Letters to the Editor – Nov. 15
Hill and Lee talks should move Calvin community to listen first
I’d like to thank Chimes for your excellent reporting on the recent sexuality series talks by Wesley Hill and Justin Lee. Both speakers were highly impressed with the warm hospitality they received from audiences, students and staff at Calvin and the respectful dialogue they found on campus. Many community members attended the talks, including pastors, elders, youth leaders, church members, students and staff from other local Christian colleges, Calvin alumni, Christian high school counselors and seminary students as well as Calvin students, faculty and staff. The vast majority of feedback was positive.
The videos of Wesley and Justin’s talks (www.calvin.edu/student-life/ss) have received a phenomenal amount of traffic. As of Wednesday night, Wesley’s talks have had about 4,000 views each and Justin’s have had about 1,000 and 2,300 views respectively.
Justin and Wesley helped to further the Sexuality Series’ goals for LGBT topics, which are to promote student well-being, our Christian framework and civil dialogue. Calvin’s (the CRC’s) stance encourages gay Christians to be honest about their orientation, because hiding is detrimental to spiritual and emotional growth. The position that orientation is not a sin and that sex is for heterosexual marriage shouldn’t be seen as a band aid to make straight folks feel better about something they don’t understand.
Rather, it should prompt us to get to know gay Christians and listen to their stories and questions. My hope is that people can begin to do this in a spirit of mutual respect, even though we may disagree. Justin and Wesley are such a great model for us in this. They have come to different conclusions about gay marriage, but they are good friends. That is surely a testimony to the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives.
I was humbled by Justin and Wesley’s desire to make a positive difference and by the grace with which these brothers in the Lord accept the burden of being “on display,” as it were, for their sexuality. I’m deeply grateful that they do accept it.
Not glossing over the importance of their theological differences, they speak well of and look out for each other. As Justin said to me at the end of his visit, “There are not many Christians doing work in this area — we have to stick together.” Amen!
Thanks again, Chimes writers.
Julia Smith, Sexuality Series Director
TCK article misleading
I recently read the article “The Life And Times of a Third Culture Kid” in the Nov. 8 edition of Chimes.
I was disappointed with how the article approached the topic. While the article focuses on international third culture kids, I feel that there could have also been a focus on American third culture kids (TCKs).
I am an American who grew up overseas and after reading the article, I felt that it implied that only international students could be classified as TCKs. Being a TCK (a student with significant international experience) who doesn’t fit people’s image of what an “international” student looks like, I felt that the article was very misleading.
I want other students on Calvin’s campus to know that just because some students look American, it doesn’t mean they classify themselves as such. American TCKs go through similar experiences as those international TCKs go through, as described in the article; we don’t know how to answer the question “where’s home?” For some of us, we can’t visit our families over breaks because they’re in a different country.
Although the article gave a good perspective on what TCKs go through in terms of struggling to relate to any one culture, I felt that it wasn’t complete in representing the American TCKs here on Calvin’s campus. Assumptions are our worst enemy and I don’t want anyone to be misled by the article implying that TCKs are only international students.
Class of 2015