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Shaking Campus Liberalism

How Christian Students Defied the Pro-gay Faculty, and Won

by Theodore Winston Pike

Today, higher education is dominated by secular humanism, which is another name for that moral and political blight of the 20th century: liberalism. Yet all too often, even Christian parents unquestioningly deliver their precious children to this anti-Christian system when they send them off to college. In fact, statistics reveal that evangelical Christianity now loses 86% of its children to the world after high school graduation. Awed by the prestige and intellect of professors on campus, most Christian teens abandon the God of their fathers during college. Truly, secular colleges and universities are the spiritual "killing grounds" of Christian youth today.

But it does not have to be this way. Recently, several families who are part of our Truthtellers Bible Study group, whose children were about to attend Mt Hood Community College near Portland, Oregon, determined, with my wife and me, that we were not going to allow secularism on campus to take our children from us. What right does a pro-abortion, pro-gay professor, who we don't even know, have to the minds and souls of our children?

Yet we wanted more than that. We wanted our children not only to survive higher education, but also to triumph over it. Thus, from the beginning of this experiment, both parents and young people in our group solemnly committed ourselves to take every opportunity we could find to lift up Christ, and Christian conservative values, as high as possible over campus.

After the first year, we had succeeded spectacularly, not only backing down a pro-homosexual faculty agenda, but also emerging with battle-tested Christian young people ready for more action as Christian activists.

Engaging the Opposition

From the beginning of the school year, it was clear to us where the greatest opportunity and most resistance to setting high the light of Christian truth would occur: the campus newspaper, THE ADVOCATE. Harmony Grant, age 17, daughter of my sister-in-law, Shelle, was a journalism major and soon got into action. In a lively interview between herself and a retiring faculty liberal, Rick Kotulski, she discussed duty to God, the purpose of life, and the possibility of absolute truth and objective reality. Her article was featured in the annual campus magazine, VENTURE, and widely read and discussed on campus - even made required reading in a creative writing class. This was followed by another column demanding tolerance and freedom of expression for Christians in public schools - not just for privileged minorities such as homosexuals. But she really collided with a liberal faculty member in the following way:

Chris Jackson, head of the philosophy department and prestigious evolutionist, challenged Dr. Duane Gish, renowned creationist, to debate creation/evolution. However, at the last minute, Jackson lost his nerve and backed out, claiming unfairness on the Gish side. Harmony dramatized his retreat by writing an accurate but telling article quoting both sides. Jackson, angered, wrote a letter to The ADVOCATE, accusing Harmony of distorting the facts. Harmony rebutted powerfully in print. When the dust settled, Jackson, enraged, silenced by Harmony, told The ADVOCATE he would never have anything to do with the paper again.

 Soon after, at my suggestion, Harmony wrote a column proposing that if the smear-term "homophobia" can be applied to Christians who object to homosexual perversion, then the term "Christophobia" should be applied to liberals and homosexuals who fear and object to Christian values. This saucy article prompted an angry response from The ADVOCATE copy editor, who argued that preferential treatment of gays/lesbians was societies due toward a beleaguered minority, persecuted for centuries.

Expose of Child Molesters

Responding to the copy editor's attack on Harmony, Harmony's brother, Sterling Grant, age 19, wrote a powerful letter exposing homosexuals of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) who promote seduction of pre-teen boys. Published by The ADVOCATE, this well documented research article countered the liberals' portrayal of homosexuals as a "persecuted minority." Sterling proved that many homosexuals are actually the source of oppression and victimization of adolescent boys.

This was too much for the liberals on the faculty. Sixty-seven members of the Mt Hood Community College faculty published a signed statement in The ADVOCATE decrying Sterling's "anti-gay/lesbian " letter. This gave Harmony the chance to humiliate in print the pro-gay faculty by pointing out that the forum page of The ADVOCATE had been open for two weeks following Sterling's article. Yet not one faculty member had the courage to debate the issue in a public, rational way. Rather, they had elected to merely dump on Sterling and Harmony an "avalanche of prestigious names."

 Although we were bracing for faculty outrage at Harmony's rebuttal, we were taken completely by surprise by what happened next. Within an hour of receiving his copy of Harmony's article, Chris Jackson E-mailed the following letter to all the faculty:

 "I want to personally apologize to the Mt Hood community for adding my name to the list of names in last week's ADVOCATE. I believe that Ms Grant has taught the teachers this time, and I hope that we will have the honesty to admit it. Our list of names with absolutely no argument was merely a bully ploy. I do think that our list was well intentioned: we do support the right of gays/lesbians to be open about their sexuality on campus. But I (and I hope we) equally support Sterling Grant's right to his moral and religious beliefs and to his making these public items of discussion. We should challenge his views, not attempt to silence them.

