By Mike Archer. In what is perhaps the most rational piece yet written on the Trinity Western university (TWU) controversy over its determination to have a Christian law school despite the revulsion in some of the wider non-religious community and among lawyers over its anti-LGBTQ covenant, Lindsey Mayhew, managing editor of TWU’s school newspaper, Mars’ Hill, wrote a piece in the Vancouver Province newspaper Thursday calling on the conservative administration of the University to change the covenant.
“The law school debate has perpetuated a lot of negative stereotypes about the Christian community, and it is a shame that the administration does not think about how this reflects on a student body who may or may not have quite the same belief system as them. The administration makes it out as if these law societies and gay rights groups are discriminating against us, without taking into account the centuries of oppression and hatred the church has shown toward gays in the past.” – Lindsey Mayhew
Mayhew has a point. Having framed the debate in a way they thought they could win the administration decided to take a distinctly American approach to what it anticipated would be a heated and arduous battle over its right to discriminate against ‘the homosexual lifestyle’ and, by extension, the whole LGBTQ community, it must be with some surprise that TWU’s administration now discovers that students on campus don’t share its outdated and discriminatory covenant.
“In my experience at Trinity, gay students are entirely welcome, and so it baffles me why, rather than re-evaluating how we can best love and serve our community via the covenant, the administration insists upon stubbornly keeping an antiquated contract as it is. The covenant is an ever-evolving document; students used to not even be allowed to dance on campus!” – Lindsey Mayhew
Maybe TWU President Bob Kuhn fumbled the ball by picking a fight he neither could win nor actually needed to. Canadians are quite accepting of other people’s views, spiritual beliefs, politics, sexual preferences and religions. Not so much, it turns out, the TWU administration.
While its own faculty argue the case against Sharia law in Canada, the administration of TWU fights for its right to discriminate against the LGBTQ community while handing out law degrees.
Sure Kuhn can see the impossibility of reconciling the universities multiple and contradictory positions. How can Canadian citizens expect a religious university, which ignores Canadian law and rails against other forms or religious law, to properly teach Canadian law to its students?
Mayhew may not be popular with the TWU administration right now. In a very respectful manner, and without intending to do so, she has made them look like fools.
Best take the advice of the new generation of Christians and the Christian academics of the future. Change your covenant TWU. Bring it in line with the beliefs, and more importantly, the actions, of those on your campus who will soon be replacing you as the Christian leaders in the Fraser Valley.
We have watched with horror as strict, paternalistic, conservative religious views have led to the Abbotsford Homeless Crisis, one of the most horrendous and revolting human rights crisis’ in the history of the Fraser Valley. Faith in the wisdom of elders has had a great deal to do with the failures in Abbotsford. The rule of law is playing a crucial role in forcing Abbotsford’s elders to clean up their act and stop discriminating against those of whom they disapprove. TWU could learn a lesson from its religious brothers up the highway.
It is time to let the vision of youth replace the blindness of the old.
Change your covenant and show the world your god welcomes all men and women.
Or don’t teach law in Canada.
It’s that simple.