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An invitation to all who care

| Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Please read this to the end. Those of you who are not freshmen recall a couple of days last year on which the entire campus saw hundreds of people wearing the orange shirts that say, “Gay? Fine by me.” on the front. Freshmen, you’ve probably seen people wearing them around. Well, today is the next “official” day for that. Chances are, it’s made the front page of The Observer and is causing a big deal of some sort. I proposed an idea last year that some people seemed to like, and so I am again proposing it this year. In response to the orange, many people like to wear the blue shirts from last year or the Zahm shirts or whatever, but for charity’s sake, I wanted to ask first, don’t wear those shirts.

Rather, let’s take a different look at the whole issue. Instead of looking like or even being the stereotypical anti-orange shirt guy who is homophobic, etc., why don’t we take on the Christian spirit and show what we really think? To achieve that, I wanted to propose that we oppose silently in a certain sense, but dress up (coat and tie for guys, and the equivalent for girls). Here is my reasoning.

First, it does not insult. The Christian spirit is not one of insult or degradation. It is, instead, one of charity and Christian love. Our silent proclamation of our views, while not loud and “forceful” per se, takes on the form of the entire Christian message – belief and action. We believe in the dignity of all mankind. We believe that living a homosexual lifestyle hurts and degrades that dignity, because we are not defined by our sexuality. We are all defined in the same way, in the image and likeness of God. Hence, we strive so that all our beliefs and all our actions might reflect that part of us. In the end, this means that we disagree with certain choices that active homosexuals make and with certain beliefs that those who advocate homosexual rights hold. We also understand that it’s not an easy thing to hear such an absolute no, especially in the area of sexuality. This leads me to my second reason for proposing what I have proposed.

We dress up not as a sign of disagreement, but rather as a show of respect and even honor for those who struggle with and against homosexual tendencies. Homosexual individuals deserve more than to be left in and even pushed into a life that in the end will not make them as happy as they want to believe or do believe it will. So then, why be complacent as men and women are influenced so greatly? Why not strive to live the life of charity and offer these people the gift that God so greatly wants for them and for all? As odd as it sounds, we love every single person, homosexual or heterosexual, on this campus, and that love leads us to do what we do. Again, we respect and honor homosexuals in their struggle to deal with their tendencies, we stand with them and for them (because their identities are unknown) and will support them as best we can as they live life with their silent secret.

Some might comment that the orange shirts don’t necessarily condone the homosexual lifestyle. OK, but at the same time, the message is not clear enough. Dressing up stands for something specific, and to disagree with it at least makes it clear what one disagrees with. Not wearing an orange shirt can easily cause one to be labeled as homophobic or bigoted, and we who dress up strive to the best of our abilities not to be homophobic and not to be bigoted, though at times we may fail since we are human.

And so I ask, if you haven’t already, go change and join us! Men, wear a coat and tie. Women, dress nicely the way you do. And, if you like, as St. Paul says, “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1), by joining us also in a bread and water fast tomorrow. Fasting has always been a means of prayer in the Church, and it is no less powerful now than in the past. But, whatever you do, stand up with us in support of men and women who struggle against homosexual tendencies, and show the world that we are not afraid of the issue of homosexuality. We are not unwilling to face touchy subjects. At the same time, I’d like to make it clear to those who disagree with us that we aren’t mean individuals who want to deprive people of freedom. Rather, we are people who really and truly care about the other and who only want the best for them. Thanks much for reading, and God bless.

Chris Christensen


Knott Hall

Nov. 16