Thank you, Ms Grant, for having the courage to stand against us. In my view, you are right - this time."

 Yet, recovering from his momentary penitence, Jackson, in a letter to The ADVOCATE the following week, claimed that there was no evidence that homosexual molestation was on the rise, or that homosexual seduction of boys was even a significant problem today. He demanded more documentation from Sterling.

 Similarly, a language instructor, Eric Tschuy, also gave our young people a position of advantage by writing a letter misrepresenting their position, claiming that they had accused homosexuals of "pedophilia" (sexual abuse of children of both sexes) when, in reality, neither of them had ever used the term.

Time to Demonstrate

Responding to Jackson's demand and armed with a much more extensively documented 600-word expose of NAMBLA, Sterling confidently submitted his article to The ADVOCATE. The editors refused to print it. They said the article was unfair to homosexuals, that Sterling had been published too much in the paper (once that year), and that they did not have to print everything the faculty requested. All five editors agreed that they would censor it, like it or not...

Since this was the last issue of The ADVOCATE for the school year, we were troubled that the pro-gay faculty might get the last word. We decided to protest. Late that night, part of our group made picket signs; the others provided 500 copies of Sterling's letter with 'CENSORED' slanted across the top. Beginning the next morning, we picketed for 5 1/2 hours on the Mt Hood Community College commons, dramatizing our case for freedom of expression. While many of the students may not have agreed with our Christian stand against homosexuality, support for Sterling's right to free expression was overwhelming. Both THE OREGONIAN (Oregon's largest statewide daily) and the local Gresham OUTLOOK provided unbiased coverage. Furthermore, having passed out about 350 copies of Sterling's censored NAMBLA article to students and faculty, the remainder was placed in faculty mailboxes.

 Thus, as God hardened Pharaoh's heart in order to create a greater victory, so the editors' censorship caused Sterling's article and our demonstration for free speech to become the talk of the campus. Word came to us that faculty were discussing our protest in class and siding with us. In fact, several faculty members who had signed the original protest against Sterling and Harmony (including Chris Jackson) signed our petition in favor of free speech. Members of the student Diversity Council told us that the disrespect shown to the "diversity" of Christians such as Sterling would be the top priority for discussion next fall. Disgruntled students were even beginning to talk of starting up a rival free speech newspaper, to be called THE AVACADO.

Spreading the Word

With the intellectual collapse of the liberal faculty and editors, we felt, as the school year ended, that our experiment to hold Christ and truth high over the secular campus was spectacularly successful. Yes, God powerfully helped us, but at the same time, much of our success was due to the apathy of both student and faculty liberals. Incredibly, during the 1999-2000 school year at Mt Hood College, with a student body of thousands, only two letters or columns were submitted by students in favor of liberal ideas. The total number of liberal writings published in The ADVOCATE by students, or ADVOCATE staff and faculty were eight.

On the other hand, students from our group, plus other Christians, published sixteen pro-Christian, conservative letters or columns. An average of one out of every two issues of The ADVOCATE contained a thought-provoking piece in favor of Christian values. Although The ADVOCATE is a liberal college newspaper staffed by predominantly liberal staff and editors, we were able, because of our 1st Amendment rights, to help to create a newspaper with a conservative, moral tone throughout the year. Consequently, Christian issues constantly hovered over the campus, setting the tone of discussion and debate. Although we did not have liberty always to become fully evangelical, we were able to speak the whole truth in darkness and thus fulfill God's command to "redeem the time, for the days are evil." (Eph. 5:16)

The Soft Underbelly of Liberalism

We also discovered that, even when the liberal student editors objected to what we had to say, they seemed virtually powerless to editorialize against us or enlist letters from students and faculty. This is partly because forty years ago, under liberal "progressive" education, reading and writing went into decline. Result: having laid the groundwork for moral relativism and sexual pre-occupation in the prime studying years, such slack educational standards have left liberalism today largely without passionate, articulate youthful defenders.

The soft underbelly of decadent campus liberalism is, thus, the public-supported student-run newspaper, wide open to weekly insertions of truth and light from groups of Christians -whether the secular humanists like it or not. This does not mean that Christian activists should dominate or take over campus newspapers. It means that we can utilize our full right to freedom of speech as provided by the Constitution and empowered by a tax-supported, free press on campus. If the non-Christian students or faculty do not have the scratch to utilize their full potential for free speech, they do not have the right to cry "FOUL." They have only themselves to blame.



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