise money for homeless LGBT youth because such “perceived advocacy” of LGBT people would conflict with the mission of Andrews University in Michigan. Meanwhile, gay students have to follow different rules.Even though some conservative schools are trying to find a compromise between their convictions and prevailing cultural norms, this posture often effectively creates two sets of rules: one for gay students, and one for straight students. 4 regional college in the Midwest, the student handbook explicitly forbids “touching, caressing, and other physical conduct of a sexual nature with a person of the same sex.” Yet heterosexual students at the same school are allowed to date and show affection as long as they abstain from sex. According to the handbook, “students who experience same sex attraction or identify as gay or lesbian are expected to refrain from ‘same sex sexual expression’ as it is embodied in culturally contextual practices (e.g., identifying as a couple or exhibiting expressions of physical intimacy).”What happens if students break a rule against same-sex dating?
“Romance and self-identity get lumped in with sex, and just tossed in the same pile,” he told me.
Indeed, the balancing act of being openly gay, remaining celibate, and meeting the expectations of a conservative religious community can sometimes be too much to bear, even at colleges that want to show an openness on the issue.
After being courted by Wheaton College in Illinois, the openly gay blogger Julie Rodgers accepted the position of “ministry associate for spiritual care” for the LGBT population on campus in 2014.* Subsequently, she was inundated with students seeking help, comfort, and understanding.
As a December Pew Research study noted, “Roughly half (51%) of evangelical Protestants in the Millennial generation (born between 19) say homosexuality should be accepted by society.” “The same-sex couples at Christian colleges don’t tend to think of themselves as practicing ‘alternative’ lifestyles,” she said.
“They think of themselves as card-carrying, church-going, doctrinally-formed evangelical Christians.