Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cru/LGBT Panel Discussion - Questions asked of each panel by other panel

While each panel went back to back on the questions, the LGBT panelists “won” the coin toss, so they were asked the first question. While I’m decent at accurate notes, I’m not fast with note-taking, so I did not get the full responses; instead, I summarize their responses in one sentence. Their five questions, and responses, were:

1) Q: What is the mission or purpose of your group?
A: To provide a safe-haven for LGBT members and to dispel misinformation about LGBT people.
2) Q: What do you see as the role of faith in the LGBT community?
A: The same role as in the straight community, where some will pursue religion and spirituality, while others will choose atheism or agnosticism.
3) Q: What do you think about Jesus? What is your personal experience with Christians and do you think it has been representative of Jesus?
A: One (of the four) panelists responded, saying they believe Jesus was a good role model, that their church is moving forward on the issue of gay acceptance, and that their experiences with Christians have been both positive and negative.
4) Q: What is wrong with the world and how would you go about changing it?
A: People are arrogant and see their worldview as the (only) right way.
5) Q: How can our groups partner together for good on campus? Are there any barriers preventing a lasting partnership to occur between our groups?
A: Both sides need to see each other, spend time together, with the LGBT office and all LGBT-related events being open to the public – that includes open to Christians.

Interleaved with the above LGBT questions were those for Cru panelists. The Cru questions, and responses, were as follow:

1) Q: How are people to appropriately handle Quad preachers?
A: Cru panelists do not condone the methods of the Quad preachers and feel the best way is to completely ignore them.
2) Q: What has changed in mainstream Christians that they’re willing to listen to our (LGBT) stories now? Why now?
A: After all panelists apologized for the ways they’ve been biased/prejudiced/discriminatory against LGBT people, they answered with the idea that 1980’s condemnation has been seen as an improper way to respond, due to the fact that everyone – Christians inclusive – are imperfect people who cannot follow the Law (of God).
3) Q: Many don’t feel or believe they chose their sexual orientation. How does Jesus’ message of love and acceptance lead some to conclude that gay relationships are against his word [sic]?
A: We’re all born imperfect and we need to give our whole selves over to God.
4) Q: What do you think of the purported homosexual relationships in the Bible, such as that between the Roman Centurion and his servant or between Rachel and Leah?
A: Surprised at not being asked about Jonathan and David’s “love more powerful than for a woman”, responded that Rachel and Leah were trying to sleep with a man, and that they didn’t see the homosexual element of the Roman Centurion.
5) Q: What do you think is the most effective way that we (both groups) could help LGBTQA students who are struggling to balance their faith and orientation?
A: Need to bring Jesus into the equation, realize we’re imperfect, and pursue better communication between the communities.

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